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SaaS field ops software helps electrical utilities quickly restore power

June 22, 2023

More than a mere inconvenience to customers, power outages represent a costly ordeal with far-reaching implications for electrical utilities, and, by extension, their service contractors. Both the direct costs (e.g., resources dedicated to troubleshooting and restoration) and the indirect costs (e.g., revenue loss from disrupted service and potential compensation to affected consumers) add up quickly – especially when outages are happening more frequently and for longer periods.

On average, U.S. electricity customers experienced just over seven hours of electric power interruptions in 2021. This figure has been trending upward for years and will continue to increase because of extreme weather events brought about by climate change. In the case of significant system disruptions, power restoration time could extend significantly – tens of thousands of people were still without power a full eight months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. 

In this troublesome context, finding ways to reduce power outage times is imperative, not just for utilities to restore service to their paying customers but to reduce costs, preserve their reputations, and guarantee successful business outcomes. 

Join us as we look at how cloud-based, SaaS field ops software and data collection software excels at streamlining field operations to help electrical utilities drastically decrease outage times and costs, consistently beating out in-house software solutions in terms of speed, quality, and affordability, especially when it comes to managing dark sky events.

The hidden costs and constraints of in-house software 

Many electrical utility contractors still rely on in-house software for field operations, inspections, and data collection requiring dedicated, and often costly, IT resources. Additional potential problems of an in-house solution include integration issues, training challenges, and security vulnerabilities. These constraints undercut the worth of in-house solutions, can prolong power outages, and result in increased costs and customer dissatisfaction. It’s time for utilities to consider more efficient and cost-effective alternatives.

electrical utility company using SaaS field ops software for emergency power response

Accelerating power restoration 

Whether common outages or more significant dark sky events, SaaS field ops software and data collection software offers tangible advantages that significantly streamline and expedite electrical utility field operations and power restoration efforts.

For one, Fulcrum’s leading SaaS solution is designed for quick user onboarding with intuitive interfaces requiring minimal training – crucial in time-sensitive events such as power outages. When required to use in-house solutions for a utility client, contractors are sidelined waiting for log-in credentials, while many contractors must resort to pen-and-paper inspections because they haven’t received the necessary hours of training on the platform. An easy-to-use SaaS solution neatly sidesteps these issues by allowing emergency response teams to log in and, guided by in-app instructions, quickly get to work.

One of the standout benefits of a SaaS solution is its user-friendly nature, allowing anyone to effortlessly create or modify applications without the need for specialized technical skills. This not only alleviates the burden on IT resources but also eliminates waiting in IT queues for application changes.

Finally, SaaS field operations and data collection platforms are designed with data security at the forefront. Leveraging advanced security protocols provides assurance that sensitive field operation and data collection information is stored securely and protected against potential breaches.

A brighter future for power outage management 

When managing dark sky events and power outages, SaaS field ops software and data collection software beat in-house solutions every time. They are not only more time-efficient but also offer quality data management and collection at a fraction of the cost of developing and maintaining an in-house system. With SaaS software, electrical utilities can avoid bottlenecks that slow power restoration efforts and get the lights back on more quickly – a definite win for electric utilities, their many contractors, and the customers they serve. 

Want to find out more? Let’s chat to find out how Fulcrum can help power up your outage management.