Innovation in the energy sector – are small suppliers leading the way?

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a number of our clients announce industry leading products and services – Octopus Energy with their wholesale tracker, Pure Planet with a unique ‘membership’ model and Engie with a promise to roll fixed customers onto their cheapest unit rate when their contract comes to an end. And earlier this week the Daily Mail profiled the companies offering the best dual fuel deals, all of which are Junifer customers too.

New entrants are attempting to tackle the ‘trust’ issue between energy companies and consumers head on. By introducing products that deal with the biggest issues that have been flagged in the media as causing mistrust with consumers, they are taking a resolutely different line to that of the big 6.

But what’s enabling them to do this? How can these new entrants introduce the products that consumers are demanding, when the more traditional businesses have not?

We think it’s their more flexible and leaner approach to business operations that is enabling these new, game changing services from challenger brands.

Businesses like Octopus, Pure Planet and Engie have come into the UK market with a focus on how they can remain lean, both operationally and in their systems and processes. By using cutting edge technology and best practise taken from other industries, they are able to innovate at a faster rate than the older energy companies, who are often trapped with cumbersome legacy systems and processes. Change happens slowly within these organisations, and as the pace of change across the industry speeds up, smaller more nimble suppliers are able to steel a march.

Junifer, a Gentrack company, offers scalable, flexible billing and CRM solutions that allows suppliers to get up and running quickly, using out of the box capability. The constant development of the system allows updates, upgrades and modifications to be implemented within a minimal change process, and modified easily for new products and services.

One thing is for sure, change will be a constant for the sector for many years to come – and we look forward to helping our customers meet that challenge!

Do small suppliers have the edge in an increasingly competitive energy market?

At Marketforce’s recent Future of Utilities event, our customer Bulb energy presented on what made their business model different, and why consumers were switching to them, and other new entrants, in droves. Looking at TrustPilot’s reviews of energy suppliers, one thing stands out – Junifer customers are leading the way in customer service. But why? What gives these new entrants the edge over the more traditional utilities companies that are languishing at the bottom of the TrustPilot rankings?

Junifer Trustpilot 2

*taken from www.TrustPilot.com on 11th April 2017

Amit Gudkha, Bulb’s co-founder, highlighted how Bulb’s ethos is to keep as lean as possible – keeping overheads and therefore prices, low. Processes are automated, meaning that resources are free to deal with customer issues when they do arise, keeping customers happier.

So what makes that different to the ‘big six’ utility models? And how are these smaller suppliers able to offer better customer service?

We think we know – it’s about the backend systems that these suppliers use to manage their customers, processes and billing. The traditional utilities have relied on systems that are heavily customised to fit internal processes and industry data flows, and on big teams to manage error resolution and inbound issues.

The new, challenger suppliers are able to capitalise on more modern and flexible systems, like Junifer, that are designed specifically for the UK energy market, and don’t have to be modified or amended with lengthy and costly change processes. These systems are easy to keep up to date with the constant flow of industry change, and create less room for error in processing data, issuing bills and collecting payment. They give energy consumers a better customer experience with less reason to complain, whilst suppliers themselves are able to maintain lean internal processes, keeping costs down, all meaning they can provide low prices. It’s a win-win situation. And with the top four ranked suppliers on TrustPilot all using the Junifer system, we’re proud to be supporting better customer satisfaction with the UK energy market.

No wonder the new suppliers are leading the pack!

Junifer teams up with Gentrack

Junifer Systems Limited (“Junifer”) the UK based utility customer information and billing system provider is pleased to announce that it has entered into an unconditional agreement to be acquired by Gentrack Group Limited (NZX/ASX: GTK) through a wholly owned subsidiary. The transaction is expected to settle on 1st April 2017.

Junifer Utility CIS is the market leading utility customer information and billing system provider for energy retailers in the UK with 25 existing customers out of approximately 50 energy retailers in that market. Junifer’s technology is provided on a SaaS basis and offers new entrant utilities a cost effective and preconfigured solution.

The combined Gentrack and Junifer business will be the clear market leader by number of utilities in the UK with 32 customers, supported by 130 local staff and a full product range for energy and water utilities.

John Clifford, Gentrack Chairman said, “We are delighted to bring Junifer and Gentrack together in the UK. The combined UK business, under the leadership of Junifer CEO Saul Nurtman, will be well positioned to continue to provide highly innovative and low risk solutions to UK energy and water utilities, and from that strong base to expand into new markets.”

Ian Black, Gentrack CEO said, “The acquisition of Junifer delivers us the full range of product functionality from SaaS billing for new entrant energy and water retailers, to cloud hosted and on premise solutions for the largest utility players.

The combined product offering of Gentrack Velocity and Junifer Utility CIS is well positioned for growth, capitalising on the growing market share of Independent energy retailers, the UK smart metering roll-out, and retail competition in water for commercial and industrial consumers. Gentrack will also take Junifer Utility CIS into other geographic markets as a solution for new entrant and SME retailers.”

The Junifer founders will invest NZ$5.3m (£3m) in newly issued Gentrack shares. The key executives of Junifer will remain as part of the management team of the combined UK business.

Junifer was advised by Innovation Advisors, an independent, technology focussed, global investment bank.

Junifer appoints industry expert to further enhance its consultancy approach to new customers

Junifer Systems, the UK’s leading provider of customer information and billing systems to utility companies, has appointed Geoff Childs to the position of Business Development Director.  Geoff, the former CEO of Extra Energy, the highly successful challenger supplier, and latterly the Managing Director of Inenco Direct, has joined Junifer to provide energy industry experience and guidance to both new and existing customers.  
 
Paul Fitzgerald, Director of Sales at Junifer said: ”We are delighted that Geoff is joining the ever growing team here at Junifer.  We’ve experienced incredible growth over the last 18 months as challenger brands in the energy market have recognised the value of the Junifer System.  Having set up and developed an extremely successful energy supplier, Geoff brings a wealth of in-depth industry experience to support our customers through the often complex industry entry process. His experience will add value to our new and existing customers alike, offering a consultancy approach to their set-up and ongoing business development.”
 
Geoff comments: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Junifer and I was attracted to the company because of the strength of the product and the value it brings to suppliers. An example of this is the proactive approach that Junifer takes towards implementing industry change such as Project Nexus and P272 as well as the way the system enables new smart technologies. I am thrilled to be a part of the continued growth of the organisation.”
 
2017 looks set to be another successful year for Junifer, with the company having just moved into new, purpose built, office space in Euston, to accommodate the growing team.  Junifer supports 25 live energy suppliers across domestic, SME, industrial and commercial and district energy schemes, with several more due to go live in early 2017.

To find out more about Junifer Systems, the clients it works with, and how it could help your business become more competitive, visit www.junifersystems.com

Future of Utilities – March 29-30th

Screenshot 2017-03-14 14.22.38

We’re really excited to be presenting at Marketforce’s Future of Utilities Event, to be held in Central London on the 29th-30th March. Alongside Amit Gudka of Bulb Energy, we’ll be talking about ‘The Challenger Brand: Opportunities in a smart world’ – discussing how new entrants to the UK energy market can take advantage of the opportunities in the new smart energy system.

If you’d like to find out more about our presentation, or arrange a meeting at the event, then please email info@junifersystems.com.

We look forward to meeting you there!

Junifer has moved!

Junifer internal office

This has been a really exciting week here at Junifer. After months of planning, we’ve finally moved into our purposely designed office, just around the corner from our previous building in Euston. After a couple of years of fantastic growth, it’s finally time to move into our own space, which will give us better access to meeting rooms to host clients, collaboration space, and room to further grow our team.

As we’ve talked about before, 2016 was a busy year for Junifer. We’ve now got over 70 members of staff and the team is growing all the time as we bring new clients on board and further develop and expand the Junifer system to meet the demands of industry change.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be running a series of workshops in our new offices for our customers, highlighting some of the upcoming industry changes that will be reflected in the Junifer system – starting with project Nexus. These will give us a chance to explain what updates we’ve implemented to meet the requirements of this gas industry change, and what processes will need to be amended. It’s all part of the constant development of Junifer in order to to meet industry challenges – and what makes Junifer different.

2016 Round Up

2016 was quite a year for the energy industry – new entrants in the supply market, big swings in wholesale prices and the highest ever switching rates – just a few of the headlines that have kept us all on our toes. And Junifer has been busy keeping up with it all!

2016 was our biggest and best year to date. We now have 22 live installations supporting customers with their energy supply businesses. We’ve opened up two new offices in Tewkesbury and Milton Keynes to support our customers across the country, and have grown our staff base from 30 to 75 in the last 12 months. And this year we’ll be moving into a new office space in Central London just round the corner from our current Euston office. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved to date.

In September last year we hosted our first User Group, where we invited clients to come along to listen to leading industry speakers, as well as participate in feedback sessions so we can continue to improve the Junifer Utility CIS product. We would like to thank all those who took part in the event – and we have already started planning and are looking forward to welcoming our clients back at this year’s event.

We’re also keeping on top of the constant flow of industry change coming through. Our system is already able to deal with the revised Project Nexus flows, and changes in settlement brought in through P272. We’re working with the industry to accommodate the DCC adaptors that suppliers will be using through the Junifer system.

One of the the biggest differences between Junifer and our competitors is that we’re constantly trying to help our customers incorporate industry changes – so you don’t have to go through complicated and lengthy change processes in order to stay up to date with changes forced on you by the UK regulatory environment. We are anticipating that with Nexus and the DCC implementations scheduled this year, 2017 will be even busier than 2016 – but we’re looking forward to it!



Junifer System successfully delivers customer information and billing system (CIS) for Bristol Energy

Junifer System successfully delivers customer information and billing system (CIS) for Bristol Energy

Junifer Systems is proud to announce that it has successfully delivered another customer information and billing implementation to a local authority supplier – Bristol Energy – to help the new energy company provide gas and electricity to local and national residents.

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Junifer User Group

Last week Junifer welcomed over 45 delegates from 25 different UK energy suppliers to our first event User Group meeting. Designed to bring together users to share experiences of the Junifer system, it also provided a great opportunity to share details of the product roadmap, talk attendees through the knowledge base and training offered, as well as giving delegates an opportunity to discuss future changes and updates that they’d like to see within the system.

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Junifer Systems ranks in the Sunday Times Top Tech Track 100

Junifer Systems, provider of customer information and billing systems to utility industries, is celebrating being ranked as one of Britain’s fastest growing privately owned technology companies.

Ranked 35th in the prestigious list of technology companies who are ‘ones to watch’, Junifer Systems has seen fantastic growth over the past 12 months. It has recently celebrated signing its 25th utility client, as well as opening new offices in Milton Keynes and Dublin.

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