Contact in the cloud: Spark shifts Contact Energy’s IT

Contact Energy migrates to Spark's cloud
  • Stuart Corner (Computerworld New Zealand)
  • 31 January, 2017 14:58

Spark says that electricity and gas company Contact Energy has migrated its entire business IT to the Spark cloud with the completion of a nine month migration, prompted by a change in the company’s largest shareholder in 2015.

(Australia-based Origin Energy sold its 54 percent stake to what was reported to be a broad range of Australian, New Zealand and international equity market institutional investors and New Zealand retail investors.)

Spark said that, following the change in shareholding, Contact Energy’s leadership had “sought out the opportunity to re-asses its IT set-up and how they can better serve their half million customers, in digital ways,” and that the migration plan had been developed with Contact Energy and its applications management suppliers: Deloitte, Wipro and DTL.

Spark Digital’s general manager, enterprise & trans-Tasman Vanessa Sorenson said such a wholesale change represented a courageous step towards digitising and creating an exceptional experience for customers:

“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. The ability to offer a highly digital customer experience in a safe, reliable and efficient, NZ-hosted environment, does just that.”

Contact Energy’s general manager ICT, Michael Dreyer, said: “A move to the cloud gives us the agility and flexibility we need to perform in a fast moving environment. 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. This allows us to rapidly adjust and fine-tune our environments even further and the significant operational savings opportunities will help to drive down our cost to serve each customer.”

According to Spark critical billing processing, the call centre interface and customer queries to the back end systems through digital channels now run quicker than they have ever done. “This improves customer experience through traditional channels like the call centre and digital channels such as web and mobile,” it said.