Opower (NYSE: OPWR), the global leader in cloud-based software for the utility industry, today announced findings from a Navigant Research report indicating that a majority of utility executives are either using or plan to consider using software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies to bolster their customer engagement efforts.

"Utility executives believe that disruption will drive their industry to become even more customer-centric," said Aida Hakirevic, Associate Director at Navigant and co-author of the report. "Increased regulatory requirements, customer expectations, and pressure on traditional utility business models are motivating them to respond with IT solutions that complement the gaps in their legacy systems and make them more nimble businesses."

The study found that customer satisfaction is the most critical customer service business goal for utility executives, ranking above other priorities like cost reduction and increasing revenue. However, fewer than 15 percent of utility executives were confident in their customer engagement capabilities. When asked how they foresee their utility bridging this gap, most executives said they favored buying IT solutions over building them, and the vast majority indicated that they were already using or had an interest in using cloud-based SaaS solutions.

Navigant found that utilities' largest capability gap is their access to customer information — in particular to improve contact center call handling and marketing effectiveness. Most executives also said one of their biggest challenges with analytics is getting value from their customer data — either to improve internal decision-making or to provide value to customers.

"We're out of the era now where we can build it ourselves," said one utility executive surveyed for the Navigant report. "We've been caught too many times with legacy systems and nobody knows what's under the hood. It's better to get a service provider and the trend is cloud-based SaaS. The debate over operating versus capital budgets is a huge distraction. Frankly, it's impeding the right decision."

The Navigant report, Bridging the Divide: Utilities and the Customer Engagement Gap, surveyed nearly 100 utility leaders in customer care, marketing, and IT and conducted in-depth interviews with 17 utility executives. The report is available online at http://www.opower.com/bridgethedivide.

About Opower

Opower ( NYSE: OPWR) is an enterprise software company that helps utilities elevate the customer experience. Energy providers use Opower's customer engagement platform to deliver proactive, digital communications that raise customer satisfaction, manage energy demand, and lower service costs. Opower's software is deployed to 100 utilities worldwide and reaches more than 60 million homes and businesses. For more information, please visit www.opower.com and follow us on Twitter at @Opower.

About Navigant

Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global professional services firm that helps clients take control of their future. Navigant's professionals apply deep industry knowledge, substantive technical expertise, and an enterprising approach to help clients build, manage and/or protect their business interests. With a focus on markets and clients facing transformational change and significant regulatory or legal pressures, the Firm primarily serves clients in the healthcare, energy and financial services industries. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and technology/analytics services, Navigant's practitioners bring sharp insight that pinpoints opportunities and delivers powerful results. More information about Navigant can be found at navigant.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding benefits from the use of Opower's solutions. Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Opower represent Opower's views as of the date of this press release. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. While Opower may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, Opower specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

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