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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

AboitizPower’s MobileAP pushes great transformation, digitalization drive

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As the ethos of innovation and digitalization rapidly changes the interactions between local utility providers and their customers, so does it affect the behaviors and synergies within the project team of AboitizPower’s MobileAP app.

MobileAP came to life in 2020 at an opportune time during the COVID-19 pandemic and is used by AboitizPower distribution utility companies — Visayan Electric, Davao Light, Cotabato Light, Subic EnerZone, and Lima EnerZone — to allow customers to view their bills and payments from their mobile devices.

The app took on a new life as an anchor in AboitizPower’s digitalization strategy when the Aboitiz Group launched its Great Transformation towards becoming the Philippines’ first Techglomerate in 2022.

Soon after, the project team of MobileAP embraced Agile Ways of Working, a set of principles and values that encourages integrated and collaborative teams, promotes incremental development, and acknowledges the need for products and services to change and adapt.

Agile is consistent with AboitizPower’s company values of integrity, teamwork, innovation, responsibility, and service excellence. It also encourages the Great Transformation behaviors of being fast, synergistic, entrepreneurial, and purpose-driven, while having the good sense to have fun as well.

With the Agile framework, the project team breaks large projects into smaller, more manageable pieces of work called sprints. These sprints — ranging from planning all the way to reviewing — sees the project develop and materialize through daily and weekly team huddles that constantly evaluate project progress, customer feedback, and ways to move forward.

This project management approach allowed the team to address glaring issues fast and refocus efforts as needed. Due to Agile, more value-adding features and fixes were released in 2023 than in previous years combined. This was timely as the number of users also tripled.

In that year, the project team added an ePayment function, connecting MobileAP with the online banking services of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), and UnionBank of the Philippines.

Further, a five-star in-app customer survey was installed to get direct feedback from users. This was on top of enhancing push notifications and in-app messages for customized advisories and announcements.

The MobileAP project team also introduced a function called “Manage your tenants”, which allows the primary user to delegate which other users can access his or her account. In effect, family members can assign amongst themselves the responsibility of managing their electricity bill. Likewise, a lessor can extend that capability to his or her tenants.

Moreover, inspired by a company-wide advocacy of doing sustainable practices, the project team also gave customers the choice of going paperless with an option of receiving their bills purely via the digital platform.

But aside from achieving significant software developments, the Agile approach also made the project team better as individuals and as a working unit as they became more and more resilient, creative, and adaptable with each sprint.

As a result, the project team is ready to take on more challenges by building on more functionalities in MobileAP and bringing in more value to the business. This includes but is not limited to adding more payment partners and channels, allowing users to raise tickets in the app, maintaining security in protecting consumer data, and further improving its overall performance for ease of use.

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