Utilities : Information System

Manage a program to launch a new sales IS for the deregulation of the energy market for the general public
Case study

Context and challenges

Our customer, an alternative supplier of gas and electricity in France, needed a sales information system to manage its general public clientele in readiness for the total deregulation of the energy market.
The project was part of a drive to win over 1 million customers within 3 years of the opening up of the market. The project faced very tight deadlines and very high ambitions in terms of functional coverage.

The new IS had to deliver the following functions :

  • Management of marketing campaigns
  • Crm: qualification of contacts/prospects, order-taking, establishment of contracts, etc
  • Exchanges with the operators of the public distribution network: changes of provider or new subscribers, meter readings, termination of contracts
  • Invoicing, collection and accounting
  • Document creation (hardcopy or electronic): subscription vouchers, contracts, correspondence, invoices

The customer called on us to manage and support an IS program comprising :

  • 8 projects, based on building blocks (Internet portal, CRM, etc.) or cross-functional (acceptance, change management, etc.) to be coordinated, representing 9,000 man/days of integration
  • 50 members of the IT department working on the project platform
  • 4 business divisions (marketing, communication, customer relations, finance) to be involved in the definition of needs and the validation of the solution

Approach and methodology

The customer was able to benefit from Argon Consulting’s tried and tested program management
methodology :

  • Coordination of project teams and schedules
  • Regular communications on the state of progress to provide visibility at all levels, maintain levels of motivation and arbitrate on decisions (see figure 1)
  • Challenging the teams, the requirements, the schedules and the risks in order to boost efficiency

The management activities covered :

  • The coordination of the teams: organization and chairing of project reviews, management of leave and organization of back-ups, arbitration of tension
  • Tracking of the schedules and deliverables of each project
  • Management of the contractual relationship with the integrator: quality assurance plan, meeting of milestones, solving of open issues
  • Preparation and support of the decision-making instances (program committees, steering committees with the integrator)
  • Interface with the business divisions (marketing, communication, customer relations, finance)
  • Analysis of change requests: consolidation of requests from all the projects, prioritization, macrocosting, scheduling
  • Program communications, in cooperation with the communications department (same newsletter)
  • Creation of a program scorecard: achievements, outstanding tasks, alerts/risks, action plan


  • A commercial launch 1 month in advance of the planned date: a strategic target for our customer in order to gain an advantage over the competition, with a view to winning over 1 million customers in 3 years
  •  An is featuring all the vital functions (crm and invoicing) that was ready on schedule
  • A clear and validated road map for the delivery of new functions