January 14, 2015

Consumers Energy Selects Accenture to Deploy New Ventyx Digital Platform to Help Improve Field Worker Safety, Productivity and Customer Experience

JACKSON, MI; Jan. 14, 2015 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has been selected by Consumers Energy (NYSE: CMS), Michigan’s largest utility, to deploy new mobile workforce management (MWFM) software from Ventyx, an ABB company, to help field workers improve safety, productivity and customer experience.

Accenture will work with Consumers Energy and Ventyx to implement the latest release of Service Suite with optimized, automated dispatching, for schedulers, dispatchers, field crews and supervisors. This will replace Consumers Energy’s legacy mobile workforce management system, providing efficiency improvements with real-time work status, integrated scheduling and appointments, field data collection and reporting with real-time views of parts, people and other resources.

As a result of these efforts, Consumers Energy field supervisors will have new digital tools, ranging from pinpointing crews on maps to more easily verifying timesheets, with unprecedented access to their teams’ workload and status. This project is part of a broader program within Consumers Energy called Field Mobility which supports Consumers Energy’s overall vision to become their customers’ trusted energy partner.

“Our goal in implementing this new technology is to further minimize field workers’ delays in receiving and using accurate and timely information for making service calls, especially during storms and other interruptions,” said Michele Kirkland, Vice President of energy operations, Consumers Energy. “Replacing the legacy systems with a new digital platform will provide us with a comprehensive view of our field operations with relevant, real-time information to improve the accuracy of scheduling customer appointments and to increase productivity and efficiency by assigning them to the most optimal crews to minimize travel times.”

Accenture was selected to be the systems integrator for this project, based on its proven track record in smart grid services and in the areas of work, field and resource management. In addition, Accenture will work closely with the project team to provide system testing, change management and training development to Consumers Energy.

“The increasing frequency of adverse weather events and the rise of renewables are putting more stress on an aging grid, which means that effective and safe outage response and service maintenance is more critical than ever,” said Bill Ernzen, managing director in Accenture’s utilities Smart Grid Services business. “This new digital platform will allow Consumers Energy to provide a more timely and accurate service to its customers, while better ensuring the safety of its field crews. It will also enable field leaders, using new tools and processes, to spend more time in the field coaching and supervising crews.”

“As one of the largest utilities in the U.S., Consumers Energy has proven its dedication to quality and performance by committing to invest billions of dollars in Michigan over the next five years,” said Ventyx Global Product Group Manager Matthias Heilmann. “Choosing to earmark part of this investment for implementation of the latest Ventyx Service Suite solution – used by more than 100,000 mobile technicians and their dispatchers every day – further proves their dedication to customer service is equally as strong.”

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 319,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About Ventyx:
Ventyx, an ABB company, is a world-leading supplier of Industrial Enterprise Software for essential industries such as energy, mining and public infrastructure. Ventyx solutions connect information technologies (IT) and operational technologies (OT), enabling clients to make faster, better-informed decisions in both daily operations and long-term planning strategies. Some of the world’s largest organizations rely on Ventyx solutions to minimize risk, enhance operational and financial performance, and execute the right strategies for the future. For more details, see www.ventyx.com.

About Consumers Energy:
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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