Aug
26

iFactor and PSE&G to Present at the 2014 EUCI Outage Communications Conference in Chicago

October 28-29, 2014, Chicago, IL


We are excited to be participating in a joint presentation with New Jersey utility Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) at the 2014 EUCI Outage Communications Conference, “Going Beyond Customer-Focused Outage Information – Addressing New Audiences.” With increasing weather-related outages and new regulations requiring more frequent communications, many utilities are finding they have new audiences who are demanding outage information. In addition to providing information to their customers, utilities are being asked to provide information to new stakeholders in their communities, such as local government, regulatory officials, journalists, and emergency responders. This presentation will cover some of the latest trends and innovations in outage communications and share the work PSE&G has done to expand outage communications to additional stakeholders in its region.

Please join us at the 2014 EUCI Outage Communications Conference

The conference will be held October 28-29, 2014 in Chicago, IL and will feature experts from across the U.S. sharing their experiences in dealing with outages and how their organizations are transforming the communications landscape. For more information, click here to download a PDF brochure.

As a sponsor, we are able to extend an EXCLUSIVE 15% discount* off the registration price to our colleagues, associates, and contacts for the event. Click the link below to register, and make sure to use the corresponding discount code: IFACC to receive your discount.

*Please note that these discounts cannot be combined with others, such as the 4th free discount. Discounts may be applied to new registrations only.

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
20

Mississippi Power Adds Outage Alerts and Mobile Apps for Customers

On June 24, Mississippi Power announced the addition of two new communication tools – an outage alert system and a mobile app. Designed to help customers during outages and provide news about the company, these tools are part of an initiative to improve customer experience that also includes a redesign of the Mississippi Power website.

“Instant notifications are just one example of how Mississippi Power is evolving our service,” said Customer Operations Manager Charlie Sentell. “Making use of new technology is a great way to keep our customers in the loop.”

The outage alert system, which is powered by iFactor’s Notifi® product, provides outage notifications and restoration updates by text message, email, or automated voice message. Mississippi Power promoted the alert system with a video showing how to sign up, as well as a press release and posts on the Utility’s social media pages.

MS Power Outage Notifications Video

The Utility’s Outage Alerts FAQ page also includes information about how to register, including a required confirmation step, as well as a list of the keywords available for two-way text messaging and the types of outage alerts offered.

MS Power Text Messaging Keywords

Mississippi Power also launched a mobile outage app, powered by iFactor Mobile™, which provides a mobile version of the Utility’s outage map, tools for reporting an outage and checking outage status, and links to important phone numbers and the Utility’s social media pages. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.

MS Power mobile outage app home screen MS Power mobile outage app check power status MS Power mobile outage app map

More information about the Mississippi Power’s outage communication tools can be seen in an article featured in the July edition of South Mississippi Living magazine. For more information about the Notifi alert and preference management system or iFactor Mobile apps, contact us at info@ifactorconsulting.com.

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
15

Infographic – Why Utilities Should Have Power Outage Maps

Power outage maps are becoming increasingly important tools in utilities’ customer communication strategies. Check out our infographic below to learn how power outage maps built with the right features can help utilities save money and improve customer satisfaction.

Why Utilities Should Have Power Outage Maps

 

To embed this infographic on your own blog or webpage, copy the code below:

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
13

Pepco Holdings Updates Outage Map, Adds New Streetlight Outage Maps

Pepco Holdings continues to enhance its outage map offerings. The most recent developments are additions to the local area information provided on the Pepco outage map, as well as new streetlight outage maps for Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power.

Municipal Restoration Information

Pepco has updated its outage map to display additional information about outages and outage restoration at the area and zip code levels. Information about the number of customers served, number of customers affected by outages, percentage of customers affected by outages, and estimated restoration time have been added to the information boxes for areas and zip codes on the map. The information boxes also include a link to a website on understanding the restoration process. These updates are similar to those implemented for Pepco Holdings companies Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power.

Pepco map with zip code info box

Pepco outage map showing zip code information box with additional outage and restoration information.

StreetLight Outages Maps

Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power have launched StreetLight Outages™ maps to help customers quickly locate and report issues with streetlights such as flickering lights, lights out at night, or lights on during the day.

The new maps also include rollover displays of counties and municipalities, which make it even easier for customers to locate streetlights with issues. For example, clicking on a county will cause the map to zoom in to a display centered on that county.

ACE SLO map with county-level rollover

Atlantic City Electric StreetLight Outages map showing a county rollover area.

ACE SLO map with municipal-level rollover

Atlantic City Electric StreetLight Outages map showing a municipality rollover area.

 

ACE SLO map with streetlight-level info box

Atlantic City Electric StreetLight Outages map showing the information box for an individual streetlight, including a link to the form for reporting a problem with the light.

The maps are currently accessible from desktop and mobile devices, and are also planned to be included in an upcoming update to PHI’s mobile apps.

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

 
Aug
7

iFactor Attends White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day

Last week, iFactor attended the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day. The event showcased innovative technologies designed to aid first responders and survivors in the wake of a disaster.

Nigel Snoad, Google, with David Way, National Grid, presenting the Outage Data Initiative and Google Crisis Map.

Nigel Snoad, Google, with David Way, National Grid, presenting the Outage Data Initiative and Google Crisis Map.

During the afternoon event, Nick Sinai, the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shared the announcement made on May 28 in which a number of utilities and technology companies declared their intent to develop and use a standard format for publishing outage and restoration information. Following this announcement, David Way of National Grid and Nigel Snoad of Google presented on behalf of the Open Power Status Initiative group, sharing the progress the group has made and showing what a Google Crisis Map that uses this type of data may look like. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) also demonstrated their “Lantern Live” mobile app that combines power outage information and outage reporting with other useful information such as the locations of gas stations with fuel available. A recorded version of the event may be viewed here.

Demo of Lantern Live application showing power outage information.

Demo of Lantern Live application showing power outage information.

iFactor also took part in a Power Outage Data meeting earlier in the day with utility and government representatives. The meeting included participants from the DOE, the department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who shared their expected applications for standardized outage data. The DOE expects to use the data to inform first responders, HHS expects to use the data to help first responders and public health professionals identify power-dependant populations such as people on ventilators, and FEMA plans to use the data to decide where to allocate resources such as ice and generators. Google also shared their interest in the data, citing their Hurricane Sandy Crisis Map as likely the most viewed map in history with approximately 50 million map views. During the meeting, the attendees also discussed the idea of providing predictive data to aid in disaster response and recovery, as well as concerns around licensing of the standardized data and maintaining customer privacy.

For more information about iFactor’s involvement with the Open Power Status Initiative, view our press release here. If you would like to learn more about the initiative or get involved, please contact Jason Hernandez.

 
 

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.