Mobile apps are everywhere nowadays, including one-fifth of stateside utilities. Why? These digital tools benefit pretty much everyone involved in the power generation and consumption equation. They help utility managers and dispatchers understand what is happening in the field, empower linemen and seamlessly keep customers in the loop.
Here at DataVoice International, we provide mobile apps for utility companies that support all-encompassing progress of this kind. Our on-the-go solutions are designed to meet members’ and utility professionals’ needs.
Modern members spend considerable time navigating the mobile ecosystem — more than 80% own smartphones and devote around three hours per day to perusing apps. This collective love for everything mobile has translated to the utility realm, as almost half of all members nationwide want their power providers to offer apps with expansive communication capabilities and account management features.
The DataVoice Powerpal mobile app boasts these functionalities and more. Members can easily access key account information, make payments, report outages and view proactive alerts, negating the need for time-consuming back-and-forths with call center personnel.
With Powerpal in hand, today’s technology-savvy members can get the information they need and connect with utilities around-the-clock, even during outage events. This is the exact situation that unfolded for the Wise Electric Company in North Central Texas after it implemented the Powerpal app. WISEEC members embraced the mobile solution and call center volumes promptly declined.
Utility managers often find themselves metaphorically wedged between rocks and hard places — they have to make mission-critical outage management decisions but must do so from behind desks with little real field visibility. Despite access to data generated by advanced metering infrastructure, including 78 million residential and commercial smart meters, these utility leaders struggle to get clear pictures of their T&D systems.
The DataVoice Manager App lends utility supervisors the operational clarity they require through various real-time oversight features. Users can view data-rich outage maps that leverage the power of Google Maps and our sector-leading outage management system to display conditions as they are on the ground. They can also add live weather radar to outage maps and use Google Maps’ Street View feature to inspect T&D equipment. The mobile app integrates with our automatic vehicle location system as well, allowing utility managers to monitor field crews and direct them as needed.
The modules included in the Manager App make it possible for utility supervisors to plan and manage the execution of key field activities with higher degrees of certainty. This is the experience the manager in charge of utility operations for Apex, North Carolina had post implementation. The solution, combined with the DataVoice OMS, gave her access to the tools she needed to coordinate field teams and meet her members’ needs.
Seasoned and skilled linemen are the lifeblood of utility operations. These men and women consistently brave dangerous conditions — the lineman profession routinely ranks among the most hazardous jobs — to ensure their fellow community members can switch on the lights whenever they want. Supporting and protecting linemen is therefore an imperative for most utilities.
The DataVoice Lineman App allows power providers to execute this essential function through a number of on-the-go features. First and foremost, the solution harnesses the same outage mapping technology that underpins the Manager App to provide linemen with real-time insights delivered via easy-to-digest visual interfaces. These maps not only streamline outage management activities but can also be expanded to ease various non-emergency field functions, including:
- Asset collection and inspection
- Damage assessment
- Meter auditing
- Vegetation management
And in addition to improving field efficiency, the DataVoice mobile solutions simplify administrative workflows by giving field crew members access to service ticket, inspection request and work order management tools that negate the need for paper-based backend processes. The system also integrates with the Manager App and DataVoice AVL technology, ensuring that utility managers can keep watch over linemen as they navigate potentially fraught situations.
Together, these features make the Lineman App the ideal digital tool for utilities looking to support their field crews and boost operational efficiency and effectiveness. At least this is what the Electric Division of the City of Gastonia, North Carolina, discovered after it implemented the app. The city’s linemen embraced the solution almost immediately and integrated it into their everyday workflows to such an extent that they began asking management for new modules. This widespread embrace of the Lineman App led to a decrease in restoration times.
Exploring the DataVoice mobile suite
The apps in the DataVoice mobile suite, while tailored to specific users, as discussed above, boast some common features and specifications that lay the foundation to facilitate optimal deployability and functionality. These include:
- Android and iOS compatibility
- Off-line mode support
These foundational components make our mobile solutions ideal for utilities intent on implementing technically-sound apps that hold up under the weight of high-bandwidth user groups. Powerpal, the Manager App and the Lineman App also benefit from their respective connections to the larger DataVoice solution set.
Our OMS solution buttresses the entire suite, generating real-time insights that propel efficient and effective utility operations. The DataVoice interactive voice response tool streamlines member service operations, giving utilities the power to redirect callers to automated messages that give them the up-to-date information they need. Our custom GIS models, which work for AutoCAD, EA, ESRI and MicroStation data, make it easy for utilities to integrate DataVoice products into their existing geolocation frameworks. And our workforce management app lends utility managers the coordination features they need to keep field workflows running smoothly in all situations.
There are many mobile apps for utility companies available today due to the emergence and advancement of mobile technology. However, few of these solutions benefit utilities, their employees and the members they serve quite like the apps in the DataVoice mobile suite.
Interested in learning more about our mobile apps for utility companies? Email or call us at 888-328-2864 to learn more.
Interested in learning more about our mobile application suite? Email or call us at 888-328-2864 to learn more.