United Water received the national CS Week and Electric Light & Power 2012 Expanding Excellence Award after “far exceeding the ingenuity, success and commitment” envisioned to deserve the win in the “Best CIS Implementation, Class Level I” category.
United Water completed the complex $40 million project to replace its 27-year-old legacy customer care and billing system under schedule and $500,000 under budget. According to industry data, only two percent of such projects undertaken achieve that level of performance. Every penny was reconciled in the transfer of customer billing data that totaled more than $56 million.
With the new system, customer service levels are improved. Many manual processes are now automated, making for timely customer communication on issues that may impact billing and water quality. “We were successful because we selected the best and the brightest for the team,” said Bob Iacullo, president of United Water. “The team was resilient, focused on clear goals, nimble enough to deal with unplanned challenges and every time rose to the occasion.” Iacullo said there was clear alignment across the business leadership and a comprehensive communications program to usher in the changes and train 400 customer service team users.
Dubbed ‘Project Lighthouse’ the innovative program, completed in 24 months, involved a broad cross-business and cross-functional team. They were supported by Oracle, which provided its CC&B product, and Accenture, who acted as the integrator.
An unusual added layer of complexity came from the fact that the system had to accommodate eight separate billing protocols for eight different states while still retaining common processes for United Water’s customer service teams. Change to the CIS system also involved interface changes to more than 20 other United Water operated systems.
“We have great people who care about customers and this amazing new technology will help them drive better levels of service,” said Iacullo.
About United Water
United Water is one of the nation’s leading environmental companies, providing water and wastewater services to approximately 5.7 million people in the United States. In addition to owning and operating 20 water utilities, the company operates 100 municipal and industrial water and wastewater systems through innovative public-private partnerships and contract agreements. Founded in 1869, United Water is a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT.
About SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT
Natural resources are not infinite. Each day, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT (Paris: SEV, Brussels: SEVB) and its subsidiaries deal with the challenge of protecting resources by providing innovative solutions to industries and to millions of people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT supplies drinking water to 91 million people, provides wastewater treatment services for 63 million people and collects the waste produced by close to 57 million people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has 80,410 employees and, with its presence on a global scale, is a world leader exclusively dedicated to environmental services. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, a 35.7% GDF SUEZ affiliate, reported sales turnover of 14.8 billion Euros ($18.8 billion USD) at the end of financial year 2011.