2012 Utilities are More Than a Meter and a Bill at CS Week

Thanks again to everyone who joined us in Texas for CS Week 2012, our 36th annual educational conference for customer service, information technology, field service and smart infrastructure professionals. It was a great conference, building on the vision throughout the industry of a new and challenging future.

The media’s coverage of customers’ questioning smart meters highlights a most basic value of attending CS Week, where utilities learn the ways other utilities are successfully engaging and communicating with their customers. Conference 36 workshops actually overflowed several classrooms as this year’s topics resonated with savvy attendees.

Setting a new milestone for firsthand information, Nick Sinai, senior advisor to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, opened Thursday’s general session with a discussion of the Green Button initiative. He highlighted the energy-conservation opportunities—and customer engagement dialogues—as utilities provide customers with energy-consumption-by-interval information and tools to use it.

CS Week Executive Summit was richer and more information-packed with a strong emphasis on customer engagement, the many social media tools being used and the strategic vision driving leaders to a stronger, changing future.

The number of new exhibiting companies—37 of 131—added to the palpable energy in the exhibit hall this year. That’s the most ever. Our exhibitors reflect the increasing focus on meter-to-cash and smart grid in customer service.

Utilities told us they came to shop. Exhibitors provided solutions and new approaches—not just products—for the changing needs of utilities, munis, co-ops and government.

The 2012 Expanding Excellence Awards, co-sponsored with Electric Light & Power magazine, remain intensely competitive. The Smart Infrastructure category overflowed with innovation, collaboration and new ways to get the job done. Oncor and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative won in the large and small utility categories. Both winners in Best CIS Implementation were water utilities—another first.

We encourage you to put CS Week 2013 on your calendar for April 29 through May 3, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. We are already planning to make CS Week even bigger and better, but we’ll enrich the months until then with more webinars, educational venues and other opportunities as they become available.

You have many choices to spend your educational dollars. We stay abreast of changes in the industry and your needs so we can meet them as fast as our quality standards allow. Thanks for letting CS Week work to make your utility staff stronger and smarter for 36 years.

Rod Litke, COO, CS Week

For more information, please visit http://csweek.org

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