Leveraging Partnerships to Build a Better Mousetrap.
As Usual, It Started with a Cocktail
Sandy Holmes, the executive director of Arizona 811 knew she was in for a challenge. For the past 10 years, her organization helped set the standard for applying the best technologies to their difficult task of communicating dig notifications for the entire state of Arizona. Sandy had seen many solutions during her tenure at AZ811 and she knew that her core business had to move forward and embrace new technology if she was going to continue to shine in the damage prevention arena. But her challenge, as she looked at her alternatives, weren’t up to the standards she wanted to set for her center. While there were many different options, most were either as old as her current technology, or worse, even older. But even though her existing system was getting older, it still was a very solid platform that helped her achieve her goals for the past 10 years. The question became, how to keep the standard AZ811 had set but not disrupt the audience that had relied on the center for their accuracy and safety. Sandy decided to think outside of the box and reached out to 4iQ Solutions.
“It was actually pretty funny” said Jason Adams, President of 4iQ Solutions. “We had just started to connect back with some of our friends from our time we had spent working in the damage prevention industry, when we decided to grab a cocktail at the tradeshow with Sandy and Kevin Hopper, the Executive Director of Dig Safely New York.”
Good Friends, but Great Partners
4iQ was supporting Kevin’s efforts to train thousands of excavators using the 4iQ Coursettra system and attended the event hoping to find other centers with the same challenge. But over that cocktail, the conversation shifted to the need for a better, more modern One Call System. Sandy and Kevin both used the same platform and were struggling for a solution for the future, when Sandy just decided to take control of the situation.
“I liked what Kevin was doing in New York and we were both very confident that the 4iQ development team could build the One Call of the Future for us”, Sandy states. But there was a problem. 4iQ had no plans on building a One Call system.
“At that point our complete focus was on the training and certification platform Coursettra. Even though our development team had previously helped design and develop their current system, we had no intent to build another One Call system” said Jason Adams
But Sandy knew in her heart that the answer for her tech challenges was sitting across the table and wanted to make sure the opportunity wasn’t missed. Sandy said “I felt confident that John Cachat (Senior Software Architect for 4iQ) could build the best system that would exceed our needs and we could help in that process, so we asked 4iQ to please consider what it would take and here we are today!”
Now the Work Begins
Fast forward 18 months and the new 4iQ Exactix system is about to launch in Arizona. Months of preparation, long nights of testing and configuration have been completed. Thousands of users are learning about the new system in the classes hosted by Arizona and online using the Coursettra training platform. Finally the day arrives.
The conversion takes place on Halloween Night and the thoughts of some ghoulish outcome were never even considered. “Of course there were some bumps in the road, but overall I had never been part of such a seamless conversion” Sandy excitedly states. “We focused our training efforts for web ticket creation on our largest users and we had great success. Our percentage of web based tickets held strong during the conversion and allowed my team to focus our efforts on some of the smaller users who may have had some challenges or may have just not responded to our training emails”, Sandy continues, “But overall I am so thrilled with our decision to partner with 4iQ”
“Sandy’s team is really pushing the Exactix and Coursettra system and taking Arizona 811 to the next level of One Call,” Jason Adams continues “the integration of Quality Control using Coursettra on tickets created by web users is going to ensure the most accurate, precise and safe digging notification in the industry”
As the team in Arizona continues to push forward and find the best solutions for their needs, Sandy has a smile on her face. “We did it! But this is just the start, my team has many new ideas on keeping the stakeholders of Arizona working in the safest environment that we can provide. We will continue our goal of being the safest place to dig and want to share our message with the entire industry”