January 22, 2015

iFactor Adds Photo Reporting to Mobile Apps for Orange and Rockland Utilities Customers

On December 5, utility software developer iFactor released updated iOS and Android mobile apps for Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R). The update included the addition of a first-of-its-kind feature that allows customers to attach photos to power outage reports. The customer-submitted photos are expected to assist the Utility with damage assessments, thereby reducing the amount of time needed to complete repairs and restore power to customers.
The new feature offers customers of O&R and the Utility’s subsidiaries Rockland Electric Company and Pike County Light & Power Co. the opportunity to submit up to two damage photos along with power outage reports. While customers are instructed to stay away from downed power lines and other hazards, it’s anticipated that customers will share photos of damaged electrical equipment, broken utility poles, or overgrown vegetation. These photos will drive additional customer engagement and help utility employees more quickly assess damage to ensure that the correct supplies are sent with the repair crew.
To minimize the risk of abuse, the app requires that customers take photos when an outage report is submitted and does not allow customers to upload previously saved images. All photos are then screened by utility employees before they are added to O&R’s Outage Management System. The O&R apps were originally deployed in July 2013 in order to provide O&R customers with a streamlined process for reporting outages and obtaining account-specific outage information including estimated restoration times, access to the online 24/7 Outage Map, links to O&R social media accounts and one-touch calling to emergency phone numbers.

L: O&R mobile app home screen; R: O&R app power outage report form
L: App Home Screen; R: Power Outage Report Form

L: O&R mobile app outage report confirmation screen with option to add photos; R: O&R mobile app photo taking interface
L: Outage Report Confirmation Screen (with Option to Add Photos); R: Photo Taking Interface

About Orange and Rockland
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., is an electric and gas utility headquartered in Pearl River, NY. O&R and its two utility subsidiaries, Rockland Electric Company and Pike County Light & Power Co., serve a population of approximately 750,000 in seven counties in New York, northern New Jersey, and northeastern Pennsylvania.
About Us
iFactor develops software products and delivers complete communication solutions for the utility sector, delivering information to more than 150 million people in North America through deployments at more than 45 utilities. iFactor’s products and solutions enable utilities to leverage connected technologies such as the web, mobile web, and smart phones to interact with their customers. Visit www.kubra.com for more information.