Evidi invests in the grid industry with Workflex

Caroline Skuland

The grid industry is a regulated industry, where it is important to have tools that support compliance with industry standards and regulations. At the same time, parts of the industry are characterised by outdated systems and older technology. The desire for increased transparency shapes Evidi's strategy, and active collaboration with various participants is underway to modernise and streamline the grid industry.

Workflex is part of Evidi's product portfolio, which is now fully investing in the grid and energy industry. With an increased need for digitalisation, it is required that Evidi is constantly at the forefront of the latest trends in the market, and adapts the solutions to the customer's needs.

Digitalisation of the industry

The current situation in parts of the grid industry is that work is being done with outdated systems, and that old technology is being used. This opens up the possibility of digitising the industry. Toan Fjeldaas, Chief Product Officer at Evidi, believes there are several reasons why Evidi and Workflex want to invest specifically in the grid industry:

We have experienced that the grid industry is far behind in terms of digitalisation, and we see that we have solutions and expertise that can help the grid companies achieve their goals. Especially when it comes to development and application processes! It is also really nice that, of all the industries out there, we have chosen one where we are contributing to the green transition. We find that incredibly rewarding. In that sense, it is like two birds with one stone for us, that we can contribute with expertise, technology and network, to ensure sustainable development.

Fjeldaas emphasises that it is important that digitalisation and efficiency do not come at the expense of quality and safety. What Workflex is introducing into the grid industry is a digital infrastructure. He explains how the platform helps streamline processes and collect data more efficiently. This enables further adaptation to changes and regulations.

In a report from the RME (Energy Regulatory Authority) from 2023, they predict that by 2030, grid companies expect to have to deliver twice as much power as today. Furthermore, the report mentions that collaborative digitalisation is a prerequisite for success, in meeting the future need for insight and capacity in the grid. With an increasing need for data exposure, digitising the grid industry will become more important than ever. Work is also being done on how AI can help to work even more efficiently. Digitalisation will not only shorten the application process, but it will also make it possible for the grid companies to have updated information about capacity in a geographical area. Thus, it will be quick for the customer to see whether there is spare capacity where they want to develop, or possibly register a desire to develop in areas where there is no capacity today. The grid companies will then quickly be able to see whether there is a need to allocate resources to develop in a specific geographical area.

Read about how Workflex contributes to control, profitability and safety for grid companies

Wishing for even more transparency

Evidi is industry-oriented, and a boost is made in the field of expertise and what it means to really understand the sector. According to Fjeldaas, it is when you understand the subject and the industry's challenges, and by connecting this to the technology, that we can succeed. Understanding the industry is highlighted as an important part of succeeding with digitalisation. Entering a dialogue with customers creates valuable partnerships. The collaboration with customers is crucial to adapt the solution to the industry's needs. It is important that the solution is not static, but that it can constantly evolve according to changing needs. Examples may be changes in legislation, the need for more data fields or the need for new verification.

Ønsker enda mer åpenhet

One of the advantages of working in the grid industry is that it is not exposed to competition, which makes it easier to share knowledge and collaborate. Fjeldaas says this is important in an industry where we have ambitions to help with the green transition and to streamline an entire industry. This is in contrast to some other industries, where competition inhibits the sharing of best practice. Yet the desire for even more transparency in the industry is there.

"If there's even more openness in the industry, and everyone gets involved in the discussion— then I feel like we've made it happen!" says Fjeldaas.
Read about: Evidi is rewarded Breakthrough Partner of the Year by Resco

Close cooperation with customers

Evidi is a software and tech company, where the focus is on delivering good products rather than being project-driven. With a dedicated product department of 45 people focusing on industry understanding and product development, Evidi can quickly adapt and develop new solutions to meet industry needs and trends. The strategic focus on product development enables effective interaction with customers and personalisation based on feedback.

Workflex has already helped a number of key players in the industry. The customer list includes Norgesnett, Fagne, Elmea, Linea, Glitre Nett and Arva, with Norgesnett being a customer since a few years. When they wanted to put in place an IT solution for managing power grid-related tasks, the choice fell on Workflex. For them, it was important to have a flexible solution that could cover everything from simple customer enquiries to major grid development projects, where they could easily move the tasks between departments and case handlers. Jo Morten Sletner, head of digitalisation in Norgesnett, says the following about the collaboration:

Workflex is the link between customers who want connection and those who build the distribution grid. The reason why we chose Workflex is that Evidi delivers a product that handles our grid development projects efficiently and with good quality. In addition, they consist of a competent Microsoft environment, with skilled professionals and with great plans and visions of the future industry solution.

Sletner says that Workflex's standardised solutions are based on a well designed technological platform and fit well into their IT architecture. Furthermore, this ensures Norgesnett great project management and full control over their grid development projects.

Arva recently started a project with Workflex. Magnus Millenvik, head of digitalisation and technology at Arva, says that the choice fell on Workflex, as it is an industry solution for the grid companies. It was not only the functionality of the solution that appealed to Arva, but equally important was the expertise and advice from Evidi consultancy.

With Workflex, we will achieve shorter recovery time for fault correction, but also increased efficiency on maintenance assignments in the field. But most importantly, through Workflex we will get digitized SJA (Secure Job Analysis) among other forms. This gives us 100% control and traceability of the security of the tasks flowing through the system.

Magnus Millenvik, CIO, Arva

Listen to Fjeldaas guest Europower’s podcast to talk about Evidi's investment in the grid industry

More self-service in the future

According to Fjeldaas, the grid industry is characterised by a lack of capacity and poor utilisation of infrastructure. A need in the future will be to fully utilise what we already have and at the same time develop new areas. Fjeldaas envisions a future in the grid industry with more self-service and exposure of data. He also foresees stricter regulations, with an emphasis on maintaining quality while increasing safety.

For more self-service to be possible, the data must be systematised and exposed. Thus, the decision-making process will go faster, because all the data is available. The customer who submits the application will receive the application result more quickly, because it does not have to go to a case officer. If a grid company is to apply for development, they will see much faster what is required, as checklists and all other information are digital.

The way forward

In today's grid industry, there is a significant drive to improve digital interaction. This became evident when several leading grid companies joined forces to form the company ElBits in March 2023. ElBits aims to offer digital joint services to grid companies to strengthen the industry as a whole. Workflex has already established cooperation with several players within this start-up and has a desire for a close collaboration with ElBits in the future.

In the future, it will therefore be important to continue to engage the customer in the form of user and customer forums.

We are not the ones who sit and predict the future. The customers are at the forefront, and we also support with the technicalities. Thus, we feel that the products we deliver have a value, not only from a technical perspective, but from a user perspective. We receive direct feedback from the customer on the value our solutions provide. And that's a pretty cool way to work," concludes Toan, Chief Product Officer at Evidi.