„Brilliant” Customer Portals – More Quality and More Customers through Digital Transformation

Anna Sawicka

“Brilliant” is the name of the three portals you are going to read about shortly. The portals are a good example of what can be achieved with the right development know-how. A success story for our client, Stadtwerke Leipzig, which we helped write and which we would like to tell you about here.

Stadtwerke Leipzig – Innovative and Successful

Leipzig is a rapidly growing center, especially in the field of digitalization and technological change. Among other things, the city is home to the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation SPRIN-D, which supports new technology initiatives – also financially. 

Stadtwerke Leipzig is Leipzig’s largest electricity, gas and heat supplier. Across Germany, they are among the ten largest companies of their kind. Stadtwerke Leipzig has achieved a spectacular digital transformation in a very short time. The company has been investing in high-tech solutions for several years, including renewable energy sources and heat storage. 

Stadtwerke Leipzig uses a modern IT infrastructure, both for customer service and its own needs within the company. ConnectPoint has supported the Stadtwerke in this process as a partner for digitalization since the beginning of this change. A partnership that has seen Stadtwerke Leipzig, which previously operated in a traditional model, become one of the most modern companies of its kind in Germany within two years.

Brillant Energie Enters the Market

Brillant Energie is a subsidiary of Stadtwerke Leipzig and one of the younger brands specializing in the provision of renewable energy. Initially, the company marketed its services through partner services, but two years ago it decided to launch its portal to sell its services and serve customers. 

Thus, the “Brilliant” project was launched. One of the company’s goals was to get the new website up and running as quickly as possible. We at ConnectPoint were there from the beginning, also because we had already proven our skills in the quick and timely implementation of a digital platform for the municipal utility (link under green text).

Brillant Energie wanted to offer its customers the following benefits: 

1. Brillant should offer customers the opportunity to save costs. The customer should be able to quickly and easily find and choose the tariff that is cheapest for them.

2. Brillant should be convenient. The customer should be able to book and manage their energy tariffs online, when and where they want.

3. Brillant should be easy to use. To this end, the portal should be clearly designed and easy to understand.

Online Support at the Push of a Button

The project results are impressive. Three “Brilliant” portals were created:

1. The Brillant landing page: it registers customers who want to use Brillant Energie as their electricity and gas supplier. 

2. The Brillant customer portal: it allows customers to access their contracts easily and quickly. 

3. The Brillant Wallbox: a service for customers who use charging stations.  

The portals impress with their user-friendliness and aesthetic design. Even the first steps with the service are simple: to check its availability, all you have to do is enter your postcode. Registration is not required (this is the law in Germany). There are several tariffs to choose from and it is easy to calculate which is the cheapest. Once the customer has decided, he can simply book and manage his consumption plan via the customer portal (change of billing address if he moves, contact details, etc.). All formalities, such as maintaining the supply when changing residence, choosing the payment method for services, canceling due to price changes, and much more, can be done easily and quickly – all online! 

“We wanted to move customer service to the internet via portals and we have achieved our goal. All our customers use this form of contact,” says the head of the initiative. “Of course, Brillant Energy also has a telephone hotline, but that is more for emergencies. It’s a second line of support.”   

The “Brilliant” portals have improved the quality of customer service and created the conditions for increasing the sale of services. “Since October 2020, the official launch of the portals, we have already acquired more than 7,000 energy customers and more than 20,000 gas customers. This is a fantastic result that we have achieved in such a short time and a difficult period for the industry,” emphasizes the head of the initiative. – “And we have an appetite for more!” 

What is Special about the “Brilliant” Portals? – The Technology View 

In short: reliable technology and consistently high quality. There is a lot of technology and know-how behind the portals that make them so easy to use for the customer and make the portals work flawlessly and quickly. 

The portals use the latest web technologies and were implemented by us on the Kubernetes platform. The application consists of Docker containers: Brillant frontend (TS/Js, CSS) and Brillant backend (Java). “We took care of secure and fast server solutions,” emphasizes software developer at ConnectPoint, who worked on the project from the beginning. “We also used CI/CD best practices, which streamlined the design work and thus enabled the portals to go live quickly.”  

A robust technology core, one of the design priorities, also contributed to the rapid launch of the sales offering. 

“Brillant Energie’s portals represent a transformation from the SAP world to a comprehensively different technological reality,” adds the head of the initiative. – “We have received a modern solution with innovative functionalities that fully meet customer expectations and regulatory requirements.” 

The Future of “Brilliant”

The story of “Brilliant” is far from over. At the moment, Brillant Energie is a local brand and the offer is only available in Leipzig. However, the future goal is to attract customers in Germany. We are preparing a rebranding of the portals as part of the new strategy. 

The solution we have implemented is fully scalable and ready to be expanded with new functionalities, more customers, or more requests if necessary. 

And that’s not all. Some functionalities can also be used in other business areas of the Stadtwerke Leipzig Group in the future and offer new opportunities for further success stories there.