updated 8/31/2010 4:45:52 PM ET 2010-08-31T20:45:52

REDLANDS, Calif., Aug. 31, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jefferson-Cocke County Utility District (JCCUD) is taking advantage of Esri's Small Utility Enterprise License Agreement ( ELA ) program to improve outage response and better meet regulatory requirements with the use of geographic information system (GIS) technology. The Newport, Tennessee, gas utility company serves 7,300 homes and businesses in two counties.

Before the move to GIS, field crews had to rely on paper maps that were costly to produce and often outdated. Now JCCUD can respond to outages equipped with laptops and up-to-date GIS-based maps. Within the GIS, utility staff can view the entire gas network along with customer information, proposed and as-built data, orthophotographs, topographic maps, and street centerlines. The initial mobile GIS training session went smoothly, and JCCUD plans to make all work orders paperless by the end of the year.

Access to mobile GIS technology is also helping the gas utility in regulatory compliance reporting. JCCUD crews will have the ability to input data from the field and synchronize with the home database to ensure accuracy of valve and regulatory station maintenance as well as odorization and cathodic protection reports.

"Without the Small Utility ELA, we could not have managed this upgrade," said Larry Masters, engineering/GIS coordinator for JCCUD. "We cut $1,200 this year in the cost of printing map books, not to mention the hours saved working on the map books and returning to the office for sketches. When we looked at the cost of the ELA and what it was saving our utility, we needed to do it."

Through Esri's Small Utility ELA program, small utilities receive unlimited deployments of Esri's core ArcGIS platform as well as maintenance and support for products, staff training, passes to the Esri International User Conference, and Esri data models. The Small Utility ELA program is open to utilities with 100,000 meters or fewer.

For more information on the Small Utility ELA program and to listen to a podcast about it, visit www.esri.com/suela . To speak to an expert, call 800-447-9778, extension 2990.

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com/news .

Esri, the Esri globe logo, GIS by Esri, ArcGIS, www.esri.com, and @esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.

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