Custom Digital Training System for BTES

Established in 1945, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) and its 68 employees provide electric, internet, cable, and telephone services to over 33,000 customers. Over the past 70 years, BTES has won an array of notable awards, including the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award in 2017. BTES’ mission to provide service to customers, employees, and the community that exceeds expectations is backed up by their key success factors: Safety, Reliability, and Financial.

A major contribution to BTES’ success and the success of their employees is rooted in their company-wide commitment to training and on-going learning, ensuring that all employees have the tools they need to provide safe, reliable, excellent service.

BTES has long used a digital system to train and certify their employees. When the system was discontinued at the end of 2014, Intellithought had the opportunity to design and develop a web-based training system to fit BTES’ needs.

The project had a short deadline, so the efforts were divided into phases with clear cost controls and prioritized features:

Phase 1 – Analysis and Detailed Database Design

During this phase, we worked with BTES to gather detailed requirements for both the minimum viable product (MVP) and the long term goals for the training system. From there, we performed a thorough analysis of the requirements and laid out a detailed design document (DDD) for implementation that included:

– Fully descriptive scope
– Workflow diagram
– Database design
– Wireframe screenshots
– Documentation of software and hardware necessary to run and host the MVP
– Not to exceed cost for implementation of the frontend, backend, and administrative functionality

Phase 2 – Development and Implementation of the Frontend Functionality of the MVP

During Phase 2, we implemented the frontend interfaces and user controls as defined by the DDD.

Phase 3 – Backend Administration Tools for the MVP

In Phase 3, we built and integrated user friendly administrative tools that enabled BTES users with administrative privileges to manage users, processes, and other data driven utilities.

By the end of Phase 3, BTES had a fully functional web-based training system. We also provided guidance on how to administer the system – insert content, create and manage user accounts, etc.

Phase 4 – Future Features and Enhancements

Phase 4 is an ongoing process consisting of continual improvements and releases to the training and certification system.


In 2018, we teamed up with BTES again to make the first major set of enhancements to the training system. The 2018 project consisted majorly of enhancements to reporting, curriculum management, and training capabilities. Some of these enhancements included:

– The creation of new roles within the system to provide more control over security and access
– Administrable automatic email notifications based on certain actions or roles
– New download capabilities
– Reporting enhancements
– Ability to add images and links to training content
– Auto-assignment of training schedules
– Course versioning
– & more


The system implemented in 2015 and enhanced in 2018 is still in use by BTES today. As exemplified by the additional future features already planned for the system, BTES’ continuous forward thinking helps ensure that they will continue to remain a successful industry leader for many years to come.

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