Beginning in April 2019 Selectron partnered with Orange County, Florida Utilities (OCU) to upgrade and enhance the Utility’s self-service offerings. This project included voice, web, mobile, electronic payments, and automated outbound customer communications.
The project was not only wide in scope, but also required flexibility across all parties involved. OCU and Selectron made the joint decision midway through the implementation to break the project into two phases. This prevented OCU from having to renew their support contract on their existing system without abandoning any planned features. Less than two months prior to the project’s planned go-live, COVID-19 restrictions forced all remaining work to be handled remotely. Through these challenges, the flexible staff at Selectron and OCU helped deliver the project on time, while also adhering to all budgetary guidelines and achieving all planned deliverables.
Selectron’s customer engagement platform, Relay, replaced a 15-year-old legacy system, introducing industry-standard usability and security. As utility customers increasingly conducted more business electronically, there was also an increased expectation for many of the convenience features available through online retailers. OCU understood this challenge, as well as their need to modernize their self-service tools and to provide customers more extensive payment methods and account access through a wide range of devices. Moreover, OCU was cognizant of their requirement to provide enhanced security and protection for their customers, including compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards.
After a competitive bid process, Selectron was selected to implement Relay. The multi-channel platform provides OCU and their customers account access through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, a modernized web/mobile solution with complete profile management, computer telephony integration (CTI) for OCU’s call center, and Relay’s outbound messaging system to automate important notices to customers. These self-service tools offer OCU’s customers an easy-to-use platform to manage their account and securely pay their bills when, where, and how they want. The platform also provides advanced functionality like e-billing and stored payment methods for fast and secure processing. This solution not only provides extensive benefit to OCU’s customers, but also frees up OCU’s staff to focus on more complex issues. Additionally, the outbound system allows OCU to send out important notifications to their customers without manual intervention. With the entire solution being hosted in Selectron’s secure Tier 1, PCI environment, OCU also benefits from industry standard payment and data security.
OCU’s customers are now able to manage their accounts more quickly, securely, and flexibly using the device of their choice. Since implementation in May of 2020, customers have created over 56,000 new profiles, allowing them to make payments and edit account preferences that would have previously required a customer service representative. Meanwhile, OCU’s call center staff has saved 275 hours per month in time formerly spent processing payments now handled by Relay. OCU’s technical staff has also saved over 40 hours per week in time previously spent monitoring and maintaining the legacy self-service applications. OCU estimates that the agency’s total savings in time and resources equates to over $40,000 per year, which can now be invested in infrastructure, training, additional equipment, and improving services to customers.
In their own words
OCU Assistant Director Tim Armstrong highlighted the project’s success.
The project delivered exactly what customers were requesting, while improving security and meeting all Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. The project timeline was extremely aggressive and required a high degree of organization and planning in order for quick turnaround and review of all deliverables. Nonetheless, the team’s dedication, flexibility, and creativity were remarkable.
the system has worked so well that OCU is planning meetings so other utility divisions and county departments can see the value rendered by these services and perhaps consider using Selectron.
OCU Information Systems Administrator David Boiani emphasized the project’s complexity.
It was tricky because our customers and a lot of our internal systems were impacted. Our integration requirements were also atypical, but [our Selectron project management team] were very diligent and that was a huge reason the project succeeded.