Module G Group 1 Case Study: Austin Energy’s Billing System Can’t Light Up
1. Is the Austin Energy project a failure? Explain your answer.
Austin Energy has been dubbed one of the largest renewable energy programs in the country, handling electrical, water, and waste disposal for Austin, Texas along with surrounding counties. The company serves over 1 million residents and has provided $1.5 billion in dividends back to Austin since 1976. However, its reputation falls short in their billing system. The system lacks the integration of newer technologies and customer assistance options. In order to improve their billing system, Austin Energy has contracted with IBM.
Austin Energy’s efforts of improving its billing system through IBM…show more content… The user-friendly part was a huge issue for the system and hence the failure. Since it is related to billing, the situation can’t be compromised.
3. To what degree was IBM responsible for the problems countered by the Austin Energy billing project? Was Austin Energy at fault for the problems? Explain your answer.
IBM was responsible for the problems countered by the Austin Energy billing project. It failed to launch (it was supposed to go live in early 2011) a fully operational system due to software bugs that led to errors in thousands of bills. Thousands of customers received inaccurate bills or never received any bills at all. While Austin Energy was able to identify the problems and took action to rectify them, the company was ill prepared to handle the backlash which resulted in customer dissatisfaction with the new system as well as loss in revenue for the City of Austin. Due to the complexity of the new billing system (comprised of 73 different interfaces), customers were unable to access the online portal. Austin Energy contends that IBM is to blame for the problems and the less than stellar quality of service provided. IBM kept repeating the same mistakes while trying to implement the system and had been slow in removing all the bugs from the system. As of February 2012 most of the billing system errors had been fixed, a year after its expected implementation.
Austin Energy was also to blame because measures were not put in place