Wise Electric Information Technology Manager Anna Wallace began looking for an electronic payment solution back in 2003. The co-op wanted to implement an efficient system that would allow members to take care of outstanding amounts without having to speak with customer service representatives. Wise Electric was using the Daffron utility billing platform during this time and came across DataVoice when researching vendors that integrated with the solution. Wallace was impressed with the available DataVoice product and service offerings and decided to establish a partnership. This initial agreement catalyzed a more than decade-long relationship between Wise Electric and DataVoice, during which time the cooperative transformed its backend infrastructure.
The original work agreement signed in 2003 centered on an automated, telephone-based customer service platform that gave customers the power to manage their accounts and
submit payments without waiting for available Wise Electric representatives. However, the organization’s solution set expanded rapidly following this first project. The DataVoice team rolled out various other platforms over the next 15 years, including:
- Outage management system
- Interactive voice response
- Workforce management
- Vegetation management
- Linemen mobile application
- Customer mobile application
Wallace said implementation unfolded with little issue and that DataVoice easily resolved the small technical hiccups that tend to materialize during large enterprise software installations.
Even the linemen mobile application release process, which can sometimes create internal resistance, happened without incident, as field workers embraced on-the-go OMS access and the powerful mapping and work order management capabilities that came with it.
“They are frequent to respond to any issues we may have and always willing to look for solutions or help out in any way they can.”
Anna Wallace, Information Technology Manager, Wise Electric
The operational impact of this multiyear implementation effort was significant. Members gained control of their accounts first via the telephonic customer service solution and then the mobile application. Wise Electric saw benefits too as its call volumes decreased following the introduction of these two modules. The OMS solution amplified this boost in backend efficiency by lending dispatchers and managers access to accurate, real-time insights and reliable internal and external distribution channels. Instead of calling into the electric company to check on outage statuses, members could simply check the customer application. Field crews took advantage of similar capabilities through the linemen mobile application, where they could view and manipulate up-to-date work orders, something they struggled to do with the previous paper-based approach. The WFM system played a big part here, as well, as the platform streamlined work order processing operations and helped ensure all completed paperwork returned to headquarters for filing. Together, the OMS and WFM solutions led to a 50% decline in radio communication, giving linemen and office staff the power to connect seamlessly.
In addition to benefiting from advanced utility technology, Wise Electric gained a responsive operational partner in DataVoice.
As Wallace explained, “They are frequent to respond to any issues we may have and always willing to look for solutions or help out in any way they can.”