Utility executives from across the country joined SEDC in Boston last week to learn how they can both protect and advance their utilities and their operations. Keynote speaker Theresa Payton, former White House CIO, opened the conference with a lively discussion of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and how utilities can reduce their risk through a combination of employee education and IT know-how. Curtis Wynn, CEO at Roanoke Electric Cooperative in North Carolina, discussed the importance of innovation for today’s utilities and the need for electric utilities to continually seek out and employ technologies that can make them more productive, more efficient, and more effective at their core mission – delivering safe, reliable service to their consumers.
Addressing customer service, Jimmy Autry, Sr VP of Member Services for Flint Energies in Georgia, discussed the necessity of offering consumers the tools they expect – accessible customer service options, convenient payment options, automated notifications and alerts, and of course mobile apps for their smart devices. In discussing the ever-growing trend toward customer self-service, Autry noted that prepaid metering has become a staple in Flint’s arsenal of customer service tools, allowing consumers of all socio-economic backgrounds to choose how and when they pay for their electric usage. For these consumers, payment mobility is key – whether that mobility comes from a mobile app on their phone or from a payment kiosk that’s accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Summit was further augmented with presentations of new and emerging products from SEDC, such as our new AutoCue Customer Communications Suite (including hardware-independant IVR), CatalystIQ analytics platform, and our industry-leading automated Business Rules Engine.
We appreciate all who attended and provided their input and feedback on our development plans, and we look forward to delivering even greater innovation in the coming year leading up to Summit 2016.