Customer System Briefs

CheckFree i-Solutions announces new e-billing and payment series

CheckFree i-Solutions, a provider of end-to-end solutions for electronic billing and payment and electronic statement delivery, just announced CheckFree i-Series 3.0, the first industrial-strength software platform for high quality, high volume B2C and B2B e-billing and statement applications. With the release of i-Series 3.0, CheckFree i-Solutions is delivering an advanced version of its flagship software product enabling billers to confidently deploy secure and reliable B2B and B2C e-billing applications for greater customer interaction. In other news, CheckFree announced that DocuCorp (NASDAQ: DOCC), a leading provider of enterprise information solutions, is now a CheckFree Premier Certified Partner. The CheckFree Partner Certification Program incorporates a professional support team with educational and awareness programs to offer an encompassing and strategic package of electronic billing and payment services to CheckFree partners.

Avistar to invest $10 million in Internet gateway services co.

Avistar Inc., a subsidiary of PNM, Public Service Company of New Mexico, has acquired a $10 million stake in MainStreet Networks, an Internet Gateway Service Provider based in California’s Silicon Valley. MainStreet Networks plans to provide low-cost Internet-based services to homes through an Internet gateway attached at the customer’s electric meter. Using that connection with a small touch screen display device that operates like an ATM (Automated Teller Machine), customers will be able to send and receive e-mail messages, shop online, and access national news and customized community content. The gateway is also capable of providing automated meter reading, long distance call management, and remote monitoring of the home environment.

billserv.com, SBC DataComm enter into data “co-location”

billserv.com Inc. (NASDAQ: BLLS), an electronic bill presentment and payment service bureau, signed an agreement with SBC DataComm, a unit of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC), to replicate its existing technology infrastructure within SBC DataComm’s Internet data center in Dallas. Today, billserv.com maintains two data centers in San Antonio. By the end of first quarter of 2001, billserv.com will be operational with its newest data center in Dallas by virtue of this agreement. At that time, billserv.com will decommission its original data center in San Antonio and continue its data center operations with a primary data center housed at its corporate headquarters and the other in Dallas.

MidAmerican Energy Selects Peace Software

Atlanta-based Peace Software, a provider of e-business solutions for retail energy companies, announced that MidAmerican Energy Company, a supplier of energy in the Midwest’s rapidly deregulating energy markets, has selected Peace’s Energy software suite for rapid entry into multiple deregulated markets. MidAmerican has sold more than one billion kilowatt hours in Illinois’ deregulated market since last year and is also competing in the opening of the electric and natural gas markets in Ohio.

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Customer System Briefs

Orcom bills Santa, North Pole

Orcom Solutions recently announced the implementation of its Enterprise Customer Information System at Golden Valley Electric Association, whose 2,250-square-mile service area includes the town of North Pole and Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest mountain. GVEA decided to update its 15-year-old system to consolidate its CIS and financial operations and accommodate future increases in its customer base in order to handle deregulation requirements if Alaska opens its electricity market. In other news, Orcom was recently named one of Oregon’s fastest-growing technology companies, according to a new ranking by Deloitte & Touche. The company also successfully completed Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) testing in the State of Maryland for electric retail choice.

Bringing energy e-commerce “Down Under”

Excelergy Corp., a provider of B2B e-commerce technology, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s largest professional services organization, announced an alliance under which the two businesses will jointly market Excelergy eXACT* electronic data management products and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting services to utilities and energy suppliers in Australia and New Zealand. “Energy markets in Australia and New Zealand are going through major reforms and we anticipate significant demand for the strategic services and technology expertise that this alliance has to offer,” said Matthew King, energy sector leader for management consulting in Pricewaterhouse Coopers Australia.

ADB & Junot Form Alliance

ADB Systems, an e-procurement and enterprise asset management system vendor, and Junot Systems, an enterprise application integration vendor, have finalized a strategic alliance to facilitate the deployment and integration of ADB’s B2B ProcureMate software solution with SAP R/3, using Junot’s NLINK product line. The modular nature of the product allows customers to add XML-based electronic purchase orders and Web-enabled requisition forms, linking e-marketplaces to existing SAP R/3 back-office systems.

Central Hudson Webs up proofing, billing

AccuDocs, an electronic document solutions provider, recently announced an agreement to produce statements for 271,000 Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. customers in traditional paper and PDF formats. Central Hudson, a New York state gas and electric company serving about 625,000 customers, will rely on AccuDocs to provide a comprehensive document processing solution that includes Internet presentment and proofing, printing and mailing services. AccuDocs will use a business rules engine and electronic document technology to process and deliver statements to Central Hudson customers and customer service staff.

Anti-slamming verification hits Web

VoiceLog, a provider of third party verification services, recently announced the release of its Web interface for audio retrievals. The Web interface provides for analyzing and audio playback of third-party verification recordings over the Internet using a standard Web browser. The Web interface is in addition to the existing VoiceLog capability to instantly play recordings over the telephone. The Web interface can select any data item in the verification database, such as date and time, sales person, billing telephone number, automatic number identification, and even duration of the call. VoiceLog also uses the Web interface for its review services, in which live verification agents listen to audio recordings for evidence of customer confusion or sales fraud.

More e-gateway solutions

Coactive Networks, a provider of residential gateways for connecting the Internet to all devices in homes and businesses, has been selected by DTE Energy Technologies as the premier supplier of a complete gateway solution for delivering e-services to its business customers. DTE Energy Technologies is an affiliate of Detroit Edison, the nation’s seventh largest electric utility, and a subsidiary of DTE Energy Company. DTE Energy Technologies is using the Coactive Connector gateway to roll out two Web-based service bundles, energy/now and safety/now. Energy/now is a combination of energy monitoring and data services that help achieve operating cost reductions, while safety/now integrates temperature monitoring with other systems.

SCT eDash is Web ready

In June, SCT unveiled its latest Web-architected application, SCT eDash. The program collects and displays user-defined business data in a clear format to assist in the informed, daily decision-making process of executives and upper-level managers. Like a dashboard, the system contains presentation areas for alerts, graphs, industry indices and local weather and industry ticker, which can be modified by the client. It allows users to design and run both standard and custom reports, design and display custom graphs, as well as navigate to key accounts, press releases, industry links, Web-based reports and general industry news.

“Dr. Bean” takes customers live

PowerTrust.com, an Internet-based energy company, recently announced that it is using Sideware’s Dr. Bean Java software for live customer service on its Web site at www.PowerTrust.com. Dr. Bean is an e-CRM software tool created by Sideware that provides online customers with live and instantaneous customer service. The live interface on the customer’s Web allows customers to ask questions directly to the representative in real time and can even guide the customer by pushing Web pages and other content directly onto the customer’s Web page interface.

Utilipro and UtilConnect hook up

Utilipro Inc., a provider of outsourced back office services for the energy market, and UtilConnect Inc., an Atlanta-based application service provider focusing on Internet-native self-service and e-CRM solutions, will partner to offer end-to-end transaction processing, self-service and E-CRM solutions to the regulated and unregulated energy industry.

ConneXt, Sierra systems partner

ConneXt, a Seattle-based developer of billing and customer care solutions, and Sierra Systems Group Inc., a consulting and systems integration firm, recently announced a partnership agreement to pursue joint marketing initiatives and other business ventures related to the deployment of their products and services, such as the purchase and implementation of ConneXt’s ConsumerLinX, a customer information system.

Retx.com partners with Canadian SaskTel for Web services

Retx.com has formed a partnership with SaskTel to provide complete Internet-based e-business services to the retail energy industry. SaskTel, a Canadian communications company, has acquired a 49 percent share in Retx.com for an undisclosed amount. Retx.com is a nationwide clearinghouse portal and supply-chain management service offering customer enrollment, meter information management, retail settlements, curtailment management, performing compliance responses, audit capabilities and more.

All-in-one CyberBill

edocs BillDirect Internet billing and customer management software is set to deliver bills, statements and other customer account data to CyberBills’ growing network including its consumer site, StatusFactory.com. CyberBills’ Total Bill Management allows consumers to view, manage, pay and automate all of their bills online, whether the bills are in paper or electronic format. edocs, a provider of Internet billing and customer management software and services, Internet-enables bills and statements for some of the world’s largest bill and statement issuers in the telecom, utility, financial service, insurance and credit card industries.