Alaska's largest water utility adopts Indus customer service software

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ATLANTA, Dec. 13, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Indus International Inc., a leading Service Delivery Management (SDM) solution provider, today announced the rollout of a new Indus SDM solution at Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility (AWWU), successfully replacing the utility's antiquated mainframe-based system with a highly accessible and flexible Web-based application for customer service and billing.

Alaska's largest water and wastewater utility, AWWU installed the new Indus customer information system (CIS) as part of an aggressive initiative to provide world-class customer service to its 55,000 customers. AWWU recognized the urgent need to install newer, more advanced technology that is less expensive to maintain and more flexible in order to adapt to evolving technology and customer expectations. The new Indus solution met these goals by providing a Web-based platform that provides customer service account representatives with efficient access to diverse customer information. Through its open architecture, the solution also provides streamlined integration to key third-party systems such as interactive voice recognition and online service options for customers.

"A new era has begun at AWWU," said John J. McAleenan Jr., manager of AWWU's Customer Service Division. "We have always been committed to providing customers with superior service, and today we have the cutting-edge CIS solution to match this commitment. Indus' comprehensive CIS provides highly advanced billing capabilities, and it goes 'beyond the bill' to help us manage all aspects of customer service, providing all the processes and information we need to quickly respond to our customers' needs."

"Progressive utilities like AWWU recognize that yesterday's standalone CIS is not adequate to meet the demands of today's technology-savvy customer," said Indus Executive Vice President of Field Operations John Gregg. "Customers want options in how they interact with their utility, whether online or by voice or with a human being on the phone or in person, and the customer information system needs to support an optimal customer experience regardless of the medium. That's why we designed our solution with not only the most functional depth, but also an advanced architecture to provide flexibility and connectivity across the enterprise."

Indus' industry-leading solution provides a wealth of customer care features, managing all information for new and returning customers and tracking all customer contacts from initiation to resolution. The system goes far beyond a simple CIS, providing the following key features:
• Service orders -- Creates, assigns and manages service orders, offering committed appointment times and tracking status of work in progress.
• Service levels -- Offers service level agreements (SLAs) to manage service level performance, while integrating workflow, work routing and approval.
• Multiple call centers -- Monitors, tracks and analyzes call center traffic across multiple call centers and administration locations.
• Web portals -- Provides personalized Web portals for reps offering easy access to answers to customer questions. Also offers customer self-service portals for account information, profile updates, bill preview and payments.
• Strategic services -- Sorts customers for targeted communications and models rates and custom contracts for unique customers. Offers and manages "customer choice" options in deregulated utility areas. Enrolls customers and automatically handles provisioning, pricing and contract renewals.

The Indus SDM solution provided more than just an answer to AWWU's customer management needs. It also proved to be one of the smoothest implementations the utility has experienced, despite upgrading from one version of Indus software to a newer version in the middle of the implementation. The project team composed of customer service and IT experts from AWWU, Indus and implementation partner Resource Data Inc. (RDI) put the old system to rest and completed data conversion, data entry and daily balancing on the new system in September 2005. According to AWWU's McAleenan, everything worked as planned.

"Statistically, about 35% of all CIS implementation projects fail, so we knew we had a long, arduous road ahead of us," concluded McAleenan. "But, everyone here, in combination with the support we received from Indus and RDI, made this go-live implementation a true success story. Project managers from all three companies agreed it was the smoothest implementation they had seen, especially for a system of this size and complexity."

The Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU) is the largest water and wastewater utility in Alaska serving Anchorage, Chugiak-Eagle River, Peters Creek, Eklutna and Girdwood. The Utility collects water from two major surface watersheds, Eklutna Lake and Ship Creek, and several deep underground wells. AWWU has more than 54,580 water customer accounts which equates to an approximate population base of 216,800 residents. The Utility's three wastewater facilities serves approximately 54,520 residential, commercial and military accounts. The public's investment in these treatment plants, water and sewer mains, laboratories and reservoirs is more than $700 million.

Indus (www.indus.com) is a leading Service Delivery Management (SDM) solution provider, helping clients in a broad array of industries optimize the management of their customers, workforce, spare parts inventory, tools and documentation in order to maximize performance and customer satisfaction while achieving significant cost savings. Indus customer, asset and workforce management software products, professional services and hosted service offerings improve our clients' profitability by reducing costs, increasing capacity and competitiveness, improving service to their customers, facilitating billing for services and ensuring regulatory compliance. Indus solutions have been purchased by more than 400 companies in more than 40 countries, representing diverse industries -- including manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications, government, education, transportation, facilities and property management, consumer packaged goods and more.

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