T&D World Magazine

Vertex Business Services Launches Customer Management System

Vertex Business Services has announced the availability of CIS Ecosystem Solutions, the company’s new customer management solution. CIS Ecosystem is now available for electric, gas and water utility companies in North America, and enables utilities to meet the needs of a rapidly changing customer management landscape without the need for a full-scale CIS replacement. Vertex will deliver this solution to clients using their delivery model of choice, whether as a project, managed service, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud.

Vertex’s CIS Ecosystem applications extend both the front office and back office capabilities of legacy CIS systems. All applications are modular by design and adhere to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles, speeding the time and lowering the costs of integration into a utility company’s existing legacy CIS. Vertex CIS Ecosystem applications include:

  • Vertex Advanced Rating Suite – Extends back office capabilities and performs near real-time calculations needed to support usage thresholds, demand management programs and other non-billing needs. It also enables rates and programs not supported by legacy CIS’s.
  • Vertex Self-Service Suite – Extends front office systems and provides a convenient way for end-use customers to contact their utility and securely manage their accounts.

The availability of Vertex’s CIS Ecosystem is an answer to rapid and unprecedented transformation affecting utility customer management. Smart grid implementation, underway in many utilities in North America, will require a focus on the end-use customer experience, and more complex rating structures and measurement cycles. In addition, utility budgets are under significant pressure as a result of the large investments in infrastructure, smart grid, energy efficiency programs, etc. – leaving limited capital dollars to do a traditional CIS replacement.

Vertex’s new Silver Cloud Architectural Framework is the foundation of CIS Ecosystem Solutions and a key differentiator from solutions offered by other CIS providers. The SOA framework is designed to allow retention of a core legacy CIS while enhancing the system’s capabilities through Vertex and third-party applications. This approach provides utilities with best-of-breed modular capabilities, quick-to-market implementation of new customer management capabilities, and future-proof application design and integration using SOA principles and framework.

The Silver Cloud Architectural Framework also serves as a gateway to advanced delivery options, including:

  • Client hosted – Vertex offers CIS Ecosystem solutions in a licensed delivery model or as a managed service in partnership with utilities.
  • Vertex hosted - For utilities seeking an outsourced solution, Vertex supports the CIS Ecosystem solutions as a managed service within a Vertex data center, as well as SaaS in the cloud for more flexible and cost-effective outsourcing. SaaS allows utilities to pay for CIS functionality on a recurring services fee basis without managing a static and dedicated infrastructure.

Each CIS Ecosystem solution is underpinned by Vertex’s system implementation and application management capabilities and utility domain knowledge and expertise. Further, Vertex offers a range of consulting and analytics services to help utilities assess their customer management and CIS needs, formulate an effective strategy, and efficiently implement and operate a CIS Ecosystem solution.

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