The first week of August 2011 I walked into the EDF Energy office in Hove with the challenge to lead the Digital team and the ambition to transform our customers’ lives through Digital. EDF Energy was in truly optimistic mood: we had a new Feel Better Energy strategy, the following year we were going to be a main sponsor for the London Olympic Games and we were about to unleash Zingy.
What followed have been some of the most challenging, successful and fun years of my career. The Digital team at EDF Energy has transformed beyond recognition. Together, we established our Digital properties as the undisputed channel of choice for customers: first overtaking and then far exceeding the numbers of people who use them every day to buy, manage their accounts and solve any problems. We even introduced our first World First, an app feature that allowed customers to photograph their meters to send a meter read.
The team’s efforts paid off in customer growth and satisfaction, and were ultimately recognised as a major contributor to EDF Energy winning the Grand Prix at the Marketing Society awards in 2015.
The MLT which I was a proud member of was a formidable leadership group, my own team had grown from 4 to 25+ people through a mix of recruiting great external talent and finding some true gems in other departments of the organisation. We had renewed all Web channels, introduced new platforms and customer journeys, opened up many more service transactions, played to win in User Experience and created a mobile app so good that it would eventually be the hero of EDF Energy’s TV campaigns. What a legacy!
The Blue Lab
In 2014, EDF Energy recognised the opportunity to invest in innovation and set up the Blue Lab, EDF group’s first innovation centre. I jumped at the opportunity to join in and set up a Connected Homes function with an ambitious vision: transform the Energy experience for our customers through Open Innovation, Service Design and Digital Proposition development.
Working with R&D and Digital and in partnership with Amazon, Blue Lab led the introduction of the World’s First energy account management Alexa skill.
An internal innovation challenge led to the winner joining the Blue Lab Connected Homes team to develop an app that will change the lives of everyone who has ever wondered what consumes energy around the house. A collaboration with the Central St Martins School of Design unveiled a beautiful new way to think of the energy network, one that we are actively developing. Talking to customers, we understood the difference between the connected devices on sale today and the actual needs of everyday households, leading to a very promising partnership with a UK startup and a radical new way to think about Smart Meters. And just recently we announced the conclusion of a Startup Challenge which created an abundance of new propositions for the Blue Lab to develop and launch.
I’m very proud of everything my teams have achieved. I leave EDF Energy a very different place to the one I joined back in 2011. Digital and the Blue Lab have transformed the business, and with it the lives of the people who trust EDF Energy with their custom. To each and every one of the men and women that I’ve had the privilege to work with (I respect your privacy and won’t name names here) I say an emphatic Thank You!.
I am moving on to pursue an incredible new opportunity, and I do so with enormous satisfaction from the many successes we’ve achieved together. Thank you EDF Energy for the last few years.