The term “Software as a Service” and its more commonly used acronym, SaaS, were originally coined in 2001 in an article published by the Software & Information Industry Association’s eBusiness Division.[i] SaaS is simply defined as software rental, with the licensee typically paying a monthly or annual fee for the right to use a vendor-hosted application.
EnergyCAP, Inc., (ECI) while still offering a perpetual software licensing option, made the transition to the SaaS model more than a decade ago, and we currently host more than 1,200 customer databases. Today’s blog, however, is about the next phase in our ongoing adaptation to a rapidly changing market and evolving customer needs.
More and more frequently, our award-winning EnergyCAP software resides at the core–the foundation–of a fully-customized, comprehensive energy data management solution. Think “Software as a Foundation” or SaaF.
When originally released in the early 1980s, EnergyCAP (then known as FASER–Fast Accounting System for Energy Reporting) was focused on utility bill accounting. Utility bill data was hand-keyed into the application, where it could be more easily audited, analyzed, and reported. The application was consistently enhanced to improve existing features and add new customer-requested functionality, such as M&V, now commonly known as Cost Avoidance.
Next came the ability to interface EnergyCAP with the organization’s A/P and G/L systems, which greatly streamlined the utility bill processing workflow.
While some utility vendors began to offer electronic billing formats, such as EDI 810 and CSV, with the objective of making billing data more readily accessible by clients, they have never agreed on a common format, so accessing billing data remained a large pain-point for most organizations. Once again, ECI developed a solution.
Today, tens of thousands of utility bills are processed monthly via ECI’s Bill CAPture℠ service and imported directly into EnergyCAP. The bills are automatically audited, and an import notification–complete with audit results–is emailed directly to the appropriate EnergyCAP users.
No data entry is required, billing issues are identified before the bills are paid, payment files are sent directly to A/P for prompt payment, and energy managers are free to focus on, well, energy management, segueing to the newest of EnergyCAP’s complementary services, Smart CAPture℠.
Thanks to smart meter technology, interval data is more readily available today than ever, and access is expanding rapidly, as vendor-owned smart meters become the norm, and more and more organizations install submeters. We recognize the tremendous energy management value of interval data–It helps identify problems and savings opportunities that aren’t visible, apparent, or timely with monthly utility bills–and we want to make sure EnergyCAP users benefit from it.
With Smart CAPture in place in 2017, an organization’s interval data (15-minute, 30-minute, 60-minute, etc.) can be accessed and imported into EnergyCAP via an automated process. The data will then be available for analysis through a variety of new EnergyCAP Channel reports:
Smart CAPture functionality, pricing, and service terms are still being developed, and more details will be unveiled at our upcoming Catalyst user training conference and released publicly shortly thereafter.
Once a software program limited to auditing utility bills and generating reports, EnergyCAP now represents a solution designed for streamlined utility bill processing & payment and enterprise-wide energy management. At the core of the EnergyCAP solution remains the software on which organizations have relied for more than three decades, software adaptable to a wide range of applications, from basic to complex.
If EnergyCAP is already at the core of your organization’s energy management program, thank you. It’s our pleasure to serve you, and we look forward to helping you benefit even more from our solution. Let us know if you’d like to learn more about Bill CAPture or Smart CAPture.
Readers looking to establish a new energy management program are no doubt seeking to establish that program on a firm foundation, and you can count on EnergyCAP to fill that SaaF role. Contact us to learn how.