Sidebar: Business Benefits

The strategic advisory board collaboration is already bringing business benefits to Xcel Energy. For example, one of the projects provides Xcel's field service workers with mobile data terminals to quickly access customer information and infrastructure drawings for commercial clients. It was piloted from June to September last year and has since been put into production.

The mobile devices have delivered several additional benefits, says Michael Carlson, vice president of business transformation and customer value at Xcel.

For instance, 300 of Xcel's field service crews are using a mobile dispatch system to estimate the amount of "idle time," or time between service calls, that they have on a given workday. Dispatchers can use that information, along with where the work crews are at any time and the type of equipment they have onboard their trucks, to coordinate additional service calls for them.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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