B) Go-Live Plan
The September Transition Plan Report provided an overview of Unitil’s Go-Live plans
and identified certain functions for which transition services are currently anticipated. These
plans continue to be worked on by the teams as they coordinate with their NiSource I Bay
State counterparts and add details to their plans. The Go-Live plans are tied to two key
dates: 1) the transaction closing and cutover date and, 2) the Customer Services Go-Live
date. If these dates change, affected teams will shift their Go-Live schedules accordingly.
This report provides a brief update of any significant changes to the Go-Live plans
that have occurred since the September Transition Plan Report and is organized using the
same grouping of teams identified in that report.
(1) Customer Services: billing, collection, and call center functions to be transitioned
after Unitil’s CIS system is tested and populated with Northern customer data.
Customer Services are supported by Unitil’s CIS, a system that is undergoing
enhancements and testing to accommodate Northern’s customer transactions. The
Customer Services Go-Live date will occur at the beginning of a month and is subject to
continual assessment based on the status of data conversion and testing results. Unitil and
NiSource are currently working toward a cutover in the first quarter of 2009. The Customer
Services cutover will be extended for a month at a time, if necessary, until all CIS updates
and processes are completed and successfully tested. There have been no significant
changes to the Go-Live plans in this area.
(2) Accounting and Finance: functions to be transitioned at the closing in order for
Unitil to produce a beginning balance sheet and enter post-closing transactions
into general ledger accounts.
The test plans for the financial systems underlying the Accounting and Finance
teams are being prepared and executed by the respective teams. The Accounting and
Finance teams are also updating their respective Go-Live plans based on a month-end
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transaction close and cutover. Otherwise, the Go-Live plans for the Accounting and Finance
teams have not changed significantly since the September Transition Plan Report.
(3) Corporate Communications: communications to customers leading up to and
following the closing of the transaction.
The customer communications that will be taking place are described in more detail
in Section 3.C below. The Corporate Communications Go-Live plan has not changed
significantly over the past month, although several Go-Live activities have been completed
over the past month. These completed tasks address preparations for new signage, the
development of a process for implementation •and reporting of Pipeline Integrity
Management Programs and compliance with the reporting requirements of RP1 162.
Significant progress on necessary updates to the Unitil website has also been made over
the past month.
(4) Distribution Field Operations: the dispatching of field crews beginning with the
closing in response to customer inquiries and system operations issues,
including respon~Jing to gas leaks.
There have been minor adjustments to training dates for these teams as team
leaders would prefer to conduct the training as close to the cutover of supporting systems as
possible. These teams have also been developing contingency plans that can be
implemented if the 24/7 dispatch center and the mobile data terminals, which are currently
scheduled to be available on the transaction closing date, are not available at that time. As
part of these contingency plans, Unitil would acquire emergency dispatch transition services
from Bay State. Further, dispatch of field personnel depends on customer work orders that
are generated by the CIS. For the period between the transaction closing and the cutover of
Unitil’s CIS, Unitil will require reports from the NiSource’s CIS to schedule daily activity and
will also need to report back to the CIS at the end of each day regarding work that has been
completed. Unitil and NiSource have met to begin working out the details of this interim
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(5) Gas SurrIy and Gas Control: contracting for supplies, measuring, dispatching
and controlling the flow of natural gas functions that will transition in phases as
systems are ready.
The Gas Supply team has refined their Go-Live plan to focus more narrowly on
cutover activities. The development and successful testing of Unitil’s new GTRAC system,
which will manage both on-system and off-system data management and processing
requirements, is critical to Gas Supply’s ability to complete many elements of its Go-Live
plan. Gas Supply is currently planning on taking transition services through the end of the
The Gas Dispatch team’s Go-Live plan continues to reflect a three-phased transition
with Unitil monitoring and Bay State controlling (Phase 1: through January 2009), Unitil
controlling and Bay State monitoring (Phase 2: through April 2009), Unitil controlling and
monitoring (Phase 3: beginning May 2009). Unitil will be acquiring transition services during
Phase 1 and 2.
(6) Enciineerinci and Orerations Manaciement: maintenance and operation of the
distribution network, including related planning and reporting functions that will
transition at or shortly after the closing.
The Go-Live plans for Engineering and Operations Management include actions
required to ensure that Unitil is prepared to provide these functions and these team are not
expected to need transition services support. The teams are not particularly dependent on
the transaction closing date, although GIS data will need to be made available to service
personnel through their mobile data terminals. The Engineering Regulatory Reporting team
may need to take transition services through the end of the year to ensure that Unitil is able
to meet its reporting requirements immediately after the transaction closes.
As discussed in the September Transition Plan Report, the Damage Prevention
team’s Go-Live plan is more involved and requires a precise cutover between the entering of
Dig Safe tickets between the NiSource system (IRTH Net) and the Unitil system (Dig Track).
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This cutover will occur at the transaction closing date. There have been no significant
changes to the Go-Live plans in this area.
(7) Transmission System Management and Oi,erations: transition of the
responsibility to operate Granite from NiSource to UnitiL
The Gas Transmission Operations Go-Live plan is similar to the Go-Live plans for
many of the distribution functions as Unitil must be prepared to maintain and operate the
pipeline, respond to emergencies, and report compliance with applicable rules and
regulations. Service crews will be equipped with mobile data terminals that provide access
to the same Unitil systems and communicate using the same technologies as planned to
support distribution operations functions. These plans have not changed significantly since
the September Transition Plan Report was submitted. The Gas Transmission Management
Go-Live plan has not changed since the prior report.
(8) Corporate: numerous corporate responsibilities including payroll, human
resources and benefits, legal, regulatory, and corporate governance must be
assumed by Unitil at the closing.
The Regulatory Go-Live plan now reflects the need for transition services for an
additional month or until the end of the year. The Regulatory team will work closely with
NiSource throughout the transition to ensure that Northern and Granite continue to meet the
numerous scheduled filing and reporting obligations that will occur in the months following
the transaction closing.
The Corporate Governance team will act at the closing to establish new Boards of
Directors for Northern and Granite to facilitate certain standard activities including
establishment of bank accounts for these entities. The Corporate Governance Go-Live plan
now reflects a more defined timeline, which is concentrated around the transaction closing
(9) Infrastructure: Administration of new fleet vehicles, modifications to buildings,
installation of telecommunications and network equipment, and equipping new
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The infrastructure teams are responsible for transferring the facilities that are being
acquired (located in Portsmouth and Portland) as well as relocating employees among
offices, providing network and telecommunications systems, and assuming ownership of
Northern’s vehicle fleet. Unitil will begin transfer of the facilities after the transaction closes
and Unitil owns the properties. These plans have not changed significantly since the
September Transition Plan Report.
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