February 11, 2015

Bits & Bytes – First Quarter, 2015

SEDC to Introduce New IVR Solution in Early 2015

New “Hardware Independent” Option Eliminates Excessive Costs and Overhead of Traditional IVR

Imagine being able to deploy one of the most modern Interactive Voice Response platforms on the market, without having to spend any money upfront for hardware components or server licenses. Imagine coming to work on Monday and deciding to offer IVR options to your consumers, and then offering those options by Friday. With our new IVR solution, you can.

IVR Without the Hassle. No hardware to purchase, no infrastructure to maintain, and no long term commitments. Instead of paying a set fee every month, regardless of the amount of “traffic,” you’ll pay for actual usage – at a rate that is significantly lower than most IVR services.

No Busy Signal. SaaS, or “Software as a Service,” means your IVR service will scale to your needs, ensuring you can handle any amount of voice traffic with no delay, no dropped calls, and no busy signal. Your customers won’t notice, but that’s the point!

Voice to Text. Revolutionary. Give your customers the option of interacting with your IVR system via text, using the same prompts, questions and options as the voice option. And every interaction is safe and secure, protecting your customer’s information with SSL encryption.

Taking Customer Communications to a New Level. UPN’s AutoCue IVR is available as a singular UPN module or as a part of the entire suite of newAutoCue Customer Communication Solutions available in early 2015.

For more information about AutoCue, email [email protected].

AutoCue Customer Communications Solutions

Communicating with your consumers is critical to your day-to-day operations. With the abundance of free distribution channels available to us today, that communication should be easier and faster, right? Not necessarily. The “free” option isn’t always the most reliable option, and reliability is just as crucial as keeping your expenses under control.

Is there a solution that reliably delivers your messages to your consumers and keeps your costs down? Yes. The tools in the AutoCue communications suite.

More Data Means More Communication. The volume of alerts and notifications has grown exponentially with the growth of new service technologies, including Prepaid Metering, Meter Data Management, and Outage Management. You need a dependable delivery channel for updates on usage, available balances, payments, outages and restorations. With AutoCue’s premium notification channels, you can be assured that your emails, text messages and voice alerts are delivered – not blocked as spam.

The Spam-Fighting Power of Short Codes. SMS (Short Message Service) text messages sent through “free” services can be blocked by phone service providers as spam just as easily as email messages. And once your text messages are “blacklisted,” you might as well not even bother sending them. With AutoCue, text notifications to your consumers will be delivered using a “short code” that can be verified and authenticated as legitimate by all cell phone carriers. The delivery and receipt of your SMS text messages is assured.

Voice Alerts That Get Your Message Across. Would you like to have a dedicated resource that dials up your consumer, realizes the difference between voice mail and an actual person answering, and then waits until the right moment (“beeeep…”) to leave your critical notifications? AutoCue’s Voice Alerts option does exactly that. When the consumer answers the call, AutoCue will deliver your message clearly. When voice mail picks up, AutoCue will wait until the beep to leave the message, ensuring the consumer hears the entire notification and not just the last three words. When there’s a busy signal, AutoCue will put the number back in the queue and call back later. Automatically.

For more information about AutoCue, email [email protected].

CEO Summit to Be Held in Boston in August

August 9 – 12, 2015 – Boston Marriott Long Wharf, Boston, MA

General Managers and CEOs, along with Key Staff, are invited to attend our CEO Summit August 9 – 12, 2015, in Boston.

Former White House CIO to Deliver Keynote Theresa Payton, former White House CIO, cybersecurity authority and expert on identity theft, will open the Summit with a keynote and Q&A session on protecting and securing your data.

The specter of a massive cyberattack is the most urgent concern confronting the nation’s information technology infrastructure today, an issue Theresa Payton understands better than anyone. Through the lens of years of experience in high-level private and public IT leadership roles, Payton delivers sought-after solutions that strengthen cybersecurity measures and neutralize e-crime offenders.

Payton is one of America’s most respected authorities on Internet security, net crime, fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. As White House Chief Information Officer from 2006 to 2008 — the first woman ever to hold that position — she administered the information technology enterprise for the President and 3,000 staff members. Prior to working in federal government, Payton held executive roles in banking technology at Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

Agenda and Accommodations The full agenda for the CEO Summit will be available this Spring.

There is no fee to attend the Summit. Please register today to confirm your attendance.

Host Hotel:
Boston Marriott Long Wharf
296 State Street
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 227-0800
Visit the hotel’s dedicated booking page to take advantage of the discounted conference rate.

Big Headaches from Big Data? You Need a Big Solution.

ReportIQ Delivers Dynamic Visual Reporting and Granular Analytics

Forget dashboards. Big data needs a bigger solution, and our new ReportIQ analytics platform brings exactly what you need: intelligent reports that allow you to dig deep into your data to truly capitalize on the information available. Most importantly, ReportIQ shows you the data in a manner that is easy to understand and fast to generate.

With an entire library of stock analytics, ReportIQ can generate on-the-fly reports to address a wide range of your business requirements, with just a couple of clicks. Want to see segments of that data? Click and isolate the information you need. Click again to segment further. It’s the power of the click, and ReportIQ responds.

The ReportIQ platform goes beyond the standard reporting library, offering you the flexibility to create your own custom analytics and gather the data exactly the way you want to see it, giving you virtually unlimited options. It’s easy to learn and easy to use, and it’s faster than any reporting tool you’ve used in the past. ReportIQ leverages technology that can help you see patterns, identify trends, and discover visual insights in seconds.

ReportIQ is launching at a select group of utilities this spring, and we’ll be demonstrating the capabilities at our User Conference in June. For those of you who rely on analytics and need to get the most out of your data, we’ll be offering some hands-on time with ReportIQ at UC2015. Plan to join us at the conference where we’ll introduce you to the fastest, most intuitive analytics platform available to the utility market – ReportIQ.

Mobile Internet Access Has Exceeded Desktop Internet Usage

Are You Meeting Your Consumers’ Expectations for Mobile Account Access?

Last year marked a turning point in our internet usage. January 2014 marked the first time that we spent more time on the internet on our mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) than on our personal computers.

As a consumer, you’re probably shaking your head in agreement: “Yes, I shop online on my phone during lunch…” But are you applying this knowledge to the way you support your utility’s customers? Are you providing them with the online account management tools they need and want?

Today’s consumers expect to complete nearly all of their “business” online, whether that means downloading an electronic bill and making a payment or viewing usage history, managing their prepaid balance or reporting an outage. Complete online service includes all of this plus some – custom forms for new service applications, bank drafts, and autopay; mobile apps that allow complete account profile management, accept one-time and scheduled payments, and even show real time outage information; and in some cases, online chat with a support representative.

If you’re not sure your utility is delivering the maximum support for these consumers who prefer to connect with you via their mobile device, contact a Business Development Team Member and we’ll be happy to go over the options with you:

Chrisie Holland [email protected]
Mark Smith [email protected]
Jim Burress [email protected]

Do You Use Any of These Paper Forms? Convert to Online Forms & Integrate with UPN

Any hardcopy form can be converted into a Custom Form that integrates directly with UPN in Consumer Accounting, General Accounting, and Capital Credits. These are a few of the forms we’ve already converted – and customized – for individual utilities:

  • Application for Service
  • Membership Card
  • Bank Draft
  • Deposit Certificate
  • Security Light Addendum
  • Name Change
  • Easement
  • Levelized Billing
  • Hold Harmless
  • Release Form
  • Guaranty Agreement
  • Collection Procedure
  • Alternate Payment Program
  • Delayed Payment Agreement
  • Register Elderly/Handicap
  • Extension Agreement
  • CC Draft Authorization
  • CC Draft Termination
  • Bank Draft Termination
  • Prepaid Service Agreement
  • Pay-Your-Way Form
  • Application for OL Service
  • Return Check Letter
  • Verification of Service
  • Requirements for New Service
  • Requirements to Restore Service
  • Selective Due Date
  • Rental Receipt
  • Completed Service Order

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