Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) completed its smart transformation less than a year after the Smart Dubai initiative was announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The initiative contributes to achieving a significant improvement to the services provided to customers, and transforming Dubai into the smartest city in the world. The initiative enables the management of the city’s utilities and services using smart and connected services.
Shams Dubai: This initiative encourages building owners to install photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, and connect them to DEWA’s grid. The electricity is used on site and the surplus is exported to DEWA’s network. The initiative enables customers to contribute to diversifying the energy mix and support the green economy and sustainable development of Dubai, in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Smart Applications via Smart Meters and Grids
The transition towards using smarter electricity and water systems provides additional services to customers. They can track their electricity and water consumption using their smart phones or computers. Smart systems also enable customers to control their usage and save energy.
The Green Charger (infrastructure and electric vehicle charging stations)
This initiative builds the infrastructure and electric vehicle charging stations across Dubai, to encourage the public to use electric vehicles and contribute to protecting the environment. By launching this initiative, DEWA further enhances Dubai’s leadership as a pioneer in sustainability.
DEWA’s smart app
DEWA’s smart app provides its customers with a unified and seamless experience when using it. The app is both efficient and easy-to-use, and combines many features, which enriches the user experience. The app introduces a new and innovative way of displaying the services by providing a single integrated package that provides all the services and features that the user needs on the homepage.
As soon as users open the homepage of their accounts, they find many services, including bills, charts, and usage comparison. The updated app gives customers the option to add other accounts to their main account, so that they can manage more than one account at the same time. They can add photos for each account to identify them instead of memorising account numbers.
DEWA’s revamped website
DEWA has revamped its website, to provide comprehensive services that meet the requirements of everyday life: services that are easy, integrated, and efficient; providing easy browsing and online access to services.
The revamped website offers special services for each category of customers. It was restructured according to a comprehensive study to meet customer needs, enhance customer services, and improve quality of service. All services have been divided into more specific categories, according to customer requirements, to facilitate and speed up surfing and navigation.
The website layout is clearer and more transparent in terms of displaying the needed steps. The design is unified and compatible with all smart devices and phones. DEWA has given priority to customer experience when it revamped its website. The move improves DEWA’s services to meet the requirements of its customers and make them happier.
The Rammas Initiative
As part of its commitment to being first in all its operations, DEWA has launched its latest service that uses artificial intelligence (AI). DEWA is one of the leading organisations to use this technology, which underlines its adoption of technological innovations as a key method across all its processes. The Rammas AI service acts as a virtual employee that is available round the clock on the smart app to reply to customers’ enquiries.
Rammas provides a new qualitative and innovative form of service delivery. It can accommodate a huge amount of data simultaneously, search customers’ records to find what they need, and answer their queries promptly and accurately. The service automatically adapts and develops to keep up with different customer requests and changes in the nature of queries and DEWA’s services. This increases the service’s efficiency and makes it easier for customers to get the requested service and make them happier.
Hayak is a communications channel available on DEWA’s smart app and website for all customers. It allows them to directly communicate with DEWA’s call centre staff using video and online chat.
DEWA has launched the ‘Ash’ir’ (Arabic for ‘to signal’) initiative, which is a service to support speech-impaired customers. Ash’ir is a live video chat service using sign language that enables customers to directly communicate with DEWA’s call centre staff.
The App Master Competition
In early 2015, DEWA launched the App Master competition, which supports its efforts to enhance its role in society and its strategy to promote creativity and innovation among students. The objective of the competition was to promote competitiveness and creativity among university students to develop an entertaining smart app that instils environmental values and promotes a culture of sensible use of energy and water.
The Ashal Initiative
DEWA has launched its ‘Ashal’ (Arabic for ‘Easier’) initiative to inform visitors to its customer service centres about the smart app, and smart services. Staff give step-by-step instructions to visitors about how to use the app and its services and features, which enable customers to complete their transactions anytime, anywhere.
Visitors to Ashal smart kiosks get to know everything about DEWA’s smart app, from downloading the app, to creating an account, paying bills, and registering for the Green Bill and the Dubai Smart Government’s MyID service.
The Sirb Initiative
DEWA has launched the Sirb (Arabic for fleet) initiative, to support the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to develop the drone industry to serve mankind. DEWA uses the drone technology to support Dubai’s infrastructure, as part of its efforts to use smart technologies in serving Dubai’s residents. DEWA is making a significant improvement to government services by adopting innovative ways for government to effectively communicate with its customers. The UAE is one of the first countries in the world to use drones to provide government services
The initiative improves the operational efficiency by accelerating operations, increasing safety during regular network testing and maintenance, and accurately detecting failures. It also helps in monitoring generation, in field surveys for new projects, and in new connections for buildings and facilities in Dubai.
The Government Remarks Service
DEWA provides the ‘Government Remarks Service’ for the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, and Dubai Civil Defence, to enhance cooperation between government organisations. The application enables customers to send remarks and comments regarding any faults that may occur within DEWA’s locations. It also allows them to share photos and share the location using Global Positioning System (GPS). This makes it easier and faster to take the necessary actions.
Adoption of DEWA’s Smart Services
The adoption rate of DEWA’s smart services increased significantly over the years. When DEWA launched its smart app in 2010, the adoption rate was 40.5%. The percentage continued to increase and reached 65% in Q1 of 2016. This demonstrates DEWA’s successful journey in raising awareness among its customers about the significance of using smart services. This percentage exceeds Dubai Smart Government’s targets to achieve 60% smart adoption by 2017.
DEWA’s smart services contribute to achieving the target set by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to reduce the number of visitors to government departments by 80% by 2018.
Since its launch until the end of Q1 of 2016, the app was downloaded and updated over 2.1 million times. From 26,000 downloads in 2010, the app was downloaded 82,000 times in 2011, a growth of 208.7% compared to the base year. Over 124,000 downloads were recorded in 2012, an increase of 51.44% compared to the previous year. In 2013, the app was downloaded over 206,000 times. In 2014, the app was downloaded over 742,000 times, a growth of 256.93% compared to the previous year. In 2015, the app was downloaded over 781,000 times, and over 229,000 downloads and updates in Q1 of 2016, reflecting a consistent increase in using the app to access DEWA’s services.
Since its launch until Q1 of 2016, DEWA’s smart services were used 6 million times. In 2010, DEWA’s smart services were used over 1.3 million times. In 2011, they were used over 1.8 million times, an increase of 37% compared to the previous year. In 2012, they were used over 2.4 million times, a 32% increase compared to the previous year. In 2013, they were used over 3.1 million times, a 29% increase. In 2014, they were used over 3.7 million times, a 19% increase. These statistics reflect DEWA’s success in reaching its customers by through their continuous interaction with DEWA’s different smart services.
DEWA offers its services via its smart application, which supports a range of operating systems, including iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Samsung entertainment devices, Samsung Gear watches, Apple Watches, and eLife by Etisalat.
DEWA has adopted a strategic objective that is directly-related to making stakeholders happier. DEWA is among the first government organisations to implement the Happiness Index initiative, which was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Happiness Index was 98% in Q1 of 2016, which underlines DEWA’s commitment to providing the best services, to make customers happier.
What are the benefits for DEWA and for the customers?
DEWA realises the importance of its services as the only provider of electricity and water in the Emirate. DEWA works to develop services that match Dubai’s ongoing development and meet the increasing demand. DEWA provides its customers with smart, fast, easy-to-use, and integrated services that are available round the clock. Customers are able to activate, or deactivate electricity and water services with a click of a button on DEWA’s smart app. This reflects DEWA’s commitment to use technology to make people happier by increasing the efficiency of its services, and advancing Dubai’s global reputation.
How do DEWA’s Smart Services benefit the environment?
DEWA has used its smart services to promote sustainable development. DEWA is the first government organisation to highlight the impact of smart services on the environment since 2010.
Up until the end of 2015, the adoption of its smart services by customers helped avoid the emission of 15,533 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of planting 77,667 trees in 146.47 football fields. This figure is based on potential emissions that would have emerged from people travelling to and from DEWA’s offices.
DEWA first launched the Green Bill electronic invoicing system in October 2012. DEWA sends monthly electronic bills to its customers via email. This initiative reduces the use of paper, and helps protect trees, and preserve the environment.
As of the end of Q1 2016, a total of 716,979 customers have registered for the Green Bill, which reflects 95% of all of DEWA’s customers. DEWA has stopped sending paper bills since May 2015.
DEWA’s Internal Apps
The corporate smart app (Smart Office)
DEWA’s services are not only to simplify procedures for customers, but also to assure the happiness and comfort for its staff by adopting the latest smart corporate solutions and applications. These prove integrated services increase efficiency, streamline procedures, and meet work requirements. These efforts contribute to making Dubai the most business friendly city and a preferred investment destination. DEWA’s efforts support the vision of HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to build a smart government that offers its services anytime, anywhere using connected, integrated systems that improve the quality of life in Dubai.
DEWA launched the Corporate Smart App in 2012 to serve its staff. The app features services that assist them with their tasks. DEWA constantly updates the app with services that suit staff needs and help them adapt to changes in work procedures.
Smart Office Services
Internal Approvals: This service enables DEWA’s employees to complete internal approvals to ensure seamless work process around the clock. Approvals include contract and purchase requests, comparing prices, pricing requests, and electronic training requests.
Check-in and Check-out: This service enables DEWA’s staff to check in and check out at any of DEWA’s premises, using GPS to identify the employee’s location when arriving and leaving DEWA’s offices.
Risk Evaluation: This service evaluates and registers risks and potential dangers in the workplace. Senior management can also evaluate dangers and risks, based on their occurrence and results.
Smart Meters Installation Service: This service allows DEWA’s team who work in installing smart meters to receive information related to smart meters, and the tasks that they have to complete. It also allows employees to complete their tasks at the work site, and the system is automatically updated.
DEWA’s Awards and Accomplishments:
DEWA’s long list of achievements and awards reflect its excellence in many different fields and categories. DEWA’s awards include:
The Best m-Government Service Award in the environment category, at the World Government Summit in 2015 and 2016.
Hamdan bin Mohammed Award for Smart Government in 2013, 2014 and 2015, for Best Mobile Phone Government Service.
In 2016, DEWA also won the Smart Government Award for the Smart Applications category for official organisations and General Government organisations in the UAE.
City Makers’ Prize for the Red Team, by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Award for Smart Government 2015.
In 2015, the Red Team’s TM initiative won the Best Government Partnership Category, which included the RTA, the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment, and Dubai Municipality.
The Business Sector Services app by DEWA, RTA, and Dubai Municipality won the Customer Life Category (Integrated mApp) category, by Hamdan bin Mohammed Program for Smart Government.
Best IT service management (ITSM) App award in the UAE from PMC.
Best Practices Award 2015 from Cisco Systems Global (CISCO)
General Government and the Smart Applications for official organisations by the Academy Awards for Excellence in the Arab Region 2015.
The Strategic Web Award in the Governmental Organisations Category from the Pan Arab Excellence Award Academy 2015.
ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 certification for IT service management system 2015.
The Smart App Award in the Governmental Organisations Category from the Pan Arab Excellence Award Academy 2015.
Best m-Government Award in environment category at World Government Summit 2015.
Some of DEWA’s past technological achievements include:
Best Partnership with the Public award 2014 for its Ashal service.
The Strategic Web Award in the Governmental Organisations Category from the Pan-Arab Excellence Award Academy.