Business and home owners across the country suffered more than 80 serious outages this past year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Utilities responded quickly in almost all of these scenarios, typically restoring power within hours of initial outages. However, some left customers waiting for days. Others are still mitigating the fallout from service interruptions that took place weeks or months ago. Why? Ineffective outage management protocols and systems.
Despite the proliferation of affordable cutting-edge technology, many utilities continue to deploy obsolete software or maintain antiquated paper-based systems. These once-reliable tools simply cannot keep pace these days, as services grow more complex and user networks expand. In short, utilities must innovate to survive. Luckily, most have begun grappling with this reality. A large number of utility companies are on the hunt for advanced outage management systems, according to nationwide survey results from the Newton-Evans Research Company.
With the wide variety of options available on the market, selecting the right platform is no easy task. That said, there are some central processes the ideal OMS should address.
Locating and verifying service interruptions is the first step in the outage mitigation process. Consequently, prospective OMS solutions must come equipped with the latest location and monitoring tools so users can continually collect performance data on meters and other key aspects of power infrastructure, and isolate fixtures that fail. This way, utilities have the ability to view accurate outage pictures and compile actionable records.
"The ideal OMS should give users the resources they need to connect with customers during outage events."
Once affected equipment is located, service crews are deployed into the field to restore power. OMS solutions should ease this process by streamlining communications between office personnel and the linemen responsible for getting things back up and running. How? Top-of-the-line models integrate with both desktop and mobile devices, facilitating effective data-sharing processes.
Of course, the ideal OMS should give users the resources they need to connect with customers during outage events. Those with automated alert systems are optimal, as they lead to lower call volumes and make it easy to comply with Federal Emergency Management Agency notification regulations.
Are you in the market for an industry-leading OMS solution? Contact DataVoice today. Our solution integrates with advanced grid infrastructure and pairs seamlessly with the DataVoice Power Pal mobile application for customers and the manager and crews applications for utility personnel.