Innovative utilities, such as Orlando Utilities Commission, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and We Energies, have just completed upgrades of or deployed Oracle solutions to enhance customer service and improve operational efficiency.
Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), a municipally-owned public utility providing water and electric service to 240,000 customers in the City of Orlando, Fla. and adjoining Orange County areas, deployed Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management and Oracle Utilities Smart Grid Gateway and saved nearly $2.9 million in operating costs in the first six months, which OUC passed on to its customers in the form of two rate reductions. OUC achieved its results by using the solution to automate and speed customer interactions (i.e. start or stop service) and provide its customers with information about their electric and water usage. OUC now operates one of the nation’s first real-time, meter-to-cash and customer connection programs utilizing a fully automated meter data management infrastructure that delivers an optimized customer experience. OUC purchased Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management and Oracle Utilities Smart Grid Gateway on August 22, 2012.
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, a member-owned utility servicing more than 158,000 connections in 22 Virginia counties, recently upgraded to Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.4, helping it to quickly modify rate structures without cumbersome coding changes. The upgraded Oracle solution includes a flexible rating engine that enables Rappahannock Electric Cooperative users to input rate changes directly, without IT assistance, saving valuable time and improving productivity as the utility works to bring all its customers under a new rate schedule. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative purchased Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing licenses from SPL WorldGroup on June 1, 2006, and upgraded to the latest version on February 11, 2014.
We Energies which provides electric, gas and steam services to customers in Wisconsin and Michigan deployed the Oracle Utilities Advanced Analytics Cloud Service to improve its meter-to-bill processes by reducing costs and delays in identifying and adjusting bills caused by defective devices. Integrated with the utility’s existing work management system, the Oracle Utilities Advanced Analytics Cloud Service enables We Energies to identify and route some highly targeted meter/billing exceptions directly to field service technicians, thereby saving valuable time in back office review by billers. As a result, We Energies reduced the break-to-fix time on some of these exceptions by up to 90 days and significantly improved its on-time delivery and accuracy of bills. Additionally, with Oracle’s analtyics solution in place, We Energies reduced several meter and billing exception work queues anywhere from 48% to 90% and is achieving significant cost savings by automating historically manual review processes. We Energies purchased the Oracle Utilities Advanced Analytics Cloud Service on March 25, 2009.
Orlando Utilities Commission and We Energies received 2014 Expanding Excellence Awards on May 7, 2014, during the CS Week Conference. The Expanding Excellence Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions, innovations and excellence in utility customer service.
Orlando Utilities Commission received the “Implementation of the Year” Award for its Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management and Oracle Utilities Smart Grid Gateway deployment, and We Energies received the “Innovation in Customer Service” Award for its use of Oracle Utilities Advanced Analytics Cloud Service.
“We chose the Oracle solution because it is proven to be the best of breed, turnkey solution, and it allowed us to accelerate our advanced metering infrastructure deployment and to realize the return on the investment much sooner. We now provide customers with greater control of their consumption, more convenient ways to interact with us and new self-service options which are in line with what they have come to expect from their banks, phone and cable providers,” said Jerry Sullivan, CIO, Orlando Utilities Commission.
“We upgraded to Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.4 to enable us to input rate changes quickly and efficiently. The solution’s new rate engine enables us to easily restructure our rates to better accommodate customers’ unique needs,” said Kris Sieber, director, Member Services, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.
“Oracle Utilities Advanced Analytics Cloud Service is flexible and enables us to meet our goals of improving our meter-to-bill process efficiency and has resulted in significant savings from reduced billing exceptions,” said Joan Shafer, senior vice president, Customer Service, We Energies.
“Oracle provides the complete solution suite to help electric, gas and water utilities address today’s challenges including operational efficiency and customer satisfaction head on. The continued investments from utilities such as Orlando Utilities Commission, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and We Energies demonstrate Oracle Utilities’ commitment to providing innovative solutions to help utilities thrive in 2014 and beyond,” said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities.
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