March 19, 2023 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Systems & Software (S&S) is pleased to announce that Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCVWA), in Santa Clarita, California, recently went live with enQuesta V6 in the cloud along with several strategic edge systems. SCVWA serves a population of over 285,000 and over 75,000-meter connections.
This project was unique from the onset. It represented the final steps in a complex merger of three water retailers that became one regional water supplier on January 1, 2018. The project reached well beyond the scope of a CIS replacement. SCVWA implemented S&S’ enQuesta V6 CIS platform to replace older, outdated systems across each organization. The leadership team built a precise and strategic approach that yielded the results they were planning for. The upgrade impacted the IVR phone systems, workforce management procedures, business operating policies, multiple billing rates & cycle impacts, and even changes to the physical office locations for all staff. The commitment, foresight, and planning put into this upgrade were kicked off back in 2019. The leadership team aligned on the strategy, primarily focusing on the people – both staff and their customers. They started with the end goal of improving the end-to-end customer experience and created a collaborative and conducive environment for success beginning on day 1.
The simultaneous implementations and integrations between all three(3) organizations were delivered on time and on budget without a single day of slippage. The teams also needed to consider multiple state laws related to billing rates and notify customers of these changes. There wasn’t a playbook written that provided the teams with engagement rules about how they notify customers with different rates, billing dates, and commodities. All parties accomplished this by coming together, executing a plan, and utilizing the feature set of a truly robust, cloud-hosted billing system. For example, providing all customers the ability to pay their bills seamlessly and effortlessly when you have multiple billing rates, bill dates, cycles, and commodities is truly a successful feat. The teams worked diligently to ensure success at every turn. Every employee, from the executive leadership team through to the front-line employees and support staff, played a vital role in improving the customer experience & billing services. The teams at S&S and SCVWA wish to thank their employees for their commitment and dedication to making this project a success. They also want to extend their appreciation to their customers for their patience through the changes.
MORE THAN A CIS PROJECT
In addition to the CIS implementation, the combined teams from SCVWA and S&S simultaneously: Implemented the Capricorn customer self-service (CSS) portal to offer online payment and account information/management; previously, NorthStar customers didn’t have access to a CSS tool
Integrated enQuestaLink to manage service orders, a historically manual effort
Moved all proprietary customer data to the online payment provider, Invoice Cloud
Moved customers in the 3 divisions from three separate bills to one standardized bill
Mark Steinbock, Systems & Software’s Project Manager, had this to say when asked about the project “I was extremely impressed with the team at Santa Clarita and how well they worked with us to deliver this multi-faceted project successfully. This is especially impressive when you consider that this was achieved entirely remotely and under the stress of additional regulation and shut-offs because of COVID.”
CELEBRATING EARLY RESULTS
Consolidating systems and customer service departments has streamlined management and boosted morale. Other systems and project benefits include:
enQuestaLink. enQuestaLink has enabled more seamless and better-organized allocation, distribution, and execution of service orders.
Invoice Cloud. Invoice Cloud’s online payment solution has allowed for the removal of sensitive customer information from the CIS system to facilitate regulatory compliance.
Capricorn CSS. With the Capricorn CSS, all customers have access to the same outstanding online self-service portal, reducing call center workloads.
SANTA CLARITA VALLEY WATER AGENCY BENEFITS
“Bringing together multiple legacy organizations with several different systems, technical requirements, business processes and even physical locations certainly offered its challenges. The ability for the leaders from all departments to partner and work seamlessly proved advantageous for this project,” said Kathleen Willson, Customer Service Manager with SCVWA. Willson went on to say “The ability to allow customers to receive accurate bills, based on consumption, regardless of how complex the rates, is a huge advantage to our customers and our teams. The new platform is much more advanced and dynamic, and our teams are able to work more efficiently than in the past”.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR SANTA CLARITA WATER AGENCY?
SCVWA is now working on implementing an MDMS solution with SmartWorks, a Harris Computer Company. Additionally, SCVWA recently launched an AMI Smart Meter changeout project which will provide visibility into Time of Use (TOU) billing, consumption patterns, and efficiency recommendations and increase the customer experience overall.
Based in Winooski, Vermont, S&S is a modern cloud and on-premises CIS and edge system provider that has offered utility companies fully supported, end-to-end solutions since 1973. Like our home state of Vermont, our company is led and supported by people committed to preserving our heritage while advancing our product and enhancing a true customer experience. A culture of authentic hometown approachability includes:
Providing modern technology
Delivering multiple systems at once through seamless integrations
Maintaining product integration
Delivering exemplary implementation and Managed Services
Guiding and supporting utilities on their cloud journey