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Leveraging The True Value Of Legacy Customer Information Systems

Wednesday, 09 January 2019  
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For many years, customer information systems (CIS) have been at the heart of utility operations and the principal system of record for customer data and transactions. Long before regulators introduced concepts of separation, unbundling or sought to inject choice and competition in the energy retail markets, utilities have relied on their CIS, developed for the most part as proprietary solutions, as the principal source for customer data. For many utilities, the CIS is a heavily customized, largely isolated system, built initially to accommodate customer billing information. Many customer information systems were purpose built – designed to be a workhorse for account information and billing calculations. CIS applications were not built with continuous, multi-channel customer service and the robust functionality and agility requirements for contact center interface in mind.

Today utilities find themselves facing an important dilemma. Does the utility incur the significant risk, time and cost of replacing its CIS application to better address front office needs – or is there a way to introduce significant improvements in functionality and operations while delivering on ever changing, market-driven needs. When faced with the current economic difficulties and the need to carefully manage significant capital investments, the correct system change decision becomes critical.

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