IBM Selected by CenterPoint Energy to Enhance Customer Engagement with New Service Platform

360-degree view to improve two-way communication for 5 million metered customers

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 19 Mar 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has been selected by CenterPoint Energy to develop a new Customer Vision Platform that will enhance the customer experience and drive operational efficiencies. The integrated platform will consolidate services across the business, providing CenterPoint with a 360-degree view of its five million metered customers.

An energy delivery company with operations primarily in six states, CenterPoint Energy sought a solution that would transform its service model and provide the tools to address customers quickly and efficiently.  

The new Customer Vision Platform will streamline customer interactions across all channels in CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas distribution, electric transmission and distribution, and Home Service Plus businesses. This will allow the company to simplify and enhance communication methods and interact with customers for general transactions as well as outage and service notifications.

CenterPoint Energy will also integrate data analytics as part of this project, with the goal to improve the customer experience and overall operations. The company will combine data from smart meters and distribution and outage management systems to provide better customer information. Additionally, this scalable service-oriented architecture offers the flexibility for future growth.

“Our goal is to provide an exceptional customer experience by taking full advantage of our technology platforms across our businesses,” said Gregg Knight, division vice president of customer services for CenterPoint Energy. “The Customer Vision Platform will provide the insight we need to focus on the total customer experience to make it more convenient to do business with us and to provide even more valued services.”

Customers will have access to expanded web-based services and the option to select how they prefer to be contacted by CenterPoint–whether by phone, the portal, text or email. For example, in the event of a planned outage, customers will receive notification based on their communication method of choice. Additionally, the solution will integrate a range of customer service technologies to ensure requests and queries are focused on the customer’s needs. 

 “By creating an integrated, interactive platform, CenterPoint Energy will have more precision and insight to improve service quality levels and drive business growth,” said Michael Valocchi, Vice President, Global Energy & Utilities Industry Leader for IBM Global Business Services. “Meanwhile, for it's five million metered customers, they will reap the benefits of a personalized and consistent experience –communication at a time and in a way they request.” 

CenterPoint selected IBM as the lead system integrator, and SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, IBM server and storage technology, as well as real-time analytics solutions.  

IBM recently received the SAP®North America Partner Excellence Award 2013 as top services partner and top channel partner.  

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