Feb 13, 2013

Aclara Mobile Experience Allows Utilities to Engage Consumers

The new software offers usage tracking, bill pay, outage reporting and customer service

Aclara Mobile Experience Software Asset Management

Aclara Technologies LLC, a provider of intelligent infrastructure solutions and part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. introduced the Aclara Mobile Experience (AME). AME is a turnkey solution for Apple iOS and Google Android devices that performs a diverse range of applications such as usage tracking, bill pay, outage reporting, customer service and others. AME will enable electric, gas and water utilities to integrate a diverse set of consumer-facing applications into a secure and easy-to use mobile solution.

Utilities will brand and personalize AME to meet specific functional requirements, determining which features are offered to their consumers, including links to social media tools. Each utility can specify which applications it includes in its implementation, and those apps will operate in the cloud, providing a simple interface to the consumer that is low-impact on the mobile device.

Aclara has agreements with a number of feature providers to develop best-in-class bill payment, outage/trouble reporting, home-energy management, customer service and demand response solutions that meet the needs of its clients. Utilities also can integrate their existing applications into the AME platform through Aclara’s toolkit interface. Aclara also has built an AME interface to its industry-leading Consumer Engagement solution, and will integrate AME with similar applications from other companies as well as those that support the Department of Energy’s Green Button initiative, once those interfaces are completed.

“Aclara has spent considerable time evaluating both industry and consumer requirements and believes that AME is clearly a game-changing approach to mobile consumer engagement by utilities,” said Aclara’s Vice President of Business Development Andy Zetlan. “We’ve designed AME to achieve flexibility and higher degrees of functionality than prior designs, while remaining focused on security and ease of use for the consumer.”

At the core of AME is a customizable platform that was developed for Aclara by Green Energy Corp, Raleigh, N.C. The open-source middleware approach used in the AME platform enables a wider grouping of apps to actually appear as a single, consolidated one to the consumer, differentiating the product from most other mobile solutions available in the marketplace today.

The user interface for AME was done by leading mobile-development firm WillowTree Apps,  Charlottesville, Va., while secure user authentication was handled by SmartGridCIS (SGCIS), Alpharetta, Ga. Aclara has entered agreements with several providers of advanced utility apps to be part of the initial rollout of AME, and will announce these relationships separately.