Thoughts

A place for education, information, and insights about the water industry.

Topics: Editorial

To Build or Not to Build?

April 14, 2020
| By Ali Barsamian

Times have changed and current customer expectations established by other industries are pushing water utilities to re-evaluate their customers' experience.  Providing a one-stop shop for customers to view and track water consumption, and take additional self-service actions is quickly becoming table stakes for water utilities of all sizes. Bluefield Research predicts a 17.1% compound annual growth rate for investment in customer engagement software platforms in the coming years.  As utilities consider deploying said solution, a myriad of team members from varying departments will likely want specific features or functionalities included with the project. Before long, the list of requirements can begin to feel overwhelmingly long and incredibly unique to the utility's particular needs. 

A natural reaction for some may be to assume their needs are so unique that a custom solution must be developed in-house in order to adequately
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Topics: operating expenses

Accounting for Utility Software Services

July 17, 2018
| By Jeff Lipton
The software vendor business model has evolved rather dramatically in the past decade or so. Traditionally, utility software providers (including SCAD A, customer information systems, work order management, rebate tracking, and other common solutions used by water utilities) would sell a pe rpetual license to their water utility customers who would then install the software on a local computer or server.  Customers would have the option of purchasing annual maintenance and support packages and could upgrade the installed software every few years as new versions with additional functionality became available. This business model allowed customers to 'own' the software which also meant they could budget for the technology expense in a single fiscal period and then decide whether or not to update to a newer version in the future.
 
Unfortunately this model has some inherent disadvantages for the water utility customer: 
  • The utility
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