Hanson touches on EY’s cybersecurity measures, the ongoing transformation of the utilities industry and the companies “build a better working world” philosophy.
UMC: What is the average day like for an EY Power & Utilities employee? Click here for the answer:
UMC: Can you tell us about your ‘Better Begins with You’ program?
Dana Hanson: EY has committed US $1 million to the winners of this global recognition program, recognizing EY resources who have found inspiring and impactful ways to bring EY’s purpose – building a better working world – to life through the initiatives that they are developing.
In 2015, five winners, composed of both individuals and teams, were recognized in our ‘Better Begins with You’ program and will each receive a portion of the US$1 million. The program awards winners in four categories; driving exceptional client services, pursuing innovation, developing outstanding leaders and teams and strengthening our communities
As Nancy Altobello, EY Global Vice Chair of Talent once stated, “The 2015 winners are exceptional examples of EY people who are building a better working world for our clients, people and communities. This is only the start. The money we are investing will help them build on their achievements, allowing their work to benefit more people and create a lasting legacy. Not only are the prize and scope of the awards unique, but the ‘Better Begins with You’ program embeds our purpose at the heart of our organization by involving all EY people in nominating and selecting the finalists and deciding on the overall winners. This means that sharing inspiring stories of success, achievement and change are now becoming a more visible part of our organization’s culture.”
UMC: The utilities industry is undergoing a major transformation, with a focus on customer experience. What steps has EY taken to monopolize on this critical shift?
Dana Hanson: Utility customers, in all segments, are increasingly empowered by new technologies and the flow of information. Demographic shifts are further challenging the traditional “one size fits all” model. These trends are forcing utilities to adapt to rising customer expectations, requiring changes in the means of interaction, services offered and a renewed focus on a utility’s role in the broader community in terms of economic development and sustainability.
Our Power & Utility Customer practice has developed a unique offering that is helping utilities to define a long term vision and implementation plan to create both a customer-centric utility and experience. Our Experience Led Transformation (ELT) methodology is data driven and customer centric, leveraging both the Voice of Customer (VoC) and the Voice of Employee (VoE) inputs combined with operational performance data sources from across the enterprise to provide a comprehensive view of current state experience. Through identifying existing customer and operational “pain points,” we can create a roadmap that builds a future state design for an ambitious experience that goes beyond where customers are today and anticipates their potential future needs.
UMC: Jamie Shea, Director of Policy Planning at NATO, was quoted saying “One hundred twenty countries currently have or are developing offensive cyber-attack capabilities, which is now viewed as the fifth dimension of warfare after space, sea, land and air…” How do you believe this will impact the utility industry?
Dana Hanson: The fact is, it already has – Energy, Water, Dams, and Nuclear are already recognized as members of the sixteen critical infrastructure resources (CIKR) for the United States (https://www.dhs.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors). With the rise of technology enablement through the digital grid, automated performance management, customer information systems, internet of things, etc., utilities are more connected, and thus more vulnerable, to cyber-attack. As the malicious threat actor space increases through continued and intentional support from governments and other organizations, our utility industry and its critical infrastructure sits at the precipice of change. There is a need for the industry to focus on real security capability being integrated into day-to-day operations to meet new threats with agility and resilience to prevent crippling our country and enabling the other four dimensions of warfare.
UMC: Specifically what is EY developing to elevate client’s risk awareness about hackers?
Dana Hanson: EY’s cybersecurity team provides a weekly threat information newsletter to keep our clients abreast of potential risks to their organization – promoting security hygiene through awareness. We’ve developed threat-intelligence briefings at the board, executive, and practitioner levels to promote informed decision making and our advanced monitoring and forensics capabilities allow us to embed with our clients and share in the hunting and fortification activities which actively defend against hackers. EY’s ability to integrate multiple functions with a clear understanding of operational technology creates a powerful combination.
UMC: EY has been awarded top recognition two years in a row by the Brandon Hall Awards for your training tool called OPSS. How does it feel to be recognized at such a prestigious award show?
Dana Hanson: EY is proud to be recognized by Brandon Hall Group for our innovations in performance support. We have worked with many utility clients to help define training and performance, support approaches and implement performance support tools that help enhance workforce performance and operational efficiency. While our focus is on helping our clients implement solutions that help operate their businesses more effectively, we greatly appreciate being recognized by Brandon Hall Group.
UMC: Can you give us some insight into OPSS?
Dana Hanson: EY’s Online Performance Support System (OPSS) is a repository of policy, procedure and reference information that helps support end-users to perform their job functions. The OPSS is full-text searchable, provides information at-the-fingertips for users, is easy to setup and maintain and has been a valuable tool for our utility clients.
UMC: What is EY Accelerate and how does it complement EY’s CIS solution-set? Furthermore, what sets this approach apart from all of the other methods in the industry?
Dana Hanson: EY Accelerate is a pre-solutioned CIS offering that can serve as the basis for a utility’s new CIS and reduce the calendar time, effort and cost to implement by 20-40%. It was built leveraging EY’s deep expertise with Oracle CC&B and our knowledge of business and technical requirements seen across hundreds of utilities, enabling us to develop a starter solution of standardized capabilities for common utility processes. The solution includes standard enhancements, reports, interfaces, test scripts, training materials and job aids for over 70 fully vetted, asset-to-cash business processes based on our extensive implementation experience. EY Accelerate employs a hybrid delivery model incorporating agile-like components, while retaining many of the traditional waterfall aspects, to enable earlier hands-on engagement by our clients and earlier realization of tangible business value.