Outage Communications Conference 2014 Insight for Tomorrow’s Utility November 13-14, 2014

Insight for Tomorrow’s Utility
Outage Communications
Conference 2014
November 13-14, 2014
Hyatt Regency San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
Conference Organizer
Insight for Tomorrow’s Utility
Gold Sponsor
Outage Communications Conference 2014
General Information1
Agenda 3
Speakers 6
Key Takeaways
Learn effective customer outreach strategies for planned and unplanned outages
Network with utility professionals responsible for outage communications
Take away best practices from industry leaders
Discover how to deliver the best service in a cost-effective manner
Choose from sessions related to information flow to the utility or to the customer
Topics Chartwell’s Outage Communications Conference will address:
Damage Assessment
Field Communications
Ready Contact Centers
Storm Communications
2014 Chartwell’s Best Practices in Outage Communications Award Winner
Best Practices
And much more!
Who Should Attend?
The Outage Communications Conference content is designed for utility professionals responsible for:
Outage communications
Customer care
Contact centers
Social media
Market research
Customer experience
About Chartwell, Inc.
Based in Atlanta, Chartwell, Inc. is a specialized information provider for the utility industry. We provide
strategic research and facilitate issue-targeted forums for collaboration among industry peers. Our wide
range of services ensures that our members have access to the best, most timely information available
to make their business decisions. For more information visit www.chartwellinc.com.
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Outage Communications Conference 2014
Early Bird (thru Oct. 17)
Regular (Oct. 18 - Nov. 14)
Attendance is limited to utilities only with the exception of vendor sponsors. For more information on
sponsoring, contact: Nancy Brand at (404) 237-9099 ext. 257 or [email protected]
Cancellations and No-Shows
Cancellations received in writing by October 31, 2014 will receive a refund of registration fees, less a $75
processing fee. Cancellations after October 31, 2014 and no-shows will not receive a refund.
Hyatt Regency San Antonio
123 Losoya St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 222-1234
Room Rate: $199 Single/Double plus tax
Chartwell has reserved a room block for conference attendees at specially discounted rates. Call
(210) 222-1234 and mention “Chartwell.” Reservations made after October 13, 2014, or after the room
block is sold out (whichever comes first) will be honored on a space-available basis at the prevailing rate
of the hotel.
*Room rates do not include tax and are subject to availability.
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Outage Communications Conference 2014
The Road to Transformation
In 2005, CenterPoint Energy tasked a small team to
create a vision for the smart grid of the future and
embarked on a journey to make it a reality. From
a 10,000 meter pilot to a now fully implemented
AMI supporting 2.3 million advanced meters with
an extensive communication system, CenterPoint
Energy continues to aggressively pursue their Smart
Grid vision. The company is building on their AMI
investment by implementing Advanced Analytics,
intelligent Equipment Load Management, Power Alert
System, and transformer metering.
The Intelligent Grid (IG) Project is another
component of CenterPoint Energy’s Smart Grid
journey. The IG project integrates smart distribution
sensors, automated field reclosers, integrated
substation intelligence, an upgraded Mobile Data and
new Advanced Distribution Management and Outage
Management systems. This session will describe
CenterPoint Energy’s smart grid journey from
inception to deployment and future considerations.
Presenter: John Slanina, Division Vice President,
Operations Support & Technology, CenterPoint
Best Practices in Outage Communications
This presentation will bring together the results
so far of Chartwell’s Best Practices in Outage
Communications project. The project’s goal is to
establish a set of best practices in the area of outage
communications that are endorsed by Chartwell’s
Outage Communications Research Council and
presented in a quick, user-friendly format. The project
combines case studies, industry and consumer
survey data as well as secondary research in an
effort to help educate regulators and utility managers
about what leading utility companies are doing in
outage communications and what may or may not be
reasonable or necessary for regulators to require.
Presenter: Russ Henderson, Senior Research
Analyst, Chartwell Inc.
Case Studies Showcasing the Latest Trends in
Outage Communications
Outage communications continue to evolve to
meet the growing needs of customers and other
community stakeholders. In this panel discussion
led by iFactor, we’ll share the latest trends in outage
communications, including new levels of data
transparency, expanding communication channels,
and new audiences for communications.
Presenter/Moderator: iFactor
ComEd’s “One Stop Shop” for Employee and
Customer Outage Communication
Outage Communication System (OCS) supports
ComEd’s visions for enhancing its ability to provide
clear and consistent outage communications to
external and internal customers and stakeholders.
The foundation was set in 2012 by providing outage
reports, dashboards, and maps to internal employees
as well as improving the customer experience by
providing summary outage information to them via
external channels. ComEd built on that foundation
in 2013 by shifting the focus to the integration of
crew and resource information, planned outage
information and detailed outage information for
operations management and decision support
through several new dashboards and reports.
Attendees will learn about the new developments
with ComEd’s centralized information system.
Presenter: Kimberly Smith, Director, Emergency
Preparedness, ComEd
Customer Engagement Strategies
Customer engagement remains a top priority for
utilities hoping to optimize customer satisfaction
with outages. Approaches to customer education,
communication channels and messaging content, all
facets of a customer engagement strategy, can make
the difference between a good outage experience
and a bad one. This panel will focus on various
strategies and approaches to engaging customers
with outage communications. Specific topics to be
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Engagement via social media
Metrics for customer engagement
Mobile messaging engagement
Approaches to increasing customer adoption
Jack Hierholzer, Distribution Support Analyst,
Gulf Power
Dheeraj Jalali, Program Manager, London Hydro
Matt Chagnon, Social Media Strategist, Public
Service New Hampshire
Improving Winter Storm Communications
Major winter storms hit large swathes of the country
in 2013 and early 2014. For some utilities, it was the
first chance to see their proactive communications
tested by a major outage event. For many, it was
also an opportunity to learn lessons regarding
communications through social media, texting, IVR
and the call center. See actionable items that came
directly from lessons learned during a winter storm,
and how those lessons provided insight into the
customer experience during a large-scale outage.
Presenter: Jill Beavers, Manager, Customer
Experience, Oncor
Mobile Outage Communications
In an increasingly connected world, a power outage
is more than an inconvenience- it can completely
isolate customers. Mobile devices are the equivalent
of a light in the storm, keeping customers connected
to the outside world. As more utilities leverage
customers’ mobile access to communicate during
outages, more companies are gleaning best
practices for keeping customers informed via text,
apps and mobile web. Innovations such as proactive
texts and mobile-responsive websites have taken
many utilities to the next tier of mobile outage
communications. Specific topics to be addressed:
• Best practices for texting, apps and mobile
responsive websites
• Challenges and lessons learned
• Improving the customer experience
Donna Goodrich, Group Leader,
LG&E/KU Energy
Joe Trentacosta, Senior VP and CIO, Information
& Customer Services, Southern Maryland
Electric Cooperative
Navigating the Post-Sandy Regulatory
At the end of 2013, the New York Public Service
Commission issued an order that included the
establishment of a scorecard to be used as a
“guidance document to assess utility response
to significant outages.” That is, the scorecard –
which grew out of public sentiment after Hurricane
Sandy and was pushed by New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo – set exact standards according to
which utility companies must now issue estimated
restoration times to customers. In this session, Con
Edison will discuss navigating and managing the
current regulatory and political environment.
Presenter: Andy Tiao, Director of Emergency
Management, Con Edison
Outage Communications: Improving Field
A number of utilities have recently made
technology investments and process changes
to improve communications with field crews with
the goal of improving both outage restoration and
communication with customers about outages.
Some utilities have developed mobile apps that keep
crews better informed about the ‘big picture,’ while
others are developing protocols for major events that
would allow them to integrate mutual-aid crews by
merely obtaining the crew members’ mobile phone
numbers. This session will showcase cutting-edge
work to drive faster restorations and better customer
Specific issues to be addressed:
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Outage Communications Conference 2014
• Technologies being used to improve
communications with field crews
• The importance of keeping both crews and
customers “in the loop”
• Lessons learned from deploying these solutions
Presenter: Ted Allan, Manager, Outage
Management Systems, FirstEnergy
Outage Communications: Xcel’s Preference
Not every customer wants to be communicated with
in the same way about power outages. A number of
utilities have now launched online portals through
which the customer can choose the channel he/she
prefers. Many of these portals also let customers
select the frequency with which they would like to
receive information as well as the times they prefer to
get notifications. In this session, Xcel Energy will tell
the story of launching its own preference portal.
Tim Laughlin, Manager, Customer Experience,
Xcel Energy
Outage-Ready Contact Center
As the influence of social media and mobile
technology grows, the contact center still remains
the central focus of customer contact during both
major events and blue-sky outages. The approach to
priming a contact center for all varieties of outages
includes a two-pronged approach to systems and
personnel. This may involve more specialized
outage training for contact center representatives
(CSRs), skills-based routing during outages,
outage-optimization of IVR during major events and
the improvement of contact center processes to
maximize efficiency of outage communications. This
session will address:
• Skills-based routing during outages
• Outage-optimized interactive voice response
• Operational efficiency during major events
Presenter: Ryan Harris, Customer Program
Manager, Hydro One Networks
Meet with peers facing similar challenges at their
respective utilities and seek workable solutions
during this facilitated session on Thursday afternoon.
Pose your questions and share your ideas with
other professionals tasked with like responsibilities
at utilities across North America. Trade ideas and
business cards – we encourage you to build your
network of resources at the conference (an extremely
valuable benefit according to attendees) and
continue the conversation beyond the event. Topics
Customer Education
Field Communications
Proactive Contact
Social Media
Systems Integration
• Outage-specific training for CSRs
For more information about the agenda, please contact Belinda Roberts at
[email protected] or (404) 237-9099 ext. 234.
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Outage Communications Conference 2014
Speaker Biographies
Ted Allan, Manager of Outage Management Systems, FirstEnergy
Ted started working as an engineer in the utility industry 12 years ago working for a
subsidiary of a Canadian utility called Fortis Inc. In 2005, he accepted an engineering
position with Jersey Central Power and Light, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy. In 2007, he
transferred to their corporate headquarters in Ohio and began working in Operations
Support. In his current position, Ted focuses on enhancing their Outage Management
System, reliability and outage reporting, outage communications, and outage mobility
Jill Beavers, Manager, Customer Experience, Oncor
Jill is responsible for the overall strategy and performance of Oncor’s end to end customer
experience efforts. She manages all of the voice of the customer efforts, including customer
satisfaction surveys, segmentation studies, focus groups and panels. Jill also facilitates
the development and execution of the Customer Experience goals and objectives and
management of Oncor’s Customer Experience Council.
Matthew Chagnon, Senior Social Media Strategist, Northeast Utilities
Matt oversees social media strategy for Northeast Utilities and its operating companies,
including Public Service of New Hampshire. The company has been at the forefront of social
media use by utilities and has been widely recognized for its efforts during several major
storm restorations. Matt has recently focused on expanding 24/7 coverage of social media
to all of NU’s electric operating companies across three states. Matt’s ongoing work includes
web design, photography, and video production, notably for the Northern Pass transmission
Donna Goodrich, Group Leader, LG&E/KU
Donna manages service restoration for customers in all KU and ODP service territories
across the state of Kentucky and western portions of Virginia. She has held various
positions for LG&E and KU over the past 26 years including distribution engineer, SCADA
technical lead and business project lead on numerous software initiatives. Some of those
initiatives include trouble call entry development and implementation, outage management
implementation and upgrades, mobile dispatch integration, and outage map and mobile
(texting) customer communication implementation.
Ryan Harris, Customer Program Manager, Hydro One Networks
Ryan has over 14 years of experience in the area of customer management. His current
areas of accountability include managing the outsourcing contract for contact services,
overseeing the Customer Relations Centre, managing the customer self-serve channels and
tools, quality monitoring, and managing the relationship with the operations division. Ryan is
a champion for the customer and believes in the value of engaged customer service.
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Jack Hierholzer, Distribution Support Analyst, Gulf Power
Jack currently supports an Oracle NMS/OMS that uses combined GIS, AMI and customer
calls to predict how many customers are out based on meter reports and call patterns. His
focus is in determining tools and channels to deliver useful information to Gulf Power’s
employees and customers affected by outages. Future initiatives involve integrating this
system with DSCADA, automatic fault location analysis, electronic switching and improving
repair time estimates.
Russ Henderson, Senior Research Analyst, Chartwell Inc.
Russ serves as the lead analyst on the Outage Communications Research Council. Prior
to joining Chartwell in 2011, he worked as a journalist for 12 years at the Mobile PressRegister and the Anniston Star in Alabama.
Dheeraj Jalali, Program Manager, London Hydro
Tim Laughlin, Manager, Customer Experience, Xcel Energy
Tim was previously the social media manager for Xcel Energy, leading all social media
engagement campaigns and day-to-day activities for the company, from online advocacy
and content development to community-outreach efforts and promotions. Prior to Xcel
Energy, Tim spent nearly 15 years leading the development and execution of award-winning
consumer-marketing and social media campaigns, promotions, special events and media
relations programs on behalf of leading brands, including Coca-Cola, Marvin Windows and
Doors, General Mills and Harley-Davidson.
John Slanina, Division Vice President of Operations Support & Technology, CenterPoint
John oversees various support functions that provide services to both the regulated gas
and electric business including Telecommunication Services, Fleet & Shops Services, Land
& Field Services, Electric Technology Office, Business Process Transformation and the
Technology Program Management Office. He began his career with the company in 1981
as a distribution line mechanic. Over the years, he was promoted to positions of increasing
responsibility such as division vice president of Distribution Operations in 2008 and division
vice president of Business Transformation in 2010.
Kimberly Smith, Director, Emergency Preparedness, ComEd
Kimberly is responsible for oversight, development and execution of emergency
preparedness and response strategies for ComEd and in collaboration with sister
companies PECO in Pennsylvania and BG&E in Baltimore. She has held positions in which
she represented Exelon as a Delivery Duty Officer (DDO) taking on the responsibilities
of interfacing and communicating operational events and/or occurrences with the Senior
Executive Leadership team. She also held the position of Manager of Field Operations
for the West Region of ComEd and was Executive Assistance to the EVP/COO prior to
becoming the Director of Emergency Preparedness.
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Andy Tiao, Director of Emergency Management, Con Edison
Joe Trentacosta, Senior VP and CIO, Information & Customer Services, Southern
Maryland Electric Cooperative
Joe directs SMECO’s Information Technology, Credit & Collections, Security, and Contact
Center divisions including: developing IT strategies, overseeing and directing IT operations,
physical and cyber security programs, corporate credit and collections functions, and the
operation of SMECO’s 24/7 state-of-the-art contact center.
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Thank you to our Sponsors
Gold Sponsor
iFactor develops software products and delivers complete communication solutions for the utility sector,
delivering information to more than 100 million people in North America through deployments at more
than 30 utility websites. iFactor’s solutions enable utilities to leverage connected technologies such as
the web, mobile web, and smart phones to interact with their customers.
iFactor’s products include: Storm Center™, the industry-leading platform for utility outage
communications; Notifi®, an innovative customer preference management and proactive
communications platform; and iFactor Mobile™apps, a suite of off-the-shelf customer service apps
delivering high-value transactions on the iPhone and Android platforms.
What’s your location strategy? Use the power of Esri ArcGIS platform to transform
your utility. Our maps and analytics help improve storm response, manage storm
restoration, and share outage information.
See damage reports in real time, summarize data based on asset type, and
highlight critical or severe damage reports. Visit esri.com/electric to learn more.
Kaihen helps electric, gas and water utilities prepare for the kinds of fundamental
business changes that improve operations and customer service. Our core
competency is business readiness—ensuring that our clients’ people, processes
and systems are well-prepared to adopt the change we help to implement. And we
do so by managing projects, designing and improving business processes, training
users, solution testing, and implementing powerful change management initiatives.
Kaihen Provides Services in Three Areas:
1. Smart Grid Strategy and Implementation
2. Customer Operations & System Assessment,
3. Acquisition and Consolidation
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Outage Communications Conference 2014
Whether a utility is implementing a new Customer Information System, a Smart
Grid strategy or integrating a new acquisition, Kaihen’s business readiness
approach will achieve the successful transformation of our client’s people,
processes and systems.
Oracle Utilities delivers proven software applications that help utilities of all types
and sizes achieve competitive advantage, business performance excellence and
a lower total cost of technology ownership. Oracle Utilities integrates industryspecific customer care and billing, network management, work and asset
management, mobile workforce management, meter data management, and cloud
analytics applications with the capabilities of Oracle’s industry-leading enterprise
applications, business intelligence tools, middleware, database technologies,
as well as servers and storage. The software enables customers to adapt more
nimbly to market deregulation, meet ever-evolving customer demands and deliver
on environmental conservation commitments. Additionally, Oracle Utilities helps
utilities prepare for smart metering and smart grid initiatives that enhance efficiency
and provide critical intelligence metrics that can help drive more-informed energy
and water usage decisions for consumers and businesses. For more information,
visit www.oracle.com/goto/utilities.
West Corporation and subsidiary Twenty First Century Communications (TFCC)
provide innovative, technology-driven customer care solutions allowing utilities
to create powerful connections with their customers. With our wide set of omnichannel solutions (inbound, outbound, live agent or automated support), customers
are empowered to communicate and receive information – anytime, anywhere, on
any device.
West/TFCC, a recognized leader in integrated cloud-based communications and
live agent support, provides deep expertise in multiple industries – utility, financial,
retail, healthcare and more. Our clients leverage our experiences and ingenuity
to quickly and easily take advantage of new technologies, producing positive
business results while providing customers solutions they expect.
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Outage Communications Conference 2014
Sponsorship Opportunities
Attendance is limited to utilities only with the exception of vendor sponsors. For more information on
sponsorship, contact:
Nancy Brand
(404) 237-9099 ext. 257
[email protected]
Outage Communications Research Council
Nov. 11-12, 2014
“Chartwell continues to provide invaluable resources to help us provide the level of
services our customers demand. The research council calls and summits all are top
notch. I can’t say it enough, no one else can compare to Chartwell.”
-Outage Communications Research Council Member
Take part in this utility-only roundtable comprising 25+ utilities across North America. Contact:
Chartwell Inc.
404.237.9099 ext. 221
[email protected]
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