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September 7, 2020

New £30m Ofgem Digital Framework Offers Opportunities for Cloud Experts

"We expect to see greater digitalisation, with open access to data and intelligent IT platforms automating markets and consumer participation to manage the increased complexity that will be a feature of the future"

By Matthew Gooding

Ofgem is launching a £30 million digital framework as it gears up to deal with the big changes coming in the energy market, and says it needs suppliers who can help on urgent projects — with a particular need for cloud skills.

The energy regulator wants to hear from potential partners who can help it “respond to urgent requests to complete projects, develop and deploy regulatory changes, resolve system failures and deliver continuous improvement initiatives.”

It will select “strategic digital resourcing partners who will provide specialists with in depth skillsets,” according to the contract notice with skills required spanning Azure, DevOps, database security, java engineers, UX specialists and more.

Requests to participate need to be in by October 10, 2020.

Worth a total of £30 million, the framework is split into lots focused on areas including system architecture and IT engineering, infrastructure and networking, as well as project management and data services. Contracts will be at least four months long, and Ofgem is particularly keen to hear from companies with expertise working with Microsoft products including Azure, Sharepoint and Modern Workplace.

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Ofgem is launching the framework at a time when the energy industry is undergoing massive digital transformation, with suppliers under pressure to use online tools to offer consumers more transparent pricing and greater access to their data, while the move towards more renewable energy sources is changing the way the grid operates.

In its strategy document for the period to 2023, Ofgem states: “Over the next decade, the energy system will undergo a fundamental transformation as the processes of decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation progressively manifest themselves across the system. The future will be more complex.

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“It requires Ofgem to be more agile, so we can respond rapidly to change and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon and more cost-effective energy system that delivers good outcomes for all consumers… we expect to see greater digitalisation, with open access to data and intelligent IT platforms automating markets and consumer participation to manage the increased complexity that will be a feature of the future.”

It adds: “We need a regulatory framework that requires companies in the sector to open up their data and enables other companies to offer services to reduce complexity. This will make it easier for consumers either to make informed, active choices or to delegate decisions about their energy needs to trusted third parties.”

The contracts for the new digital framework are out for tender now, and the bidding period runs until October 4.

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