In late 2019, Hafslund Nett and Eidsiva Nett merged into what is today known as Elvia AS. Elvia is Norway’s largest power distribution company and provides power to a third of the population—in the counties of Oslo, Viken and Innlandet, through more than 65,000 kilometers of power cables. Jon Andreas Pretorius, CIO for Elvia and Eidsiva Group, shares his thoughts on IFS Cloud.
Today, a key trend we’re experiencing in Norway is the electrification of society, which is supporting the push for a sustainable future. As the largest power distributor in the country, we will obviously play an important part in this journey and want to step forward as an industry leader.
In addition to providing power to households and companies, there’s also a big drive towards electrifying the entire infrastructure—from cars to buses and boats. Someday, electric planes and full electric construction sites may also become reality. When it does, two key questions we’ll have are: how can we distribute power in the most efficient and socio-economic way possible? How much power is required?
At Elvia, we believe one of the keys to success is moving to a digital business model and making data driven decisions. ERP, and in our case IFS Cloud, is definitely at the heart of this, and will give us full control of all our data, and the ability to share real time data with all our stakeholders. This will further enable active management of power distribution, to ensure that peak consumption doesn’t hit at the exact same time.
When Hafslund Nett and Eidsiva Nett first merged, we were two companies with two different ERP systems. Our goal was to create a new Elvia with a cloud-first strategy, empowering us with the scalability and flexibility we needed to support our future vision.
Traditionally, the network distribution industry in Norway has been defined by monopolies, with a certain way of doing things; thus we’ve not been at the forefront when it comes to digitalization. We want to change that, and I believe that the future of the power distribution eco-system will require it—as the need for more flexible, and controlled, power distribution will grow.
Hafslund Nett has been a customer of IFS for more than 20 years, and we took part in shaping the IFS industry solution for Energy and Utilities. With the merger, the reality was that we were faced with two different ERP systems. Using a cloud-based subscription model was key, so IFS Cloud immediately looked like the natural choice. What’s more, IFS Cloud offers strong industry functionality and open APIs that enable us to integrate our different systems, pulling all data into one interface. With IFS Cloud, we found no need to investigate the market for other systems.
I also believe cloud solutions offer much stronger data security. This is key for us, as we’ll never compete with huge players like Microsoft, Google and Oracle when it comes to data security.
Support for Heavy Asset Management
One of the most important functional areas for an energy company like Elvia is asset management. Managing a large and complex distribution network, it’s critical that we continuously manage our assets to ensure maximum performance—in order to secure uptime and ensure that we’re able to deliver power to the Norwegian market.
Today, we have more than 900,000 sensors on the assets in our distribution network, which provides a level of network insight we’ve never yet experienced. They enable us to detect any disruptions to our network, so we can act quickly and either prevent or limit failures and downtime. The data is distributed as work orders in IFS Cloud for our people to act on.
Full Scale ERP
We have selected a full scope ERP solution with IFS Cloud, supporting all end-to-end processes in one solution (Maintenance, Finance, Project, Procurement, B2B and Mobile). The solution will be used by all in-house employees and all external resources (contractors and fitters)—and we’ll be able to connect all our assets to the solution.
”We are also looking forward to working with the new web based interface IFS Aurena. We expect it to deliver a better user experience for our employees.”
Another key aspect of the partnership with IFS: not only are they delivering the product, they will also support and host the solution for us, which means we’ll only have to deal with one partner. This was one of our key requirements.
Consolidating business systems and processes from two different companies in a fairly traditional industry means that we currently have great focus on change management, to make sure we are aligned on processes across the entire business. A successful consolidation will ultimately result in more efficient processes.
The journey for us and IFS Cloud has only just started. We will now begin the more detailed scoping of the solution and are expecting to go live in October 2022. But we are very excited to continue the journey with IFS, who will play a major part in supporting our vision for a future leaning on data-driven decisions!
About the author
Jon Andreas Pretorius, CIO of Elvia
Jon Andreas Pretorius is CIO of Elvia AS and Eidsiva, which is the parent company of Elvia AS, Eidsiva Bredbånd and Eidsiva Bioenergi. Before joining Elvia as CIO, he was working for more than 14 years for Hafslund Nett in various IT roles and eventually as the CIO.