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Two Black & Veatch-managed customer care, billing system implementation projects get coveted CS Week awards

Projects in Maryland, Canada win top honors during global utility customer service conference

Black & Veatch’s Management Consulting business announced today that two client projects in Maryland and Canada were awarded coveted 2020 CS Week recognition, marking the first time the company has had two customer information system (CIS) implementations receive top honors in the same year during the yearly utility customer service conference.

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) was presented with the “2020 Best CIS Implementation Award” for utilities with annual revenues of at least $500 million. Established in 1918, WSSC Water is among the United States’ largest water and wastewater utilities, with a network of more than 5,500 miles of freshwater and sewer pipeline. WSSC serves 1.8 million residents through approximately 475,000 customer accounts.  

“The successful implementation of a new customer care and billing system was a key part of a comprehensive strategy to better serve our customers and modernize our business systems to become a more responsive and data-driven water utility,” said Carla A. Reid, WSSC Water’s CEO and general manager. “We are very proud that the efforts of the WSSC Water staff and consultant team were recognized by earning the prestigious CS Week Project of the Year Award.”

The Black & Veatch Management Consulting program managed the implementation of the award-winning Cornerstone Project at WSSC – the first Oracle customer-to-meter (C2M) installation undertaken and completed in North America.  Additional key roles by the company included design, build, implementation, business readiness and hyper-care support. The project went live in July 2019.

“Through this program, WSSC is embracing the power of data and demonstrating exemplary utility leadership,” said Cindy Wallis-Lage, president of Black & Veatch’s water business. “This type of smart metering and digital transformation illustrates how utilities can advance metering and customer service processes with technology by centralizing systems and streamlining processes and experiences. Black & Veatch is proud to have been a part of it for this long-time client.”

The Region of Durham, located near Toronto, Canada, received the “2020 Best CIS Implementation Award” by CS Week – the premier educational and customer service gathering of electric, gas, and water and wastewater utility professionals from around the world – for utilities with less than $500 million in annual revenues.

“We knew that replacing a 30-year-old legacy water billing application with a modern, cloud-based CIS solution was going to be a significant challenge,” said Nancy Taylor, The Region’s commissioner of finance and treasurer. But “guided by an excellent management team leading the project, hard-working staff and an outstanding group of partners helped us achieve this success.”

“With Black & Veatch as a trusted and seasoned Oracle CC&B system integrator, along with Kaihen as an independent advisor,” Taylor added, “we had all of the necessary ingredients to deliver an extremely successful project, enhancing our customer service delivery that will be adaptable for many years to come.”

The project was the first C2M application implemented into a cloud-hosted data center in Canada, and a new MyDurhamWater.com website was launched using the KUBRA customer self-service portal and mobile application.  

“Exemplary customer service using new technology and innovation is the backbone of world-class utilities such as WSSC and Region of Durham,” said John Chevrette, Black & Veatch Management Consulting’s president. “We are proud to have worked closely with both companies to help them achieve a successful implementation of their customer transformation projects.”

The awards were part of CS Week’s “Expanding Excellence Awards” program, which honors utilities that have implemented major systems, aligned people with processes and technologies that improve operations, and have enhanced the customer experience. 
 

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Editor’s Note:

  • Black & Veatch contributed to the CIS implementation at Avista Corp., which earned that energy production, transmission and distribution company a CS Week “Expanding Excellence Award” in 2016.

About Black & Veatch 
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries by addressing the resilience and reliability of our world's most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2019 were US$3.7 billion. Follow us on https://www.bv.com and social media.

 

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