Fri 24 May 2013

Next Gen Prepay and Trade Waste Software Launched by Gentrack

Gentrack, a specialist developer of software for energy and water utilities announced today its latest release of Gentrack Velocity with full support for prepayment billing and trade waste workflow management.

An extensive R&D program has seen the release of a Gentrack Velocity billing and CRM system, boasting a set of specialist tools to support ‘system based’ prepayment and trade waste management for utilities across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. A resurgence in prepay electricity as an effective credit management tool is leading many energy utilities to innovate their back office billing systems and metering technologies, a trend Gentrack CEO James Docking says includes shifting the ‘smarts’ from the meters to back office software platforms such as Velocity.

“A fundamental benefit of Velocity’s billing engine is its ability to support both credit and prepay billing terms for utilities.  Moving the prepay smarts from the meter itself, and managing all prepay processes within Velocity means that utilities can easily switch customers and properties between both forms of payment while also updating prepay tariffs without having to physically swap meters or download software updates to the meter.”

Designed to streamline prepay billing activities, utilities can effectively manage prepay credit and historical debt collection in the one system. Utilising web services within Velocity, utilities can receipt ‘real-time’ recharge transactions from Agents or a self-service portal, before sending recharge confirmation to customers via the smart meter, in-home display, web portal and/or mobile smart devices. Utilities can also collect historical debt from customers according to local debt management regulations.

“We’re seeing a number of our utility customers investing significantly in smart metering and communications networks. The latest release of Velocity leverages these technologies, supporting collection of interval and meter event data for prepayment billing and customer communications. Where other prepay systems are built to support token and card based prepay meters, Velocity is designed to support the next generation of ‘smart prepay’ with utilities leveraging their investment in smart meters.”

In addition to Velocity’s latest prepay capabilities, Gentrack’s R&D programme has also delivered a set of tools to support trade waste management activities for water utilities.  Gentrack’s involvement in OzWater, the Australian Water Association’s annual trade show and conference, highlighted demand for a modern trade waste management system to replace manual processes and disparate legacy systems currently used to manage trade waste compliance and contaminant billing.

“With the growing complexity and risk of trade waste contaminants,” continued Docking, “we recognised an opportunity to extend Velocity’s billing, CRM and workflow management capabilities to enable water utilities to proactively manage trade waste sampling and certification processes. We’ve also extended Velocity’s CRM capabilities to support customer communications regarding compliance breaches and permit renewals as water utilities look to balance the environmental impacts of trade waste within their catchments.”

Gentrack has continued its success in Australia and the UK, with Velocity recently selected for implementation by a number of energy and water utilities. Docking puts the success down to its specialist utility billing and CRM offering, and value based positioning against other ERP providers in the market.

“Our objective is to deliver great value to utilities. We achieve this through consistent product R&D and by delivering a specialist product designed to support the modernisation of utilities in our core markets. Continued product R&D driven by our customers and our focus on specialist capabilities ensures the solutions we are delivering are fit for purpose and support utilities into the future.”

Gentrack software is used in over 50 utilities and 100 airports worldwide including Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy, Origin Energy, ActewAGL and International Airports in Sydney, Melbourne, New York and Dublin. Established over 25 years ago the business has experienced significant growth since deregulation of the energy sectors in New Zealand and Australia, commercialisation of water in Australia and the UK, and growing investment of airports globally in airport productivity, efficiency and revenue management.