December 28, 2012

SMECO Outage Communications System – Phase 1 Complete

We are pleased to announce that as of November 5, the first phase of SMECO’s Outage Communications System is live. This phase is an outage map built on iFactor’s Storm Center product, and will be followed by implementation of additional iFactor products, with integrated data management provided by iFactor’s EnergySuite platform.

The map is available at http://stormcenter.smeco.coop/.

SMECO’s outage map has options for viewing power outages by location or by county, as well as summary tables of outages by county or ZIP code. The map also includes a weather layer by Weatherbug that displays weather radar information. The weather layer is an optional Storm Center feature that can help utility customers understand the connection between storms and outage patterns.

According to Joe Trentacosta, SMECO’s Senior Vice President and CIO:

Our co-op had a need for a mechanism to communicate comprehensive and timely information about the status of outages to our customer-members. While our initial goal was to simply replace our legacy outage map, iFactor Consulting delivered a state-of-the-art and highly configurable OCS. iFactor’s solution effectively positions us to provide outage updates to our customers using methods they increasingly prefer, such as text messaging and smart phone apps.

SMECO’s Outage Communications System (OCS) will provide a central hub for conveying information from SMECO’s OMS to their customers via websites, mobile websites, 2-way SMS, and mobile apps. The iFactor products that will be used to create SMECO’s Outage Communications System include Storm Center, Notifi, and Mobile Apps, with integrated data management provided by iFactor’s EnergySuite platform. The complete OCS will provide SMECO’s customers with both proactive and on-demand outage information – such as outage alerts, storm warnings, outage locations, the reason for outage, the number of customers affected by outage, and estimated restoration time – on a wide variety of communication channels.