When trying to understand a new concept it’s best to collaborate with peers who have had similar experiences. This provides an insider look at the “do’s” “don’ts” and most importantly the “wish I did’s.” This year AU provides classes, as well as social opportunities, to collaborate with other utilities that will make your trip a success.

One of the greatest benefits of the classes being offered this year is the introduction of new concepts and case studies. However, due to the time constraints the classes don’t always provide in-depth peer interaction. Peer interaction is important to help gain an insider’s look on how to foresee and plan possible challenges when implementing.

Last year at AU SBS facilitated a round-table discussion with COOP and Municipal utilities from across the U.S. During the round table discussions, attendees had the opportunity to share their experiences with relation to topics from the classes.

One result of the round-table was the formation of the Utility Peer User Group (PUG) to facilitate the ease of exchanging information. The PUG has already proven to be a great success for collaboration in a matter of months through the use of monthly webinars, blog posts, forums and the first ever PUG Conference, which was held in Lakewood, CO this past October. Through the PUG it has now become easier to find solutions to the challenges utilities are facing.

Connecting and collaborating with other utilities at AU will increase your odds of a successful AU (wish we could increase your odds in the casinos). This year SBS will host a utility lounge at AU, December 1-4 at Mandalay Bay Tower (suite number to be determined). We invite you to stop by for refreshments and to meet with SBS technical staff and peer utilities. Take the opportunity to discuss AUD tips and tricks as well as any other issue unique to the utility business.

SBS staff will be attending the AU classes geared towards utilities, so you can look for anyone wearing an SBS shirt to get further details. We look forward to catching up at AU.

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