Customer Information Systems–Whats Needed, Whats Available?

Within today`s rapidly changing environment, utilities are recognizing the necessity and importance of serving their customers. In this light, the utility`s number one resource has become the staff member who interacts directly with the customer. It is this staff member who must embrace the customer and provide exceptional levels of caring customer service. To obtain this service level, utilities must provide their staffs with the appropriate organizational structure, human resource environment

E-Commerce Strategy: An Essential Element in World Class Utility Operations

Thanks to growing acceptance of the Internet, customer care is evolving at a fast pace. With 10 percent of Americans buying goods or services via electronic commerce today--a number that is expected to grow significantly--E-Commerce is a strategy that commands serious attention. As the largest consumer-serving industry, utilities have a number of incentives to implement E-Commerce, including customer demand, the growing importance of customer service in a deregulated environment and new technica

Communication Key to Outsourcing Success

If there was one phrase in late 1994 at South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), that could be counted on to raise the blood pressure of information technology (IT) managers, it was "Offshore Programming." Few SCE&G managers could have imagined that, nearly four years later, offshore programming would become one of the strategic mainstays of their company`s overall IT program or that they would have in place a complex methodology to support clear communication with India. They would have found it

Load Estimation and Reallocation Enables Competition in New England

As deregulation of the electric utility industry proceeds across the United States, a broad range of challenges face today`s utilities. The realities of competition are new to formerly regulated businesses and with that reality comes the need to streamline processes and increase operating efficiencies. Gone are the days when rate increases were practically pro forma and could be structured to cover new projects and new technologies. The need for information is paramount--especially information a

Telecom Company is Major Player in California Deregulation

The start-up of California`s Independent System Operator (ISO) and Power Exchange (PX) represents a new era in the electric utility industry--competition. By now, most people in the industry are familiar with the ISO and PX and know they facilitate control of California`s electric utility exchange and its competitive electricity-trading environment. However, many may not be familiar with the high tech tools that were put into service in order for the elaborate operating and trading system to fun