Case Study BS|Energy



The Corona pandemic in 2020 brought major challenges for almost all industries. Particularly system-relevant companies had to quickly create conditions on the IT side in order to remain operational and protect their employees at the same time. The Brunswick-based energy provider BS|Energy therefore relied on the automated provision of its IT services via self-service. In this way, it rolled out hundreds of mobile workplaces and VPN accesses, as well as the necessary authorizations, in just 2 weeks, saving time and money.

BS|ENERGY supplies around 250,000 customers in the Brunswick region with electricity, gas and district heating. In addition, the company is responsible for drinking water supply, urban drainage and lighting, traffic lights and the operation of the corresponding pipeline networks. With around 1,200 employees, the Group is also an innovation service provider and invests in modern fiber-optic networks, WLAN hotspots, smart meters, smart living, e-mobility and energy-efficiency quarters. Founded in 1851, the group is now part of Veolia. Other shareholders are Thüga AG and the city of Brunswick.

As an energy supplier, BS|Energy belongs to the so-called “system-critical infrastructure.” Especially during the Corona crisis, it was therefore particularly important to provide the services that are absolutely necessary for the population in high quality and stability. The IT department has a decisive influence on the company’s ability to function. It was therefore particularly important to ensure its availability as early as possible. Andreas Sommer, Head of Department Basic Functions Infrastructure and Cloud, is responsible for exactly this at BS|Energy, among other things:

“As early as the end of February 2020, we had recognized that a pandemic was coming and reacted with relative foresight. So we decided to put all planned tasks on hold temporarily, to concentrate on maintaining our services and thus on the ability of our company to work. Specifically, this meant prioritizing our focus on remote dial-up capability and expanding Internet access.”


Industry: Energy supply

Foundation: 1851

Headquarters: Brunswick

Size: approx. 1,200 employees

Customer since: 2018

Product used


In-house know-how for rapid implementation

BS|Energy is not only responsible for supplying the population with energy, but also has an obligation to its employees. The health of the employees was therefore a priority. Nevertheless, the company also had to guarantee smooth business operations. The challenge was to create the possibility for as many employees as possible to work remotely from home in the shortest possible time. This was necessary to avoid exposing the staff to the unnecessary risk of infection and to prevent the virus from spreading.

“We needed to provide a virtual environment for our employees to operate safely from the home office. FLOWSTER Solutions helped us with this,” said Sommer.

BS|Energy used the platform of the software manufacturer from Potsdam for this purpose, which has already been in use for automated server and user management since 2018. Since the training period, the workflows have been implemented completely independently in-house. Individual support from the manufacturer has only been necessary sporadically. In the meantime, one member of department head Sommer’s team regularly devotes 30-50% of his time to creating workflows in FLOWSTER Studio. This person can independently implement and store the processes, forms and everything related to them.

“At our company, the principle is that all one-off activities are provided by partners, with a particular focus on subsequent operational optimization. We therefore commissioned FLOWSTER Solutions with the installation and implementation of initial workflows. Since then, ‘simple’ workflows have been modeled independently and transferred to the productive system in a quality-assured manner together with the manufacturer. However, we alone are responsible for operating the productive system,” explains Sommer.


Just a few steps to success

The mobile workplaces and accesses to a virtual private network (VPN) as well as the necessary access authorizations were provided via the FLOWSTER Studio automation platform. This process was not previously a standard in the company and was implemented with a total of only 3 workflows. The employee from the Basic Functions Infrastructure and Cloud department created the corresponding working steps as well as the associated forms for this. The workflows were ready for use in a short time, but some security requirements had to be met to ensure a fast and smooth application process:

For multi-factor authentication, the first step required employees to store their mobile phone number via a form. This then enabled them to automatically request approval for VPN access and be assigned a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It was then possible to access the company network externally via this.

The employees also used the form to request their assignment to the corresponding AD group for VPN dial-in from their supervisor. The supervisor was automatically informed of this and received an approval request. They also had to agree to and approve the provision of a virtual desktop. Furthermore, all employees with a company notebook were granted authorization to dial into the company remotely via VPN dial-in.


Head of Department
Basic Functions Infrastructure and Cloud

“FLOWSTER saved us during the pandemic with the automated provisioning of user permissions and VPN access in particular. We would never have been able to do that manually in the number and time.”


Good experience pays off

BS|Energy was able to save a lot of time and relieve IT of tedious routine work by automating IT services via self-service. As a result, the energy supplier rolled out over 300 access authorizations within just two weeks. Especially during the time-critical phase, when everything had to be done quickly, the company was not dependent on a service provider and was thus able to act completely independently.

Thanks to the automated processes, users received their services quickly and reliably. This also led to a significant increase in employee satisfaction. Thanks to the trained personnel, the company did not need any support for the creation of the workflows itself and thus saved considerable costs.

Andreas Sommer takes stock: “It is difficult to estimate an ROI for user portals, but overall this project has helped us to rethink and simplify our own processes. In 2019 alone, around 2,500 transactions were processed via the authorization self-service, without manual waiting times affecting service delivery. This fast and automated implementation alone – with consistent and documented quality – brings benefits to IT customers that quickly amortize the acquisition costs.”


Even more help desk relief in the future

The need for automated services is continuously increasing at BS|Energy. In this context, the company already has its own Kanban board in operation, which is used exclusively for requirements. “We have so many requirements that we can hardly process them. Our employees are convinced by the fast and simple provision via self-service and want more of it.”

In perspective, the energy provider wants to further expand the use of FLOWSTER Studio. In the medium term, the tool is to be established as a central entry portal for all basic self-services – regardless of whether local services, cloud services or simple authorization issues need to be processed. For example, the automation platform is also to be used as an order store for hardware.

“We have over 40 basic IT services and I expect that in the future these services will all be bookable via one platform. The goal is to no longer have standard calls to the help desk service via free text, but to provide everything automatically – that’s where we want to go”, explains Sommer.

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