Elektrum.lv customer self-service portal

Along with the launch of the new customer service and payment system, Latvenergo also decided to develop a new customer self-service portal. Furthermore, the name of the e-latvenergo.lv portal was changed to elektrum.lv. Customers are already familiar with Elektrum as the brand name for electricity supplied by Latvenergo, thus the modernised portal has also acquired this name.

During the website traffic analysis, it was concluded that more than 10% of all visitors of the portal connected via mobile devices. Moreover, this trend was growing every month. For this reason, the elektrum.lv portal was developed using responsive design technology which allows the website to adapt automatically to the screen dimensions and technical parameters of a specific device that contributes to the ease of use of the portal on computers, tablets or smartphones.

At the moment, there are about 475,000 active users registered in the portal who have a possibility to view their electricity consumption and pay bills via online banking systems, as well as to prepare and send formal requests. Moreover, customers can choose the most appropriate electricity product based on the historical data of electricity consumption. It is also possible to prepare and enter into a new customer agreement in the portal. The new Consumption Overview section now offers easier browsing through payment history. These innovations will allow customers to compare the electricity consumption data with the previous periods and make conclusions accordingly, whether and how changes in electricity usage and energy efficiency affect the monthly consumption.

The technical architecture of the portal is service-oriented, namely, it is integrated with the Latvenergo Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing Solutions system where all information about customers, payments and other customer related data are stored. Data exchange is managed via web services (XML, SOAP), i.e., the daily operations are supported by around 70 web services with various specifications.

To ensure customer authorisation and easy payment of bills, the portal is integrated with the leading Latvian online banking systems (Swedbank, SEB Banka, Nordea, DNB, Citadele, Norvik Banka). It is also possible to perform authorisation with an ID card.

The technical platform has been developed based on the Laravel PHP framework with our own content management system, LEAF CMS. In order to ensure full functionality, around 150,000 source lines of code have been written.

The portal has a separate section for Latvenergo employees to provide both face-to-face and remote customer service.

The entire functionality of the portal has been described in the technical documentation, i.e., SRS (Software Requirement Specification) amounting to approximately 600 pages.

In order to meet the needs of around 475,000 portal users every month, we have helped to plan a scalable server architecture and we have adjusted the technical solution to a particularly large number of requests.

Since 2012, CUBE Systems and Latvenergo teams have been working in close co-operation in order to develop the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian portals and adapt them to the constantly changing market and customer needs. The development of elektrum.lv is described in a long-term plan which we are implementing together with the marketing, IT and customer service experts from Latvenergo by dividing the tasks into stages or sprints, each to be completed approximately within a month.

Latvenergo is the leading electricity trader in the Baltic States. The company has been operating since 1939, and currently provides services to more than 850,000 customers in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

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