The Connections Summit has five tracks, they are:
The Operational Technology Track is focused on technologies deployed on the distribution system or for the purpose of enhancing operations of the distribution system. These technologies include Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI), load control devices, distribution automation, data analytics, drones, data layers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Outage Management Systems (OMS), batteries, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, distributed energy resources (DERs), renewable energy sources, or evolving staffing requirements.
Finance and Customer Service
The Finance and Customer Service Track is focused on technologies and process that are generally managed by the Finance or Customer Service part of the organization. Such technologies and processes include billing or Customer Information Systems (CIS); accounting systems; customer facing portals; mobile apps; prepay; billing processes, technologies, and services; rate design; customer programs; customer journey mapping; data analytics; alternative revenue sources, or evolving staffing requirements.
The Information Technology Track is focused on the backend systems that are required to support the technologies covered by the Operational Technology and Finance and ERP Tracks. Such topics covered by the IT Track could include on premise vs. cloud, cyber security, government regulations, best practices, managing costs, or evolving staffing requirements.
Management and Coordination
The Management and Coordination Track is focused on the challenges that arise from the deployment of technology in modern municipal organizations. Topics and challenges that may be covered are project management, quality control, strategic planning, capital spending and planning, post-deployment process management and development, management across departments, or evolving staffing requirements. An underlying issue to be addressed in this track is the fact that the technologies discussed in the other tracks require processes and coordination outside of the utility department across the municipality.
The Workforce Track is focused on the changing workforce needs caused by the adoption of new technologies by municipal utilities and the industry’s evolving business model. Topics and challenges that may be covered are identifying the skills required to run a modern utility, corporate culture, organizational change, organizational design, and compensation. A key issue to be covered in this track is that utilities cannot rely on technology alone to move them into the future. Equally important is maintaining a culture that promotes innovation, teamwork, agility, and empowerment.
Employees and policy makers from any ElectriCities member utility or associate member utility may serve as an officer for any of the tracks or the general session. Non-ElectriCities municipality employees may serve as officers in order to ensure that various experiences and perspectives are included in the Summit agenda.
Administrative support is provided by ElectriCities staff that will work closely with the committees. Each track and the General Session will have a designated staff liaison who will act as the primary point of contact for any issues related to planning activities.