What’s New in BEACON

Compound Meter Billing Read Export Enhancement

November 30,2020
The new Sync Registers feature lets utilities get synchronized billing reads for each register on a compound meter. Typically, endpoint communication times are staggered to optimize network performance. For some utilities, such staggered read times from the high and low sides of a compound meter required special handling where billing was concerned. The Sync Registers feature and new Export Data Service v1/eds/read and v2/eds/read sync registers parameters ensure that billing reads for registers on compound meters are taken on the same date and time. For details on how to use the feature, see BEACON Help.

Weekly Usage Comparisons

November 9, 2020
The BEACON AMA and EyeOnWater consumption graphs now provide faster access to week-on-week water usage data. The new Week timeframe selector lets you see color-coded, side-by-side usage bars for the previous and current week. In addition, hovering over a bar displays vital statistics, including:

  • Increases and decreases in flow volume presented as a percentage of total use.
  • Usage totals in the selected unit of measure along with the number of meters reporting, making it easy to gauge the usage comparison.

For see Help for more details on the Weekly compare feature.

System Requirements Update

September 28, 2020
Badger Meter recommends that all users keep their internet browsers up to date and secure by utilizing automatic update services. Also note that as Microsoft is phasing out Internet Explorer (IE 11) and early versions of Edge, BEACON AMA will no longer be updated to support IE 11 or Edge versions prior to Chromium. Updated technical requirements are here.

New BEACON Training Page

July 27,2020
Our extensive portfolio of training content has a new, centralized home in BEACON Help that is easily accessible to all utility staff. Check the Training tab frequently to find updated materials prepared by our expert trainers including:

E-Series Ultrasonic Plus Meter with Integrated Valve

July 21, 2020
The E-Series Ultrasonic Plus meter with an integrated valve allows for utilities to remotely actuate valves to open, closed, and partially closed positions. When utilizing an ORION LTE-M endpoint and BEACON AMA, utilities can easily monitor valve status, actuate and schedule movements, and view actuation history. A new How-To Video: Setting Up and Actuating Valves with the E-Series Ultrasonic Plus and the following Help pages further explain how to actuate valves and review their status in BEACON AMA.

EyeOnWater® Mobile Apps are Now ADA Compliant!

June 24, 2020
EyeOnWater iOS and Android mobile applications are now available in Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliant modes. Simply instruct your customers to enable the appropriate accessibility settings on their phones. When they open the EyeOnWater application, they will have access to full voice over, changed color schemes and fonts based on industry best practices for ADA compliance.

View EyeOnWater Help for iOS and Android Accessibility instructions.

ORION® Mobile Read How-To Videos

June 15, 2020
Two new How-To videos have been released for training on the BEACON AMA Mobile Solution. These brief videos provide a full, step-by-step overview for creating and completing assignments in ORION® Mobile Read.

These videos can be found in the BEACON Help Knowledge Base:

Enhanced Alert Status Visibility

June 2, 2020
New Alert filters on the Monitor page let you quickly view the status of:
• Leak Alerts
• Water Temperature Alerts*
• Water Pressure Alerts*
See the number of meters with alerts set (configured by a user), that had alerts set and then disabled, or that have never had alerts set. For example, you can use the EyeOnWater and new Leak Alerts filters to identify consumers who have or have not set leak alerts. For details, see BEACON Help.

*Water temperature and pressure alerts require next-generation E-Series Ultrasonic meters with sensing capability connected to ORION Cellular LTE or LTE-M endpoints.

Dynamic Monitor Page Filter Visibility

April 8, 2020
BEACON AMA can now dynamically control which filters are displayed on the Monitor page based on the availability of data. If a field is populated for any of your accounts the filter will be displayed. If no data is available the filter will be hidden.

Two new buttons on the Assets page, Utility Settings tab, give you enhanced control over which filters are visible on the Monitor page. Now Admin users can:

Choose to let BEACON AMA dynamically display all filters that contain data. This lets you quickly optimize your Monitor page experience by showing only filters that are in use.
Create a customized selection of filters. This lets you handpick the filters to display based on your needs.
For more information, see BEACON Help.

ORION Cellular Filter Updates

March 23, 2020
The Cell Type filter category on the BEACON Monitor page has been renamed Cellular Technology. In addition, the ORION Cellular filter under the Endpoint Type filter category now represents the total of all cellular technologies available to you. The Endpoint Type filter differentiates between cellular, fixed network, and mobile endpoints. Cellular Technology filters select and count meters based on the network used by their endpoint.

Water Pressure & Temperature Exports

March 20, 2020
Utilities deploying Badger Meter next-generation E-Series Ultrasonic meters with water pressure and temperature sensing capability that are connected to an ORION Cellular LTE or LTE-M endpoint now have the ability to export water pressure and temperature data through BEACON AMA.

The Export Fieldsets tab on the Assets page lets you add several pressure and temperature fields to customize a Latest Reads or Date Range report. The data can then be exported for analysis in Microsoft Excel or for import into other utility data systems.

Visit the Export Fieldsets Help to learn more about these custom reporting capabilities.

New BEACON Training Available Now!

January 23, 2020
Designed for seasoned BEACON users, we have a robust portfolio of personalized, online courses hosted by our expert trainers.

Register now for our newly added course, BEACON AMA Advanced Features: Export Fieldsets and Reports and check out our entire catalog provided at no additional cost to you.

Register for BEACON AMA Advanced Features: Export Fieldsets and Reports.

Click here to view course catalog.

New to BEACON? Or think you may benefit from a holistic view of our entire offering? Please look into attending our Customer Product Training, hosted by Badger Meter.

Click here for more information.

Training Manual Downloads

January 23, 2020
You can now download BEACON training manuals directly from the Assets page Downloads tab. Five training support manuals are available for:

BEACON AMA Cellular and Fixed Network Solutions
BEACON AMA Starter Spreadsheet
EyeOnWater
BEACON AMA Mobile
ORION Mobile Read

These are the same manuals used by Badger Meter expert trainers during BEACON training sessions. The manuals are in PDF format and take a step-by-step approach to explaining how to use the software to perform day-to-day tasks.

Expanded Fixed-Width File Export Support

December 17, 2019
To further support utilities whose billing and customer information systems rely on fixed-width files, those files can be configured and exported directly from the BEACON user interface. This enables integration with utility CIS and billing systems via BEACON Monitor page exports. The self-serve feature makes it easy to create custom fixed-width file exports for Billing Reads, Latest Reads, Date Range (interval read), Exception History, and Consumption export types. See BEACON Help, Assets Page – Export Fieldsets for more information.

 

Consumption Reports, Conservation Goals & Comparisons

November 6, 2019
New Monitor page filters and the new Compare feature give you the ability to quickly identify meters with unusually high or low consumption.

  • Use definable high and low consumption thresholds to spot potential problems before they become billing hassles.
  • The new Conservation filter identifies customers that did not meet a reduction goal.
  • The Consumption Graph Compare button lets you quickly compare and contrast usage for a given month, day, hour and 15-minute intervals to previous usage.

See Help for details on the new High/Low Consumption filters, Conservation filter, and the Compare feature.

Water Pressure & Temperature Data

October 28, 2019
Utilities deploying next-gen 3″ and 4″ E-Series Ultrasonic meters connected with ORION Cellular LTE or LTE-M endpoints now have access to water pressure and temperature data through BEACON AMA. New At a Glance dashboard modules, Monitor Card tabs, and Monitor Chart overlays present the data. New Monitor filters help you identify accounts with high, low, increasing, or decreasing pressure and temperature while Monitor Card alerts allow you to receive email or text messages when conditions fall outside user defined ranges. Watch this how-to video and visit Help to learn more about these new filters and Monitor page card features.

API Export Support for Different Column Separators

October 17, 2019
BEACON defaults to commas (,) as column separators when exporting CSV-format files. For utilities whose CIS and Billing systems expect to see a different separator, BEACON Export Data Services (EDS) also let you use semicolons (;), colons (:), pipes (|), or tildas (~). EDS v1 exports use the csvSeparator parameter, while EDS v2 exports use the CSV_Separator parameter. For more information, see Export Data Services v1 API and Export Data Services v2 API.

Export Data Services Enhancement

October 9, 2019
BEACON Web Services APIs now let you retrieve Exception data, including exception start and end dates. Use the new v1/eds/exception_range and v2/eds/exception_range APIs to get a list of exceptions reported by meters, registers and endpoints over a specified date range. Like other EDS services, a robust set of parameters let you specify a wide variety of column headers to return. You can also choose to retrieve the data in either JSON or CSV format.

Support for European Date Formats

September 10, 2019
Utilities outside of North America can now import and display dates in Day/Month/Year format. BEACON will recognize the format based on the Country and Language drop-down menu selections on the Assets>Utility Settings>Settings page. For more details, see Date Formats.

Customizable Exports

September 3, 2019
Export Fieldsets, a powerful new feature on the Assets page, lets you customize data exports. You can now choose from a comprehensive list of data fields, rename them, and organize them to tailor exports to your reporting needs. For example, you can build an export with only the essential data fields needed for meter shop work orders. For more information, see the BEACON User Guide and this how-to video.

New “Leak Type” Filters

August 26, 2019
Utilities with mixed meter reading technologies can now filter by Leak Type based on how leaks were detected. Interval read data from network endpoints is used to identify continuous flow reported as Leaks. Meters read periodically through mobile endpoints send Leak Flags. BEACON AMA then reports the leak start date and current leak rate for Leaks based on interval flow data. BEACON also reports when meter Leak Flags are received with periodic reads. When taken together, the new Leak and Leak Flag filters count the total number of leaks in your system.

View Leak Analytics for Any Group of Accounts

July 12, 2019
A powerful enhancement to the Analytics page now lets you quickly apply custom filters to the leak analytics. Use the new Selected Filter drop-down to target results based on your saved filters. A saved filter is a customized collection of filters on the Monitor page that can be used to focus analytics on any set of accounts. For example, a saved filter could encompass all residential accounts, industrial-sized meters, a set of meter reading routes, or a collection of zip codes. Use leak analytics to quickly identify and take action against leaks of different sizes and duration. For more info, visit the BEACON User Guide.

New Leak Duration and Leak Rate Filters

May 17, 2019
Utilities with ORION Cellular and Fixed Network endpoints can now use a new Monitor page Leak filter group to quickly select account cards based on Leak Rate and Leak Duration ranges. View meters with new or long-standing leaks with the Leak Duration filters. Use Leak Rate filters to select cards for meters with leaks in various size ranges. Then add other filters to further refine your results. For example, you could use a combination of filters to identify 3” and larger commercial meters that have been leaking over 30 gallons per hour for 10 days or longer. Once you’ve made your selection, export the data for use as a work list to address these high priority leaks.

EyeOnWater Smartphone Leak Notifications

Mar 01, 2019
Your customers can now set up leak notifications in the EyeOnWater Android and iOS smartphone apps. New app users will be walked through the process when they sign up. Customers can simply choose to be notified of sensitive, normal or large leaks, or they can set a specific gallons/liters per hour threshold. The apps utilize native smartphone Notification functions in addition to displaying leaks on their Overview, Graph and Calendar pages. Tapping on a notification will open the app to the Leak Alert page.

Deep Links to External Systems

Feb 13, 2019
Deep Links allow you and your customer service representatives to go directly from an account card in BEACON to the corresponding account in another utility system such as your CIS or billing system. Multi-utilities can link accounts in separate water, gas and electric systems. For information on implementing deep links and how to get started, see BEACON Help.

Hectoliter – Units of Measure

Jan 02, 2019

Utilities measuring water consumption in metric units can now set Hectoliters (100 Liters) as their UI Default Units and Billing Units using the Assets > Utility Settings page.

Reminder to Update Passwords and Users

Jan 02, 2019

The new year is a good time to update your password and authorized users list to better protect your utility’s data. To change your password, sign out, click “Sign back in” and then “Forgot your password?” and follow the instructions. To update your users list, an Admin User should review the Staff list on your Users tab, then click a row in the user table to edit or remove a user.

AMR Historical Data Extractions Moved

Nov 15, 2018

To access the AMR mobile-read Historical Data Extractions page and Create New Extractions, search for the account on the Monitor page and select Data Extractions from the More menu on the Card. The new Historical Data Extractions page will open in a new window. For more information on the new page, see Help. The previous Manage tab is no longer in use.

Leak Analytics Meter Size Selections

Oct 31, 2018

The Analytics Overview page now lets you track leaks on networked meters of all sizes. Using a convenient new drop-down menu, you can quickly select individual meter sizes or multi-select sizes for analysis. Selections for 2” and smaller, or larger than 2”, also allow you to quickly view leaks on all of your small or large networked meters at once. For details, visit the Analytics Overview page.

System Sync Enhancements

Oct 12, 2018

The newly enhanced System Sync Import Module gives you more visibility into the data exchange process. Now when you drop a Data Exchange file onto the Assets>System Sync Import Module, you can:

• See when your Data Exchange file has been queued for import
• Follow its progress as a percentage of completion
• And, after you accept the import, get a visual indication that system updates are being performed.

EyeOnWater® Android App Upgrade

Aug 9, 2018

An all-new EyeOnWater consumer engagement Android Smartphone app is now available on the Google Play Store (Android 6.0 or later required). We rebuilt the Android mobile app from the ground up giving it a fresh, new interface and better support for customers with multiple accounts or locations. Leak reporting has been improved and a savings calculator was added. Watch for new leak alert settings and notifications coming soon too. More countries and languages are now supported as well. To test-drive the app on your Android device, download the app from Google Play and click View Demo in the lower right corner of the Welcome screen.

New Leak Analytics

Aug 1, 2018

A powerful new dashboard in BEACON AMA gives you enhanced visibility into residential leaks. The new Analytics Overview page lets you see a running count of all 1.5″ or smaller networked meters in your utility with leaks, ranked by leak rate and duration. A Take Action module makes it easy to view customers with specific leak rates or durations on the Monitor page, and lets you export an action list complete with their contact information so you can reach out and encourage them to stop the leak.

The new Analytics page also lets utilities whose customers use EyeOnWater quickly see how many people have signed up for the service and review their recent activity level along with new signup statistics. Click here for more details.

Streamlined Billing Read Exports

July 11, 2018 12:30 PM

Small improvements can result in big time savings as in the case of our latest At a Glance Billing Reads module enhancement for utilities using configured billing files. Instead of having to search for the last Data Exchange file imported into BEACON, now you can simply check the Last Imported box in the Billing Reads module to automatically use the most recent system sync file as your Billing Upload file.

Vacant Properties:
A New Way to Monitor Flow at Inactive Services

May 30, 2018 6:19 PM

For utilities that want to keep a watchful eye on water usage at vacant properties, BEACON now lets you close the Service Agreement for an Account/Location while keeping the meter active and its card visible on the Monitor page. In addition, new Vacant Property filters let you count and display cards for meters based on their Service Agreement status. Use the Vacant Properties>Yes filter to easily check if water is being used at these locations. For complete instructions, click here.

Privacy Policy Update

May 1, 2018 9:24 AM

Badger Meter has recently updated the Access Rights section of our Privacy Policy to better define how you can access your personal data collected through the BEACON portal, as required by the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

Data Exchange File Retention Policy

Apr 23, 2018 9:38 AM

Badger Meter is implementing a stricter data retention policy in support of our IS0 27001 and SOC2 compliance standards to further enhance the security of the system. Effective May 21, 2018, all unencrypted Data Exchange files will be automatically deleted from the database one year from their import date and will no longer be accessible from the Assets>System Sync page after that time. If you wish to retain those files for a longer period, please archive them outside the BEACON AMA system.

 

Choice of Monitor Page Filters Displayed

Apr 17, 2018 8:11 AM

An admin user can now select the filters to be displayed on the Monitor page for all staff users. See the list of filters available at Assets>Utility Settings in the Monitor Facets section. Select the ones you wish to use and have imported data to support. Learn more about the new feature here.

 

Jobs Function Replaced

Apr 10, 2018 9:24 AM

We continuously review how our system is used to better understand user needs. To better serve those needs, Data Exchange has replaced the rarely used Assets>Jobs feature for provisioning endpoints, which will be removed on April 30, 2018. This will result in the removal of all Job records from the system. If you used the Jobs feature and wish to retain that information, please print the Jobs and archive any images attached to them by the removal date.

 

Import Processing Accelerated

Mar 29, 2018 11:09 AM

Data Exchange import processing time has been greatly reduced. While import processing time depends on the file size and system traffic, most imports will now be fully processed within a few minutes. In addition, the “spinning wheel” progress indicator will now continue to spin until the data is read in and processed throughout the system. Once the spinning wheel stops, you can immediately view the changes on all pages and modules.

 

Inactive Gateway Service Status

Feb 15, 2018 9:30 AM

Utilities with fixed network gateways can now tag individual gateways as Active or Inactive. Identifying gateways that are not in service as Inactive removes them from the Disconnected total in the Gateway Health module. This gives a better representation of your active network gateway performance. To learn more, see the Gateways Tab section here.

 

Password Security Update

Jan 5, 2018 2:35 PM

New password requirements have been implemented to make BEACON AMA even more secure and follow enhanced industry best practices. The change will be enforced the next time you update your password. The new year is a good time to strengthen the complexity of your password to better protect your utility’s data. To change your password, Sign Out, click “Sign back in” and then “Forgot your password?” and follow the instructions.

This is also a good time to update your authorized BEACON User list. Admin Users, please review the Staff list on your Users tab. Click a row in the user table to edit or remove the user.

 

District Metering Area Analytics

Dec 23, 2017 12:40 PM

Powerful new analytics for District Metering Areas (DMA) are now available to help you identify non-revenue water (NRW) loss across your distribution network. DMA zones comprised of Supply meters and Demand meters differentiate between water flowing into a zone and water being consumed within the zone. Measuring and comparing flow between Supply and Demand meters on the Monitor page lets you detect and measure distribution system leaks, identify mis-sized meters, and more. Click here for details.

 

ORION ME Two-Way Data Collection

Nov 29, 2017 8:12 AM

BEACON mobile-read users with ORION ME two-way endpoints are now able to collect up to 90 days of historical hourly-interval reads, extended status information, or the endpoint firmware version from an endpoint using the ORION Mobile Read (tablet or laptop) or ORION Field Application (Trimble Ranger handheld) software. When specific data is desired from an ORION ME endpoint, create a Field Assignment in BEACON, then the meter reader can collect the information from that endpoint during the route reading process and it will synchronize with BEACON for your access. For instructions, see Manage Page. To register for online training, click here.

 

Manual Provisioning Update

Nov 29, 2017 8:11 AM

Users who manually provision assets in BEACON will now see a new System Sync page when initially accessing the Assets tab. System Sync is a feature that allows you to use Data Exchange billing system interface files to add/update accounts in BEACON or use a simple Data Exchange Starter Spreadsheet (See BEACON Help for further details). For users who provision manually, the other pages under Assets including Endpoints and Provision, remain the same.

 

Save Monitor Page Filter Groups

Oct 25, 2017 11:05 AM

Do you often select the same set(s) of Monitor page filters? You can now save those groups of filters. This powerful time-saving feature lets you instantly select the same group of accounts again at any time. Choose your set of filters, save them as a named group, and each time you return to BEACON you can recall them at the click of a button. For more details, see Save Current Filters.

 

Export Data Service v2 API Preview

Aug 25, 2017 12:12 PM

BEACON Export Data Service (EDS) API v2 gives users more options for exporting data. The new service works in conjunction with the existing EDS API, and provides support for a wider range of data exchange columns and more parameters. Plus new API endpoints let you programmatically export consumption and current leak data. For details see Export Data Service API v2 Preview.

 

Live Online Training Courses

Aug 4, 2017 9:36 AM

Live web-based BEACON AMA refresher training is now available. These free instructor-led courses are designed for experienced BEACON AMA users seeking a deeper understanding of the software features and functions. For more information and access to the course schedule, see helpbeaconama.net/training.

 

BEACON Mobile Extended Status Extraction

Jul 7, 2017 9:21 AM

When an E-Series Ultrasonic meter or HRE-LCD encoder connected to an ORION ME endpoint signals a device error, ORION Mobile Read will now automatically request the extended status message from the endpoint and send the individual alarms received in return to BEACON AMA. Those alarms will then be included in the At a Glance Endpoint Health module Meter/Encoder Alarms group and as separate filters under the Monitor page Exceptions.

EyeOnWater iOS App 2.0.1

May 15, 2017 12:50 PM

An all-new EyeOnWater consumer engagement app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is now available on the Apple App Store. We rebuilt the iOS mobile app from the ground up giving it a fresh new interface and better support for customers with multiple accounts or locations. Updates to the EyeOnWater web portal and Android app will be coming in the future.

 

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Self-Certification

Mar 30, 2017 12:21 PM

Badger Meter has self-certified its adoption of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission to provide data privacy standards for the transfer of data between European Union (EU) residents and U.S. companies in support of transatlantic commerce. The Privacy Shield self-certification reaffirms our commitment to protecting customers’ data privacy. In 2015, the company obtained certification of our Information Security Management System under ISO 27001 and met the Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting framework of SOC-2.

 

New ORION Cellular Endpoint Status Tool

Mar 17, 2017 9:38 AM

You can now check the activation status of ORION Cellular endpoints with a new browser-based ORION Endpoint Status tool at https://orionstatus.beaconama.net, which can be viewed on a computer or mobile device. Endpoints need not be provisioned in BEACON AMA to display. For more information see the recently updated ORION Water Endpoints Installation Manual, on the Badger Meter website.

 

New EyeOnWater User Analytics

Mar 13, 2017 10:00 AM

Utilities that give their customers greater visibility into their water use via EyeOnWater can now easily track their outreach program statistics. A new User Analytics chart has been added to the Users>Customers page to let you quickly see the number of user signups, accesses and unique users each day. In addition, you can print or download the statistics graph, and view usage details for the last 7 days or the last 30 days.

 

New Gateway Settings Export

Mar 3, 2017 11:57 AM

AMI Fixed Network users will now find a new Actions menu on their Assets page Gateways tab that lets you get all of your gateway settings in a CSV-format file. See gateway serial numbers, connection state, location, Keep Alive settings and more. For more details see the BEACON User Guide.

 

New Year’s Reminders

Jan 5, 2017 10:37 AM

The beginning of a new year is a good time to change your Password and update your Staff list. To change your password, Sign Out, click “Sign back in” and then “Forgot your password?” and follow the instructions. Admin Users, please review the Staff list on your Users tab, too. Click a Staff Name to Update or Remove User.

 

New Assets Page Utility Settings Tab

Dec 7, 2016 1:52 PM

Utilities now have direct visibility into their BEACON settings. The new Utility Settings tab on the Assets page lets you view and edit settings, including the default unit of measure, timezone, weather feed, billing units and more. For complete details and instructions, see Assets Page – Utility Settings.

 

Data Exchange Specification Enhancements

Oct 17, 2016 9:37 AM

In response to customer requests, the maximum character limits for the Meter_ID, Service_Point_Class_Code and Read_Sequence fields have been increased, two new columns have been added and two new endpoint types are now supported. These updates are reflected in v9.7.3r of the Data Exchange Specification, and are explained in the Terminology section of the User Guide.

 

Monitor Card Updates

Sep 16, 2016 1:26 PM

Leak and Continuous Flow Alerts in the yellow banners now display their start date and time allowing you to see how long they have been in affect at a glance.

When your customers register to use EyeOnWater, a blue water drop now appears next to the Favorites star on their cards. A new Login As button also appears, allowing customer service representatives to access a customer’s account directly from the card.

 

BEACON Data Exchange

Jan 8, 2016 2:35 PM

Utilities now have the ability to synchronize BEACON AMA software and their billing and customer information systems using a powerful process called BEACON Data Exchange. Available by request, BEACON Data Exchange streamlines vital processes such as provisioning endpoints, adding new accounts and updating existing accounts as customers move in and out of locations, managing meters, and more. In addition, BEACON Data Exchange Web Service APIs let utilities automate data import and billing read export processes.

See BEACON Data Exchange and BEACON Web Services for more information.

To start using BEACON Data Exchange, contact your Badger Meter account representative.

 

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Senior Documentation Specialist, Badger Meter

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