Company: QSPCustomer: PowergenA QSP customer since 1991, Powergen was looking for a new suite of financial software. After careful research, it decided to upgrade its Version 3 QSP Financials to the latest release of WebFinance Suite, In 1989 the Central Electricity Generating Board was privatised and Powergen was born. It now serves 2.
8 million domestic customers throughout England and Wales. As one of the UK’s leading energy companies with an annual turnover of £3.7 bn and a complex financial system, Powergen needs up-to-date, top-quality software to help run its business.
Greg Preston, Project Manager for UK Finance at Powergen, explains: “We needed some kind of change. Our software was already nine years old, and we also wanted euro-compliant functionality. The real driver behind the change was cost reduction. We wanted to move from the mainframe to a UNIX-based system, because it would be much cheaper to run, so UNIX-compatible software like QSPÕs WebFinance Suite was essential.
”Powergen is also taking advantage of QSP’s recently-introduced ASP Rental delivery service. QSP maintains and runs the system remotely while Powergen staff are able to access their applications over the Web. As Greg Preston points out, “It’s a wise choice because running the system in-house would mean extra expense, staff and hardware. Why should we become WebFinance Suite experts when QSP’s people already are?”
A Bright Solution
Greg Preston describes the selection: “QSP competed in a tendering process against other systems. A big exercise was carried out to evaluate our user requirements, which were matched up with different vendors’ offerings. QSP excelled in that comparison, and was clearly the best fit for our needs.“QSP had a well-defined process for the migration, which reduced the risk for the whole project.
We know and trust it: it’s a good system, rich in functionality, and provides what we need.”Powergen’s satisfaction with its previous QSP system was important: “We decided to stay with QSP because we’d had good service in the past: Financials is a very reliable system and it copes efficiently with high volumes of transaction. The new release has great additional advantages: improved GUI screens rather than green-screens for example, which complement those traditional QSP qualities.”Another feature that attracted Powergen to the new WebFinance Suite release is its euro-compliance. Says Greg Preston, “The 4.5e version has euro functionality, which is vital to the international section of our business: it means we can display prices and budgets in euros alongside pounds and dollars.”
Power for the Future
He continues, “We’ll also see a big improvement in our reporting capability, thanks to the faster data retrieval of the QSP WebFinance Suite: it’s swifter and more flexible in processing batches of data.
We used to rely on a heavy schedule of overnight information processing: now we can do that during the day, leading to a faster turnaround of data.” Powergen is looking forward to maximising the numerous possibilities of the new solution. Greg Preston comments, “With 600 users we would normally need a large-scale training programme to introduce the new system. As the QSP functionality is familiar and the interface intuitive, people should adapt well. If they’re worried, they can always call the QSP helpdesk!”Asked whether Powergen’s experience with QSP would lead it to use other QSP products in the future, Greg Preston is very positive: “We’re looking at business intelligence tools and the e-procurement package. For now, though, we’re very happy with what we’ve already got.”
¥ Head office in London¥ Turnover in 1999 £3.
7 billion¥ 3 million customers¥ 7,500 employees¥ QSP customers since 1991
¥ Long-term customers¥ Needed to be euro-compliant¥ Convenient ASP (Application Service Provision) delivery¥ Wanted to move to UNIX¥ Excelled in tendering process¥ Cost savings generated
Various QSP WebFinance Suite modules, including:¥ General Ledger¥ Purchase Ledger¥ Sales Ledger¥ Purchase Order Processing¥¥ Sales Invoicing
¥ Best of breed technology¥ Integrated system¥ User-friendly, improved interface¥ Very reliable¥ Increased speed and efficiency
Looking at:¥ QSPÕs e-procurement package¥ Business Intelligence tools