SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 3, 2014) - TextPower, a leader in innovative text messaging software solutions, announced that Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) is one of the latest regional utility cooperatives to implement an automated, two-way outage management system using TextPower SmartAlerts™ integrated with its Milsoft Utility Solutions software.
MVEA provides electric service to a portion of eight Colorado counties located within a 5,000 square mile territory. Incorporated in 1941, it is a not-for-profit electric cooperative owned and run by the members it serves. The co-op is headquartered in Limon, Colorado, with a large operations center located in Falcon, just east of Colorado Springs.
TextPower SmartAlert text messaging is used by MVEA in conjunction with its Milsoft IVR and OMS, enabling a seamlessly integrated voice response and outage management system incorporating two-way texting.
In successful operation for just under one year, MVEA's outage texting system allows co-op members to stay connected and report outages via their mobile devices, as well as receive timely status information.
"Restoring power to more than 50,000 members during a serious weather situation or after a large accident is a huge challenge, and our crews are on call 24/7, 365 days a year. Texting has allowed us to streamline our communications, saving an enormous amount of time and money, enabling us to quickly get service back out to our community," explained Scott Fallis, engineering technician with MVEA.
"Although we run 24 phone lines, they get tied up, so texting provides an automated, immediate response that walks members through the rest of the outage system -- it knows if they're the first caller, then it will tell people they're aware of the outage and a crew has been assigned, status, position of outage, estimated time of restoral or whether it's already been resolved -- it's amazing technology," said Fallis.
The need became clear, according to Fallis, when in June 2013 a major fire in the area's Black Forest required evacuation of several thousand residents. "We knew we had to implement the mobile text alert system," he said.
As an added benefit, the two-way texting system allows MVEA to provide invaluable community services -- in one case, the system was used to notify outlying utility crews of an Amber Alert from the area's sheriff's department.
"TextPower is committed to helping utilities reduce costs, improve customer service and maximize customer satisfaction by providing reliable, innovative communications technology," said Mark Nielsen, Executive Chairman and co-founder of TextPower, "We are also hearing more and more examples of how our service is being used to empower communities and that is a great feeling.
"As the de facto SMS technology standard for utilities and regional co-ops, we enable them to communicate immediately with their members and field personnel during all types of emergency situations far more effectively than by email or voice calls," Nielsen added.
TextPower enables utilities of all sizes to personally contact customers during peak usage periods, to alert them of low balances and enable payment to avoid disconnects, as well as notify them during severe weather and other disaster emergencies. TextPower SmartAlerts can also be deployed for planned notifications such as load shedding, planned interruptions and pole inspections/right of way contractor notices.
TextPower is the only platform that is fully integrated with Milsoft and other major service providers to the industry (Daffron, DataVoice, CRC and others) allowing messages to be sent automatically or manually using web-based applications.
For more information about TextPower's services for utilities or other industries call 818.222.8600 or email Info@TextPower.com.
About TextPower, Inc.
TextPower, Inc. provides alerting and authentication solutions to a variety of industries worldwide using text messaging (SMS). The company's software and text messaging services help companies enhance their revenues, decrease costs and improve customer service. TextPower's authentication product, TextKey™, replaces the token or security fob previously needed to verify the identity of online users for password-protected applications. TextPower's mission-critical infrastructure employs geo-redundancy for the industry's highest reliability, providing delivery to virtually every cell phone in the United States and connections to most recognized wireless operators around the world. Visit http://www.TextPower.com, email Info@TextPower.com or call 888.818.1808 for more information.