Digital transformations are changing how companies do business on every level - internally, and externally. So, when Con Edison partnered with us to help them deliver on their commitment to unlocking this new potential, our multidisciplinary team of experts was excited to roll our sleeves up and get to work.
Our projects included:
Streamlining and centralizing resources into one smart intranet hub, engaging and motivating over 15,000 employees
Bringing together key stakeholders to create a Customer Engagement Plan that was key to the regulatory approval of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) initiative in New York
In addition to helping us achieve critical business goals, modernizing our workplace will save on costs by reducing the time employees spend locating tools and information, employing standard templates to develop departmental content and sites, and introducing new digital forms with automated workflows.
15,000 utility workers were spread across several subsidiaries and geographies with no centralized repository for operational data and information. This created a recipe for confusion and miscommunication.
That was the issue facing Con Edison when the company partnered with us in 2018 to build a single intranet-based digital platform for its workplace. As well as promoting safety by providing an easily searchable repository for operational information and tools, the project had to engage and excite employees, and encourage interaction and support innovation.
The portal needed to have simple, intuitive search capabilities, a standardized look and feel, consistent department templates, and redesigned employee communication, as well as digital forms, policies, and procedures. Most importantly of all, it had to provide a good experience that was easy to navigate and search, so that employees could easily engage and interact with it.
Our multidisciplinary team of industry, technology, and operational experts immediately went to work, immersing themselves in the challenges faced by intranet users throughout the company. Two things became abundantly clear: the user-experience had to be simplified and a vast amount of content (1,200 pages in total) would need to be refined and consolidated to avoid user confusion.
After analyzing how people were navigating current materials, and defining what people really needed from the intranet, the team created user personas to bring the user journey to life. These were central to decision-making on every level, from visual layout to information architecture—true human-centered design in action.
Collaborative content strategy sessions were held to assess, reorganize, and refine existing materials—and ensure buy-in from key stakeholders. Ultimately, the team was able to reduce the number of intranet pages by 90%, creating 120 pages of more engaging, streamlined content that was much easier to navigate and read. A new governance structure was put in place to minimize new page creation and duplication in the future.
The new intranet immediately made a difference in how employees were able to work and communicate. The biggest change came from the simplification and rationalization of pages, going from 1,200 to 120. This made it easier for people to find the information they needed, faster. Search use went up by 50%, employee self-service engagement increased, and overall satisfaction with the intranet jumped by 30%. And that momentum was sustained: A year following launch, 76% of Con Edison’s 15,000 employees continue to use the intranet on a daily basis. The reduced time for employees to locate the information and tools they need on the intranet equates to approximately $285K per month.
In recognition of this transformation, Con Edison and its intranet site (Conor) was recognized among the top 10 intranets of 2020 by Nielsen Norman Group.
Con Edison of New York wanted to empower its customers to better manage their energy use by implementing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The core of the plan? To deploy five million smart electricity and gas meters, which would provide more frequent and granular data—as well as actionable business insights.
In order to secure approval from the state utility regulators, the utility needed to develop a detailed customer engagement plan to build awareness, keep customers informed about the program and its progress, and encourage participation.
That’s where we came in.
With deep industry expertise and years of experience working with utility regulatory bodies, our multidisciplinary team was ideally positioned to anticipate potential challenges and strategized a course for getting the plan developed, approved by Con Edison, and accepted. Given the tight time filing deadline (six months), it was clear from the start that a nimble, responsive approach would be the only way to go.
The team gathered information from departments across the company, collaborating with internal stakeholders to help build alignment before the engagement plan was built. This laid the foundation for four public collaboration meetings with various stakeholders, including elected officials, customers, and interested third parties, which enabled Con Edison to identify any concerns and develop a plan for addressing them. Overall, inputs from 26 external parties, including energy service companies, the Department of Public Service, professional organizations, and advocacy groups, were considered and addressed.
Ultimately, these insights were consolidated into a thoughtful, results-driven engagement plan, that included eight Fair Information Practice Principles in accordance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Privacy Guidelines, based on our privacy assessment of the AMI program.
The plan was delivered on time in the 4-month project schedule.
It satisfied the State Public Service Commission’s broad regulatory requirements, which addressed and included data sharing, rate pilots, AMI deployment communication, privacy planning, third-party solicitation for revenue opportunities, and broader collaboration with third parties.
It was approved, and quickly put into action.
The approval of the customer engagement plan meant that Con Edison could implement AMI quickly, smoothly, and on schedule. Over 2.5 million smart meters were deployed across New York from July 2017 to December 2019, with 5 million total electric and gas meters to be installed by early 2022.