EPE consults Oracle on smart meter rollout

  • May 8, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Software giant Oracle is helping Texas utility El Paso Electric (EPE) with its smart meter rollout.

To serve its 460,000 customers better, EPE has upgraded its customer information system to Oracle’s utilities customer cloud service. By migrating to an integrated customer billing and meter data management cloud platform, the utility has created a foundation for enhanced service offerings that will also support its smart meter rollout.

“El Paso Electric’s mission is to transform the energy landscape, and technology helps us drive efficiency, customer experience and security to capture opportunities in our evolving industry,” said Cheryl Mele, vice president at El Paso Electric. “EPE selected Oracle’s SaaS technology to provide the flexible scale to support our smart meter rollout while realising value from the massive data sets that come with a smart, connected network. With the Oracle utilities customer cloud service, we expect to regularly leverage new functionality to drive our business and process optimisation strategies. While a typical technology migration of this nature can require up to six months to return to pre-migration customer call handling times, we returned to near normal times in under one month with an intuitive tool and outstanding contact centre representatives.”

EPE is a regional energy provider engaged in generation, transmission and distribution. It powers approximately 460,000 customers in a 25,000 square kilometre area of the Rio Grande Valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The utility’s smart meter project launches this month and is expected to replace all existing meters by 2025.

As part of its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) rollout, EPE needed a meter data management (MDM) system to support and process interval meter data. Instead of installing a separate MDM system, the utility decided migrating to Oracle utilities customer cloud service for an integrated customer and MDM platform was the best option. The utility now benefits from a clear, consistent view of its customers’ energy use to help ensure it can continue to deliver the most reliable electric services.

With the implementation, EPE is also benefitting from automated patching and product and security upgrades. All this is reducing costs and IT burden to allow EPE’s customer information system and IT personnel to focus more time on implementing incremental functionality that will benefit the business.

“With Oracle’s modern SaaS meter-to-cash featuring an advanced MDM and intuitive dashboards, El Paso Electric has streamlined its operations,” said Dave De Maio, senior vice president at Oracle. “As El Paso Electric moves forward with their meter transition, they will benefit from reduced service rep training time, faster call resolution and improved overall service levels. Oracle’s deep industry expertise and collaborative approach was instrumental in helping EPE confidently transition to the cloud. The scale, agility, security and simplicity of the Oracle Cloud will continue to help increase the flexibility, reliability and efficiency of their critical business applications.”

EPE’s implementation followed the Oracle True Cloud Method, a collaborative approach to cloud implementation designed with customer training engrained in all phases of the project lifecycle. This methodology uses continuous knowledge transfer as a cornerstone to help users develop self-sustaining internal capabilities critical to increasing their cloud investment. The implementation was further enabled by Oracle’s library of complementary implementation assets.