Traverse City Light and Power serves nearly 13,000 customers in Traverse City, Michigan and provides electric, water, sewer, internet and voice. Traverse City required a new software platform to support their expansion into broadband that would coexist with their technical framework and hardware vendor. The IT department wanted a solution that could seamlessly connect to everything. The team at Traverse City Light and Power saw the simplicity in having only one system to maintain.
One Integrated System
Scott Menhart, Chief Information Technology Officer, has worked at Traverse City Light and Power for nearly 12 years overseeing all technical services and integrations. Traverse City Light and Power deployed eLation two years ago on the broadband side of their business. The team at Traverse City have now decided to convert their electrical services to eLation. Menhart wants the entire business on one, centralized system to simplify the process for staff and customers alike. “We liked [eLation] so well, we have decided to migrate our electrical services.” eLation has proved to offer the robust automation, streamlined integration and efficiencies that Traverse City Light and Power require for all facets of their business.
Menhart has found that when using an enterprise solution like eLation, he can consolidate other 3rd party providers and eliminate finger pointing between vendors and requiring IT to investigate issues. “You can start shedding some of these 3rd party applications in lieu of a central, unified system which is so much easier to maintain. It’s all integrated.”
Menhart raves about the implementation process and how customized the training was for the TCLP team with hands-on training sessions and a responsive support environment. “Innovative has been committed to walking us through the different steps and offering different sessions based on what our team needs by role.”
Automate Manual Processes
Traverse City Light and Power have seen the advantages from utilizing one centralized system with powerful automation. Prior to eLation, subscribers were signing up for services by calling in during business hours. Traverse City now offers flexible subscriber signup, allowing customers to signup anytime. “We encourage and push online signup which automates the whole process for us and gets all details right into the system.” The result is a simpler signup experience for customers while also eliminating manual errors from data entry.
Traverse City Light and Power has found that eLation is really maximizing employees time by handling their manual tasks. Automated Provisioning at the click of a button is notable for Menhart, “now it’s doing the job for some IT roles on the provisioning side. It’s all automated.”
Another manual process that was eliminated with eLation was the quoting process for prospects. “We were doing this manually before. We started emailing quotes for prospects directly out of eLation because there is now a log of it and now you aren’t flipping through a bunch of emails, word documents or file servers to figure out what files go with which customer.” Employees save time with eLation automatically directing everything to the appropriate place.
Utilizing eLation to Expand Broadband Business
eLation has become a planning tool for Traverse City as they continue to expand. eLation provides crucial intel that Traverse City can utilize to help make decisions. “You start divvying up service territories and distribution areas directly within eLation, then you can run reports and analytics on the demand for certain things and look at where we’re going to expand next.” Menhart discusses how powerful the data is within eLation and how he is thrilled to have the entire business running on eLation to provide real-time insight that hasn’t been available before.
As Traverse City Light and Power grows, they require a partner that will adapt and grow with them. Innovative Systems is “always integrating and releasing new updates. Something that we were really missing with our previous vendor.”
The Enterprise Difference
Menhart is so pleased that one automated system can eliminate manual tasks while simplifying internal processes, “the reason we procured eLation was the integration capabilities with it. We can generate files and reports for state and local agencies. We have been using the work order portion to dispatch our technicians. We connected eLation to our 24/7 call center that can submit tickets directly into it. It’s all integrated. Our technicians receive the tickets, they update them. They can do this all from their smart phones. All the data is logged on the back end, which is fantastic!”
“eLation is so much more than just a billing system, you’re getting all of these other facets. It’s our planning tool, our prospecting tool, our marketing tool. Now it’s doing the job for some IT roles on the provisioning side. It’s a massive tool.”Scott Menhart-Chief Information Technology Officer-Traverse City Light and Power
Traverse City Light and Power is excited for their future with elation and want to deploy eLation’s customer facing portal, integrate to their Outage Management System and send texts to customers that are out of power. They want to leverage whatever they can to improve their customer experience and maximize their internal efficiency. Traverse City Light and Power wants to utilize the text messaging functionality from eLation on both the fiber and electric sides of their business. They value customer communication and informing customers of possible outages based on the data from eLation. “We started utilizing eLation, for getting customers online and doing the invoicing. Now we want to take advantage of all of the other features eLation possess.”
Menhart offers guidance to others looking for a solution and encourages them to keep an open mind with the vast possibilities of an enterprise software like eLation. Maximizing internal resources while gaining efficiencies were all unexpected benefits from eLation. “Dig into the details. It’s easy to just look into a system and the expected functionality. There is so much more under the hood with this application than others we looked at. Innovative’s ability to adopt and change to fit customers has been really great. Don’t narrow your view of the system to just CIS/or utility billing. One system that can maintain everything, instead of various different levels of components that you have to piece mail together. It’s just a powerhouse. There isn’t a solution out there like eLation!”