As a leading integrated essential service provider, AGL has a proud 184-year history of innovation along with a passionate belief in human and technological progress. The company delivers 3.95 million gas, electricity, and telecommunications services to residential, small, and large businesses, as well as wholesale customers across Australia.
AGL also operates Australia’s largest electricity generation portfolio, responsible for about 20% of the total electricity capacity of the country.
AGL recently partnered with SAP AppHaus Network member Bourne Digital to create the AGL One iOS app. Based on SAP Integration Suite and SAP Extension Suite, the app brings together AGL’s employee network in a single digital experience so they can access the right tool at the right time — every time, from anywhere. Powered by SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), the solution recently won a SAP Innovation Award in the Transformation Champion category.
Growing Company Needs Enhanced Digital Infrastructure
In June of 2019, AGL launched PT3 (People, Process and Performance Transformation), its initiative to unite all AGL sites across corporate and group operations into one technical platform. The initiative also aimed at delivering greater mobility and enabling AGL staff to work flexibly with mobile applications on their phones or tablets.
After first launch, however, user feedback showed the need to improve the solution and explore ways to better enable employees digitally.
AGL decided to examine employees’ user experience (UX) to help ensure a better adoption of the new platform. Clear focus of the new solution would be consolidation and ease of use. After a complete redesign of the mobile interface, AGL wanted to extend the strong relationship already in place with customers to the people who worked for the company.
Bringing in SAP AppHaus Network Member Bourne Digital
AGL consulted with the same firm that helped design its customer experience, Bourne Digital. As an SAP AppHaus Network member, Bourne Digital is part of the worldwide community of like-minded SAP-partners that work with customers in a creative environment to make innovation real, following SAP’s human-centered approach to innovation.
As a first step toward the new solution for employees, AGL tasked an internal service design team with replicating the service design process for employees’ mobile app. With the help of its employee experience center, the joint AGL and Bourne Digital project team conducted lifecycle mapping and extensive interviews with staff to discover the following key issues with the existing mobile interface:
- Too many tools in the environment made it hard for the employees to identify the correct tool for each situation.
- The usability of the previous solution was not simple and prevented proficiency.
- The solution missed data consolidation of several sources.
- Employee engagement was low due to dissatisfaction with the efficiency of the tools.
AGL One: iOS App Simplifies Employees’ Lives
Employees wanted a straightforward, consolidated, easy-to-use mobile experience. AGL and Bourne Digital worked with Apple to create an iOS app called AGL One. The feedback collected in the interviews was used to create a completely redesigned mobile employee interface. Based on SAP Integration Suite and SAP Extension Suite, the app now brings together AGL’s employee network in a single digital experience.
“AGL was focused on creating a highly engaging mobile experience for employees to improve productivity and engagement,” said Selim Ahmed, CEO of Bourne Digital. “Together, AGL, Apple, SAP, and Bourne Digital created an integrated and scalable solution that extended their investment in SAP S/4HANA with the agility of SAP Integration Suite and SAP Extension Suite. It has been a wonderful innovation story that puts employees at the center of the organization. The Bourne Digital SAP AppHaus facility supported employee experience design thinking sessions.”
One-Stop Shop for All Actions
The project team held a number of design thinking sessions at Bourne Digital’s AppHaus facility in Melbourne to re-imagine the employee experience.
Building on its existing investment in SAP S4/HANA with SAP BTP, the AGL One app combines a landscape of more than 300 IT applications into one single interface with only one main login to use. Even when employees want to switch back and forth between apps, they do not have to re-login and remember different passwords every time. Once signed in, the UX itself is accessible to the average employee, so they do not have to know specific tool names or apps to use them.
Built-in capabilities within AGL One prioritize tasks that are easy to do on the go, such as administrative tasks and approvals. This helps reduce cycle time on tasks that are often put off and need to be followed up on, making employees’ workdays more productive and efficient. Key features of the app include:
- Quick access to action all purchase order approvals in SAP S/4HANA
- Assessments of workplace safety and reports available on the go, with the option to use a phone’s camera to add a photo and record safety observations or hazards in SAP S/4HANA
- Personalization of the homepage for quick access to tools the employee uses most often
- Desk booking with desk locator, particularly following COVID-19 restrictions
- Holiday and leave request entry and management
- New colleague appreciation tool called “Energise”
- AGL news service with talking points, friends and family discounts, and easy access to AGL job boards to be active ambassadors outside the company
- Live news feed along with integration to “The Source,” AGL’s news and intranet
- Seamless third-party collaborations between SAP back end and Apple user interface
By building an app expressly for its employees, AGL has successfully placed their user experience on the same priority level as its customers’. AGL One supports a positive, streamlined experience for employees, whether at the office or in the field. After rolling out the app, the company has seen a motivation and engagement boost at work among employees. The app was released in October 2020 and the number of downloads speaks for itself: 1,600 out of 3,700 employees have downloaded the app so far, an adoption rate of nearly 50%.
“When we first started this project, we looked at it the same way we’d look at anything we were doing for our customers,” explained Joy Marrocco, IT Transformation Manager at AGL. “We already had a great relationship there, why not apply that same approach to our employees? We wanted to drive digital adoption of employee tools, and this app is one of the ways that we are working to make access to these tools much quicker and easier for our people.”
Award-Winning Solution Built with SAP BTP
The innovation power of this application and the entire project was also recognized by the jury of the 2021 SAP Innovation Awards, with the AGL One app for employees winning in the Transformation Champion category.
Svenja Mueller is the communications associate for SAP AppHaus.