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Human Integration: Beyond Systems Integration

Craig Lawrence Customer Experience

The world of a utility operator is complex. Over the last two decades, utilities have invested heavily in Information and Operations Technology systems intended to make their operations run more efficiently. It’s a veritable acronym salad of software systems: OMS, AMI, CIS, GIS, ADMS, ERP, WMS, DERMS, etc (bonus points if you know what each of those acronyms stands for). Whereas the role of the utility operator used to be to know how their distribution network functioned, they are now increasingly required to know how to operate a wide variety of software systems and communications networks in order to do their jobs effectively.

And while the software vendors that create these solutions and the system integrators that work to stitch them together are doing yeoman’s work, the burden to operate these complex systems is increasingly falling on the users – the utility operators themselves. And we see this same trend in other operationally intensive enterprises. Despite billions of dollars of investment in software and integration, it is still quite typical to find people building their own work-arounds to get their job done. Bespoke manual spreadsheets, calculations and custom reports are the daily grind of operations. New data silos are created by trying to break down old data silos. And, in many cases, the value of all of this technology investment remains trapped – stuck within the data systems of the individual vendors, unable to get to where it is most needed – often to the worker in the field, the customer support staff in the call center, or the executive in the boardroom.

At Treverity, we are trying to fix this problem, by bringing Human Integration to utility operations. Fundamentally, we believe the most important resource, and source of data in your organization is your people, and that solutions should be designed FOR them, as opposed to AROUND them. 

Human Integration incorporates human capabilities and limitations into complex information systems.  This is in stark contrast to how Systems Integration is practiced today – incorporating different technology systems into a larger whole – typically paying little attention to the people that ultimately must operate these complex systems. Human Integration puts the user at the center of technology integration, and focuses on the needs of all the stakeholders in a data-driven, operationally-intensive organization.

Treverity’s use of Human Integration borrows from Design Thinking, a practice that has sparked innovation in industries as diverse as consumer products, medical devices, furniture, and toys. Now, we are bringing it to the utility industry. 

And it provides results. Our customers are performing more efficiently, saving money, and actually enjoying the tools they use to do their job. 
We’d love to show you what we are doing and discuss how Human Integration can help your organization – just drop us a note!