14 October 2008: There were toasts aplenty recently at a special gathering in Gisborne to celebrate Eastland Network’s 20 year partnership with Gentrack.
Eastland Network Business Services Manager Bruce Easton, remembers making the original decision to select Gentrack to take care of the company’s complex network billing, based on Gentrack’s agility and ability to adapt to meet the changing market requirements. While the decision was seen as a brave one given Gentrack was a relatively new software company at the time, Eastland Network was at the leading edge with early development of Gentrack’s specialist Network Billing Solution. Although there was a lot of testing to be done in the early stages, the only time the system ever went down was in the first few months of operations. And Gentrack had that problem fixed very quickly with a chartered plane full of its software and industry experts to get the system back on its feet.
The two companies have worked closely together ever since and have been through various industry changes including the deregulation of the New Zealand electricity market in the 1990s and the recent global reconciliation changes implemented by the Electricity Commission. Deregulation transformed the Poverty Bay Electric Power Board into Eastland Network and changed the company’s software requirements from a fully integrated package for retail electricity sales to a specialised electricity network solution. The flexibility and configurability of the Gentrack system enabled this transition to happen with ease.
With over 26,000 connections in the Gisborne and Wairoa regions and a complex tariff system, Eastland Network relies on Gentrack to take care of importing meter data from retailers, uploading that information into the database and handling a myriad of complex calculations. The process involves millions of transactions and it is very important to have the system running correctly. “They [Gentrack] really do provide excellent management reporting tools and their robustness is certainly a key strength,” commented Mr Easton. “We simply couldn’t function without it”.