The three main themes communicated during this WaterSide Chat were as follows:
- A three pronged approach will lead to a successful digital transformation: create a roadmap of the technology you plan to invest in, define KPI’s for how this technology will impact front and back office early on, and foster an innovative culture amongst staff and customers.
- It’s all about the data! Utilities must continually clean their data in order to avoid analyzing ‘bad data’ and normalize the data in order to have clarity across the multiple systems within a utility. Once a procedure has been put into place for maintaining data, it pays dividends on the customer service side.
- Utility staff will be more efficient if they can get their customers to be self-sufficient. Providing access to data and solutions digitally cuts down on calls and the likelihood of customers coming in person to discuss with staff.
Gigi Karmous-Edwards has built her 30-year career by utilizing science and engineering to solve global issues as an advisor, academic researcher, software and hardware developer, and entrepreneur. In that time, she has worked with state-of-the-art digital technologies, including IoT, data architecture, data analytics, control, and automation. Within the last decade, Gigi has focused her efforts on helping organizations solve global challenges relating to Water through advanced digital technological solutions with sustainability as a primary goal. Notably, she has worked with global leaders of water utilities and technology companies to accelerate the Digital Transformation of the water sector. As the Digital-Lead Director for Amane Advisors, Gigi provided business advisory to water technology companies and utilities regarding digital transformation, digital strategy, growth strategy, technology partnerships, and analysis.
Scott Gargano is the Customer Service Systems Manager at the Village of Lombard in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has been with Lombard for 3 months and is overseeing Customer Service, Water Billing and the village’s automation projects. Scott has been in various IT and Customer Service roles in his career. The Village of Lombard brought Scott on to help integrate systems, streamline processes and to be the “Unique Geek” the village has long desired. In Scott’s free time he enjoys puzzles and playing video games with his sons.