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March 4, 2019updated 07 Mar 2019 4:08pm

SSE Plans “Full” £30m Move to Cloud

UK's second-largest energy utility going "all-in"?

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK’s second-largest energy company, SSE, is embarking on a mammoth £30 million project to move its “full” IT infrastructure to the cloud.

Perth, Scotland-based SSE said it is seeking a three-year framework agreement with one or more suppliers, extendable by two further years.

The company, which has over nine million customers, is “seeking to go to market for the provision of public cloud services IaaS/PaaS for their full infrastructure requirements as it embarks on accelerating its journey onto the cloud through it’s [sic] ‘Future of IT’ programme” a procurement document shows.

SSE Cloud Migration: Currently Using Hybrid Mix of Infrastructure

CTO Chris Barnicott late last year explained in an interview that the company’s strategy would “inevitably have to move away from on-premise monolithic architectures, but in parallel, balance this with the need to also develop and integrate new services with legacy and mainframe-based systems.”

The company has started conducting some big data analytics on Microsoft Azure, he notes in the interview and is using a combination of a mainframe-based system souped up with RESTful APIs to boost digital experience for customers, with cloud-based development work using Docker containers within a Kubernetes cluster.

The contract suggests it is looking to migrate existing on-prem infrastructure and databases to the cloud in a major “all-in” shift.

SSE is one of the ‘big six’ energy providers in the UK, the others being British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower and Scottish Power. It has over nine million customers across the UK and over 20,000 staff. IT infrastructure is understood to include eclectic architecture resulting from six-plus company acquisitions over the past decade.

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The company said in an emailed statement: “We have approached the market to secure a framework agreement. This is common practice amongst large IT departments. We already use several cloud-based services, and this framework will extend our access to that capability.”

Earlier Smart City Project Brought in Tigerspike, AWS

The company has cloud migration experience: at beginning of this year SSE announced plans to work with Tigerspike, a cloud-based service provider, to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the delivery of its smart city platform.

That partnership is aimed at delivering SSE’s core IoT platform such as sensors and devices which are connected to its Mayflower smart lighting systems.

Stephen Stead Head of Strategy New Markets and Digital Services for SSE Enterprise commented in a release at the time: “This is part of a wider transformation that will encompass SSE’s full breadth of services including distributed energy, EV charging, building energy management street lighting, fibre communications services, and power network management.”

See Also: Cloud Giants Team Up to Launch Kubernetes Operator Registry

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