ESB to connect its 9,000 staff to GenAI technology

Electricity player ESB says generative AI will allow its staff to focus on higher value activities.

Irish electricity provider ESB will become one of the first organisations in Europe to deploy generative AI (GenAI) across its 9,000-strong workforce.

The utilities firm has joined forces with Microsoft and Accenture to deploy GenAI tool Copilot for Microsoft 365.

“This is all making a difference and supporting our shift to become an even more digital and data-driven organisation”

Since Copilot for Microsoft 365 launched last November, ESB is one of the first in Europe to already deploy this new generative AI technology to approximately 300 employees.

Sparking a conversation about AI

“Leveraging this emerging technology alongside our existing Microsoft products is showing strong potential, helping us to improve employee experience, support greater collaboration and ultimately, drive digital adoption,” said Mary O’Connor, chief information officer at ESB.

“We are exploring Copilot’s capabilities to better understand the improvements we can make for our people, and we are already seeing improvements in summarisation, action tracking and knowledge management, which will allow our people to focus on high-value activity. This is all making a difference and supporting our shift to become an even more digital and data-driven organisation.”

She said the 300 employees who were first to use the new technology are already seeing the benefits, such as enabling them to focus on high-value activity and improving knowledge sharing and collaboration.

ESB is capturing feedback and insights to identify business value across Outlook, Teams, PowerPoint and other Microsoft 365 applications to enhance employee experience.

“Recently, we commissioned research with IDC, and it revealed that more than half of organisations in Western Europe are testing generative AI proofs of concept, while almost a fifth have already made significant investments in generative AI,” said Anne Sheehan, general manager of Microsoft Ireland.

“Copilot for Microsoft 365 has the power to revolutionise the way people work by embedding generative AI into the tools employees use every day, it enables them to focus on what truly matters and drive their organisations forward. We are delighted to be delivering this technology to innovative companies such as ESB to advance their digital transformation and help them achieve their strategic goals.”

Main image at top: Austin Boyle, Head of Technology, Accenture in Ireland; Mary O’Connor, Chief Information Officer at ESB; and Anne Sheehan, general manager, Microsoft Ireland

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