Utilit-e Central

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Utilit-e Central
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Features & Benefits

Utilit-e Central is an innovative method of delivering software applications via the cloud. In today’s business arena, it is imperative to stay up-to-date with all aspects of the computer system’s hardware and software. This has become a major budget item for most utilities. As the utility of tomorrow expands their product and service offerings, they have a real need to stay on top of the tools needed to accommodate these changes. This would normally mean constant updating of computer servers along with a continual upgrade of software applications. Both require a substantial investment in equipment, licenses, and personnel.

Utilit-e Central provides a method of software delivery eliminating many of the headaches and expenses that go along with maintaining a proper computer server. Companies subscribing to Utilit-e Central use the applications, which can range from customer relations management applications to payroll processing software. Utilit-e Central houses all applications and data at a central facility where PCS manages backups and environmental control, disaster recovery, and professional management of hardware and communications. Utilit-e Central was awarded the Internet Initiative of the Year by the Software and Information Technology of Iowa.

Higher Reliability:

Most hosting centers are designed for 7 x 24 hour operation. Continuous operation is accomplished by utilizing virtual servers housed on redundant hardware systems. This provides the greatest potential access to the applications. Access, in many cases, can be accomplished from the utility office, from a secured remote site, and if allowed the customer may have access to their own account information. Many hosting center’s can provide 99% or better uptime for critical applications. A side benefit includes the fact the hosting center provides data backup services, saving operational time.

Security:

All data is housed at our data center facility. Here data back-up, disaster recovery, and security services are handled by strict methods and safety protocols that no individual utility could hope to achieve this level on their own.

Low Up-Front Investment:

Under the cloud model there are no large up-front payments for software licenses and hardware. Instead, paying a monthly subscription fee will spread the IT costs over time.

Access to High-End Applications:

Budgets often limit the ability to obtain the high-end software you really need. Utilit-e Central’s monthly rental gives you easy and cost-effective access to these business-enhancing programs.

Guaranteed Levels of Performance and Uptime:

Utilit-e Central utilizes servers that are fault tolerant. This means there are many redundant components in the system. If one part should fail, the redundant part takes over and keeps the system online. This provides constant and consistent performance and uptime and virtually continuous availability.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):

In today’s demanding application and computer system environment, small to mid-sized utilities are spending more time and effort each year keeping up with technology. By using a hosting center, the utility will be in an environment where the cost of operations, administration, maintenance, and support is shared by all of the participants in the hosting center. But the most important benefit is the utility moves the requirement of managing the application to the cloud, thereby freeing up staff for more important utility efforts.

More Flexibility:

As programs are updated, immediate benefits are received without waiting for a specialized team to arrive on site. It is all handled from the central location. Many application choices are available and each utility has the ability to choose the best solution for their particular situation.

Scalability:

Hosting centers provide for the ability to scale from just a few users to hundreds of users. This allows utilities to contract for only the services and capacity required today, but for the most part can grow capacity with little effect on the utility or the data center. Gone are the days you have to go back to the board and get permission to purchase memory, disk, add software licenses and etc.

Reduced Initial Capital Costs:

Because there is no need for an extensive in-house computer system with multiple servers and backup systems, the initial investment in Utilit-e Central is much easier to handle. There is also a continued cost savings from a reduced IT staff.

Continuous Access to the Latest Technology:

This is one of the most important underlying benefits; let the hosting center focus on keeping such issues as versions of the database, operating systems, application, virus protection, security up to date versus having to interrupt utility staff and daily operations to keep these licenses current. Most hosting centers have extensive plans to manage and monitor these issues and are typically very good at these technology environments.

Lower Risk:

Utilit-e Central users can run their business with lower risks, costs, and administrative responsibilities associated with developing and maintaining the required IT infrastructure. The latest technology is always available and affordable.

Faster Implementation:

Utilit-e Central is always up and running. When a new utility subscribes to the system, there is no long set-up time involved. The applications are ready to run from the centralized location and you simply need to tap into them. There are also considerable time savings with software upgrades.

Focuses on Serving Utility Customers vs. Managing Technolgy:  As stated before, the utility staff can serve customers as opposed to managing software applications, servers, and databases. Even if the utility has an IT staff, the cloud enables the in-house IT staff to solve core in-house IT issues and manage the overall utility enterprise.