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A 360-degree Perspective on Digitalization: HHL Leipzig Students Developed Analysis Tools for Public Utilities Together with Arvato Systems

Practical Project: Digitalizing Public Utilities

(PresseBox) (Gütersloh, )
  • Arvato Systems supported students from the HHL Leipzig Gradu-ate School of Management with its practical knowledge of the en-ergy sector
  • The students developed analysis tools to assess the degree to which public utilities are digitalized
Public utilities are currently addressing the energy revolution as well as the rapid digital transfor-mation of the energy sector. This involves approaching topics such as Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, smartification, and big data – all of which pose challenges that, when correctly addressed, can be decisive in letting energy service providers gain a competitive edge.
In order to help these companies take advantage of these opportunities, three Management master’s students from the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management spent April to July 2016 compiling a comprehensive analysis of the status quo in public utilities digitalization. This practical pro-ject, which the students undertook together with the IT specialist Arvato Systems, involved researching current models for measuring the digitaliza-tion of energy service providers. In-depth discussions with industry experts from this sector allowed the students to design what they dubbed a ‘digitali-zation maturity model.’ This provides 360-degree analysis that helps public utilities identify areas for potential improvement.

The team of HHL students consists of Christian Hoffman, Kristina Koch, and Nicholas Minkner. They jointly summarized the project as follows: “We were very happy to be able to apply our commercial expertise to this cut-ting-edge, innovative project. We hope that, in doing so, we’ve been able to contribute towards the digitalization of public utilities, which will be crucial to ensuring the success of these companies. The project allowed us to gain valuable experience in the energy sector and learn how certain strategic concepts can be applied in practice.”

Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, the Dean of HHL Leipzig, adds: “Digitalization has become one of the key topics in modern business administration, and is al-so extremely important to HHL Leipzig. Because of that, we’re happy that we could work together with strong, Leipzig-based partners in the fields of energy supply and energy services to address this issue.”

Daniel Elsner, Senior Manager Business Development at Arvato Systems, has the following to say about the practical project: “Working together with HHL Leipzig involved taking a consulting approach to addressing the use of digital innovations.” Consulting energy service providers on the IT imple-mentation of technical innovations is part of daily business for the Bertels-mann subsidiary. Elsner adds: “The goal of the Arvato Systems consulting approach is to make our customers able to successfully pursue their own path towards digital transformation and help shape the digitalization of the energy market as a whole. This is only possible when we strategically take new technological possibilities into account and ensure that we can realize relevant potential.”

The HHL Leipzig students undertook the practical project with Arvato Sys-tems alongside their studies. The project was firmly rooted in their curricu-lum. Over the course of the project, the students met with Arvato Systems representatives regularly to exchange expertise. A presentation was held midway through the project to discuss initial results, and the concluding presentation was held on 8 July 2016.

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is one of the leading interna-tional business schools. This university, which is the oldest commercial higher education institution in the German-speaking world, aims to develop its students into high-performing, responsible, and entrepreneurial future leaders of industry. HHL is distinguished by its excellent teaching quality, clearly defined research focuses, and practical transfer of knowledge, as well as for its excellent services for students. According to the Financial Times, HHL is the best institution in Germany and numbers among the top five institutions in the world in terms of incorporating entrepreneurship into M.Sc. and EMBA programs. HHL is accredited by AACSB International.

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