NiSource Announces Outsourcer

Well, NiSource has finally announced who won the outsourcing contract. In this press release NiSource makes the following announcement:

Neale announced that NiSource has selected IBM as the business process service provider with whom NiSource will move forward into a period of exclusive negotiation toward a contract to outsource up to $2 billion of business support activities over 10 years. Teams of employees from the areas under consideration for transformation have been working for three months through a disciplined process with Accenture and IBM – the two service providers that responded to an extensive request for proposals (RFP) from NiSource – to identify potential solutions and savings.

"Both Accenture and IBM have put forth outstanding efforts in responding to our RFP and developing proposals that could meet NiSource’s business needs as well as our expectations for safety, reliability and delivering quality customer service. Both providers offered credible and workable solutions for our business,” Neale said. “Based on our exploration and work with the providers to date, we anticipate the company will outsource a portion of our business support activities.”

Neale noted that NiSource has not yet finalized which activities and processes will be outsourced or to what extent. Beginning immediately, a team from NiSource and IBM will continue to define the future relationship between the two companies. NiSource expects to make final decisions and conclude contract negotiations in June.


Ok, thanks to Alan, comments are now showing up in correct chronological order.

[Update 10 March 2007] I'm n the process of migrating posts from my old blog to  This post doesn't apply here. 


I had a friend e-mail me and ask why I showed e-mail addresses on comments. Well, if you enter your e-mail address, it will show on the comments. For right now, I think I will leave it that way. Only enter your e-mail address if you want it to show up…you have all the control.

This same guy also pointed out that I may want to arrange my comments in chronological order. I need to read the code, but I'll get it going soon. That is a good idea and will make them easier to read.

[Update 10 March 2007] I'm in the process of migrating my old blog posts to  This doesn't apply here. 

NiSource Outsourcing Information

This URL went around the office today. It is an article talking about NiSource Outsourcing. Just in case it gets taken off line, here it is:

U.S. Utilities Intensify Outsourcing Plans — NiSource Raises the Bar

Interest among U.S. utilities in BPO remains high, with at least six large utilities actively evaluating proposals from vendors. At Accenture's recent International Utilities and Energy Conference, a roundtable of industry executives discussed lessons learned from previous BPO engagements, particularly in the United Kingdom, where companies such as Welsh Water serve approximately 1 million customers with only 130–140 employees, and explored the justification and process related to major outsourcing decisions. Without announcing the choice of a vendor, NiSource presented an overview of its BPO initiative, which expands the scope beyond that of previous initiatives such as the TXU/Capgemini deal signed last year or the BC Hydro/Accenture deal signed the previous year.

NiSource decided to evaluate outsourcing primarily for financial reasons — as an opportunity to reduce operations and maintenance (O&M) costs while maintaining or improving service levels and to redeploy capital to growth areas such as gas storage. Additionally, the company wanted to explore the opportunities to transform key business processes and their supporting technology and to enable the company to focus on its core business. Processes chosen for outsourcing needed to satisfy certain criteria:

  • The process is transactional in nature.
  • The process requires significant amounts of medium to low-skilled labor.
  • The process is currently fragmented and needs to be consolidated and/or transformed.
  • Management is not willing or able to invest in change.
  • The process has been successfully outsourced before.

Based on these criteria, NiSource decided to outsource significant portions of finance and accounting, human resources, supply chain, customer care and billing, and work management. The work management outsourcing, which goes beyond the scope of previous utility BPO deals, will not include any union labor and will focus on scheduling and dispatching processes.

NiSource met with legislators and regulators early in the process to ensure political issues were resolved up front. For example, although the customer call center will be outsourced, it will not be moved offshore. Also, regulatory "clawback" of any achieved savings will not be an issue because the outsourced processes are not part of the utility rate base.

We believe that interest in BPO among U.S. utilities will continue to be driven primarily by financial pressures including the need to achieve M&A synergy savings and the friction between a "back to basics" business strategy, which decreases the ability to grow revenue, and earnings growth objectives of 5–10%, which require a sharp focus on cost cutting.


We predict that business process outsourcing will become the norm instead of the exception, especially for shared services such as finance, HR, supply chain, and IT, as well as for customer service and billing.

Why don’t we get things from God?

Well, why don't we? Today's My Utmost for His Highest has an interesting take on that very question:

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Not seeking to be a great one, but seeking great things from God for yourself. God wants you in a closer relationship to Himself than receiving His gifts, He wants you to get to know Him. A great thing is accidental, it comes and goes. God never gives us anything accidental. There is nothing easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God Whom you want but only what He gives.

If you have only come the length of asking God for things, you have never come to the first strand of abandonment, you have become a Christian from a standpoint of your own. "I did ask God for the Holy Spirit, but He did not give me the rest and the peace I expected." Instantly God puts His finger on the reason – you are not seeking the Lord at all, you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus says – "Ask, and it shall be given you." Ask God for what you want, and you cannot ask if you are not asking for a right thing. When you draw near to God, you cease from asking for things. "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." Then why ask? That you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? "O Lord, baptize me with the Holy Ghost." If God does not, it is because you are not abandoned enough to Him, there is something you will not do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores the present perfection for the ultimate perfection. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy just now; He is working out His ultimate perfection all the time – "that they may be one even as We are."

So, why don't we get things from God? Why doesn't he "answer" our prayers (he does…just not the way we always want)? Simply because we are asking for the wrong things. We are asking for things for us: a new car, bigger house, more money, etc…. In reality, we should be asking God to reveal Himself to us, to draw us closer to Him, to use us for His will.

Is God Love?

My friend Bill recently made a post on his blog where he describes some interaction he had with his daughter. In a nutshell, she wanted Bill to read her a book about the flood (Noah's Flood) so he did. The next day, she got the impresstion that God doesn't love us. This is my response.

Yes, God is a God of love (when I speak of God here, I speak of the God…the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob); however, he is also a Holy God. Being holy means he cannot love sin. So, here is what is important (and you don't get this from just one story in the Bible):

1) God created humans to be perfect…no sin.
2) Man chose to sin and rebel again God in the Garden.
3) This rebellion caused the Holy God to have to deal with the sin. He kicked the original people out of the Garden for their rebellion.
4) Since the original man, every man (person) born has inheritied this sin nature.
5) God loves us, and wanted to restore our relationship with Him.
6) God sent His Son (the God-Man [100% God yet 100% man]) to earth. He lived a sinless life on earth.
7) He was offered up on the cross as payment for our sin debt.
8) God loves everyone equally. He offers His gift to anyone and everyone regardless of status, race, color, etc…
9) All though God is love, He is also holy and cannot tolerate sin.
10) He loves us, but if we refuse to accept His love, we must be punished. 11) We may or may not see His punishement while we are alive; however, this WILL happen once we die if we have not accepted His love while we are alive.

Think about it like this. Parents love their children but still punish their children when they do wrong. Do the parents cease to love their children when they punish them? No. The two (love and punishment) are not mutually exclusive.

I don't know what book was or what it said, but did it mention the rainbow? How God promised to never again destroy the entire world by flood? Did the book go into the gift God provided? Here are some links to some flood books for kids that would probably include the WHOLE story:

Noah's Ark and the Ararat Adventure
Noah's Ark and the Great Flood
The True Story of Noah's Ark

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Bible must be taken as a whole. It isn't potluck. A person can only understand things by looking at the entire "picture"

Will they just skip over the plagues, death, flooding, and occasional harshness of our Loving God?

I hope not because God is not only love. He is other things as well. You cannot understand the love of God without understanding God in His entirety. 

Will her knowing the full story from the bible cause others in her church to be uncomfortable?

Again, if people are like this, one must question if we are talking about the same God. This is why it is very important to pick a church that believes the ENTIRE Bile. Not just parts. Not just potluck. Not just the good parts. Not just the "bad". They need to believe it all…all or nothing. Without that, one only gets part of the picture. 

How do you reconcile the apparent dichotomy of being told he is a Loving God and then seeing what he does throughout the old testament?

Again, one has to take it all. The God who loves everyone so much that He sent His son into the world to die that we might live hates sin and cannot tolerate it. You have to take everything. If one views the entire picture instead of focusing on one thing there is no problem reconciling everything.


I'm going to start posting interesting quotes I hear. They may be daily, weekly, monthly, or as I hear them. These will always be things I have either read or heard. I may or may not post who said it: sometimes I may not know, and sometimes I want to protect the "source". I hope you enjoy.


Heard spoken by a NiSource employee about the AssetCenter interface:

I need a GUI for the GUI.


Don’t know what to call this one

I was reading and came across this article. The article is moving (and possibly disturbing) so click with caution.

The title of the article sums it up: "Abortion staff ignores baby boy born alive?". Here is a quote sumarizing the article:

A woman who was scheduled to have her 22-week-along pregnancy ended at a Florida abortion clinic instead delivered the baby alive in a restroom and says her pleading for help from medical staff went unheeded, even when an employee saw that the tiny boy was moving.

I don't know where to start on this one; however, I guess I'll leave it at saying we ought to pray for Angele (the mother), the staff at the clinic, and everyone involved. They need God's love shown to them. If they aren't saved, someone needs to tell them of God's Son who was born to die–born to die that we might live.

When I first read the article, I was going to write about how heartless everyone seemed to be. But then it struck me: the people involved may not be saved. If they aren't saved why should they be any different. Then, I realized, right now, what everyone needed was someone to demonstrate God's love to them. I don't live in Flordia, so I don't know what I can do. At the least, I can pray that God will send someone to them that they may be saved.

Moving Update

Well, we have now had two moving companies come and inventory our stuff. The first, Allied, gave us an estimate of 13,500 lbs. The second, United, looks like they will have an estimate of 6,000-7,000 lbs. We are still waiting for the official estimate from United, but it looks like they will be getting our business.

On another note, Cyndi and Ronda went to Richmond this past weekend to look at houses. They made good progress but didn't find a place. Cyndi and I are going back this weekend to finish that job. Randy, my boss, is letting me take some time off to finish that job. We have a few good leads, and have an idea of a house Cyndi seems to really like. We just have to wait to get there to see what will happen.