CS Week Puts the New in New Year

If ever the utility industry needed fresh material and challenging topics, 2012 is the year. The economy, regulatory issues, the rapid pace of change—even severe weather—have altered the utility environment forever.

CS Week 2012 is ready with a full week of multiple educational venues in which everything is new, current and pertinent to the different groups of attendees.

Five completely new CS Week Colleges convene Monday, April 30. The topics are well beyond the expected in-depth courses:

  • Customer Engagement—Looking at the Customer through a Broader Lens, with a Deeper Understanding (conducted by three directors of J.D. Power and Associates working with CS Week for the first time)
  • Using the Smart Grid after Smart Meter Installation
  • Business Intelligence in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Evaluating Your CIS Options: Maintain, Migrate, Enhance or Replace
  • Leading an Engaged Workforce Committed to Your Results

The CS Week Synergy Groups meet Tuesday, May 1. Last year’s newest group was credit and collections. This year we welcome billing and payments to the business process groups, again at the request of conference goers. Elster, Oracle and SAP always bring new topics and solutions to their application user groups.

The 60-plus workshops of Conference 36 use top speakers and hands-on experts to address the seven workshop tracks. The semantic change from “customer service” to “customer engagement” signals the focus on interaction, responsiveness and accountability utilities, munis, co-ops and government entities are bringing to the customer relationship. The workshops also reflect a growing demand for gas and water topics. Nearly 20 percent of workshop speakers are from water utilities.

The Expanding Excellence Awards, co-sponsored with Electric Light & Power magazine, triumph the finest solutions and most innovative approaches to challenges all utilities face. The winning utilities for 2012 will be announced Wednesday, May 2. Workshops based on successful strategies and lessons learned are included on the workshop schedule.

Thursday’s general session welcomes customer-focused strategy expert Chip Bell as he tackles what he terms “wired and dangerous” consumers and the broadening impact of social media in the utility-customer relationship. Friday’s general session will send attendees back to their utilities with a great deal to think about after the interactive Greatest Myths in Customer Service panel discussion.

No one believes that the pace of change is about to slow. As utility professionals have known for the past 35 years, CS Week is the leader in customer service, information technology and smart infrastructure learning opportunities. We look forward to welcoming you April 30 through May 4 for to CS Week 2012 at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas-Fort Worth. Visit http://csweek.org for more information.

Jerry Duvall, CEO, CS Week

Rod Litke, COO, CS Week

For more information, please visit http://csweek.org

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