As a new Executive Director, I am truly amazed at the level of support and true partnership that comes with being a Progressive Partnering organization. When I took the job in mid-2013, our Call Center operation was running on GeoCall V2. Five months later we upgraded to GeoCall V3. The upgrade went incredibly smooth because of the staff from the other partnering One-Call centers that helped us work through technical issues and transition challenges. Alabama sent their top GIS guy to Oklahoma, Texas sent their top Call Center staff… it was simply unbelievable to have this level of on-site support during a major upgrade!
I've worked in the Information Technology field for the past 25 years and have never experienced the amazing level of collaboration and support not only provided by the high caliber staff at Progressive Partnering, but also from the other One-Call teams. I'm proud to be a part of this organization and am looking forward to the future advancements that we are making together.
When Alabama 811 made the move to using the P² – GeoCall software, we had no idea how great of a benefit this decision would be years down the road. Having used P²'s GeoCall software since 2003, we have seen marked improvement in the database manageability and usage, CSR productivity and our ability to meet the needs of our membership. The flexibility that Geocall provides, especially the new Version3, we have the ability to control our future as we move forward and utilize the software as best fits our unique needs.
However, the greatest benefit came when we had to deal with the complete loss of our building due to the tornadoes that ripped through Alabama in April 2011. With the partnership of P², as well as the compatibility of the software, we were able to continue to operate using remote access from a server hosted at a P² partner facility and our CSR staff utilizing office space at another. Thanks to the foresight of this partnership, we were able to continue operations with less than 3 hour downtime with a complete loss of our physical facilities.
The unique direction of the P² concept allows for the users of the software to have complete control over the direction of the software and how it functions in our operations.
On May 7, 2013 the officers and the executive director of the South Dakota One Call Board attended a Progressive Partnering meeting for the first time. We attended with the expectation that we would learn about the structure of Progressive Partnering, its work on Version 3 of GeoCall, and how in general terms P² impacts South Dakota One Call. What we discovered was a group of companies working together in an open environment, with a shared interest of exchanging ideas to make the system work well for everyone. We also learned about the progress each state has achieved in moving ahead with Version 3, suggestions on making it work even better, mobile apps that are being developed, and an active chat line that would benefit users of GeoRemote. The most impressive message that we returned with was the discussion around mutual aid in a time of crisis for member companies. South Dakota One Call knows first-hand from fairly recent history that mutual aid is not a concept that’s understood, nor is it a priority, by everyone across the industry. We are proud to be associated with Progressive Partnering and appreciate having been invited to attend this conference. It was very beneficial to me and to the South Dakota One Call Board of Directors.
I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Progressive Partnering meeting and it truly exceeded my expectations. The developers shared their vision for the future of the group and the partners shared their experience with the latest implementations. The atmosphere was one of collaboration and innovation and it was exciting to be a part of it.
West Virginia 811 has the pleasure of being one of the first states on the newest version of Progressive Partnering’s software, GeoCall, and we are very pleased with the deployment. I also learned of many exciting advances in the technology like the new mobile applications that are in the works. I was also reminded of the privilege of being associated with this partnership as the discussion turned to mutual aid in times of crisis — something that the partnership and software makes possible. On behalf of West Virginia 811, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this great group.