As many utilities move into their 2011 budget cycles, all must make sure dollars continue to be dedicated to, or, if applicable, added back in for staff education at multiple levels throughout utilities.
Even with the economy still struggling, utilities base their decisions on the value those budget dollars return to the organizations.
CS Week is proud to be a founding sponsor of the inaugural GridWise Global Forum, co-hosted by GridWise Alliance and Department of Energy on Sept. 21-23 in Washington, DC.
Our belief in the value of cutting-edge insight and information encourages us to support others developing and implementing such information.
CS Week 2011 will mark our fifth year as a comprehensive, educational forum serving the breadth of meter-to-cash utility services, especially as these services apply to the smart infrastructure.
CS Week originated 35 years ago as CIS Conference, focused on customer billing and closely related functions. Advanced metering infrastructure and meter data management remain distinct tracks key to the meter-to-cash life cycle.
At CS Week 2010, it was fascinating to watch the interplay of new players in the customer service and information technology segment of the smart metering environment. Who could have predicted that Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. would extend their business services to gather information from end users to help consumers manage their energy usage and costs?
Attendee surveys reflected a heightened satisfaction with the open flow among course tracks, multiple options to attend interesting courses in related business tracks and furthering the interchange among utility professionals.
Most other educational venues address infrastructure issues strictly from the operational side. CS Week is presented from the business side, especially the facets of how the implementation of smart infrastructure impacts customer service and information technology.
The difference is huge.
Whether this year, next or next, investor-owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives and governmental entities must educate their work force as well as customers on the smart infrastructure.
All can use CS Week venues to provide targeted information on internal processes and the epoch changes across external customer services.
The Conference 35 planning committee, executive advisory panel and board met this month to choose the most efficacious courses and best speakers to meet utility needs in the U.S., Canada and around the world.
Follow the developing shape of CS Week 2011 in Orlando at http://csweek.org.
Jerry Duvall, CEO, CS Week
Rod Litke, COO, CS Week