Modernizing for the Future
EDF UK, Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, supplies gas and electricity to homes and businesses across the UK. With a strategic goal of moving to a net zero future, IT modernization is a top priority—not only to enable a more economical, sustainable business, but also provide the modern infrastructure needed to support growth well into the future.
The company’s EDF Business Solutions (EBS) arm, one of the largest providers of power to UK businesses, was a key target for IT modernization. EBS relied on a suite of Oracle business applications and systems to manage customer operations—including new and renewed sales activity; meter data management; consumption management; invoicing, payment and debt management; customer contracts and interaction with UK’s regulated market.
With millions of pounds in revenue moving through EBS systems monthly, implementing a modern IT strategy was no small undertaking.
According to Mark Teuton, EDF UK’s senior manager of business solutions, “Modernizing our industrial and commercial business was a highly complex and risky process, especially during the pandemic. However, with trusted partners like Navisite, we were able to overcomes these challenges and establish a solid foundation for future growth.”
IT Crossroads Leads to Change
The genesis of EBS’s transformation started in 2019, prompted by an upgrade decision on its Oracle environment and desire to eliminate the technical debt and costs associated with the company’s on-premises data centers and legacy IT footprint.
“Our entire meter-to-cash business was running on aging infrastructure, including our core Oracle applications—Customer Care & Billing (CC&B) and Meter Data Manager (MDM)—and database workloads on Oracle Exadata,” said Teuton. “We were dealing with ongoing capacity constraints and a lack of flexibility, scalability and cost transparency.”
Upgrading without modernizing the underlying environment was untenable, so the EDF UK team looked to accelerate digital transformation on the public cloud. Given the hypercritical nature of these systems, the goal was to incrementally move off-premises, migrating all of EBS’ applications, systems and workloads to the cloud by 2030—with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the public cloud partner of choice for the journey.
“Much of our customer business was already on AWS, so it made sense to extend this to our EBS business. We knew AWS would provide the level of flexibility and scalability we needed, while reducing our environmental footprint,” added Teuton.
With its IT migration strategy set, the EDF UK team started at the application layer to determine the best upgrade path. After consulting with Oracle, the team decided to upgrade to the Oracle Utilities C2M platform, which combined CC&B and MDM to provide a complete meter-to-cash solution.
Next came the task of moving Oracle Utilities C2M and associated infrastructure to AWS. Given the mission-critical nature of the migration and performance-intensive requirements of Oracle Exadata workloads, there was no margin for error.
EDF UK’s team of partners for the migration initially included Oracle, AWS and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). In early 2020, Navisite joined this team to support the migration, bringing key Oracle-to-AWS migration expertise.
“We needed to a partner that specialized in high-performance, highly complex enterprise migrations, with specific knowledge of Oracle to AWS. As luck would have it, we were introduced to Navisite at AWS re:Invent, and it quickly became clear they had the expertise we needed,” said Teuton.
Key Partner for Oracle-to-AWS Migration
Navisite worked in concert with EDF UK, TCS and AWS to successfully migrate Oracle Utilities C2M to an Amazon Multi-Availability Zone cloud architecture, utilizing Amazon RDS database services.
“We relied on Navisite’s knowledge and experience throughout the migration,” said Teuton, “And right from the start, they demonstrated their value.”
Teuton continued, “As the pandemic hit, we had to switch to a fully remote operation, which added an extra layer of risk to an already complicated process. Navisite continued to collaborate and operate seamlessly with everyone, which gave us enormous confidence during an uncertain and unpredictable time.”
Navisite provided key input on the AWS target architecture and guidance at every stage—from migration planning through rehearsals and production cutover. “We planned the migration over a single weekend, which put a lot of pressure on the entire team,” added Teuton. “Navisite held us to the right level of diligence and testing and provided the expertise we needed to avoid issues that could have put the business at risk.”
A Partner for the Future
The EDF UK team successfully completed the migration over the weekend, an accomplishment that could only have been achieved with all the right partners on board working as a team to get the job done.
“Moving and proving that much data in a one-weekend migration event and being fully operational by the time the business opened on Monday has been a massive team effort,” said Mark Askew, the head of solutions and architecture at EDF UK, who also noted it was a “flawless execution.”
Most importantly, EDF UK has successfully established a modern IT foundation that will enable the EBS business to grow and better serve its industrial and commercial customers.
By moving off-premises to AWS, EDF UK has eliminated technical debt and achieved total cost transparency over its IT landscape, enabling the company to make informed decisions and gain the flexibly and agility needed to expand into new market segments.
“Navisite has proven to be a strong partner for EDF UK, and we couldn’t be more pleased,” said Teuton. “In addition to all the capabilities and expertise Navisite brought to the table, we were impressed with their level of professionalism and collaborative team approach. That’s important criteria for us, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Navisite as we take on new transformation projects.”