Sudbury, Ontario. April 3, 2003
Greater Sudbury Hydro is pleased to report that it has normalized all aspects of its billing, meeting the challenges of the Ontario deregulated marketplace. Both retailer and standard supply billing are on schedule and Greater Sudbury Hydro is moving into a process of reducing costs and streamlining business procedures.
"Fifteen months ago we made a decision to engage Advanced Utility Systems to replace our existing HTE Software billing application. That decision is now beginning to pay dividends," said Stan Pawlowicz, Manager of Finance at Greater Sudbury Hydro. "Advanced's CIS Infinity billing solution handles all elements of the deregulation puzzle with automated EBT and STR management, Retail Settlement and enrollment functionality that requires no user intervention. We are looking forward to using the robust nature of the software to help expand our business."
Aside from the deregulation functionality CIS Infinity is a fast and powerful application. "Recently we were able to process over 22,000 bills in under three days," reported Frank Kallonen, Director of IT for Greater Sudbury Hydro. "This billing was made up of combined retailer bills and standard service bills. What is most significant for us from a cost perspective is that we were able to accomplish this with only three billing clerks. In fact, throughout the deregulation process we have not had to increase our staffing complement."
As part of the move to control costs, Greater Sudbury Hydro has taken full advantage of the automated enrollment functionality of CIS Infinity's EBT Manager. "EBT and STR management has no cost impact for Greater Sudbury Hydro," explained Kallonen. "The EBT Manager is built into the application and support is covered by our regular software maintenance fee. An added bonus is that Advanced has completed the programming for EBT Standards Version 2.2 - and I can sleep at night knowing that it is being taken care of." Some other utilities have to pay a fee for every EBT processed by their third party "spoke" software in addition to license and programming fees.
Retail and Wholesale Settlement that is embedded into CIS Infinity has also served to limit costs for Greater Sudbury Hydro. "With CIS Infinity we have saved tremendously by using the built in Settlement component. I know that other utilities have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on settlement software plus ongoing maintenance and programming fees. This is a cost that we have completely bypassed by using CIS Infinity", said Greater Sudbury Hydro CEO Doug Reeves. "Support and maintenance of the Settlement module are a part of CIS Infinity's base maintenance fee - something I am very pleased to point out to my Board."
Another critical area of cost savings has been Greater Sudbury's move to a Windows NT platform. Servers and workstations acquired for CIS Infinity were a fifth of the cost of an upgrade to IBM's AS 400 or a comparable UNIX server. As well, the NT servers have minimal annual maintenance charges by comparison to an AS 400 or UNIX server.
With operations beginning to settle down post market opening, Greater Sudbury Hydro is looking to aggressively expand its service offerings. Doug Reeves added, "Our commitment to our customers in the Greater Sudbury area has never been higher. As we automate more of our business processes using CIS Infinity, we will re-deploy staff to direct customer service responsibilities. We are in an excellent position to expand our customer base and are ready to take on the challenges facing the electricity market in Ontario."
Aside from other Electric Customers, Greater Sudbury is actively looking at working with the City of Sudbury to save costs in the area of water billing. This would be achieved by combining the billing of the 66,000 water customers in the Greater Sudbury area with the current Electric bills.
About Greater Sudbury Hydro: Greater Sudbury Hydro provides electricity to 43,000 electricity users in the Greater Sudbury service territory.
For additional information contact:
Peter Fanous, General Manager
Advanced Utility Systems, a division of N. Harris Computer Corporation
(888) 355-7772 x231
About Advanced and Harris:
Advanced is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris Computer Systems that provides
Customer Information and Billing solutions exclusively to utilities and municipalities. Harris is a leading provider of financial
management and Customer Information Systems (CIS) software solutions.
Since 1976, Harris has focused on providing feature-rich and robust
turnkey solutions to all levels of local government as well as public
power and water markets throughout North America. Harris' focus is on
creating long-term relationships with our customers and ensuring that we
meet the changing needs of our customers over time. For further
information on Harris Computer Systems, please visit our website at
http://www.Harriscomputer.com, or call 888-847-7747.
For more information on Advanced and CIS Infinity ® please contact us at www.advancedutility.com/contact.asp
Northern Kentucky Water District:
"Our customers needed a seamless upgrade. We had more confidence in the Advanced strategy than any other vendor's -- their implementation and conversion process were designed to flex for a unique situation like ours."
City of Bellevue:
"Throughout the 10-month conversion and implementation project, Advanced brought excellent people to the table, and we've arrived at the end of the project with all our requirements met."