LOGIS invited Advanced Utility Systems for an onsite visit May 29th through June 1st for Utility Billing Support Staff training. The purpose of the training visit was to provide one-on-one training to the newest Support Analyst team member. Additionally, Advanced arranged for in-depth training for all team members on such topics as collections, penalty calculations and payment arrangements.
During the site visit, LOGIS staff had the opportunity to review outstanding Team Support incidents. The exclusive time with Advanced Staff gives way to building stronger relationships.
Be sure to attend the Fall 2018 Utility Billing User Group meeting to learn how these features may work for your city.
Advanced released new Build 3.1.27 towards the end of 2017. LOGIS along with some Member volunteers have been working hard to test this new build within Members’ TEST databases. Testing is being done utilizing Windows 7, Windows 10, Office 2013 and Office 2016. LOGIS plans to start rolling out Build 3.1.27 late February and into March 2018.
Along with testing all Member processes on Build 3.1.27, LOGIS is also planning to test the new Web Services Build 03.03.02.17. All Member processes will be tested along with functionality between CIS and Invoice Cloud.
The annual Harris Customer Training Conference took place November 15th – 17th. The event is an opportunity to increase technical and application knowledge, glean insight from peers and provide feedback for product improvement. The two-day pre-conference sessions held on November 13th – 14th, offer in-depth training on best practices for CIS Infinity.
Advanced Utility Systems, a subsidiary of Harris Computers, was represented by 22 employees. There were 176 registered attendees from 64 US clients. LOGIS has been a regular attender of the Customer Training Conference and finds the networking opportunities to be invaluable. Three client-led sessions were on the agenda this year with topics including realizing AMI potential to lessons learned upgrading from Version 3 to Version 4. Client-led sessions are a big success as it allows CIS Infinity clients to network with industry peers.
The semi-annual Utility Billing User Group Meeting was held on October 10th, 2017 at 9:00 AM at the LOGIS office. The User Group consists of 19 Utility Billing member Cities.
After introductions, LOGIS started the discussion by going over upcoming items within the Work Plan. A handful of upcoming projects were mentioned, such as multiple Cities preparing for remote change-out projects, the City of Minnetonka working to implement SAC/REC charges into Utility Billing, and the City of Edina looking to start using a Lockbox for Utility payments.
Discussion questions submitted by the User Group followed the LOGIS topics. Member discussion questions included the use of a phone tree for incoming calls, online options for Move In/Out submissions, Owner Tenant Billing, and best practice for reporting on the number of accounts.
The meeting was rounded out by an update and discussion of the new Electronic Bill Payment & Presentment (EBPP) vendor. Currently 15 LOGIS members are now using the new system.
The User Group Meetings have been a great way for the Utility Billing users and LOGIS to network together to share ideas and best practices.
The replacement of the current Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment solution is rapidly coming to an end. Currently fifteen out of the nineteen Utility Billing Members have had successful Go Lives with Invoice Cloud, and the City of Apple Valley will Go Live on Monday, October 16th, 2017.
The City of Lakeville has chosen a different vendor, and is planning to Go Live the beginning of November. Some of what LOGIS’ role is in the transitioning of the members to the new EBPP vendor(s) include configurations of databases, data conversion such as ACH from CIS to the EBPP vendor and coordinating with the City, and the vendor, the best options to fit Cities business needs.
Additional options some of our members have chosen to make available to their customers include IVR, pay by text, scheduled payments and the ability to pay by echeck.
Advanced has released a new build for CIS Infinity, and LOGIS will begin testing 3.1.27. This testing will be done utilizing Windows 7, Windows 10, Office 2013, and Office 2016. LOGIS is hoping to have this testing done within a 60 day window.
If you would like to volunteer to test the new build in your CIS TEST system, please contact LOGIS UB Support.
The replacement of the current Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment Solution will come to a close by year-end. All Utility Billing members have chosen their new EBPP vendor. To date, thirteen cities are live and four are in progress.
Each implementation team is a collaborative effort and is made up of members from City Utility Billing staff, LOGIS and the vendor. The average implementation is 9 weeks, which is a comfortable pace. We’ve successfully strived to keep projects moving and completed on time.
Shutting Down Your Workstation
Did you know that shutting down your workstation at the end of the day for a minimum of 2 minutes allows the memory to be completely refreshed?
Running CIS Maintenance Weekly
Did you know that running weekly CIS Maintenance before any billing calculation will ensure customer address information is updated?
Vacant Account Move-In Pickup
Did you know there is a pickup routine in CIS that you can run that will move ‘Vacant’ accounts from the ‘Incoming’ status to ‘Active’ status?
Cycle Bill Batches
Did you know that ‘Cycle Bill Batches’ are sort-able on the ‘Amount Due’ column within the billing batch? Sorting this way can give you a quick review of dollar amounts billed, enabling you to see extremely high or low/credit balances in your batch before printing and mailing your bills.
Daily Balancing In CIS
Did you know that daily balancing will provide you confidence that your UB processes are ‘up to par’ and ‘accurate’ at the end of each day? Daily balancing can be a huge time-saver by preventing you from having to ‘dig’ and ‘research’ several days back when something is ‘not right’. Performing ‘Daily Balancing’ will help you preserve the ‘Billing Integrity’ of your City.
VANCO, a leader in the electronic payment solution industry, is releasing a new and improved payment exchange platform in June 2017. The new platform will provide more individual transaction details and anytime viewing of assigned and unassigned transactions.
For efficiency purposes, VANCO is offering two standard platform options. The first choice is the Super Format, which is a comma separated, quote qualified, field layout in .csv format. The second choice is the NACHA format, which is a fixed length position file layout in .txt format.
LOGIS is working with Advanced to determine the best platform option for the 15 Utility Billing members that currently accept payments through VANCO. Configuration of each member’s database will commence thereafter.
LOGIS participated in the 2017 Midwest Regional User Group (MWRUG) meeting held on May 4th. This year’s meeting was hosted by City Water, Light and Power (CWLP), Springfield, IL. Three Advanced Utility Support staff members attended in addition to representatives from Altair and Online Utility Exchange.
The first half of the meeting centered on the topic of Version 4 implementations. The City of Columbia, MO was on-hand to provide input on their V4 implementation project and lessons learned. The conversation was both enlightening and encouraging.
Altair provided a demonstration of the new Envision business intelligence product. The new format is robust and user friendly. Online Utility Exchange held discussions on the importance of Red Flag Rules and how to implement.
The remainder of the meeting was focused on synergy groups. Attendees came together to discuss CIS Infinity V3 and V4 and share our successes, concerns and enhancement requests.