Migrating to a New EV Charging Management Platform? A Few Factors to Consider.
Selecting an EV charging and energy management platform goes beyond just considering the capabilities and benefits of a specific solution. An efficient migration process to a new platform and the ability to integrate it with the existing IT ecosystem are important considerations.
EV charging management platform vendors who have extensive experience in the eMobility industry have predefined migration methodologies and best practices. As part of the vetting process, a comprehensive review of their migration capabilities will make it easier to determine if their solution offering is a “right fit” from the very beginning.
EV charging providers, planning a platform migration should typically consider the following factors:
Zero impact on EV drivers
Advanced communications with the EV driver are an important part of any migration process, explaining that they will soon be the beneficiaries of a new, modernized network and a more user-friendly, self-service app and customer portal.
The ideal migration process has the driver transition process built in, where the driver receives a welcome email with instructions and a temporary pass, with no need to re-register or update the payment method.
Ultimately, the transition should have no impact on the end EV driver, beyond just the download of a new and improved app that delivers an even better customer experience.
Minimal effect on internal customers: business and IT users
The new system will not only have positive effects on the driver experience, but also on the IT and business users by enhancing and streamlining operations while expanding the business possibilities.
Pre-migration communication is necessary to get all internal stakeholders on board, with an emphasis on the value of the new system. Training on the new technologies is a given within any migration process, starting early enough to ensure that everyone within the organization is up to speed on migration day.
Planning and implementation of data migration and systems connectivity ensures that all historical data becomes an integral part of the new system, not only customer data but also hardware and maintenance-related data such as contracts, warrantees, specifications, etc. API connectivity to other business systems is necessary, as well.
While minimal downtime of chargers may be required during the transition, an efficient migration process will ensure continuous network serviceability. Integration of the existing chargers to the new system is to happen rapidly, with immediate 24/7 accessibility and the ability to perform remote repairs if necessary.
As part of the migration, the organization will immediately receive support of the existing business models. Pre-migration planning, though, allows the business and marketing teams to examine the existing business models and determine what additional offerings they can implement with the new system.
No revenue leakage during the process
Migration strategy needs to ensure that timing of the migration should be such that no transactions and related revenue are lost – e.g., if an EV charge occurs during the last minute of the old system and the billing and collections process is not carried over into the new system. Preventing revenue leakage is part of the IT and business process migration, ensuring that last transactions are billed within the legacy system and new transactions are immediately initiating a new billing cycle processed by the new system.
In addition, the shortest possible downtime should be built into the process. to avoid losing charge transactions.
Balancing the risk vs. TCO reduction
Selecting a migration strategy will take into consideration the balance between risk and total cost of ownership (TCO). The two types of strategies are flash cut and gradual migration.
Flash cut migration means moving everything at once, quickly, over a single night. All charger and driver accounts are moved immediately to the new system, completely eliminating the old network. This reduces TCO and ensures business continuity, while maintaining a positive customer experience.
A gradual migration is done manually, over time. It involves lower risk but higher costs. It requires the support of two systems, which means more licensing costs and hardware/software investment. Some drivers may still be using the old app and others the new, affecting the driver experience.
Making It Happen
A smooth migration process ensures the new EV charging and energy management platform can deliver all its benefits quickly, efficiently, and effectively. The ideal solution vendor has clear processes and procedures as well as the ability to guide the eMobility provider through the process from beginning to the end of migration and well into long-term operations.