Just Energy is a provider of electricity and natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers throughout the United States and Canada. Just Energy’s business philosophy is based on the idea that consumers should have access to competitively priced energy that is also environmentally conscious. This philosophy has led Just Energy to become the largest competitive green energy retailer in North America, offering numerous green initiatives for their consumers to choose from. Over the past few years, Just Energy has expanded rapidly, and now offers natural gas services to Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia, New York, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and California. The company has proven that it is possible to provide high-quality and affordable energy while also largely offsetting the environmental impact of utilizing that energy.
Just Energy’s rapid growth is unquestionably a success story. However, like any company that quickly expands, Just Energy ran into a number of challenges that needed to be addressed. In general, the challenges involved handling a rapidly growing amount of information from customers and employees. The company also faced the following specific challenges:
Increasing collaboration between internal and external personnel
Reducing unnecessary redundancy
Maintaining and increasing the company’s history of business agility
Strengthening privacy and security protocols
In order to help solve the challenges that growth was causing, Just Energy decided to partner with TechBlocks, which was able to develop and deploy a customized Microsoft Sharepoint Solution that streamlined Just Energy’s IT infrastructure and optimized the growing number of business processes the company was implementing. TechBlocks was able to directly address the challenges Just Energy faced, which included the following:
- Building out self-serve portals for both commercial and residential customers, including single sign-on capabilities
- Salesforce-based carbon credit programs integrating new and legacy systems for an easy transition
- Mobile applications for contractors in the field and other employees
- Digital asset management, including cloud-based training and e-learning services
- Role-based dashboards for the various company departments
- Enterprise-grade database, including the ability to search for documents, contractors, employees, events, and announcements with ease
- A robust suite of team collaboration solutions, used throughout the company
The Technology Used
TechBlocks built a customized solution for Just Energy, which was built on an innovative and collaborative Microsoft Sharepoint Solution. The platform was based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, and Microsoft Office 2007. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 addressed the growing issue of tracking Just Energy’s increasing sales volume, largely through the automation of the sales and marketing cycle, while also providing detailed analytics data to managers and executives.
Just one year after bringing the Microsoft Sharepoint solution on-line, Just Energy experienced a significant increase in company-wide efficiency. Collaboration was also significantly enhanced, and the user-friendly platform increased adoption among both customers and employees. Just Energy’s new portal has also allowed the company to handle increasing amounts of sales leads and other data, as well as providing significantly more real-time information for managers and company executives to analyze and act on.
Just Energy’s employees have rallied around the new platform as well. In fact, more than 85% of their employees have adopted the Microsoft SharePoint solution in their day-to-day operations, indicating that the cultural shift into a successful large and growing company is well underway.
Ultimately, Just Energy has been able to take the solutions provided by TechBlocks and turn them into a platform that can handle the company’s growth. While TechBlocks provided the tools necessary to make this happen, the executives and employees at Just Energy are the ones who used those tools to successfully grow and streamline their business.