ALEXANDRIA, La. — Today, Cleco leadership, joined by elected officials and local partners, unveiled the utility company’s largest technology and customer experience project in the company’s history. The two-year, $130 million Strategic Alignment and Real-time Transformation, or START project, will replace Cleco’s core technology, shifting from multiple systems to one primary system, SAP, while improving the company's processes in nearly every area.
The START project represents a best practice for companies in the utility industry. To facilitate this system update, Cleco is working with several digital and IT partners to install the program and integrate it into the company. The system is being developed by SAP, and IBM is providing system integration services.
“Cleco is a tremendous partner in generating economic activity in Louisiana,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “The company’s START program demonstrates the sort of innovation that will ensure their continued success in providing outstanding service to our people and supporting Louisiana business recruiting and expansion efforts. I applaud Cleco for investing in a state-of-the-art core software application platform, and I congratulate all the partners involved in bringing this industry-leading best-practice to Louisiana.”
The START project will be coordinated out of a 40,000-square-foot facility in Alexandria. With nearly 100 consultants traveling to and from the Cleco START office and making use of the amenities in the Alexandria area, the Cleco START initiative is expected to generate economic activity in central Louisiana and across the state.
“Cleco has long been an economic engine in central Louisiana and throughout the state,” said Bill Fontenot, Cleco chief operating officer and Cleco Power interim CEO. “In total, the START project will lead to the creation of 221 new jobs in Louisiana, generate approximately $1.5 million in state and local tax revenues and create $42.2 million in new sales across various statewide business sectors.”
Cleco employs 1,200 workers statewide and supplies power to 288,000 Louisiana customers across 24 Louisiana parishes. Pineville will continue to be home to Cleco’s corporate headquarters, as well as the local customer service office and service center, which, together, employ approximately 650 full-time workers.
Cleco is a regional energy company that conducts substantially all of its business operation through its primary subsidiary, Cleco Power. Cleco Power is a regulated electric utility company that owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 3,310 MWs and serves approximately 288,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.