Bracing for the Inevitable: What to do Before Diving Into a CIS Project

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Abstract:

As a key decision-maker in your organization, you can already see the writing on the wall. It is only a matter of time before your legacy billing system, now nearing the end of its life cycle, will need to be replaced. You may have already delayed necessary upgrades because of the impact on customer service and IT staff. Perhaps integration of the current application with other systems is already problematic or customers are clamoring for new features you can't provide. Whatever the reasons, it's time for a new Customer Information System (CIS).

But selecting and implementing a new CIS or undertaking a major upgrade and systems integration project is widely viewed as an expensive, all-consuming, career-risking decision that statistics prove is only successful 35 percent of the time. Clearly, the odds are not in your favor but what can you do?

Building on the experiences and recommendations of the recent Awwa Research Foundation project (Report #91071) 'Effective Practices to Select, Acquire, and Implement a CIS,' the presentation will show you what to do in preparation for a successful CIS implementation or upgrade. We'll explore how to develop an effective and responsible CIS strategy that will ready your organization for success while simultaneously meeting your customers' need for improved service levels.

Building on actual case studies (carefully camouflaged for purposes of confidentiality) the presentation will describe a process your organization can follow as you develop a strategy to fit your specific needs and extract the greatest value from your current billing solution. Preparation, knowledge, and commitment are the keys to a successful CIS implementation and this presentation represents a realistic starting point to proactively prepare.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864706783789932

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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