NIPSCO wins top prize for customer information
system deemed state-of-the-art.
Runner-up Brooklyn Union melds Internet
technology with internal systems.To borrow a phrase, only three things matter in energy competition: technology, technology, and technology.
An exaggeration, perhaps, but not too far off for the three-dozen-plus electric and gas utilities that submitted applications for the 1996 Utility Leadership Award for Information Technology (em ULTRA for short.
Sponsored by PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY and IBM, the ULTRA competition was first held in 1993 to recognize utility companies that could engage information technology in the most innovative manner. Again this year, ULTRA spotlights those utilities that have enhanced business performance and raised standards of industry excellence with resourceful technology solutions.
Five winners (em first place, runner-up, and three honorable mentions (em were selected for 1996, judged on an array of categories: 1) how well a given technology solution addresses a corporate need, 2) uniqueness, 3) quantifiable results, 4) productivity savings, 5) cost-effectiveness, 6) integration with existing solutions, and 7) flexibility of the application to accommodate future plans and growth. As frequently occurs in a technology competition, the judging boiled down to a comparison between (a) some nominations that were truly innovative, but not quite practical or commercially applicable, versus (b) other, perhaps less innovative, applications that nonetheless stand ready to create an immediate impact on the company's bottom line.