Is mobility the next "killer" app? The customer is definitely front-and-center in today's next-generation utility. From outage communications management and prepay to new analytics capabilities, there are a lot of mobile application options to consider. What's at the top of the list at the moment? A panel of industry experts debates.
At the risk of dating myself, behind-the-scenes talk at utility conferences reminds me a lot of lyrics from a popular musical from the early 1970s: "What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happening..."
This was certainly the case at CS Week last week.
The customer is front-and-center in the next-generation utility. This is not a new revelation. But the ways in which this is playing out in terms of customer-facing technology and services is moving rapidly forward, and this was evident in the numerous sessions, the exhibit hall floor, and in the "buzz" of discussions throughout, both with utility and vendor-partner attendees.
From outage communications management (and the new utility apps being launched to keep in touch with an increasing number of 24/7, "always on" mobile customers) and convenient prepay electricity options to creating value in utility customer service through the use of analytics, there truly is a lot that is quickly changing -- and becoming responsive rather than reactive -- in the customer-facing side of today's electric utility.
One panel that particularly caught my interest, a part of the CS Week Executive Summit, was "The Next Killer App: Mobility."
Moderated by Vic Hatridge, Nashville Electric Service 's vice president and CIO, the panel included Lisa Dalesandro DiChristofer of SAP America, Inc. ; David Green, Elster Solutions ' executive vice president; Mark Griffin, Tata Consulting Group 's national practice leader of energy, natural resources and utilities; Linda Jackman, global vice president of