Andres is currently the Chief Information Officer at Austin Energy, where he is responsible for the technology vision, planning, development and operations across the enterprise.
His background is in software and telecommunications in the private sector; he came to Austin Energy to lead the transformation of the IT for the company, finding ways to free up cash from operations to invest in a new business model.
Since February of 2003, Andres has been driving a wireless and SOA transformation that has resulted in a fully-integrated and self-healing enterprise.
Austin Energy is now 80% through its transformation program. As with any large project, it has been a huge challenge, particularly in the area of change management, which impacts people, cultures, skills, pay and responsibility. However, Andres is confident these challenges are being met successfully.
The positives are that customers are benefiting from the new technology as response times are reduced.
Systems have been developed online for Austin Energy staff to constantly monitor the progress of this ongoing transformation, enabling them to feel a part of the process. In his words: “It’s all about business processes and how you do things.”
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Austin Energy is the 10th largest public power utility in the nation, providing low cost reliable power to the capital city of Texas and the metro area. The company is owned by the city and is a municipality; it does all the billing for the city and on the product side sells both traditional and green energy.
Austin Energy is recognized as an industry leader in conservation and renewable energy, offering the most comprehensive residential and commercial energy efficiency programs in the nation. The company is active in the use and management of distributed generation; it operates the first fuel cell in Texas, tied directly to the electric grid, and the largest module combined heat and power plant in the nation. Austin Energy uses the best solutions for information technology and telecommunications to deliver the nation’s first fully-integrated and self-healing utility.
When customers report outages, the information gets entered into the system, a customer representative looks up the customer’s address and the outage details are processed. Crews are then dispatched to investigate. All this information is entered into the system, allowing a constant transparent process. The information is also used as a distribution/planning tool.
Austin Energy processes 500,000 billing transactions per month, as well as $1 billion in hedging transactions per year. There are 2 million data transactions per week. The company currently services about 900,000 customers and 41,000 businesses in a 500 square mile radius. There are roughly 370,000 meters out in the field – 130,000 are AMR and the rest are manual, but these will be phased out over the next two years. The AMR meters are provided by Cellnet.
Andres’ vision for Austin Energy is the integration of energy and information; his goal is to have demand = supply.
In addition to his responsibilities as CIO, Andres is member of the eight-person executive team, and member of the Innovation and Opportunity Development executive board. Outside of Austin Energy, he is a board member for the Center for Commercialization of Electric Technologies, a board member for the Large Public Power Companies’ CIO Task Force, and chair of the SOA Task Force. He also acts as an advisor to several companies.
Andres has great knowledge of the energy, software, computer, and wireless industries. He has held c-level and senior management titles at Austin Energy, four start-ups, Philips Electronics, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Borland. He started his professional career as a product manager for Windows and DOS at Microsoft in Redmond, WA.
Andres received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas, and has completed executive management programs at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania
In his spare time he enjoys playing golf and fishing.