Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), an investor-owned utility (IOU), has roots in the Madison, Wis., area that date back more than 150 years. MGE generates and distributes electricity to 157,000 customers in Dane County. The company also purchases and distributes natural gas to 166,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE is a subsidiary of MGE Energy. In January 2018, a 5-year Digital Transformation Initiative named “Enterprise Forward” was officially kicked off at MGE, in partnership with the company’s primary implementation partner, Ernst & Young. Wave 1 in January 2019 saw the successful implementation of Financial and Human Resources Systems with Oracle Cloud Fusion ERP and Oracle Cloud Fusion HCM.
In September 2021, after 26 months of an intense project that was complicated by the global pandemic, MGE successfully implemented Wave 2 on time and on budget. MGE is now one of the first IOUs in the country to have implemented Oracle’s C2M (Customer 2 Meter Billing) with full integration between Oracle Engagement Cloud and Eloqua. Not only that, but there is now an effective integration between C2M and KloudGin, MGE’s Scheduling and Mobile Service platform, designed to enable customer field interactions.
Fundamentally, MGE has been on a mission to transform itself into a digitally integrated utility to increase operational efficiency, revenue diversity and competitive services. Some of the basic tenets of this effort include:
- Automation: Eliminate redundant work and drive consistent repeatable processes by enriching field customer service.
- Optimized Costs: Standardize and drive employees to high-value efforts.
- New Products & Services: Anticipate customer needs and fortify the utility value proposition.
- Employer of Choice: Attract and retain the next generation of talent and leadership required to move MGE forward.
- 360 View of Customer: Deliver an enterprise-wide view of all customer interactions and transactions.
- Flexibility: Quickly adapt and deliver to changing market needs.
Following an extensive bid process, the cross-functional MG&E selection committee selected the KloudGin FSM platform as the new Mobile Workforce Management tool. KloudGin provides an industry-centric approach through its Machine Learning-based field service management cloud platform, which enables MG&E to quickly schedule, route-optimize, dispatch and deliver short-cycle work, and set the stage for a planned project to do the same with long-cycle work. Access to real-time information provides a more predictable and cost-effective view of the customer interactions, service interruptions, and actual crew costs.
KloudGin worked together with its technology partners Ernst & Young, Oracle and Esri GIS to accomplish this implementation. KloudGin’s strong partnerships, coupled with its internal utilities expertise, were instrumental in executing this successful deployment of mission-critical technology at MG&E.KloudGin’s tight integration with Esri’s GIS mapping system allowed the solution to provide real-time map access across mobile devices, thus minimizing the need for paper maps or separate GIS apps.
MG&E went ahead and put mobile devices in the hands of all the field crews, whether it was for customer service work, outage tickets, or meter services.
Improved Data Collection
KloudGin’s mobile-centric platform replaced a variety of paper and manual processes, custom application and single-point systems with one mobile-friendly platform. KloudGin also adapted their platform to meet MG&E’s existing compliance and security requirements. Previously, crews and staff had to work primarily from printed orders, with data provided from multiple systems and formats. KloudGin has standardized these workflows onto a single platform that automates many repetitive tasks, normalizes information across all device types, and speeds field work execution and central information gathering and analysis efforts.
KloudGin replaced existing systems which didn’t allow efficient collection and real-time analysis of data in the field. Crews now have digital access to GIS data, service points and work history and more at their fingertips, through the KloudGin Mobile application. This real-time data allows MG&E to better monitor impacts to customers and provide notifications to improve service.
“KloudGin is helping us provide added value to our customers. For example, a typical situation where we leverage KloudGin technology is when we push notifications to our customers in case they may be impacted by our work.” Shannon Paulsen-Thompson, Enterprise Program Director at MG&E.
Automated Time Clocking
MGE has complex Timekeeping requirements which include tracking of Time against Work Orders, Administration Tasks, and other activities. KloudGin also enables the ability to allow Crew Members to use accurate “Pay Codes” to support more efficient payroll processing. KloudGin has been able to successfully implement these processes within the existing Time Card Generation Logic. In addition, Crew Members are able to edit their records, copy them over to additional team members. This results in a more efficient and timely process for crew members and staff who support the process.
KloudGin platform’s integration engine and adaptors, enabled MGE to rapidly integrate and configure workflows with core utility systems of record,
- Oracle C2M (Customer 2 Meter Billing)
- Oracle C2M (Customer 2 Meter Billing
- Esri ArcGIS
- Single Sign On (SSO)
KloudGin’s automated scheduling engine can schedule and route optimize “All Work”. KloudGin scheduler is high capacity, AI based and is continuous, offering full, and rapid plans throughout the day that take account of real time changing conditions on the ground including emergencies, increased travel time due to traffic conditions, crew overtimes, resource time offs and the like.
KloudGin partnered with MGE to develop a ‘notify closest’ mode of scheduling for emergency work. KloudGin mobile is real-time location aware and crew location is tracked via the tablet’s location services. When an emergency comes in, the crews closest to the emergency work location are notified by the KloudGin workflow orchestration engine, with the ability to use email, sms and push notifications. Crew responses are monitored to the second and acceptances and rejections are tracked. Further, if a crew does not respond within a specified time, the system contacts the next closest crew for assignment.
KloudGin / Esri Integration Drives Efficiency
The combined solution of KloudGin and Esri ArcGIS delivered an integrated solution to MGE. The ability to access GIS information drives efficiency by having asset information available in the same place as the mobile work application. New operational benefits included:
- GIS views built into service workflows to provide crews with valuable data throughout the process
- Work Orders plotted on the GIS Map which allow dispatchers to schedule using the Lasso Functionality.
- It is done via ArcGIS Identity Authentication (OAuth 2.0 protocol) to highlight ESRI technology consumed within KG.
- As an Electric and Gas Utility, MGE requires the best Security protocols to be adhered to for access to the MGE GIS Network. KloudGin has successfully integrated with the MGE GIS Network and enabled GIS Maps within the Mobile and Web Applications without compromising on IT Security protocols.
“MG&E divisions continue rapid deployment of the KloudGin solutions pushing standardization in business processes and technology.”
VP Finance, Chief Information Officer and Treasurer
KloudGin Asset Management Suite
KloudGin Field Service Suite
KloudGin Mobile App
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