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Pwcs cutover solution Mitigating risk and maximizing results

In order to mitigate risk and maximize return on information technology investments, utilities and power companies need a thorough, well-designed cutover plan.

For utilities and power companies, the Customer Information System (CIS) is at the heart of their operations and is of critical importance, as it serves as the face of the organization to their customers and business partners. CIS applications are playing a growing role in utility operations, from managing customer communications and billing to managing intelligent metering reading devices in customers' homes and businesses. Like other powerful tools, CIS solutions are more effective when they are designed and implemented to meet the utilities and power company's current and future business needs, while recognizing that those needs are becoming increasingly integrated. Due to the introduction of new technologies in meter reading and field order deployment and the need for utilities and power companies to be more competitive in their pricing, companies are being forced to look at new CIS systems since their existing CIS systems are outdated or would require costly upgrades to meet current needs. Deployment of a new CIS allows a utilities and power company to integrate and take advantage of new technologies. Such a transformation also allows a company to redefine antiquated business processes into industry accepted leading practices, helping them streamline core

business processes to reduce costs and offer better customer service. Implementing a new CIS is one of the most complex and time-consuming projects a utilities and power company can face. A CIS implementation project affects all aspects of the business and can force a change in business processes and external systems. Further, these projects can take from one to two years to implement, or possibly even longer depending on the changes and needs of the organization. Such projects typically cost millions of dollars and require the dedication of a large number of internal and external resources. The project lifecycle goes through many phases, starting with a planning or design phase and ending with the cutover phase where the old CIS is disabled and the new CIS goes live. In order to successfully move from the legacy CIS to the new CIS, it is critical that the cutover phase be seamless. If the cutover does not go well or is not planned out correctly, it could put the entire project at risk and create problems for the company both immediately and in the future. These problems could be operational, financial and/or audit-related in nature and could include unexpected down time, incorrect account information, incorrect billing information, and service interruption,ultimately leading to unsatisfied customers and lost revenue.

Focus on utilities and power companies: The PwC solution

In delivering CIS transformation solutions to utilities and power clients, PwC relies on a proven approach. As part of that approach, PwC has created a Cutover Solution to help utilities and power companies make the transition from the old CIS to the new CIS to be smooth and seamless. The PwC Cutover Solution Methodology is divided into four distinct phases: Plan Development Phase Develops a plan that will document all the actions necessary in the other phases for the company to have a successful go-live. Pre-Cutover Phase Encompasses the Production System Readiness and Business Readiness activities critical to the successful execution of the Cutover Phase and the Post-Cutover Phases. Cutover Phase Begins with the final Legacy System production run, and includes the Legacy System Data Extraction, Data Conversion, Data Validation, Financial Balancing, and Day Zero activities. Post-Cutover Phase Begins when the utilities and power company opens for business on Day 1 and gives access to the new CIS to users. This phase helps them implement the post production support needs and leads the client through the transitional activities that need to take place to get a company's business back to a normal flow and to help stabilize the new CIS.

Plan development phase

In this phase, PwC works with the client to develop a plan that will document the activities necessary for the company to have a successful go-live. This plan details all the activities associated with the Pre-Cutover, Cutover, and Post-Cutover Phases and will even include a contingency plan in case of an emergency. The development of this plan starts with a review of all the Utility Business Processes and the adaptation of the PwC's proprietary base Cutover Plan to meet the specific needs of the company's business processes. This review will include all areas of the company's business: financial, operations, customer service, etc. The outputs from this phase will include: Cutover Project Plan A detailed project plan for the three subsequent phases, identifying each activity that has to be completed in that phase and how the activities are associated to one another. This project plan includes the owner of each activity and their assigned backup. The plan also identifies the nature and timing of all activities and must include the management Go/No-Go decision points. Multiple Go/No-Go decision points are inserted within each phase to help project management review the progress of the Phase. Cutover Activity Sheet A document describing the step by step procedures needed to complete an activity on the project plan. One sheet is created for each activity. To help mitigate risk, each sheet identifies the owner and their backup in case of an emergency and captures the signature of the person who completed the activity.

Utilities and Power Generation Fact Sheet

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Mock Cutovers During the planning phase, PwC leads the client through Mock Cutovers to help finalize the Cutover Project Plan and the Cutover Activity Sheets. These Mock Cutovers give the project team members a chance to practice and become comfortable with their procedures for each activity they are responsible for. These practice runs help the team finalize their procedures and give management a chance to validate the timeline documented in the Cutover Project Plan. As a result of these Mock Cutovers, each activity should become automatic for team members. The results of each Mock Cutover are documented, reviewed with the cutover team for lessons learned, and are included in the final documentation provided to the client. Contingency Plan The purpose of the Contingency Plan is to address worst case scenarios in terms of the migration from the Legacy Production System to the new Production System. It is necessary to plan for a potential No-Go decision at any of the decision points during the Cutover Phase. The Contingency Plan establishes how to delay the system go-live date or how to proceed with limited functionality or restricted scope. The Contingency Plan also outlines a detailed roll-back plan which would allow the company to reactivate the legacy CIS system and continue daily business on that system.

Pre-Cutover phase
In order to have a successful transition from a legacy CIS production system to the new production system, it is imperative that the new production system is ready and that both the internal business community and external/third party vendors are ready. The PreCutover Phase initiates the business changes that are necessary to ensure a successful cutover. It continues the communication process to all affected parties and ensures the organization is prepared for the upcoming changes. The Pre-Cutover Phase includes: Production System Readiness Hardware & software Required database environments are identified and operational System security and network connectivity are setup and operational Technical resources are available to support the business operations

Internal Business Readiness Limiting meter change Limiting collection activities Suspending some business practices Developing the operating plan for call centers while CIS systems are in transition Internal support procedures Internal communication


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External (Third Party) Business Readiness External communications to third party vendors and business partners External communications to customers Validates readiness of third party vendors and business partners

Cutover phase
Precise timing and successful execution of Cutover Plan Activities is crucial during the Cutover Phase. The fine-tuned Cutover Plan and Cutover Activity sheets will guide the team through all the activities for this phase. As each activity is completed, the aforementioned Cutover Activity Sheet is signed by the executor of that activity and turned into the project management function before any dependant activity can be started. The Go/No-Go decisions made throughout this phase include the project leadership and management team meeting to review all completed Cutover Activity Sheets and determine whether this phase can continue or if a the contingency plan needs to be initiated. Different Areas of the Cutover Phase include: Freeze and release of legacy data Exportation of legacy data into the conversion database input layer Transposition of legacy data into the conversion database Reconciliation of the production data to the Conversion Database Copy converted data to the Production Database Manual conversion of non-converted accounts

Post-Cutover phase
This phase begins when the utilities and power company opens for business on Day 1 and gives access to the new CIS to users. PwC works with the client to map out post production support needs and help lead the company through the transitional activities that need to take place to get a company's business back to a normal flow while stabalizing the new CIS. Following the cutover, there are a number of activities which remain. The Cutover Work Plan includes a detailed listing of these Post-Cutover Phase Activities including: Day 1 Activities Instituting the support structure and plan Reinstituting suspended business practices Transition of primary support responsibility from PwC to the company The Post-Cutover Phase lasts a few weeks and helps stabilize the new CIS System.
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The final activity in the Post-Cutover Phase is the creation of a soft and hard copy documentation of the transition from the old CIS to the new CIS. This contains the complete Cutover Project Plan, all the Cutover Activity Sheets, and documentation supporting each of the Go/No-Go decisions. These will become the utilities and power company's reference materials for all the activities that were completed and will evidence the results of all the activities. Maintenance of this documentation may also help the company in any future internal or external audit.

Delivering value to you

PwC's CIS practice offers a proven solution for identifying appropriate technologies and managing large CIS implementations. We have worked with a range of leading industry CIS applications, including those from Oracle, SAP, Customer1, LODESTAR, PeopleSoft, Excelergy, Peace, Service2000 and Ventyx/Indus/SCT Banner. PwC provides clients access to a dedicated consulting team with long-term experience serving the utilities and power generation sector. We offer the benefit of a formal, defined approach to system and software selection and our tested and proven implementation methodology, including templates and tools designed to accelerate projects for package implementations. Our professionals have extensive experience in the utilities and power generation sector and can leverage their detailed knowledge of the industry to benefit you. In addition, we have long-standing relationships with leading CIS solution providers and offer skills in business and technology integration.


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To have a deeper conversation about any of the issues in this paper, please contact: Phil Daniele Utilities and power generation managing director Phone: (305) 807-0863 Email: Richard Gheisar Utilities and power generation director Phone: (214) 754-5092 Email:

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