Accenture (NYSE: ACN) announced plans with SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) to accelerate the development of solutions, based on a digital customer engagement platform, for utility companies to engage with customers through virtually any channel, improving customer operations efficiency. Alongside simplified customer service and operations, the customer engagement platform will help enable utilities to offer customers non-commodity products and services, such as solar panels, batteries and connected home products, including related installation and maintenance services. This announcement comes after both companies announced in January a comprehensive program of ongoing collaboration on the core development and go-to-market for SAP S/4HANA®. In October 2016, Accenture and SAP also announced their collaboration to develop the next generation of predictive analytics solutions for asset management in the utilities industry to enable condition-based maintenance. The new platform combines the SAP S/4HANA Utilities solution with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and SAP Multichannel Foundation at its core to enable more agile and easier to use sales and service processes and efficient meter to cash management. Additional elements such as SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP Hybris Commerce and SAP Hybris Billing solutions are integrated to create a 360-degree view of the customer as well as the management, selling and billing of energy and non-energy products and services. Customer self-service interactions will be enabled through a portal, mobile apps and social media. The platform is also scalable for future growth as it targets cost reduction through cloud-deployment, lower and more predictable operational costs from an as-a-Service option and more automated processes with embedded analytics. Accenture's role includes accelerating the design, development and integration of the next releases of S/4HANA Utilities, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP Hybris Commerce and SAP Hybris Billing. The focus for SAP S/4HANA Utilities will be simplification and for the SAP Hybris solutions, the co-innovation will be to build out utilities-specific functionalities. In addition, a new role-based SAP Fiori user experience will be available on the customer engagement platform to provide a consistent, intuitive user experience across applications, increasing user adoption and productivity, as well as decreasing user errors and training cost.