Energy America/Direct Energy Deploys EnergyTM CIS
Energy America/Direct Energy Deploys Peace Software’s EnergyTM CIS To Serve Millions More Consumers
Peace Software today announced that Energy America (in the U.S.) and Direct Energy (in Canada) successfully deployed Peace Software’s open Energy CIS suite for customer management of electricity customers in Texas and Ontario. Energy America/ Direct Energy is part of Centrica North America, the largest energy retailer in North America.
Centrica North America moved quickly to implement Energy in time for the opening of the Texas and Ontario electricity markets in January 2002 and May 2002 respectively. With little lead-time, it opted for phased deployment.
In the first phase, an implementation team from Peace Software deployed Energy Enrolment, Customer Care and B2B components to meet Energy America/Direct Energy’s minimum needs ahead of both market openings. Soon after, Energy Billing was implemented with plans for other components to be added in the future as needed.
“Our Texas and Ontario implementation projects have been successful,” said Charles Giliberto, Director of Commercial Relations at Energy America/Direct Energy. “We delivered two comprehensive solutions for very complex and different market models within a tight eight-month timeframe. Both markets are supported on a single Energy system spanning two different countries and currencies.”
Energy is interfacing to Exolink and EBT Express hub for Texas and Ontario market transactions respectively. Energy America/Direct Energy intends to integrate other best-of-breed applications, such as financial and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, into the Energy environment.
To support its growth objectives in Texas, Ontario and other markets, Energy America/Direct Energy recently relocated and increased the size of its Toronto-based call centre to more than 500 customer service representatives (CSRs). Energy has been up and running in the call centre since January 2002. CSRs are assigned to either Texas or Ontario markets but work with the same Energy system.
The company plans to up-sell and cross-sell energy and energy-related products and services using Energy, a strategy that has proven successful for Centrica in the United Kingdom. “We see ourselves as an international consumer marketing company,” said Bernie Gilles, CIO at Centrica North America. “We’re focused on building lasting customer relationships through our portfolio of leading brands by leveraging advanced technology, such as Energy, to offer innovative new services and value-added products.”
Energy America/Direct Energy’s core competencies in marketing, branding and customer care are serving them well. In Texas, the company is signing up customers in the Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth territories on three-year contracts at a rate of about 1,000 a day and has reached more than 60,000 to date. In Ontario, Direct Energy has signed electricity agreements with more than 600,000 Ontario households. By the end of the year, it will be supplying half of all Ontario households with either gas, electricity or home services, or some combination.
The company plans to deploy Energy for its existing electricity and gas customers in Manitoba, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Georgia, and for new markets as it expands operations in North America.
Energy America/Direct Energy will take advantage of regular Energy upgrades incorporating functional enhancements, technological advances, performance accelerators, as well as innovative new components and subcomponents. Charles Giliberto, said, “We are using the core Energy components without customisations so that we can quickly and easily move to new version releases as these become available. This way, we remain competitive yet continue to deliver high standards of customer service.”
About Peace Software
Peace Software develops open, component-based CIS solutions used by utilities and retailers for business innovation in regulated, transitioning and competitive energy markets. The company’s browser-based Energy suite has been selected to drive efficient operations and provide excellent customer care for 13 million mass market and commercial and industrial (C&I) customer relationships in 40 markets around the world. The innovative Energy suite can be phased into existing CIS environments and new version upgrades are available every 12-18 months. Headquartered in Miami and founded in 1984, Peace Software has offices in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.peace.com.