Utility Planning Network (UPN), founded in 1993 and headquartered in Acton, MA, provides unbiased and expert advisory services for utilities worldwide. The company is helping utilities find, procure and implement billing and related technology solutions/strategies that best fit clients' needs. UPN takes a different stance than many of the larger industry consultancies by refusing formal vendor 'partnerships'.
While some in the utility industry feel that vendor/consultant partnerships offer a convenient one-stop shop for technology solutions, UPN uniquely pioneers the concept that such partnerships possibly taint a utility's decision and limits a utility's ability to explore competitive options. In addition to conducting technology selection for utilities across the globe, UPN operates membership-based utility peer groups and workshops devoted to networking, educating and advocacy.
UPN provides utility providers and their unregulated affiliates with consulting services in areas like CIS and Billing Systems Selection Services, CIS and Billing Systems Implementation Services, Business Process Mapping and Process Optimization, Systems Integration Planning, Advanced Metering and AMI Selection Services (including RFP development), Advanced Metering and AMI Implementation Services, and Project/Vendor Management.
Utilities providers save time and money by leveraging seasoned experts who have already procured and implemented desired technologies. "Whether you are negotiating a price, questioning a vendor's contract terms, or managing a vendor's implementation methodology, the key to success is knowing the right questions to ask the vendors and understanding the pitfalls to avoid," says John Hoggard, Founder and CEO.
A utility client who leveraged UPN for vendor selection and contract negotiations was fully satisfied with the services and gives the full credit to UPN. “Without UPN’s knowledge and assistance, we would not have been able to make any of the important and cost saving decisions that faced us during the technology selection and implementation process,” says the utility’s General Manager. “Their efforts made it very obvious to us that we would have a smoother and less painful implementation by having them work with the selected vendor and our staff through this process. They kept the implementation on schedule and in budget. Without their assistance we would not have had as good a result as we did,” the GM adds.
Utilities must be given objective advice from those who have already selected and implemented desired technologies, so they are assured they buy what they need and don't pay for and implement unnecessary 'add-ons'
UPN has negotiated and managed procurement and implementation of technology projects valued at over $300 million in the past five years alone, and continues to experience record quarter over quarter growth. The firm recently expanded its technology selection and implementation advisory services with a proprietary utility business process optimization methodology, furthering its position as a leading provider of strategic advisory services to utilities all over the world.