“Highly informed and engaged customers of today’s electric, water and gas utility are not only digitally connected, but their expectations of utility customer service have become more complex,” begins Deepak Garg, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Smart Utility Systems (SUS). As a result, the utility services providers are increasingly pressured to raise the game on customer service while delivering on demand energy services, communicating in a multitude of channels and reducing operational costs. These objectives can only be achieved through collaborative efforts between utilities and their customers. “At SUS, we bridge this gap and provide real-time, two-way communication between a utility service provider and its customers, anytime, on any device–be it desktop, smartphones or tablets. We believe that real-time engagement around value added services and transactions will be in increased focus in future,” says Garg. The cloud platform built by SUS also empowers customers to monitor and manage their power consumption, reduce their utility bills, engage in programs, and offer self-service capabilities via mobile and web.

By leveraging SUS’ built-in integrated data analytics platform, utilities can effectively utilize gathered data to identify their customers’ behavior and recommend energy saving and water conservation programs based on their usage and billing history. “Our innovative mobile and portal platform allows customers to quickly and accurately report outages, leaks, thefts, and other violations, empowering them to help communities contribute to global sustainability,” says Garg. The Irvine, CA based company’s solutions offer efficient ways to increase customer awareness and engagement to achieve energy and water savings as well as improving the return on utilities' investments on their smart grid initiatives. SUS’ suite of solution stack encompasses—Smart Customer Mobile (SCM®), Smart Mobile Workforce (SMW®), and Smart iQ (SiQ™).

SCM® is a customer engagement web and mobile platform that allows real-time, two way communication between the utility and its customers. Further, the solution provides a 360 degree view of customer interactions on a single integrated platform with minimal configuration. “Some of the key features of the product include account management, billing and payments, outage management, energy efficiency, water conservation, service requests and notification,” articulates Garg.

Our innovative mobile and portal platform allows customers to quickly and accurately report outages, leaks, thefts, and other violations, empowering them to help communities contribute to global sustainability

It also allows customers to view home energy and water reports on web and smartphones, set preferred modes of communication, integrate with smart home platforms, analyze their potential savings via self-auditing, enroll in programs and choose marketing preference for improved communication with their utility. This end-to-end enterprise mobility solution improves productivity, increases operational efficiency, and reduces operational costs for the utility provider.

“However, SiQ™ is the most value driven solution that we offer in the area of big data and analytics,” says Garg. SiQ is a provider of pre-built analytics, real-time intelligence, and cutting-edge visualization for utilities. Through SiQ, the utilities get access to actionable insights that facilitate them in making informed decisions about work force operations, asset management, grid planning, and energy efficiency goals. It also enables utilities to interpret and forecast the behavioral dynamics of their diverse customer base to create a segmented and targeted approach for effective client engagement. SUS is further investing in the development of customer-centric business solutions that not only help utilities improve their operational efficiency and maximize their bottom line, but also meet the changing dynamics of consumer expectations.

As the utility sector goes through a paradigm shift and they begin to focus on customer engagement as a way to influence behavior, SUS is marching towards creating more innovative products and enhancements to foster a new beginning to the utility-customer relationship. “We are also looking forward to partnering with other players; leveraging technologies that can help us further strengthen our delivery capabilities,” concludes Garg.