The decision to procure technology rests on a combination of many factors; no single feature or component should drive the decision. Furthermore, the system that is right for one utility frequently does not account for neighboring utilities’ differing goals, needs, and structure. Our Technology Procurement team’s process evaluates functionality, interoperability, cost, experience, overall fit, and support and training.
These categories are weighed to determine which vendor or system best meets each utility’s unique needs and preferred approach:
- Functionality is assessed using a detailed set of requirements that differentiate one vendor’s system from another and includes advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), SCADA, outage management systems (OMS), GIS, customer information systems (CIS), work management systems (WMS), and mobile workforce management (MWM) systems
- To maximize benefit from these systems, it is important to align data flow between them with clearly defined interoperability specifications, including APIs, web services, MultiSpeak, and database technologies
- In evaluating cost, our method ensures an apples-to-apples comparison of licensing, hardware, engineering and deployment services, training, and ongoing support costs
- It’s also important to understand how long each vendor has been providing similar products and services to similar utilities in order to predict the best overall fit
- Many systems are deployed well, but their functionality is not fully adopted because the utility staff is not properly trained or internal processes are not changed
Our team focuses on not only which system to purchase, but also how well that system will be supported to ensure utilities receive the full benefit from their investments.