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STS IVR:

Our work with outage management systems has led us to the development of a new type of IVR system for the cooperative market. We have worked with all of the major players over the years, and have developed a new IVR system to address the problems we have seen with the existing IVR solutions. 

The Siena Telephony System (STS) utilizes a standards based environment for an interactive voice response (IVR) system. The STS IVR allows for the utilization of the best of breed applications and hardware components to develop and maintain a number of call scenarios designed for the electric utility marketplace. 

The STS system was designed from the ground up to provide a functional base of components rather then a single monolithic IVR server. The STS server architecture is a modular and highly scalable environment. The STS software components utilize a mix of applications in an open architecture which allows the mixing and matching of the ideal components for every implementation.

Hardware:

The STS Server components utilize standard off the shelf computing resources. This allows the purchasing utility to include corporate standardized hardware as a server base. Multiple (1..n) standardized rack (or tower) servers provide a range of capabilities:

  • Load balancing between servers
  • Failover capabilities (Redundancy)

  • Test and production environments

  • Multiple Physical Locations

     

Telephone hardware is also a component that historically has been proprietary solution from the IVR vendor. However the STS Server can utilize a host of standardized telephony interconnects:


  • Standards Based T1 / E1 (up to 4 channels per card)

  • Direct PBX and Telco Connections

  • Native IP connections (SIP, IAX, H323 ,etc)


Software:

The STS software components utilize a layered plug in approach. This allows us to remove and replace components very easily as customer requirements or technology changes. The basic components of the software tree include:


  • Multiple Text to Speech and Speech Recognition Engines

  • Oracle Database Applications

  • Audio Listener Application

  • Reporting Tools


Intelligence:

The STS system bases it's call flow on an industry standard XML call tree. The call tree is developed, and may be dynamically updated utilizing the STS Call Tree Development Tool. The call tree is linked directly into the intelligence and business decisions available in the oracle application database. The STS database is typically contained within a larger corporate database environment which provides the STS application a direct tie to a host of business logic components. Examples include:


  • Direct access to customer data:

    • Customer identification (phone, account, etc)

    • Billing Functions (Payments, arrangements, etc)
  • Access to Outage Management Components:

    • Customer Outage Status

    • Network Status

    • Crew Dispatch Details

  • Employee Functions:

    • Time Tracking

    • Availability Reporting

       

In addition to direct access of business logic, the STS system can provide detailed information on historical and current status. This includes full reporting capabilities in real time. In addition storage and playback of voicemails and full message recording (through both telephony interfaces, and desktop application software) is available.

The STS methodology is a departure from the standard monolithic IVR platforms. It utilizes a compilation of suites of tools which provide the optimal form and function for telephony systems. The applications leverage the existing database infrastructure to provide a seamless integration with existing business logic.

Both text to speech and speech recognition engines may be interfaced into the STS software stack. These applications may be chosen based on customer requirements.

The STS applications can utilize existing and future applications. By providing a standards based interface for the STS server components, this application becomes part of a flexible infrastructure environment where almost any imaginable telephony application can be easily deployed. 




Web Maps

We developed our web based maps based on a requirement to provide access to outage information from a client's web site. The development of the Siena Web Maps involves a combination of Google mapping technology, and outage information derived from a customers Outage Management System (OMS).

 

The web based map provides a portal of information that can be accessed by members, media, and employees. The information is up to date, and is updated every minute from the OMS system.

 

The display provides both map based and tabular based information for showing affected areas by zip code, county, or any other geographic region.





Trouble Call Entry


Trouble Call entry as a process needs to be quick and streamlined. Siena has developed a custom trouble call entry form for use by Customer Service Representatives (CSR), Dispatchers, and anyone in the company that is required to assist during a major storm scenario. 

This form has been designed to provide a simple intuitive interface for trouble call entry and historic customer information retrieval.

Utilizing Java components this application is typically deployed as a standalone application, or it may be deployed through a web site. Flexibility in the design allows us to quickly customize the user interface for each of our clients. We can easily add or remove fields and customize the look and feel of this application.

The application provides trouble call entry, historical lookup of customer accounts, and a current outage listing. The mechanism for looking up accounts includes features which will locate information based on partial information. The application will provide results as the client enters information into the form. This allows for simple navigation through a large number of account information.

All outage history for an account is available. History shows both calls taken for this consumer and outages that have affected the consumer. Additional details such as the cause of the outage and equipment affected is easily accessible. This allows a CSR to quickly ascertain the number of outages a particular consumer has been affected by in the past. Historical knowledge promotes better customer care.




Outage Reporting

 

Outage Reporting can mean many different things to different parts of your organization. Operations may have a need for very precise detailed listing of every single outage reported during the past 24 hours. Customer service may need specific details about outages that have affected a single account. Engineering may need general statistical information for an entire substation.

 

Siena Tech's Outage Reporting system has been developed as a tool to satisfy all of the query requirements from all of your departments. The report has been designed to provide a thorough and feature rich environment to access all outage related data.

 

Utilizing Java components this application is typically deployed as a standalone application, or it may be deployed through a web site. Flexibility in the design allows us to quickly customize the user interface for each of our clients. We can easily add or remove fields, tabs reports, features and customize the look and feel of this application.

 

Included in the basic reporting module are the following components:

  • Outage Reporting
    • Daily detailed outage history
    • Current Outage Status detailed by operating districts
    • Trouble Call history
    • Account history
    • System tag history
    • Network Device history
    • Non Matched call history
    • Service Order details and history
  • Outage Indices
    • Yearly / Monthly Totals
    • Breakdown by District
    • Breakdown by Substation
    • Breakdown by Feeder
  • Charting
    • Yearly Outage Indices Charts
    • Outage Cause Breakdown by date, Substation, District
    • Trouble Call Entry sources
    • Hourly / Daily Monthly Outage, Members and Calls Charts
  • Statistical analysis of CSR performance



Outage Dashboards

In order to provide a single one look reference for current outage status, Siena Tech has developed their outage dashboards. This is a specialized report which shows current outage status in a quick easy to scan format. Included are a number of tabular and chart based components which provide an overview of the current outage situation.

 

Siena Tech's Outage Dashboards have been developed from the ground up to allow anyone in the organization from dispatcher to CEO to get a very quick and thorough status of their current outages.

 

This Dashboard is completely customizable to the needs of each client. It may be broken down into system and individual districts to allow district managers to focus on outages only in their area.