Contact Energy is now running its entire business from the cloud, after completing a large scale migration to Spark’s cloud services late last year.
With millions of customer records to be considered, Spark partnered with one of the country’s leading energy retailers in a nine-month long migration plan, developed with its applications management suppliers, Deloitte, Wipro and DTL.
Following the migration, critical billing processing, the call centre interface and customer queries to the back-end systems through digital channels now run quicker through the cloud.
The end result is improved customer experience through traditional channels like the call centre and digital channels such as web and mobile.
“A total shift to cloud was a big strategic step for Contact to take, but one which is already benefitting the company in its effort to help customers ‘live more comfortably with energy’,” Spark Digital general manager of Enterprise & Trans-Tasman, Vanessa Sorenson, said.
“The ability to offer a highly digital customer experience in a safe, reliable and efficient, New Zealand-hosted environment, does just that.”
For Sorenson, such a wholesale change of this nature represents a “courageous step towards digitising” for the company, in the pursuit of creating an “exceptional experience” for Kiwi customers.
“There is no doubt that the cloud is where cost-savvy, security conscious businesses are taking their operations as they opt to focus on what they do well,” Sorenson added.
“Spark has been honoured to support Contact as they make the brave call to rewire their IT services to focus on delivering relevant and competitive energy solutions for customers.”
The shift to cloud was prompted when last year the company’s majority shareholding shifted from Australia to New Zealand.
Consequently, Contact leadership sought out the opportunity to re-asses its IT set-up and how they can better serve half-million customers through digital.
“A move to the cloud gives us the agility and flexibility we need to perform in a fast moving environment,” Contact Energy general manager of ICT, Michael Dreyer, added.
“Spark is able to front this under a services model that takes complexity away and allows us to focus on our business needs at the application level.
“We now have real transparency around hosting and data storage consumption by using Spark’s Revera cloud platform and Amazon Web Services.”
For Dreyer, this move allows Contact to “rapidly adjust and fine-tune” environments even further, with “significant operational savings” set to to drive down cost to serve each customer.
“To go from selecting Spark as our new vendor, to having migrated all our systems to cloud, including changing operating systems, databases, and numerous application upgrades within nine months is an incredible effort for all the team,” he added.
“Now that the programme is complete and we move into 2017, we are in a position to deliver real value and innovation from technology for both our customer and energy generation businesses.”