SAN FRANSISCO, Calif., September 22, 2004 — Eight weeks ahead of schedule and under budget, Questar Gas went live with the SPL Customer Care & Billing Solution. Questar Gas provides natural gas to more than 775,000 customers in Utah and parts of Wyoming and Idaho. The utility is one of the fastest growing in the country.
The much-anticipated new customer-information system was implemented with no significant problems. “Billing operations, payment processing and service-order dispatching stayed on schedule from the start,” said Ron Jibson, Questar Gas’s vice president of operations. “All accounts balanced during the conversion and neither our customers nor our staff have experienced any interruption in service levels.”
Craig Wagstaff, Questar’s customer relations manager touts the increased functionality of the SPL solution: “Our users now have almost everything they need on one screen with no need to toggle between systems. The dashboard includes lots of information at a glance. We are now able to
automatically issue credit orders, figure payment arrangements and generate letters. Follow-up work on accounts is much more efficient as is merging accounts from different addresses.”
“While we experienced an expected increase in call-handling time initially, after only two days on the new system, our average call time started to decrease,” Wagstaff continued.
Dave Mulit, SPL’s general manager for the Americas, points out that expected benefits in the coming months will be wide-ranging. “Questar was able to leverage many of the SPL Customer Care & Billing Solution features and functions right out of the box,” he said, “including some of the product’s latest innovations.” He pointed to several examples, including:
* The highly configurable Business Process Assistant scripts, which lead users through whole business processes, ensuring the highest levels of efficiency and customer service. The product design lets Questar Gas easily change scripts and add new ones, as business needs dictate.
* Web Self-Service templates and services that allow easy configuration and quick deployment of web-based customer self-service functions. As these functions are fully implemented, Web-savvy Questar Gas customers will have the necessary tools to efficiently and safely view and update account information themselves.
* The Configuration Lab that allows complete sets of customer and/or configuration information to be moved between test and production environments. The Lab ensures that all new features are thoroughly tested, and it greatly reduces the risk when changing the production environment.
With the Configuration Lab, Questar staff can use subsets of real customer data to develop “what-if” scenarios to test new variations on rates, collections, or any other functions. Once the new configurations are certified production-ready, they move directly into the production system.
The product’s design lets Questar meet unique needs with algorithms rather than through product customization. Wagstaff noted that while Questar staff built some algorithms, others were produced by SPL’s development team. “This process went smoothly. SPL understood our needs and they delivered – there were no delays, no significant problems. By minimizing customization to the core software we made it easy for us to stay current now and through the long term.”
Alan Allred, President and CEO of Questar Gas and executive vice president of Questar Corporation commented, “We chose SPL after an extensive evaluation and believe it is the superior product on the market. The execution on this project has been superb. I commend both the Questar Gas team and SPL for bringing this project in ahead of schedule and below budget. What’s more, the SPL Customer Care & Billing Solution ensures we can serve our customers well as we grow. Kudos to the Questar-SPL project team for a job well done.”
SPL provided both the software and assistance with systems integration.
Questar Gas is a subsidiary of Questar Corporation. Questar is an integrated natural gas company with $4.4 billion in enterprise value. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Questar engages in gas and oil development and production; gas gathering, processing and marketing; interstate gas transmission and storage; and retail gas distribution. Visit Questar at www.questar.com
SPL delivers the proven customer care, billing, outage and distribution management solutions that help utilities around the world achieve competitive advantage and excellence in business performance. SPL solutions are specifically designed for energy, water and service companies, providing a platform from which clients serve residential, commercial, and industrial customers in regulated and competitive markets, across multiple products.
Working with systems-integration and technology partners around the world, SPL has an unparalleled record of implementation success.
Financially strong, and with customers on six continents, SPL focuses on clients’ return on investment and fosters long-term relationships based on confidence and trust.
Visit SPL at www.splwg.com or call 866-468-6775 (San Francisco), 207-851-6840 (London), or 2-8258-8200 (Sydney). Within the US and Canada, call 800-275-4775.