How Real-Time Data Analytics Powered Up A Utilities Provider

When one of the largest utility companies in the Asia-Pacific region faced a near-disastrous power outage, the company realized it needed real-time data to be able to manage such situations in future. Data must be available to all key company personnel in real-time so that it can be acted upon at the right time before any serious damage occurs.

The utility company supplies electricity to over 5 million customers and they include domestic, commercial and industrial users so the impact of a power outage is massive. Matters came to a head when the mentioned power outage nearly cost human lives – a suburban hospital was one of the facilities that had to bear the brunt of the sudden downtime.

Challenges: Legacy ICT, siloed data, failure to scale and high storage costs

As the utility company’s business grew over time, so did complications from its legacy infrastructure and communication technology (ICT) and solutions. These included data sitting in silos, incompatible systems and solutions, high cost of storing data on-premise, duplicate and incomplete fields in vital records, and an inability to scale despite allocating higher annual capital expenditure (CAPEX).

“We needed a revolutionary solution, not an evolutionary one,” the CIO said. “Our teams required data to be available anywhere, anytime, on any device, with analytics of what’s not functioning well, where, and what action needs to be taken right away.”

To achieve this, the utility company explored the options available and settled on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), MySQL database on cloud, Google BigQuery for analytics, and Unified Analytics (UI) dashboards for real-time actionable management. They picked Cloud Kinetics to help them manage the transformation.

“Cloud Kinetics is the top-tier MSP (managed services provider) on GCP and an enterprise integration partner on VMware, NetApp, Dhruva, Cohesity, ServiceNow,” said Ted A, Cloud Kinetics’ Chief Revenue Officer. “Cloud Kinetics has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Europe, and the US to help companies migrate to a hybrid cloud.”

Solution: Cloud migration and data modernization for real-time data analytics

The utility company embraced cloud technology and moved its workloads, its extract-transform-load (ETL) functions and data analytics to the cloud. It also changed its CAPEX model to an OPEX or pay-per-use model, streamlined its batch and real-time analytics, automated its data delivery and boosted cybersecurity.

“The transformation was almost magical,” the CIO noted. “Our teams can now get power outage incidents on their phones and laptops as and when outages happen, with exact coordinates of where the outage occurred, how many users it impacts, and which team is the closest to rush to the site. We’re now able to schedule maintenance periods in advance and let our users know about it. All of this has doubled our return on efficiency (ROE), boosted morale in the company and will reflect on mind and market share.”

Outcomes: Immediate notifications about any power outage including location coordinates and consumers impacted

The steps undertaken had a ripple effect on all its customers. A surgeon at the affected hospital said, “We were lucky on that crucial day a year ago; the heart patient survived. While we can push our luck with surgical procedures, we don’t want luck to play any part in power supply outages.”

Tags: App Modernization Cloud Migration Data & Analytics Data Engineering Energy & Utilities Google Cloud