Growing utility and industry complexities and shifting customer expectations are placing tremendous pressure on utilities and challenging technology and systems that underpin operations.
Many utilities have dated and aged customer information systems (CIS) lacking robust customer relationship management functionality. Furthermore, existing CIS platforms are not easily integrated with modern digital operating platforms. This is making it difficult for many utilities to advance critical customer initiatives, options, and rate structures that many customers and regulators are increasingly demanding.
Even under the best of circumstances, the replacement of a utility CIS
is risky, time-consuming, and costly. These projects are difficult to implement and operationalize due to the vast number of business processes that CISs
handle, the criticality of systems to core operations, and complex integrations required with nearly all other core utility applications.
In this white paper, we conclude that an alternative approach exists that would allow a utility to centralize and modernize customer engagement activities more quickly and with less risk through the deployment of a front-end customer relationship management (CRM) system that integrates with CIS and other information systems. This approach is referred to as the Customer Information Platform (CIP).
This paper highlights:
- The factors driving the complexity and risk around CIS replacements
- Options for upgrading "market-to-customer" capabilities
- The advantage of a CIP, using well-established CRM software to facilitate a common user interface and integration among disparate utility information systems