Quest Q&A Magazine Issue 4 2016 - Page 30

By Mat Herron Established in 1923, the Orlando Utilities Commission provides water and electricity to customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of Orange and Osceola counties in Florida. Customer Success: Orlando Utilities Commission OUC is the second largest municipally owned utility in the state, and the 14th largest in the United States, serving nearly 350,000 customers every day. OUC also operates coal, natural gas and solar facilities, seven water treatment plants, as well as maintaining 4,000 miles of electric and water lines. The commission has more than $2 billion in assets and annual operating budget of $673 million. OUC has been a customer of J.D. Edwards since 1999, when the utility implemented the software to become Y2K compliant. They have since upgraded to EnterpriseOne 9.2 in June 2016. J.D. Edwards released EnterpriseOne 9.2 in October 2015 to help businesses achieve their goals as they continue to transform in a dynamic digital economy. The OUC’s EnterpriseOne steering committee, which oversaw the transition to 9.2, needed a new solution for a number of reasons. For one, OUC’s purchasing 30 Q&A • Issue 4 • 2016 department did not have a system in place for effective contract administration, a key responsibility for that department. Third, the commission’s finance and accounting divisions were beginning to review their business procedures related to vendor contract management and project costing. “The second driver for this project has been the repeated requests from the General Manager’s Office for transparency into project costs,” according to documents provided by the commission. “After a significant level of review by a small committee of staff, it has become more evident that OUC needs a significant process change in both E1 and where projects and contracts overlap in order to accomplish this goal.” Other advantages to selecting the upgrade included: enhancements in mobile applications, advanced job forecasting, real-time financial reconciliation and in-memory project portfolio management. All these features exist within an intuitive interface. These improvements have allowed the commission to exercise greater transparency in vendor management and project costing, as well as eschewing conventional user ID and passwords in favor of more robust security features and reduce the amount of funding needed to hire outside labor. Patricia Petrone, senior programmer analyst at OUC, says the upgrade was vital to their core mission because of high demand for new projects. “This upgrade was the fastest upgrade we’ve ever done, and there was very little fall-out,” Petrone said. “There was also no training needed outside (of) providing for a net change training using UPK. There was such a high demand for new projects from our business clients that we really needed to get the upgrade out of the way to provide a lot of runway to get the rest of the projects done.”