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ARCOS resource management software to help Cleco Power accelerate cost recovery

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Columbus, Ohio – October 1, 2018 – ARCOS® LLC – a provider of resource management software and services for critical infrastructure sectors – is implementing its solutions for automating the way Cleco Power: responds to storms and major events within its service territory; restores service; and reports on associated costs. Cleco Power employs approximately 1,200 people who serve nearly 290,000 retail customers in Louisiana via 12,000 miles of distribution lines.

“ARCOS will support our efforts to assemble and direct our internal and external crews,” said James Lass, general manager for Distribution Engineering & Emergency Management at Cleco Power. “ARCOS will help us provide data on response team personnel, including who was involved in the event, what they accomplished and for how long. That lets us quickly validate data and prepare a cost-analysis report.” Read More

ARCOS Software and Processes Certified by SOC 2 Type II Audit

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Columbus, Ohio – August 15, 2018

ARCOS® LLC successfully completed a Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type II audit for the period October 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018, to ensure the software maker is protecting its utility industry customers. Plante Moran, PLLC, a public accounting and consulting firm, conducted the independent SOC examination and evaluated and tested ARCOS’s internal operational controls and processes.

The six-month audit led to a certification, which ARCOS received in June 2018. The certification expires in June 2019. ARCOS has made its SOC 2 Type II reports available for clients and prospective customers since passing its first audit in 2014.

As hackers increasingly threaten power grids in the U.S. and abroad, software providers that serve utility companies must be vigilant about protecting their customers. According to a May 2016 article from The Hill, “There are more reported cyber incidents in the energy industry than in healthcare, finance, transportation, water and communications combined …” Read More

North American utilities make ARCOS Conference hub for fine-tuning emergency preparedness, resource management

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Columbus, Ohio – March 1, 2018

From March 4 – 7, 2018, in San Antonio, ARCOS® LLC will host nearly 200 attendees from North American utilities at the 15th-annual ARCOS Conference where industry speakers will present what they have learned about improving reliability, boosting emergency response and reducing restoration time. Rudy Garza, senior vice president of Distribution Services & Operations for CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned energy utility, will deliver the keynote.

This year’s agenda includes roundtables and scenario-based training with experts in emergency preparedness, operations and ICS management from gas, electric, power generation and water utilities including American Electric Power, NiSource, Southern Company and industry groups such as the Edison Electric Institute. Presenters will show how they’re able to quickly respond, restore service and report on outcomes daily and during major events using cutting-edge tools for assessing damage and automatically organizing and deploying resources and crews. Read More

Canadian Electricity Assoc. webinar features how and why utilities are automating callout

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Canadian Electric Association

Ottawa – February 13, 2018

The Canadian Electricity Association and its corporate partner ARCOS® LLC will host a one-hour webinar on February 13 at 1 p.m. EST with utility experts from Alectra Utilities and Eversource Energy who will explain the benefits of automating crew callout, scheduling and crew management.

The webinar will show attendees why Alectra and Eversource automated their callout and scheduling of lineworkers and how their systems work. Speakers will explain how automating these processes help get service restored faster for customers, improve equitable distribution of overtime work and give utility executives better insight into how their workforce is deployed. Read More

With ARCOS, Tennessee American Water reduces response time to fix water main breaks

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Columbus, Ohio – December 5, 2017

ARCOS® LLC has implemented its Software-as-a-Service ARCOS CallOut® and Scheduling solution at the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Tennessee American Water to automate how the utility’s distribution department responds to customer emergencies. For Tennessee American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, responding to emergencies includes making calls to the utility’s employees to locate available crews to restore water main breaks and shut off meters during after-hours, unplanned events.

“The ARCOS system reduces by as much as 30 minutes the time it takes us to get a crew assembled and out into the field to shut off water and begin repairs,” says Casey Allen, operations superintendent for Tennessee American Water. “With a large main break, water can quickly damage a road, adjacent land, or even surrounding structures. One break can exceed several thousands of dollars of damage.” Read More

With ARCOS, NOVEC looks to reduce length of power outages

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Columbus, Ohio – November 16, 2017

ARCOS LLC is implementing its ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite to help Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) expedite electric service restoration, focus on safety and reduce the utility’s System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which is the total annual duration of outage interruptions per customer.

“The ARCOS software will automatically find and contact our employees. Instead of spending their valuable time on the phone, our system operators will be able to activate ARCOS with only a few clicks and then focus on critical tasks such as high-voltage switching or coordinating restoration work with service technicians in the field,” says Dan Swingle, vice president of System Operations for NOVEC. “We’re hoping that ARCOS will reduce our service restoration times, which will also help us meet our SAIDI goal.”

NOVEC’s 2016 SAIDI was 45.79 minutes, calculated without outages related to major events. The utility’s five-year average SAIDI, excluding major events, is 49.56 minutes. J. D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction study placed NOVEC second among the 138 largest electric utilities in the nation. NOVEC also ranked second in Power Quality and Reliability, the largest contributor to overall customer satisfaction, according to the study.

“We always look for cost-effective ways to improve performance in the operations division, but at our high level of achievement, it’s increasingly difficult to reduce SAIDI. We expect ARCOS to give us an edge through automation,” adds Swingle. “If an automated callout process gets our people to work faster, then we’ll be able to restore power faster.”

NOVEC has been using a labor-intensive process to monitor minimum callout requirements for approximately 215 union employees. Through its partnership with ARCOS, the Cooperative expects to reduce the amount of staff time it takes to initiate callouts and track responses. According to Swingle, NOVEC administrators, on average, spend an hour per day documenting callouts; sometimes that climbs to three or four hours during a busy event.

“We’ve also had major events that required operators to spend 9 to 10 hours making callouts, which diverted their focus from their primary job – restoring power to NOVEC customers,” says Swingle.

With ARCOS, operators and staff can concentrate solely on service and safety, instead of tallying callout requirements and resolving complaints, which can easily require an hour per incident. Through automation of the crew assembly and deployment process, NOVEC expects to improve overall outage response and, thereby, reduce service restoration times, while maintaining its high employee safety standards. The data provided by the ARCOS system will also enable final event reports to be produced quickly and accurately. In addition to its union workforce, NOVEC plans to add another 107 employees to the ARCOS system. This will enable system operators to reach all or specific groups of employees with alerts, news or requests for assistance.

“Comparing the cost of ARCOS to what we’ve spent administratively on manual callouts clearly justified the investment in the ARCOS system,” adds Swingle.

About NOVEC

NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a not-for-profit corporation that provides electricity to more than 166,000 metered customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the City of Manassas Park, and the Town of Clifton. It also supplies natural gas and energy products and services to consumers in the Washington, D.C., region. The utility serves more customers than any electric co-op in Virginia and is one of the largest electric cooperatives in the United States.

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is the North American leader in delivering resource management SaaS solutions to the utility industry. ARCOS automates crew assembly and resource management daily and during emergencies, ultimately helping to restore energy faster, yet safely, to communities. The award-winning solution helps utilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at www.arcos-inc.com. ARCOS CallOut® and ARCOS Crew Manager® are registered trademarks of ARCOS LLC.

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For ninth time since 2007, ARCOS one of Central Ohio’s 50 fastest-growing companies

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Columbus, Ohio – October 19, 2017

ARCOS LLC has again won a place on the Columbus Business First Fast 50 – the annual list of the 50 fastest-growing emerging companies in Central Ohio. The Fast 50 Award recognizes companies for financial growth and performance over the past three years. ARCOS has made the list nine times in the last 11 years, the most appearances by any of the 2017 honorees according to Columbus Business First. This year ARCOS ranks #25.

“Since we last appeared on the Fast 50 list in 2014 we’ve launched a variety of new products, acquired two competitors and expanded internationally into the Canadian utility market,” said Bruce Duff, chief executive officer of ARCOS LLC.

American and Canadian electric, gas and water utilities along with power generation plants rely on ARCOS to keep service running. ARCOS resource management solutions help utilities respond to both after-hours and major events; restore service by quickly and safely assembling crews; and report on the outcome, which informs executives, first responders, regulators, media and the public. Eighty-seven percent of U.S. households are served by utilities that use ARCOS technology to accurately track restoration time and speed up the mobilization of crews.

“With our solutions, contacting utility crews and reporting on the outcome of restoration work literally happens with the click of a button from a laptop and any mobile device,” adds Duff.

The flagship ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite is a software-as-a-service platform that utility managers use to automatically assemble available crews, analyze crew response and report outcomes. The ARCOS Damage Assessment solution helps shorten the process of surveying damage caused by major events like Harvey and Irma from days to hours. The newest ARCOS product, Resource Assist™, automates the manual process of requesting and managing third-party resources and equipment for restoring services during major events or when needed. Other products from ARCOS chart crew staffing and time worked, so utilities can manage crew safety, gauge restoration costs and quickly respond to requests.

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is the North American leader in delivering resource management SaaS solutions to the utility industry. ARCOS automates crew assembly and resource management daily and during emergencies, ultimately helping to restore energy faster, yet safely, to communities. The award-winning solution helps utilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at www.arcos-inc.com. ARCOS CallOut® and ARCOS Crew Manager® are registered trademarks of ARCOS LLC.

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ARCOS Resource Assist software gives utilities clarity about availability of contract crews

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Columbus, Ohio – October 3, 2017 

ARCOS has released a software solution called Resource Assist™ – a new addition to its Resource Management platform – that clarifies and automates the often manual process of determining the number of available contractors and equipment for restoring utility services and securing commitments for these resources, especially during major events.

Resource Assist replaces a utility’s myriad handmade spreadsheets, phone calls, texts and emails with real-time data including a contract crew’s make-up, location, availability and contact information. The solution automates requests for contract crews and the process by which contract crews become available within a utility company’s ARCOS platform.

“On average a utility looks to about 20 contract companies for restoration assistance,” says Matt Mikula, senior director of Product Management at ARCOS. “When managers face an event, they begin an hours-long, manual and bulky process to reach contractors and verify who can assist with restoration. For events like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, contractors and utility crews number in the tens of thousands.

“With Resource Assist, outreach and reporting literally happens with the click of a button from a laptop or mobile device; RA is a high value restoration assistance tool,” adds Mikula.

As a utility plans for a forecasted storm, managers can use Resource Assist to request the desired number of crew types and confirm their availability with a few keystrokes. Along the way, Resource Assist provides Notifications and Alerts to approved users, ensuring key information is waiting for them.

Contractors respond to utility requests via their own portal within Resource Assist. Once there, contractors can view where all their resources are, respond to utility requests, input information about their crews, pre-build their crews and even swap crew members in the event a worker with a particular skill is needed elsewhere or becomes sick. Since updating Resource Assist is an electronic process, any changes contractors make become immediate updates for any utility using the solution.

For contractors not yet in Resource Assist, a utility can still use it to document phone or email requests, allowing utilities to standardize on one process and tool. Utilities can invite their contractors to participate directly, via an integrated connection request and invite system. Resource Assist captures all relevant request data along the way and identifies trends, crew status and data for reconciling invoices.

“When regional outages spawn mutual assist events, RMAG governance takes over and Resource Assist supports a utility in identifying crews to offer the RMAG via output in a Common Roster,” adds Mikula. “If supported, utilities can import the Common Roster to other tools the RMAG uses, or Resource Assist can integrate via web services. Resource Assist does not overlap with the RMAG process.”

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is the North American leader in delivering resource management SaaS solutions to the utility industry. ARCOS automates crew assembly and resource management daily and during emergencies, ultimately helping to restore energy faster, yet safely, to communities. The award-winning solution helps utilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at www.arcos-inc.com.  ARCOS CallOut® and ARCOS Crew Manager® are registered trademarks of ARCOS LLC.

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EWEB picks ARCOS to standardize and computerize calls for restoring water and power

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Columbus, Ohio – September 11, 2017

ARCOS® LLC has implemented its Software-as-a-Service ARCOS CallOut® and Scheduling solution at the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) – Oregon’s largest publicly owned water and electric utility – to expedite the restoration of water main breaks and power outages.

“Before ARCOS, any report of a broken water main or electric outage after normal business hours came to our Operations Control Center,” said Larry Longworth, the transmission and distribution dispatch supervisor for EWEB. “We constantly kept track of which water troubleshooter was on call, and once notified, the troubleshooter would pull a paper list of crews and spend 45 minutes or more calling crew members to assemble a team to fix a water main or lateral break.”

EWEB now relies on ARCOS to automatically track all available water troubleshooters and the crews able to respond to and restore service interruptions. Water troubleshooters carry tablets in their trucks to access ARCOS. With the ARCOS app, they make an automated callout to assemble a crew from a list of available workers, while deciding which valves to shut off or throttle down.

“With automated callout, our water troubleshooters have more time to gather equipment from the yard or study maps to restore service in the quickest, safest way,” added Longworth.

According to Longworth, the flexibility of the ARCOS solution is its strength. Until ARCOS, EWEB’s electric operations relied on 21 paper lists indicating which crews across in which groups were available for after-hours work. Each group’s list owner regularly called and emailed the EWEB Operations Center to update crew members’ availability. By recreating these lists in the ARCOS platform, EWEB’s dispatch desk has given the list owners control to electronically update and change crew status. The ARCOS solution automatically tracks these changes, including the callouts. Longworth says electronic tracking eliminated workers’ complaints about missing a call or being skipped over to work additional hours.

“I can report on and analyze anything that’s happened with a callout,” said Longworth. “Until you have ARCOS, you don’t know what you can measure.”

According to EWEB, automated callout has saved labor every step of the way. While the utility acknowledges it is tougher to measure the impact on CAIDI, Longworth estimates it is conceivable EWEB has reduced that number by five to 10 minutes with ARCOS.

“ARCOS customer support is exceptional, too,” added Longworth. “Around the clock, people are there who can answer our questions about the system and get us back on track quickly.”

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is the North American leader in delivering resource management SaaS solutions to the utility industry. ARCOS automates crew assembly and resource management daily and during emergencies, ultimately helping to restore energy faster, yet safely, to communities. The award-winning solution helps utilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at www.arcos-inc.com. ARCOS CallOut® and ARCOS Crew Manager® are registered trademarks of ARCOS LLC.

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Suffolk County Water Authority automates response to water main breaks with ARCOS

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Columbus, Ohio – August 28, 2017

ARCOS® LLC has implemented its Software-as-a-Service ARCOS CallOut® and Scheduling solution at the Oakdale, N.Y.-headquartered Suffolk County Water Authority to automate how the utility deploys its staff when responding to customer emergencies.

“Until recently it took a significant amount of time to manually call union employees when responding to customer calls, taxing supervisors who made calls from paper lists while juggling other duties,” says Jeffrey Szabo, chief executive officer for the Suffolk County Water Authority. “Manual callouts delayed assembling crews, lengthening emergency response time.”

SCWA, which supplies safe, potable drinking water to 1.2 million residents on Long Island, has implemented an automated callout system for its Customer Service personnel as well as Construction Maintenance and Production Control departments that enables the water authority to expeditiously respond to, restore and report on water service interruptions. With a few keystrokes, the system automatically mirrors union agreements dictating the order of callouts and finds and confirms available crews in minutes.

When using the callout system after business hours, Szabo says the utility mobilizes crews and responds to work up to 40 minutes faster than the prior manual process. With the automated system, supervisors can now have paperwork ready, a “mark out” called in and be on site when crews arrive. SCWA has also used the ARCOS callout system to reach 800 customers who were without water for several hours, reducing its Customer Service workload from hours to minutes.

“Automated callout has also improved our reporting and analytics for callouts and overtime,” adds Szabo. “The automated callout system has eliminated union grievances on callouts and reduced legal expenses, along with improving our customer service.”

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is the North American leader in delivering resource management SaaS solutions to the utility industry. ARCOS automates crew assembly and resource management daily and during emergencies, ultimately helping to restore energy faster, yet safely, to communities. The award-winning solution helps utilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at www.arcos-inc.com. ARCOS CallOut® and ARCOS Crew Manager® are registered trademarks of ARCOS LLC.

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