In his monthly blog series, ARCOS CEO Odus (Boogie) Wittenburg discusses the latest innovations, strategic initiatives, and moves in the market to keep you informed and engaged in a two-way conversation around important topics. Be sure to follow ARCOS and connect with Boogie on LinkedIn to get The Boogie Brief and his unique perspectives on the utility and critical infrastructure industries, SaaS, and classic rock in your feed.
Time flies when you’re leading the charge to the apex of digital utility innovation, which is why it’s hard to believe that I’ve already been with ARCOS for a year. In 2022, after mere weeks on the job, my first experience with the ARCOS user conference, EMPOWER, introduced me to the unique qualities, grit, and dedication of our industry with so much energy in the room. We just wrapped up EMPOWER 2023 and I must say that on my second time participating the energy levels were through the roof with a more-than 70% increase in attendance.
Thank you to everyone who made EMPOWER a tremendous success, from our amazing steering committee comprised 100% of industry professionals to our customer guest speakers, panelists, attendees, and ARCOS marketing team. Did you miss EMPOWER? Watch my keynote or revisit valuable conference sessions here.
My goal with The Boogie Brief is, well, to be brief while giving you the inside track on the new ARCOS—our culture, products, and acquisitions.
You’re the Rockstar, We’re Your Roadie
Believe it or not, our industry has a lot in common with rockstars like Van Halen, one of my favorite bands who pioneered the epic concert experience in the mid-80s. They brought the big lights, amplifiers, and electric guitar to tier 2 and 3 markets, not just the NFL venues like other bands of their day. Like many of you, they worked in high voltage.
David Lee Roth may have been a diva with some crazy antics, but he was also a businessman (the son of a doctor, in fact) who ran a profitable business. He wanted to ensure safe operations for a full time workforce of roadies and non-native crews at each venue, and like you, he wanted to deliver the best experience for customers, i.e., fans. In fact, just like our industry, safety was the main priority and that’s why Van Halen is famous for their “brown M&M” clause. Buried in their contract was a request for a bowl of M&Ms in their dressing room—minus the brown ones. If the band found brown M&Ms in their dressing room, then they knew the venue management had not paid close attention to the contract, and that the detailed technical specs for their high voltage equipment may have been overlooked. A brown M&M triggered a front-to-back safety audit of the stage, lighting and sound, to insure that none of the crew, band or fans were at risk of injury.
Like Van Halen, the professionals of our industry who keep the lights on, water flowing, and critical infrastructure operating are rockstars to me. And ARCOS, well we’re your roadies, helping your team drive safe operations, manage a mobile workforce, and ensure the best experience for your customers.
A Bold New Vision
In my EMPOWER keynote I introduced what we are calling the Utility Operating SystemTM. This is more than just a big idea; it’s our vision for delivering maximum value to our customers.
Our goal with the Utility Operating System is to bring together everything you need to manage people, work, and assets into a single interconnected solution, connecting the field and back office by making all of your systems of record work better together, including work management, outage systems, inventory management, and GIS. It is all about one connected ecosystem, for blue sky or gray, easy to access and use for full time employees and your entire contract workforce.
Our goal is not to replace your big systems that power critical workflows, but we do strive to replace a number of home grown hacks and manual processes to make these systems work better for you and deliver results. The Utility OSTM does this by connecting to the back end systems that are needed to create situational awareness and actionable insights that teams lack today.
At the heart of our Utility OS is Mobile Workbench and like a CPU in a computer, Mobile Workbench is at the center of everything, orchestrating and integrating the ARCOS software suite and your existing systems for a truly seamless experience. Mobile Workbench isn’t just about damage assessment and managing storm restoration at any scale, although that is very important. Mobile Workbench is for blue sky work too, enabling a seamless switch between all your work types. It’s about truly delivering on the promise of a single pane of glass, driving crystal clear situational awareness of people, work, and assets. And with its new digital construction management capabilities and time sheets, Mobile Workbench is poised to really change the game.
Feedback is a Gift
With growth comes growing pains; in some cases, we know that opportunities have been missed. But I could not be more excited about the team we have built at ARCOS and how they are ready to help you succeed. Our executive leadership team reflects our commitment to you to manage change and embrace what’s possible. These folks plus every other member of the ARCOS team are one awesome group of roadies, assembled to empower our customers—that’s you, the rockstars.
We believe we have what it takes to sustain our momentum and deliver more value to you. Our goal is to make that value measurable, reducing safety incidents, improving system reliability, and shrinking field costs. To continuously deliver on our promises requires feedback, which is welcome always. At ARCOS, we hope you’ll see us as more than just another vendor—we want to become a true technology partner, empowering you to power the world.