Easton Suburban Water Authority (ESWA) is in the business of providing water to its customers, not managing technology. One summer, Technology Manager Tim Ryan had enough with focusing valuable time and resources on the utility’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) IT network and servers. Instead of devoting their attention to improving customer service, employees were managing IT issues. And when the servers went down, personnel flocked to fix them.
“We’re distracted from our core mission because we’re busy troubleshooting IT issues. I want our staff focused on better serving our customers. Instead, we’re forced to learn new software languages. There has to be a better way,” said Ryan.
Meeting Customer Expectations
ESWA was incorporated in 1957 to provide water to customers. The utility now serves more than 30,000 households in Easton and its surrounding townships and municipalities in eastern Pennsylvania.
More than fifty employees provide quality water and service to customers at a reasonable rate. To live up to this mission, operational efficiency and focus on customer service are paramount.
Maintaining IT takes time and money
Focus and money were not the only things funneling into ESWA’s AMI IT infrastructure.
Managing servers and software required significant staff time. Maintenance, software updates and downtime cost the utility money. At the end of the day, the utility was investing more time and money but not seeing an increase in operational efficiency or value to the consumer.
“Most utilities don’t realize the total cost of owning and managing an IT infrastructure,” said Ryan.
Finding a better technology solution
ESWA partnered with Sensus for a smart water network solution, including the FlexNet® communication network, more than 30,000 iPERL® water meters, Sensus® Logic MDM™ and Software as a Service (SaaS).
Sensus fully owns and manages the utility’s AMI IT infrastructure in a secure, private cloud-based environment. The result? ESWA personnel can focus on the organization’s mission: operational efficiency with unbeatable customer service.
IT becomes a burden of the past
ESWA is saving money and operating more efficiently because of their partnership with Sensus. With Software as a Service alone, ESWA will save more than $85,000 annually versus owning and managing their own AMI IT infrastructure. They are not alone. With Sensus’ SaaS, most utilities see an average 61 percent return on their investment over five years compared with the costs they would have incurred managing the system themselves.
“The decision was truly a no-brainer,” said Ryan.
Down the road, the utility can rest easy knowing that the cost and burden of software updates and server replacements are not looming. They also know that the cloud-based solution keeps their smart water data secure.
The time and revenue we have recovered from outsourcing our AMI IT network is significant. With Sensus, we have built an infrastructure that will benefit our customers and employees for years to come.
Better service for years to come
The current team at ESWA is proud of the legacy they created through their deployment of Sensus’ technology and software as a service.
“The time and revenue we have recovered from outsourcing our AMI IT network is significant,” said Ryan. “With Sensus, we have built an infrastructure that will benefit our customers and employees for years to come.”
Improve operational efficiency through AMI IT infrastructure management
Outsource software and AMI IT management to Sensus
Use time and revenue saved to better serve consumers