While doing business for 99 years, the Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) cannot be accused of being set in its ways. Early this year, for example, the central Florida electric company unveiled the QuickPay Program, which gives customers the ability to pay their bills online. The electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service makes it possible for customers to view their bill on KUA`s Web site, then pay the amount they owe with the click of a mouse button.
The current trend toward adding an "e-" before everything is one of my biggest pet peeves. It`s almost, but not quite, as annoying as dinnertime sales calls, ... or anything else that interrupts dinner.
Companies that deliver water, gas, electricity and other services to households and businesses have stepped up their plans to offer e-business services to lock in customers and lock out the competition. According to a new study by Killen & Associates, by year-end 2002, billers will use electronic bill presentment (EBP) to present 27 percent of the bills they issue. Utilities in North America, and increasingly worldwide, will issue bills and provide other customer care services over the Internet.
Just in Time Solutions, a provider of Internet billing and interactive customer care software, has made its BillCast 2.0 suite of applications for the Sun Microsystems Solaris operating environment available. Written entirely in the Java programming language and optimized for the Solaris operating environment, the BillCast platform provides an out-of-the-box, brandable application, and the optional BillCast Distribution, Payment and Data Translation Modules offer added functionality as the bille
New England-based Strafford Technology and ThunderBolt Technologies Inc., an integrator of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, have joined forces. Under a newly penciled agreement, ThunderBolt will offer its customers two additional training locations to provide accelerated training workshops for SalesLogix customers. Moreover, such services as report writing and delivery will now be readily accessible due to an increase in resources and expertise provided by Strafford. Canton, Md.
When Warren Buffett`s Berkshire Hathaway investment firm bought into Iowa utility MidAmerican Energy, Wall Street treated it like just another capital investment-a fairly conservative one, at that. More recently, when New York`s Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) agreed to buy a chunk of Dayton Power & Light, the news attracted even less fanfare. After all, from a Wall Street perspective, these were fairly ho-hum deals.
As the business of transforming unstructured legacy data into highly structured XML formats increases, software vendors like edocs (a provider of Internet billing and customer management software and services), create faster programs to ease transition pains. edocs recently released XMLDirect, a graphical application development environment and high-performance XML/XSL (extensible mark-up language/extensible stylesheet language) formatting engine which simplifies XML generation from unstructure
KnowledgeBase (www.knowledgebasemarketing.com) of Chapel Hill, N.C., is bundling Recognition Systems Inc.`s Protagona system (www.protagona.com) into its customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. Protagona offers "real-time experience management tools," intended to deliver personalized marketing messages across a variety of channels, including the web, call centers and direct marketing.
Unbundling utility charges to support deregulation and Y2K demands converged on our legacy customer information system (CIS) almost simultaneously in late 1997. Under the state of Montana`s deregulation rules, our combination utility would be required to provide an unbundled bill to all Montana Power customers, regardless of whether they chose an alternate energy provider or continued to purchase energy from us. On top of that, our legacy system was 10 years old and not Y2K compliant. Without en
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter says that in 1997 the announced global utility industry mergers and acquisition (M&A) volumes were $115 billion, exceeding $90 billion in the United States alone and triple the level of 1989. U.S. utilities are attractive for many reasons. The United States is the largest electricity market in the world. It`s rapidly deregulating. There is a stable legal environment. There are relatively attractive risk adjusted returns. The industry is a platform for convergence (fuel