Enel, the digital transformation
The perfection of the circle: it is with this geometric form that CEO and General Manager of Enel, Francesco Starace, chose to open his presentation of the three-year Strategic Plan 2018-2020 to financial analysts during the Capital Markets Day held in London on 21 November. A symbol of harmony and strength, the circle’s circumference touches and unites all of the sectors in which the Group operates or aims to operate in the near future. The shape describes a business that is perfectly integrated to generate synergies and sustainable value, making the company more solid yet flexible, resilient and green and contributing to creating a digitalized world with a lesser environmental impact and one in which the customer is central: in other words, a better world.
Digitalization, already a solid and tangible feature of our business, is one of the fundamental keystones of the Plan (involving investment of over 5 billion euros, 600 million more than in the previous three-year plan), concerning infrastructure as much as activities and processes, with the aim of improving the Group’s connectivity and significantly increasing profits. The evolution of energy markets offers new opportunities to promote our business to the customer through new services. A greater customer focus, also through the new business line Global e-Solutions, is opening up opportunities to create further value. Digitalization is followed by (but in reality, being on the circumference, these occur simultaneously) operating efficiency, industrial growth, the Sustainable Development Goals identified by the United Nations and incorporated into a single approach, the simplification of the Group and the active management of the portfolio. The combined effect of these factors enables the Group to offer shareholders attractive rewards, creating at the same time sustainable value in the long term for all stakeholders.
“The strategic cornerstones,” explained Starace, “of the previous plan, have already proved that they work well, seeing as we achieved the targets that we set for each of them ahead of schedule.”
“We have added two notable driving forces to the strategic keystones defined last year, a further boost for the digital transformation, which will have a markedly positive impact on the company, and the equally positive impact that will be derived from the new Business Line e-Solutions”
Francesco Starace, CEO Enel
The Global Business Line e-Solutions (which from 2018 will have the new brand identity as Enel X, launched in London the night prior to the Capital Markets Day) offers a series of integrated digital solutions linked to electric mobility in order to improve our lives and the environments in which we live. This is perhaps the main new feature of our Strategic Plan.
“It is a brand new approach to energy that we no longer perceive as a raw material, but rather as a service,” explained Ryan O’Keeffe, Enel’s Director of Communications, during the official presentation of the new logo.
An example for all is the V2G technology, with which the owner of an electric car is no longer just someone that drives it and spends when he or she recharges it. On the contrary, during the night when the battery of the car is connected up to the network its stored energy is used to stabilise the grid, the electric car becomes a supplier to the network and the owner can profit from this exchange.
“Enel X is ready to respond to the new requirements that come from the transition from a centralized energy model to one that is distributed. The X in the logo also symbolizes the embrace between the company and the customer”
Francesco Venturini, Head of Global Business Line e-Solutions
“We are no longer the suppliers,” added Venturini, “the customer is no longer a simple consumer but we cohabit in an ecosystem in which together we can create new ways of generating, managing and consuming energy, producing value and reciprocal benefits.”
“We must start from the idea that there are different types of customers,” added Starace, “therefore, in the first two years of the Strategic Plan we will be focussed mainly on the business clients. We aim to continually improve our understanding of the types of service that they ask of us in order to meet their requirements globally. Towards halfway through the three-year period, however, we will be extending our focus to B2C, which will demonstrate all of its strength by the end of the period.”
Concerning the investment plans, our Group’s CEO said, “last year we surprised the markets by shifting investment from renewables to the networks and this is because we saw the opportunity and the necessity to provide a strong boost to the digital transformation of the network, without having to renounce the evolution of renewables, in fact, but rather by accelerating their expansion.”
“Today we are presenting another change: it is the first year in which we are decisively shifting investments from emerging countries to mature markets, a move that may appear out of step with what has gone before, but which is actually completely logical if you consider that the great transformation of the industry will take place first in the mature markets, those in which we are rooted and where we have existed for some time and the source of the majority of our revenues”
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
Answering the questions from the financial analysts gathered at the Landmark Hotel, our CEO wanted to underline how the points of the Strategic Plan, in particular the boost towards digitalization, investment in mature markets and the vision at the heart of e-Solutions, are not “a philosophy but a precise strategy with very clear goals and appropriate timeframes: a rapid reaction to the equally rapid evolution that we are seeing in those markets. Today we are more efficient and more sustainable and, therefore, in a position to derive value from that evolution and to seize every opportunity created from the radical change that is involving the entire energy sector.”