As an energy marketer, does your billing and customer care system “work well with others”? In the real world of daily energy management activity—Utility transactions, meter data uploads, real-time price quotes, GL data feeds to corporate accounting—a system with the ability to communicate clearly with third party systems is not just a nice-to-have: it’s a must-have.
EnSite built the Safari Suite application to accommodate data interfaces with multiple business partners, as well as internal applications.
We approach each third-party interface effort based on the identified business need, employing the most efficient solution – and the easiest to implement – that accomplishes the task. This practical approach to third party system communications can save time, effort, and future IT headaches born of unneeded complexity. To that end, EnSite has at its disposal an array of interface options, from relatively simple data imports/exports to complex data integration projects.
EnSite Safari Suite® comes equipped with ‘standard’ data imports and data exports which satisfy many shared client needs. For example, the Mass Market Customer Import protocol provides a standard tool for automatic import of complete data for multiple customers from formatted spreadsheets. The import process creates new Safari customers from valid spreadsheet data.
But that’s just for starters. This same ‘generic’ import/export interface is designed to accommodate custom data transfers developed by EnSite for individual clients (or by clients themselves). The interface itself is subject to such customization, with specialized application screens and data validation appearing seamlessly integrated into the standard import/export work flow from the end user perspective. This approach allows for ease of training and standardized work flow management applicable to both standard and custom data transfer procedures.
Automation – At Your Service
The EnSite Safari Suite application can be used in concert with the included EnSite Safari Suite® File Service to allow unattended execution of EDI and non-EDI data imports/exports. This component, a standard Safari feature available to all users, allows administrative definition of one-time or recurring processing schedules, priorities, and processing parameters. The component runs as a Microsoft® Windows® Service application, either on a dedicated application server or a database server, and functions as a virtual user of the application, automating import/export tasks continuously and around the clock.
Beyond Data Transfer – Safari EDI and More
EnSite has worked with clients to develop tightly integrated 3rd party functionality and communications within the EnSite Safari Suite product and interface. These integrated processes utilize custom Windows-based Safari Services designed for the purpose of administering these integrated 3rd party processes within Safari. While not as simple as the methods discussed above for data transfer, such efforts pay off in terms of efficiency of daily operations, accuracy and timeliness of data, and streamlined user work flows.
One model of EnSite’s advanced data interface capabilities is Safari’s on-board “Utility Data Interface”, or UDI. The independent UDI component acts as a bridge between the Safari system and the EnSite customer’s commercial EDI provider to enable seamless, automated communication between the Marketer and the Utility. In terms of sophistication, the EDI system goes beyond simple data or transaction transfers to conduct behind-the-scenes processes in Safari that permit the Marketer to manage high-volume EDI transactions with minimal supervision. (Learn more at ensite.com).
Using the above components and processes, users of EnSite Safari Suite®, in consultation with EnSite, can configure the Safari Suite system to integrate with many third-party systems operating on a variety of platforms.