Burrell Kilmer, President, UMAX North America2016 was a year of milestones for Itineris, including a first live client in the U.S., the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW). In the late 2013, Baltimore took a major step toward becoming a “Smart City” with the launch of its BaltiMeter Project. The project focused on upgrading the meter reading, billing, and customer service functions of the Baltimore City DPW, which were severely limited by aging technology. The City chose Itineris to implement its UMAX solution—which is built on Microsoft's Dynamics 365® enterprise platform—to improve customer service and billing capabilities in serving the utility’s roughly 400,000 customer accounts.
“Since going live in October of last year, Baltimore DPW has been successfully operating and billing through UMAX, and has rolled out new features for customers, including a self-services portal that empowers residents with detailed data on their usage and billing so they can make smart choices about their consumption,” noted Burrell Kilmer, President, UMAX North America.
Microsoft Connection and Benefits
As a customer information system (CIS) with an ERP foundation, “UMAX enables streamlined, flexible management of utility front-office, back-office and field service processes—from the “meter to cash”—including billing, collections, campaigns and marketing, service orders, field service management, cashiering, reporting, BI, and more,” states Kilmer.
With its tight integration between customer care and other key business systems and its Microsoft-based foundation which leverages existing investments many utilities have already made in Microsoft technologies, UMAX delivers greater flexibility and intelligence for meeting utility operational needs, both today and in the years ahead.
Performance on the Microsoft Enterprise Platform
“Our partnership with Microsoft as a Global ISV ensures that UMAX solutions are tied to Microsoft development and product update rollouts—so utility clients enjoy the benefits of Microsoft R&D across their organization,” stated Kilmer. Moreover, since data is now one of the most important assets of any organization, utilities can benefit from the interoperability and streamlined data flow of UMAX for delivering best-in-class customer service, operations, and billing capabilities running on a Microsoft technology stack, from Windows desktops to productivity tools such as Outlook and Office to back-office systems running flexibly in the Azure cloud.
We leverage our deep utility operational knowledge and Microsoft’s cutting-edge Dynamics 365 enterprise platform to deliver ERP and customer care solutions built specifically for utilities
Solution Delivery: More than Software
Apart from developing customer care and ERP solutions for utilities, the company works side by side with utility staff to analyze utility business processes against industry best practices and implement solutions and processes that streamline operations in alignment with the new UMAX technology. “With a deep expertise in utility technology projects, we continuously enhance our own implementation assets, the ‘UMAX Acceleration Framework’ (UAF), which offers standard out-of-the-box templates, processes, and migration tools—ensuring qualitative and efficient project implementation,” says Kilmer. Furthermore, the firm leverages the proven Microsoft Sure Step Methodology as the basis for its project delivery.
Looking Ahead: Product and Business
Itineris is currently focused on the development and roll-out of its updated version of UMAX, which will leverage the new, cloud-first architecture of Microsoft’s recent Dynamics 365 rollout in order to drive greater operational value and strengthen customer care capabilities for utilities. From a business perspective, Itineris has achieved tremendous growth in the North American utilities market and will continue to improve customer value through their CIS/ERP solutions specific to utilities. “With a growing portfolio of North American utility clients, we are also expanding in the European market, including recent client acquisitions in the UK, France, and Netherlands,” concludes Kilmer.