The challenge

Citizens Energy Group—a natural gas, water, steam, chilled water, and wastewater treatment utility that serves nearly 800,000 homes and businesses in Indianapolis—was using an outdated CIS to manage its customer data and produce utility bills. Originally implemented in 1999, the utility’s CIS was long overdue for an upgrade.

Citizens began the process of moving from its aging technology platform to a new, state-of-the-art system that could support and enable the utility’s commitment to excellent customer service. But as preparations began, Citizens identified the risks and challenges inherent with system implementation, digital transformation, and business process improvement across broad intervals of time and technological advances. The utility recognized the benefits of partnering with a proven firm that could provide expert guidance throughout the process.

The solution

Citizens’ digital transformation began with and was completed under the guidance of E Source Solution Services, following the proprietary E Source NavigateOne methodology for strategy and assessment, software and system integrator selection, and implementation leadership. NavigateOne is built on the foundational rule that software projects must resolve real business issues. This focus ensured that Citizens ended up with not just new technology but real, lasting value for the utility, its employees, and its customers. First, the E Source team partnered with Citizens to assess the utility’s business needs. Then, E Source served as the utility’s selection consultant to find the right vendors. Finally, E Source acted as project manager from implementation through launch.

The Citizens core team and management were very impressed with the approach to our project. The NavigateOne methodology was comprehensive and brought industry best practices to assist Citizens in understanding our needs as well as where we could make improvements for our customers. Based on the success of the CIS assessment engagement, we were very confident that E Source was the right company to lead our selection and implementation processes. —Citizens’ director of billing and customer service

The results

With E Source’s guidance, Citizens confidently selected its software partner as well as its system integrator. The E Source team guided and worked alongside Citizens every step of the way to complete the project and help Citizens achieve its goals within scope, under budget, and on time. In 2021, CS Week presented Citizens with an Expanding Excellence Award for Best CIS Implementation Project of the Year.