Wed 08 Jul 2009

Utility software vendor launches Gentrack Velocity to transform the customer experience

8 July 2009: Following the successful delivery of utility software solutions to energy and water utilities throughout Australasia, Gentrack is pleased to announce the UK launch of Gentrack Velocity to enable utilities to transform the customer experience.

The launch of Gentrack Velocity follows the completion of two significant energy and water utility IT projects at Horizon Power and North East Water in Australia – one of the world’s most active utilities markets. These two projects are part of a chain of recent successful Gentrack projects in the energy and water industries, further strengthening Gentrack’s position as a leading specialist provider of solutions for utilities. Gentrack’s utility billing and CRM solution provides the technology platform utilities require to implement a variety of complex tariffs and innovative customer management strategies, while also running automated system processes for effective debt collection and asset tracking.

Eamonn Tobin, Executive Manager of Information Systems at North East Water said, “We wanted a solution that would allow us to deliver on our current commitments to customers and enable us to engage them in a totally professional manner, providing them with a better experience each time they contact us. The implementation of Gentrack Velocity has enabled us to follow our strategic IT path and move to a strong, modern technology platform.”

North East Water has used Gentrack solutions since 1996, deploying the Gentrack water billing and customer care platform amid the restructure of the Victorian water industry. An ever increasing focus on water sustainability and cost reflective pricing since has driven many councils and water utilities to review aging systems and IT requirements to prepare for new market structures and the demands made by regulators and customers alike.

Tobin continued, “The upgrade has been quite significant for North East Water and has allowed us to refine our business processes and look to maximise the capabilities of the new system to support the future of our business. At this early stage we are already seeing greater operational efficiency in our call centre, and we foresee greater savings from reduced system maintenance and training.”

Changes within water markets worldwide are expected with the planned consolidation of water retailers and distributors throughout Tasmania and Queensland in Australia before the end of 2010, and the introduction of new metering technologies in much of the UK. These are changes Gentrack CEO James Docking says, the company is well equipped to support.

“The capabilities of Gentrack’s latest billing, CRM and credit management solution provides the agility energy and water utilities need to adapt to changing market requirements. Our goal is to provide market regulators and utilities with the confidence that new market structures and metering technologies such as those being considered in the UK can easily be supported by specialist solutions such as Gentrack Velocity.”

Horizon Power, an energy retailer with over 40,000 customers, has also recently completed an implementation of Gentrack Velocity in what Managing Director Rod Hayes called “a stunningly successful project”.

“We needed a solution that enabled Horizon to deliver increasingly responsive services to our diverse customer base. And our goal has been to ensure that our service provision to these customers can be professionally engaged and remains agile. I am thrilled with the go live of our new customer information and billing system and more importantly the commencement of two very key relationships with Gentrack and Serviceworks.”

An assessment of the market resulted in the subsequent selection and announcement of Gentrack as the solution provider of choice, with its flagship product Gentrack Velocity to be implemented to manage billing, customer signup, customer care, credit and collections and market messaging.

“These projects are never easy,” said Mr Hayes. “We threw a number of curve balls at the team who responded every time. The work put in by the Gentrack team to give us the system that will support our business for years to come has been fantastic.”

The release of Gentrack Velocity at North East Water and Horizon Power provides both utilities with access to tools for new levels of system process configuration and automation – a prospect many utilities will welcome as operational cost reductions and efficiency become a prime source of improved profitability.

“We are in the game of delivering real value for money to utility companies through taking responsibility for the end-to-end software supply chain” Docking continued. “That means we rely on our own expertise to empower customers in Australia and the UK in the midst of market and business change – without using system integrators and consultants that can add unnecessary risk, cost and time to projects. Our business model will deliver real value to utilities in the UK, with low risk and at a competitive price.”