Enter Centric: Making Better Use of Tools Across the Value Chain
Citizens first selected us in 2018 as a support and maintenance provider for their Oracle Work and Asset Management (WAM) system. Our Enterprise Application Services team stepped in to help Citizens deal with a large backlog of software and process break-fix tickets, as well as to provide enhancements to these applications so that Citizens could leverage the system to its fullest benefit.
In early 2019, our role expanded to provide Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) related services. This included bug fixes, minor functional enhancements, reporting platform migrations and business process consulting services related to HR, Payroll and Supply Chain. We continue to provide Oracle EBS-related support and enhancement services and Oracle WAM-related services on an annual support agreement basis today.
Migrating to Microsoft Teams
As a result of that success, later that year, Citizens selected us as a Microsoft 365 service provider to enhance their employee experience. Our Modern Workplace team helped Citizens determine the rollout and governance model for migrating from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.
Together, we planned and delivered an on-premises SharePoint migration to SharePoint Online for over 1,500 sites and associated workflows, reducing both costs and overhead.
We also modernized 62 SharePoint Online sites, led the custom development of several departmental applications leveraging the Microsoft Power Platform, and developed an adoption and change management strategy for these initiatives. We helped Citizens create a communications and training plan and assisted them with creating the collateral that employees could use during the transition to advise them on Microsoft’s best practices and familiarize them with working in the cloud.
Throughout the migration, our experts ensured that Citizens met their data retention policies to stay in compliance with city, state and federal regulations as an energy utility, and we created an archive hub for information it needed to keep for historical purposes but did not need for everyday use.
Using Centric India’s resources, we converted content and workflows and data migration in a timely manner, taking advantage of the time difference between countries to complete the project faster and at less expense.
“Deploying SPO and Teams to our organization did more than just upgrade our SharePoint experience. It brings our company and our culture into the digital age,” said Darwish. “For some, it’s the first time they’ve worked in a cloud product. It has introduced new, enhanced ways of working and collaborating. It’s created a new work nucleus for every employee, focused on rich collaboration and delivering high-value work products.”
These Microsoft 365-related projects spanned several years, and we continue to provide Microsoft 365 services under an annual Managed Services model.
Building a Strategic Robotic Process Automation Program
In early 2020, we helped Citizens pilot a robotic process automation (RPA) project, which resulted in establishing a strategic RPA program built on the UiPath RPA platform. We guided Citizens’ leadership to establish this RPA program by putting in place processes, tools and governance to effectively develop and deploy RPA bots in a streamlined fashion to automate highly routine, repeatable and manual processes.
Our Operational Excellence team used US-based architects, program management expertise, RPA design and development resources, and leveraged RPA engineers from Centric India to provide support and development work. Through our offshore development center based in Gurgaon, India, we provided a faster, more efficient way of working that freed up Citizens’ employees to work on more valuable tasks.
Through Centric India, we continue to provide RPA-related services, having released 12 bots into production. Many of these automations provide utility solution-specific functionality, both customer-facing and internal (for example, helping automate Oracle C2M customer information system-related processes).
Enhancing Salesforce CRM and Integrating Oracle HR
Managed locally from our Indianapolis operating group, Centric provides local support services to numerous Citizens’ lines of business. We have provided Citizens Salesforce CRM enhancement and support, Application Portfolio Management services, Microsoft Server Security Baseline services and Oracle Primavera Unifier BI Publisher reporting.
With our help, Citizens was able to better prioritize their portfolio of applications that exist enterprise-wide to determine improvement opportunities and rationalize investments. Our team also helped Citizens apply Microsoft-recommended security baselines to their servers to ensure that the company was leveraging best practices from a security perspective.
We are currently building an integration between Oracle HR and iCIMS, a new employee management recruiting platform where Citizens can manage candidates as they move through the hiring process.
The Results: Modern Solutions for Sustainable Growth
What began as an engagement to deliver work and asset management system improvements has evolved into a series of projects that have positioned Citizens for long-term, sustainable growth.
In addition to the technical knowledge and process improvement Citizens has gained, our continuing relationship with the utility company demonstrates the strength of our client-focused approach.
Many of our consultants are now as much a part of Citizens’ workplace as the Citizens’ employees themselves. We help them anticipate needs, identify problems and find solutions. Our work for Citizens now serves as a model for other companies in the energy and utility sector that leverage professional services for business transformation.
“This ongoing partnership is a testament to the quality of work that we’ve done, the value that we’ve delivered and the relationship that we’ve built with their team,” said Noah Grayson, Account Manager, Centric Consulting’s Indianapolis team. “We look forward to working together and producing meaningful results for years to come.”