CS BRIEFS

Conversant introduces object-oriented CIS

Conversant Inc. introduced its Customer Watch software, a Java solution that handles customer and account management, complex rate structures, customer billing and usage management, credit and collections, inventory management, service order management, and other CIS functions. IT experts at Empire District Electric Co., Joplin, Mo, originally developed Customer Watch.

SCT utilizes Oracle9i application server

SCT Global Energy and Utilities Solutions announced that the latest version of the SCT Customer Management Solution set-Banner Advantage CIS and CRM Essentials-incorporates Oracle9i application server (Oracle9iAS) architecture as its technology foundation. Oracle9iAS is built on open Internet standards and provides middleware technologies to develop, deploy and manage Internet applications and content.

PECO signs with TFCC

PECO implemented a high volume call answering system and enhanced its call center with new automation that can process up to 50,000 customer calls per hour. The system is provided by Twenty First Century Communications Inc., Columbus, Ohio. The system links with PECO’s customer information and outage management systems and its customized IBM mainframe MQ series. TFCC also is in use by PECO’s sister company, ComEd, in Chicago.

CustomerWorks selects Peace Software

CustomerWorks has licensed Peace Software’s Energy suite as the preferred CIS platform for its Business Process Outsourcing services targeted at North American utilities, municipalities and retail energy companies. The browser-based Energy suite will integrate CustomerWorks’ widely distributed call centers in New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia. Energy’s third-generation thin-client Browser-User-Interface can run on any desktop browser without needing to be installed on individual users’ computers.

Pepco selects Powerweb

Potomac Electric Power Co. purchased Powerweb Technologies’ Omni-Link Internet Energy Platform to replace an existing system that operates the company’s Curtailable Load Program (CLP) for large commercial customers. Omni-Link will allow Pepco to manage its entire CLP through one interface. The new system will enable commercial customers to receive quick notification of curtailment options, monitor energy prices in real-time, curtail facility load, control new smart device technology, and calculate curtailment savings, from a single Internet gateway.

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CS BRIEFS

Utility spending for CIS upgrades falls then rises

Utility companies are budgeting an average of just under $28 per customer for CIS improvements, with median upgrade costs of just under $20 per customer, according to a recent survey, The Chartwell Report on CIS Expenditures, conducted by utility industry research firm Chartwell Inc. The dollar amount utility companies are budgeting for improvements to their CIS is down significantly from a high point in the mid-90s.

VoiceLog opens new operations center

VoiceLog LLC, provider of third party verification, opened its newest operation center in Ashburn, Va., in early March, bringing its total number of call and data centers to four. With the move, VoiceLog is increasing its Internet connectivity by a factor of more than five, call processing capacity by more than 40 percent, and disk storage by a factor of three.