New Ciber Offering for Utilities - a Self-Service Portal - Will Debut at SourceGas and Alagasco
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Greenwood Village, Colo. - December 6, 2012 - Ciber has teamed with two gas-utility clients, SourceGas and Alagasco, to develop enhancements to the SAP® Customer Relationship Management and Billing for Utilities package. Ciber's new offering, a Self-Service Portal for Utilities built on SAP® solutions, simplifies the user interface while adding new options for utilities to easily customize and brand the self-service section of their websites.
Both SourceGas and Alagasco currently operate parts of the SAP® Biller Direct application to provide customers with online access to make payments, as well as view consumption history and service-request options. Working collaboratively with SourceGas and Alagasco, Ciber will design, code, test and install a new user interface and automated processes designed to save time for utility customers and expense for the utilities themselves.
Ciber's portal modifications include simplified data entry and expanded data-validation parameters that allow utilities to incorporate more business rules into online forms. Through these expanded validation rules, utilities using the Ciber solution will be able to more fully automate or enhance processes. For example, the Ciber solution adds new required fields on the move-out request screen, enabling utilities to capture new address and payment information during move-out requests, which could improve collections on final bills.
The Ciber team also is adding functionality, such as a schedule-payment option that lets consumers specify that payment be made at a later date, not merely at the time of login. In addition, the Ciber team has created a new look and feel for the Self-Service Portal, giving utilities a customer-friendly tool that is rich in both functionality and aesthetics.
"The whole purpose behind this portal enhancement is to make it easier than ever for utilities to fine-tune self-service capabilities and for customers to conduct their utility business online," said Mike Catteral, Ciber's SAP practice lead.
"This site allows us to improve customer service by adding self-service functionality that customers want, such as more intuitive navigation and links from the Frequently Asked Questions section to help menus," said Thom Bookwalter, director of enterprise applications, SourceGas. "We expect the new portal to save us operational expenses by lowering call-center volume because it gives customers a user-friendly way to conduct utility business at their own convenience."
"The development of this site is done in a way that makes it easy to maintain, which gives us a platform that can be grown and supported in house," said Lynn Lovelady, vice president, information technology, Alagasco. "This, combined with expanded functionality and validation capabilities, will help us automate more processes and operate more efficiently."
After developing and installing the solution at SourceGas and Alagasco, Ciber will make the offering available to other utilities. Ciber's Self-Service Portal for Utilities built on SAP solutions provides a simple template interface that can be modified to serve the specific needs of any gas, water or electric utility and the customers it serves.
Ciber is an SAP services partner, an SAP channel partner and an SAP-certified provider of hosting and application management services. Since Ciber started supporting SAP solutions in 1989, it has amassed more than 2,000 clients using SAP solutions, as well as the skills and experience to assist customers with all aspects of their implementations of SAP software.
Worldwide, more than 100 energy companies and utilities have trusted Ciber to help them with a variety of IT projects.
SourceGas is a natural gas local distribution utility headquartered in Lakewood, Colo. SourceGas and its affiliates serve nearly 410,000 customers and operate 17,940 miles of distribution, gathering and transmission pipeline, as well as storage facilities, in Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. SourceGas and its affiliates also provide gas transportation, in-home HVAC and appliance service and sales, as well as gas commodity sales services to its natural gas customers.
Alagasco is the largest distributor of natural gas in Alabama, providing clean-burning, energy-efficient natural gas to more than 425,000 homes, businesses and industries. For more information, go to http://www.Alagasco.com.
About Ciber, Inc.
Ciber is a client-focused, results-driven IT consulting company. Its 6,000 consultants provide the business acumen, technical skills and flexibility to help businesses and governments around the globe get the most from technology. Since 1974 Ciber has combined the stability and resources of a large consultancy with the agility and personal touch of a local firm. Ciber (CBR) trades on the New York Stock Exchange and earned approximately $1 billion in annual revenue during 2011. For more information, visit www.ciber.com.
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Source: Ciber, Inc via Thomson Reuters ONE