Conference 1 of Digital Utilities 2021

Digital customer: digital engagement in a post-pandemic world

March 16th - 2pm AEDT

Digital engagement in a post-pandemic world will explore how technology is improving the customer experience and enabling digital ways of working.

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Conference Program

2.00pm: Charlotte Pordage – Editor, Utility magazine

Welcome remarks

2.05pm: Lily Stein – Operations Manager, Octopus Energy (UK) 

Octopus has reformed energy retailing through its purpose-built technology platform 'Kraken' and customer-centric operating model, enabling superior customer service at lowest cost. Since its inception in 2016, Octopus has grown rapidly, with a customer base representing around five per cent of the UK market (approximately 1.5 million customers) and is pursuing opportunities to scale its model in other markets.

2.30pm: Lara Olsen – Managing Director, South East Water

3.00pm: PANEL - The changing face of utility retail

Our panellists will focus on the development of new products, services and business models to meet changing customer expectations.

Brett O’Donnell – VP Customer Acquisition Solutions, Agility CIS  

4.00pm: Richard Bergman – Oceania Cybersecurity, privacy and trusted technology Leader, EY Cyber security implications related to remote working

2020 was certainly a year that tested the resilience and adaptability of all of us. During this time, with the move to remote working, changing COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, we also saw a significant increase in cyber security attacks. This year is shaping up to be similar. We are at a tipping point with our approach to managing cyber security risks and the capabilities we will need to invest in to protect the digital utilities of the future. How do we manage the converged security risks of today and build the capabilities we need for the future?

4.30pm: Event close

Meet The Speakers

Richard Bergman -Oceania Cybersecurity, privacy and trusted technology Leader, EY

Richard is the lead partner for EY’s Oceania Cybersecurity, privacy and trusted technology practice with over 20 years of global experience working across the public and private sector to balance cyber risk with the upside of cloud adoption and digital transformation.

He has worked with organisations across 22 countries spanning Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and the US providing insights and advice to boards and senior executives on cyber security strategy, projects and investment priorities.

He has a unique combination of risk, forensics, data analytics and cyber experience that he leverages to drive an enterprise-wide approach for mitigating cyber risks. For the past five years, Richard has worked closely with Technology Alliance partners to design, build and operate new cyber solutions and platforms.


Lara Olsen -Managing Director, South East Water

Lara is the Managing Director of South East Water, which provides water and waste treatment and recovery services to over 1.8 million customers in the south-east of Melbourne. Lara has extensive experience in the utility sector, focused on customer experience and innovation.

Before joining South East Water, Lara was the Global Head of Business Development and Industrial Products at Tesla Energy in the US. She has also worked in Europe and Asia in the utility sector. Lara is a Director of the Water Services Association of Australia Board.


Lily Stein -Operations Manager, Octopus Energy (UK)

Lily is one of the founding members of the operations team at Octopus Energy. Working as an Operations Lead at Octopus Energy for the past few years, Lily now works with clients across the world, migrating customers from their legacy platforms onto Octopus's industry-leading technology platform 'Kraken'. Lily holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Nottingham.

Octopus has reformed energy retailing through its purpose-built Kraken platform and customer-centric operating model, enabling superior customer service at lowest cost. Since its inception in 2016, Octopus has grown rapidly, with a customer base representing around 5 per cent of the UK market (approximately 1.5 million customers) and is pursuing opportunities to scale its model in other markets.

In May 2020, Origin Energy announced a strategic partnership with Octopus Energy,which will see Origin work with Octopus to adopt Octopus’ leading operating model and technology platform, delivering significant benefits for Origin customers, employees and shareholders.


Brett O'Donnell -VP Customer Acquisition Solutions, Agility CIS

Brett leads product development for Agility’s SaaS customer acquisition and digital customer experience solutions.

He possesses rich insights on the challenges facing energy companies having previously led technology operations for several retailers across Australia and New Zealand.

Brett is a serial entrepreneur and has founded a number of fast-growing technology businesses within the energy arena. This includes switchme.co.nz, one of New Zealand’s most trusted energy switching sites; Ento, an Internet Of Things solutions company; and Webtools, developers of the market-leading pricing & quoting solution UCONX.

Webtools Energy was acquired by Agility CIS in November 2020, with Brett and the team joining the Agility group as part of the sale.