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Veolia gains flexibility and autonomy with Open Smartflex

The Customer

Veolia is a French multi-national company who provides water, waste, and energy management services across the world. In Latin America, Veolia has an established presence in Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.

The Challenge

In 2012, Veolia’s operations in Latin America were running on inflexible legacy systems, preventing them from adapting to market conditions and new regulations which were quickly coming into effect.

The Solution

Veolia chose Open Smartflex to help it reach its goal of enacting swift and company-wide change. Thanks to training from Open, the company’s internal teams quickly became experts with the product, making implementation fast and easy in any part of the business.

The Benefits

Veolia achieved its goal of achieving regulatory compliance while also reducing service installation time by 42%. Then, thanks to their success with Open and the training they received, the company proceeded to carry out 5 more Open Smartflex implementations without requiring any external assistance.

"We realized right away that we could establish a long-term relationship with Open … Open Smartflex is a very flexible tool, the same product serves us both for our waste management business and our water business, now we are even considering them for our electric business."

In just 5 years, Veolia expanded its use of Open Smartflex to cover 11 different operations across Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.

2.8 Million

Veolia end customers are currently benefiting from Open Smartflex

Average service installation
time reduced by


Veolia's Story

Veolia is a French multi-national company whose main activity is providing water, waste, and energy management services, primarily for public authorities. Veolia has over 163,000 employees with operations over 5 continents and annual revenue of over 24 billion Euros. In 2016, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water, produced 54 MWh of energy and provided wastewater services to 61 million people. In Latin America, Veolia has an established presence in Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.

Before implementing Open Smartflex, many Veolia operations in Latin America were running on internally-developed legacy systems. These solutions had served the company well for a long time; however, with changes in technology, market conditions and regulations, it became apparent that these tools were holding Veolia back from the continuous development of its business.

In 2012, Veolia’s Colombian subsidiaries found themselves in the middle of a rapidly changing regulatory landscape, as legislation came into effect mandating a series of changes that impacted customer communication and billing processes. Veolia’s existing software solution was based on a rigidly defined architecture which was inhibiting it from responding quickly to the changing market conditions; furthermore, the solution consisted of independent systems with very little cohesion or unified control. In addition to these problems, the company did not have a modern system for managing field work, so many processes such as work scheduling were still being done manually.

To face its pressing business challenges, Veolia began to seek a technological renovation which would improve efficiency and allow it to adapt quickly to the new regulations.

After a long and intensive process of evaluating software packages in the market, including SAP and Oracle, Veolia Group selected Open Smartflex. The solution’s flexibility, consolidated architecture and user-friendly implementation process made it the perfect choice to meet the company’s goal of enacting swift and company-wide change. In addition to managing core business processes and enabling quick compliance with regulations, the solution helped to streamline the company’s field operations through Open Smartflex Field Service. The Open Smartflex package allowed Veolia to standardize its different business processes across multiple subsidiaries, fully integrating customer service, billing, payments, and field service.

Veolia has also leveraged Open’s robust and well-established knowledge transfer methodology to become self-sufficient in deploying new rollouts of the Smartflex platform. As a result, Veolia has been able to implement 5 new projects, in two countries, with its own resources. This has not only represented enormous cost savings to Veolia but also allowed the company to execute its business strategy with speed and agility.

After a successful multi-company implementation, Veolia enjoyed a wide array of benefits including:

  • Quick compliance with new regulations.
  • Improved debt management capabilities, with an average of $ 5.5 million USD of debt financing plans per month.
  • Better process control and standardization across multiple companies.
  • Moving from offline meters (synchronized nightly) to online meters.
  • Enhanced field operations through a truly mobile workforce capable of managing all service orders via mobile devices.
  • Increased customer satisfaction due to reliable online information supporting key customer interactions.
  • Improved efficiency for work scheduling and a new online platform for recording field work.
  • Average service installation time reduced by 42%.
  • Better-informed management with complete visibility over both operational and business performance through real-time online indicators and dynamic dashboards.

During the early stages of Open’s relationship with Veolia, Open invested heavily in teaching the company how to work with the solution to get the best results for its unique business challenges.

In 2012, Veolia started working with Open to support one of its waste management operations, but the company quickly realized how Open Smartflex could benefit its operations across multiple countries and multiple industry sectors.

In just 5 years, Veolia expanded its use of Open Smartflex to cover 11 different operations across Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico. The company is currently providing services to over
2 million customers with Open Smartflex and has yet another implementation underway.

During the early stages of Open’s relationship with Veolia, Open invested heavily in teaching the company how to work with the solution to get the best results for its unique business challenges.

Open went above and beyond traditional implementation support by actually teaching Veolia to implement the product itself. With a comprehensive training and certification program, Veolia’s internal team quickly became experts at rolling out the solution across the entire company.

The training provided was so effective that after having implemented Open Smartflex in three of its companies with the help of Open, Veolia successfully carried out five more implementations without requiring any support. Veolia’s most recent independent implementation of Open Smartflex was completed at a rate of 50,000 subscribers per month, 5 times better than the industry leader. Veolia is currently undergoing its sixth autonomous implementation, thanks to the intuitive nature of the system and the knowledge received through Open’s training platform, OpenSky.

By rolling out Open Smartflex across multiple operations, not only did Veolia learn how to implement the solution quickly and autonomously, but it also gained the benefit of a unified system which allows easy decision-making at a company-wide level. According to Carlos Bartolomé, CIO for Veolia Latin-America, “I believe that we have not only implemented a software package, but a work methodology which Veolia has in all its contracts, because thanks to our experience with previous implementations of Open Smartflex, we have been able to launch autonomous projects without any help from Open. Today we rely on a very robust tool which we have used to construct our core model and store our work methodologies.”

The Open Smartflex difference

The implementation of a comprehensive business management solution is typically a slow process which relies heavily on external support; each industry sector usually requires its own product, leading to a lack of cohesion between business areas and even more implementation time. Upgrading your business with a state-of-the-art solution doesn’t need to be so hard; with Open Smartflex, familiarity of the product comes intuitively and the implementation process is easily internalized by utility support staff.

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