Professional Computer Systems, Co.

May 2018, Newsletter Issue No. 37


  • Save the Date!
  • User Meeting Overview of Workflow Mgmt
  • Connect with Angie - Statements Remodel
  • Points form PSN
  • Marc's Insights
  • MCA - OCH - IM
  • Upcoming Webianrs

  • Upcoming Conferences:

    NWPPA Annual Meeting
    Boise, ID
    May 20, 2018

    PCS Annual User Group Meeting
    Denison, IA
    June 4-7, 2018

    APPA National Conference & Public Power Expo
    New Orleans, LA
    June 15, 2018

    IAMU Golfin' Fore Safety
    Norwalk, IA
    June 25, 2018

    MREA Burn Center Golf Benefit
    Becker, MN
    July 27, 2018

    Upcoming Webinars

    Ins and Outs of Connect Business Intelligence and Power BI
    May 17, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    Utilit-e Connect Setup Rate Related
    July 19, 2018 1:30 - 4:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    To view the 2018 class schedule and dates Click here

    Know someone interested in receiving our newsletter?

    Forward this to them so they can sign up today at the PCS website in the client area at or email


    Phone: (888) 843-3106

    Welcome to the Newsletter


    The 31st Annual User Group Meeting is just around the corner! We are putting the final touches on the software we are rolling out during this year's meeting. Along with perfecting our presentations! We have some exciting things for you so register now and plan to attend! The information in this Newsletter will be a small glimpse into what we are preparing for this year's meeting.
    See you in June.

    Register here!

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    User Meeting Overview of Workflow Management

    Today's utility business must deal with evolving reporting requirements, legal and regulatory issues; not to mention competition from distributed energy sources, pressure to reduce the cost of doing business, and the ever-changing utility business.

    To address these requirements the utility must reconsider and optimize the way they do business and change their processes to support evolving business requirements of the utility.

    There is a new generation of applications being delivered by PCS. These applications provide secure access to data from inside and outside the walls of the business. The data is available on a desktop, laptop, tablet and phone without special installation of software required. These applications will also provide and incorporate a workflow engine.

    As previously discussed at user group meetings, workflow is the definition, execution and automation of business processes. Tasks, information and/or documents are passed from one participant to another for action according to a set of procedural rules.

    At this year's user group meeting, the Tuesday morning session will be dedicated to education on the workflow process. We will have a demonstration of an actual workflow and discuss current and future possibilities for workflow automation at your utility.

    Discussion points:

    • Workflow Management Systems (WFMS) and how they function.
    • Business Process Management (BPM) and how to analyze business processes.
    • Demonstrate how workflow functions in Purchase Requisition Module.
    • Discuss other manual workflows at utilities and discuss how to automate.

    Participants in this session will experience a greater understanding of the value of workflow management systems and the need to analyze current business practices.

    The end result; if a utility implements and automates just a few manual and paper-based processes, it will ultimately reduce paper shuffle, increase collaboration and streamline operations, resulting in saving time and money. All of this by implementing and automating a few business practices. Join us for this informative session June 5th.

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    Connect with Angie

    Statements Remodel

    As Spring is upon us, many of you may be thinking about new projects around the house to freshen things up a bit. Well, it's time to think about a statement layout remodel project. Many of you have mentioned a few little things here and there over the years a few have even made some changes.

    PCS has jumped on that bandwagon. Some projects start small and grow and some we see a bigger vision from the onset. This is one that had a big vision from the word go. We are basically starting over with our statement processing and printing efforts. It's a big project but the plans were drawn up and it's been framed, and the developers are working on the drywall now. The inspectors are starting to get involved to ensure all the necessary data that you might want to put on a customer statement is available.

    The interior decorating design is underway as we are working on the new look and feel. Getting a base starting point is one thing but accommodating all the different possible variables amongst all the utilities adds an interesting twist. Some samples have been drafted but nothing is final pending feedback from all of you. We will be discussing the possibilities at the User Group Meeting, but if you would like a taste of some samples prior to that please let us know.

    If your utility is interested in doing a statement remodel - no matter the size - large or small plan to attend the June meeting.

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    Points from PSN

    New Check 21 Solution from PSN

    Now, scanning and posting paper check payments directly to your PCS cash batch is a breeze with PSN's new Auto-Post Check Scanning solution.

    PSN will provide a plug-and-play check scanner which has been programmed to be integrated with the PSN system and hence, post directly to your cash batch. When you scan a check or other item, an image is captured and stored in the online PSN Account Management Center for easy retrieval and lookup. The amount of the check is entered and flows into PSN and then is posted directly to the PCS Payment Batch. Once turned into an ePayment, funds are deposited without a trip to the bank.


    • High-quality Canon scanners; PSN supports additional scanners, as well
    • Scans and captures images of checks and payment vouchers, stubs, envelopes, correspondence or coupons
    • Applies electronic endorsement
    • Advanced character recognition (CAR/LAR) reads and stores the amount, endorses the checks and saves the selected identifiers from the coupons-whether free-form, handwritten, barcode or OCR.
    • Scans match customer to database for automatic posting to your PCS cash batch
    • Stores images in accordance with Check 21 rules
    • Access and view images of checks, coupons and envelopes in the PSN online Account Management Center


    • Very low-cost entry point for a Check 21 solution
    • Reduces/eliminates manual-entry errors
    • Deposits funds faster
    • Reduces time spent processing paper checks; also reduces risk with fewer people involved in the process
    • Posts payments directly to PCS cash Batch, unlike bank truncation systems
    • View progress of payments in real time
    • Consolidates paper check transactions with other payment channels (e.g., mobile, online, phone, bank bill pay, cashiering) resulting in one deposit and one reconciliation

    Interested? Please contact your PSN Service Account Manager at 866-917-7368 or your PCS support staff at 888-843-3106.

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    Marc's Insights

    Starting last August, PCS began the move of Payroll from the Visual Basic programming language to the .NET programming language. For the everyday user, this didn't really mean much, other than having payroll split into 2 modules. In the release notes I mentioned doing this in phases. We are on the last phase, which includes the check calculation and processing screens. This release will be available around the time of our Annual User Group Meeting in June.

    When you get this release, you will be back to just one Payroll module. We have spent a considerable amount of time and effort moving all Insight modules from VB to .NET, and with that behind us, we can now spend our time working on improvements and new modules.

    Payroll improvements that will be discussed at the Thursday morning session, Architects at Work Designing the Insight Future are:

    • Ability to void a payroll check
    • Ability to withhold a deduction until the balance is $0.00, an example would be a computer loan.
    • Renumber an employee

    Additional topics throughout the week will include:

    • Requisition process
    • Training sessions on balancing and audit preparation
    • Training session on General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Other

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    MCA - OCH - IM

    Alphabet Soup! - We've made some important enhancements, and more are in the works to tie all those letters together.

    MCA - OCH

    PCS has recently developed and deployed the Outage Call Handling (OCH) module. It is being well received and several clients have it implemented. One of the next steps for PCS as it relates to OCH is to extend it to Web CS, MCA & Online. The broth is brewing to stir Outage Call Handling and Mobile Customer Access together.

    A Report/View Outage button is being added to the main menu. Selecting that button will display the Outages menu. The options available and the specifics of what each does will vary slightly based on whether a utility has an outage management system (OMS) in place or not, as well as, the functionalities of the specific OMS.

    To report an outage, the user will see a screen allowing the entry of the outage info similar to that in the Customer Service module. Any outage call entered by the customer via MCA will create an outage call event, the same as if a utility staff person had entered an outage call in Customer Service.

    MCA - IM

    Over the past year or so, more Integrated Messaging (IM) notifications have been made available, as well as, expanding the ways those notifications can be delivered. You can communicate the various IM's by:

    • Email,
    • Text, or
    • Sending a notification to their phone or tablet directly via MCA.

    Phone notifications alert the person there is a message where the person can immediately review the message or log in later. This provides a simple and easy notification for the customer without having to access email or SMS Text.

    These features continue to empower customers with their account information and current events that are important to them at the utility such as outages, billing events, payments and more.

    Tuesday afternoon June 5th, the Connect Touch & Discuss session at the UGM will feature MCA and OCH among others. Come and report an outage!

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    Upcoming Webinars

    Upcoming PCS webinars April and May are listed below... click on the title to register

    Ins and Outs of Connect Business Intelligence and Power BI
    May 17, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    Utilit-e Connect Setup Rate Related
    July 19, 2018 1:30 - 4:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

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    Click here to view all our Prefered Partners

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