West Corporation

Posted on March 14, 2017 by West Corporation 



Regulators Open the Door for Utility Investment in the Cloud

By Chandler Harrison, Sales Executive, West Interactive

As technology evolves and changes the way we live our day to day lives, expectations for agile customer service are ever-rising. As a result, customers demand the same speed and personalization from your utility customer experience (CX) as that of their favorite retail company.

Cloud-based technology can provide the flexibility and data-informed insights that utilities need to get ahead of today’s fickle utility customer. Traditionally, utilities have been unable to rate-base associated costs in the same way they can when it comes to on-premises software. In a nutshell, utility leaders would rather (understandably) realize a regulated rate of return from capital expenditures on in-house technology, rather than invest in the cloud and miss out. But things are changing… and fast.

In December, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Ahead in the Cloud(NARUC) passed a resolution urging commissioners to start regulating investments in cloud-based technology the same way they would on-premises software. On the heels of the “thumbs up” from the NARUC, 69 percent of U.S. regulators now support utility companies capitalizing on cloud-based software.[i]

So what does this mean for utility companies across the U.S? The door is wide open up to convert to more strategic, cost-effective, cloud-based contact center software. And utility partners like West, perhaps known only for outage call support by some, can help along the way. Check out this whitepaper to learn all about the benefits of moving to the cloud and how collaborating with a strategic communications partner can make the shift seamless.

With changes to regulatory structures surrounding the treatment of cloud-based software, many utilities will have a chance to invest in technology and strategic partnerships that will allow them to more effectively connect interactions across multiple channels — without suffering from a capital bias. They will be able to more effectively collect and leverage data to understand (and preempt) customer needs. And best of all? They will be able to move away from stagnating on-premises solutions and take advantage of managed contact center partnerships that focus on advancing technology in step with the customers that come into contact with it.

Higher customer satisfaction will no longer come at the expense of higher operating costs. As regulatory support for cloud computing capitalization continues to climb closer towards synonymous, the time for utilities to explore the benefits of cloud-based solutions is now.

To learn more, read West’s whitepaper, Ahead in the Cloud. Then, visit our website to discover how West can help you thrive in the midst of a rapidly shifting utility CX landscape.

[i] Harris, Rebecca. “Utilities gain regulatory “go ahead” for cloud computing capitalization.” Blog post. Chartwell. Chartwell, 27 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

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