T&D World Magazine

EUCG Launches IT Benchmarking, Best Practices Group to Serve Electric Utilities

EUCG has formed an organizational sub-group dedicated to serving information technology (IT) professionals in the energy industry. EUCG is a global association of energy and electric utility professionals who discuss current and emerging industry issues, share best practices and exchange data for benchmarking purposes.

"Our new Information Technology Committee fulfills a long-awaited request from several of our members to carve out the role of IT and explore its benchmarking implications," said Stephen J. Saunders, EUCG president, of the Tennessee Valley Authority. "The committee's objective is simple: to enable more-informed information technology business decisions that are based on relevant and timely information. We will accomplish this by providing structured benchmarking comparisons, sharing best practices, and a forum to access other industry participants."

EUCG began investigating the viability of developing this group two years ago. A group of interested parties met at the organization's fall 2005 conference in Boston to finalize plans.

"The response has been overwhelming, to say the least," said Blake Rothfuss, IT portfolio manager for Pacific Gas and Electric, who is one of several utility professionals who have participated in planning and development of the committee. "An IT benchmarking group conceived by industry professionals and run by these same folks expands on a niche that has been underserved in the energy industry for decades."

The demand for quality IT benchmarking information continues to increase, said George Sharp, EUCG national marketing director, of American Electric Power. "Utilities are demanding higher technology service levels, unprecedented business-technology integration and lower operating costs. Few forums provide ongoing opportunities for utility IT organizations to discuss emerging technologies, best practices, service delivery models, benchmarking and analysis, and business-technology integration. EUCG will provide such a forum."

The IT and other EUCG committees will hold their next meeting during the EUCG's Spring 2006 conference, which will be held March 26-29 in Anaheim, California. Participants will help determine the short- and long-term direction of the IT committee, said Rothfuss. "We intend to manage the IT Committee as an ongoing grassroots effort. The EUCG IT Committee will reflect the wants, needs and issues of its utility members."

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