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Written by: Michelle Gillum

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Some say everything’s bigger in Texas and that rings true for growing challenges to future affordability and availability of water supplies. There are a few things that nearly everyone in the state can agree upon—that Texas weather is unpredictable, we’ll continue to experience population growth, and most importantly, Texans are tough and our communities always demonstrate great resilience. As a company based in Texas, VertexOne keeps a close eye on these challenges and takes great pride in supporting water, gas, and electric utilities as they devise strategies and implement solutions to help safeguard their future.

 
Extreme weather poses a substantial risk to the state

Stretching 801 miles long and 773 miles wide, Texas sees a lot of different weather—snow to the north, tornadoes to the east, droughts to the west, flash flooding in the Hill Country, and hurricanes from the coast. Given the increasing unpredictability of extreme weather, clear and timely communication with utility customers is key for their peace of mind. Without it, customers quickly lose trust in their utility.

No one, not even utilities, can see into the future so the ability to reach customers quickly and effectively is crucial. Proactive communication is a best practice because the more prepared that a utility is to reach their customer base, the better position everyone will be in to weather the storm. VertexOne’s outbound communication solutions are designed to provide critical communication through multiple channels to reach the right customers at the right time. Customer Advantage makes it quick and simple for utilities to connect with customers in a specific part of town and on an individual level, no matter how vast the area.

 

Persistent population growth is here to stay

With five of the nation’s ten fastest growing cities, Texas’ population of 25 million is expected to double by 2050. That’s an astonishing rate of growth. For San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and Austin Water, and many other utilities in the state, implementing solutions that improve resource efficiency is crucial. With the WaterSmart customer engagement and data analytics platform by their side, SAWS and Austin Water have the power to achieve measurable water savings. WaterSmart is proven to increase water-use efficiency by an average of 5%, which not only improves utilities’ bottom lines, but also conserves Texas’ limited water resources.

On top of its growing population, Texas’ vulnerability to drought is just another reason to invest in customer engagement solutions that empower customers with personalized recommendations and actions that help them save water and money. With a library of over 200 personalized water-saving recommendations, the WaterSmart platform is built to support utilities as they work to enlist and educate customers in being a partner in water management.

 

Innovation is the answer for resilience

When challenges arise, the most resilient communities devise thoughtful and innovative solutions. Texas is no exception. The state has become a hub for innovation in recent years, bringing not only great ideas but also more technologies. Cities of various sizes across the state, from Canyon in the Panhandle all the way south to Laguna Madre Water District, are adopting software solutions to aid them in revolutionizing their utility operations and customer experience.

Utilities providing energy and water services can automate billing and payment processing, provide in-depth usage reports, and detect and notify customers of issues to increase self-service and overall autonomy—ultimately cutting down costs, saving staff time, and providing fast solutions to the customer. By improving their approach to these labor-intensive tasks, utilities can better focus their attention on the highest priority task of providing consistent access to utilities and customer service.

 

Home is certainly where the heart is, and while VertexOne proudly serves utilities all across the country, our dedication to the state of Texas is unmatched. Staying true to “southern hospitality,” we’re committed to caring for and serving our 29 current utility partners and their customers across the state and look forward to supporting many more. It’s especially important for utilities to have strong, resilient partners in times like these. These are characteristics we’re proud to embody deep in the heart of Texas and beyond, today and into the future.

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