Avista and Louisville Water Company sweep CS Week Expanding Excellence Awards for Best CIS Implementation

Congratulations to Oracle Utilities' customers Avista and Louisville Water Company, who were honored this morning with 2016 Expanding Excellence Awards for Best CIS Implementation at CS Week in Phoenix.

CS Week's Expanding Excellence Awards are designed to recognize and salute excellence in customer service and honor outstanding contributions and innovations in utility customer service in four award categories: Best Mobility Implementation; Best CIS Implementation; Best Devices, Data and Analytics Project; and Innovation in Customer Service. Awards were presented this morning to one large and one small utility within each category for highly successful projects implemented during 2014-2015. Avista and Louisville Water Company swept the honors for Best CIS Implementation, winning both the large utility category and the small utility category, respectively.

In celebration of the awards, we'd like to share a little bit about each utility's winning CIS project.

Avista, an investor-owned utility headquartered in Spokane, Washington, provides natural gas to 330,000 customers and electricity to 370,000 customers. The utility covers a service territory of more than 30,000 square miles in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. It is an active community partner and takes pride in its environmental stewardship practices. Founded in 1889, Avista has a long legacy of striving for service excellence for its customers, constantly seeking ways to improve delivery and pushing the limits on what it means to be a great utility provider.

So when Avista recognized that transformation within the utility industry would present mounting challenges to that commitment to service excellence, it knew change was necessary. "We needed new systems that could carry Avista into the future while increasing our efficiency and supporting the excellent service our customers expect," explained Vicki Weber, Avista's director of energy delivery business technology.

Avista sought a CIS that would support its needs now and going forward. The utility considered 3,000 functional and technical requirements and 200 business processes during CIS selection. "We limited our requirements by focusing on our true needs and keeping it simple. We made sure to understand the long-term implications of each requirement so that we could select the best CIS to support our long-term success," Weber said. "We selected Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing (CC&B) because it is a utility-friendly system that can support Avista's future, strengthen the customer experience, and increase operating efficiencies while providing new opportunities to build on our excellent customer service reputation."


Louisville Water Company has provided high-quality drinking water to the communities it serves since 1860. The company now provides drinking water to more than 850,000 people in Louisville, Kentucky. Like many utilities, Louisville Water relied on aging systems to manage its customer care and fieldwork activities with limited to no customer self-service capabilities. The utility, known throughout the industry for its high-quality drinking water and engineering innovation, saw an opportunity to increase its customer satisfaction and drive its competitive advantage, and worked with Oracle Utilities Professional Services to transform its business leveraging Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management, and Oracle Utilities Customer Self Service. The overall implementation laid the foundation for Louisville Water to continue enhancing its customer experience with self-service options and a redesigned bill.

"This implementation was the largest technology project in Louisville Water's 155-year history," said Dave Vogel, Louisville Water's vice president of customer service. "Some of the immediate benefits with Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing include significantly cutting down our cancel/rebill process time and the ability to view all customer information within one screen with easily accessible drop-down and search menus. These simple benefits mean we can better serve our customers."

Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management, another component of the implementation, helps Louisville Water to streamline field work processes. For example, the solution identifies the best field service representative available for the field activity and the most cost-effective field resources to complete the action. The solution's daily work auto-assignment feature enables Louisville Water to use minimal manual intervention and provides alerts if overtime is needed based on work that is scheduled and being assigned for the day.

Congratulations to you both!

Congratulations, too, to the following Oracle Utilities customers for their wins and honorable mentions this morning:

  • Alliant Energy (Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing customer): Finalist for Best CIS Implementation, Level 1
  • Duke Energy (Oracle Utilities Outage Management System customer): Winner, Best Mobility Implementation, Level 1.

In other Oracle Utilities CC&B news...

In his blog The Shorten Spot, Anthony Shorten discusses recent performance benchmark test results for Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing v2.5, and provides a link to an Oracle Utilities whitepaper summarizing the results and details of the architecture used.



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