ScottishPower

Integrating comms and centralising infrastructure

The energy giant has a number of communications challenges that it’s aiming to address in 2019. Initially it wants to improve the integration between its existing comms solutions to improve efficiency, while it’s also planning to release a tender for a global video conferencing solution early next year. In the longer-term it will look to rollout SIP-trunking across the wider business, while it has been conducting research into VDI technology. Ultimately the company wants to create a more streamlined estate, and may eventually consider investing in a unified communications platform to tie all these solutions together more effectively.

New HQ: Comms isn’t the only area where ScottishPower is looking to improve efficiency and the company recently completed a two-year consolidation of its Scottish offices, moving 1,650 employees from a variety of sites to one centralised Glasgow HQ, and downsizing its datacentres. With much of its primary datacentre now virtualised the company has laid the foundations to migrate to a hybrid cloud platform, with the perceived benefits of cloud outweighing its historic concerns around the security of customer data. With the emergence of new challengers in the sector over the last few years, it is vital that the traditional “big 6” remain agile and streamlined in order to maintain their dominance, while staying abreast of any technological developments.

Bleeding-edge tech: ScottishPower is quick to embrace new innovations and change, even in relation to competitors like npower, SSE and British Gas. It is moving into the electric vehicle race and set to become the first major energy company to offer a car charging tariff, while it has sold its remaining gas power stations to Drax, switching 100% to wind power, and is investing in solar for the first time. From an IT perspective it will want to be at the bleeding-edge, uncovering practical applications for the most innovative solutions, including AI, machine learning and the Internet of Things; which it already incorporates within its smart meters. The rollout of smart meters across the sector has been labelled a disaster by the UK’s spending watchdog and there are concerns over whether providers can successfully meet the government’s 2020 target of every UK home and business having been offered one.

Revenue: £3.71bn

Financial year end: December 31st

IT suppliers: Cisco, Apple, Vodafone

Procurement portal: Achilles

New appointments this year:

Business Systems Director – Douglas Smith

Other key contacts:

IT Director – Conway Williams

CIO – Fernando Lucero

Head of Infrastructure, Operations & Communications – Allan Ferguson