Utilities know their relationship with customers is based on trust. Consumers of power, water and gas rely on their utility providers to keep service consistent, and to quickly rectify any problems that arise. Having access to an advanced, digital outage management system (OMS) can help your organization meet these expectations and deliver the type of coverage residents will appreciate.

If it has been years since you last checked on the OMS market, or if your office lacks this technology, you may be surprised at how advanced these tools have become. Not only do today’s OMS offerings promise the kinds of process improvements that can have a real impact, they point the way to even more advanced features that could be coming down the pipeline.

What can today’s OMS deployments accomplish?

One of the most pertinent reasons to implement an OMS is to keep your company in contact with consumers when they most want to hear from you – when service is out. By integrating an OMS with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, you can efficiently receive and respond to members’ comments and reports, while also sending out proactive notifications of planned outages, keeping consumers in the loop.

J.D. Power specified in the 2019 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study that leading providers are those that make an effort to connect with their audiences. Utilities should have open lines of communication through platforms customers commonly use, such as text messaging.

A modern OMS is a critical part in not only enabling these communications with customers but also expediting response efforts by making internal data more visible and accessible. An advanced OMS can interface with smart grid technology to more accurately pinpoint the locations of infrastructure issues or outage reports, plotting that data on maps through geographic information systems (GIS) and enabling field crews to make their way to trouble spots quickly as they access the data from their vehicles.

What could be next for OMS technology?

OMS solutions currently fill a valuable role – making data more widely accessible to improve outage response at utilities. The next generation of technological change may make these technology tools better able to fulfill this purpose. For instance, adding augmented reality (AR) features is a potentially valuable way to put data in front of users, enabling field crews to see these accurate readings without lowering their eyes to view the screen of a smart device.

ZDNet noted that AR and virtual reality (VR) technologies are emerging relatively quickly in the field service sector. There is value to sharing information between offices and field personnel in such an easy-to-digest manner, and functions such as training field crews for dangerous jobs become simpler when those personnel can take in the data on an AR or VR headset.

While the future prospects of OMS integration are interesting, they should not take away from the fact that these solutions deliver value and performance to utilities in the here and now. View some of DataVoice’s customer success stories to see how today’s OMS offerings benefit utility providers.

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