Origin Energy migrates 60% of its workloads to the cloud

Australian energy provider shoots for 100% by 2021.

Origin Energy has announced migrating over 60% of its workloads to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, covering the majority of its mission-critical workloads including billing and customer care, energy trading, operations management, and its enterprise data lake. 

The Australian energy company is now progressing with plans to operate 100% in the cloud and close all primary data centres by 2021.

Having worked with AWS since 2016, Origin uses a handful of AWS services, including data analytics, machine learning, business productivity applications, compute, security, storage, and databases. The company said this helps it access greater insights, drive operational efficiency, and help deliver new services.

"As the sector continues to transition towards cleaner and smarter energy solutions for customers, the importance of technology to improve operational processes only grows," Origin group manager for cloud and infrastructure Nick Andrews said.

Part of partnering with AWS was to launch new services using the flexibility of the cloud to improve and simplify the customer experience, such as enabling customers to track their usage, manage bills and payments, and connect with customer service agents via the company's website and mobile app.

"AWS provides us with access to the latest and best technology that helps us to accelerate our digital transformation and supports us to give our customers what they want, when they want it. Our focus on embracing digitalisation and innovation has led to a significant improvement in the functionality of our digital platforms and how our customers use them," Andrews added.

According to Origin, through the use of cloud, it has reduced billing processing times by 30% and the cost of running technology infrastructure by 50%.

Origin trades electricity and gas with software built on AWS using serverless technology. It also recently migrated its asset intelligence suite, which collects data from Origin's generation facilities, such as natural gas, solar, and wind power stations, to allow the company's support centre teams to use predictive analytics to identify potential maintenance or operational disruptions and run the assets remotely.

The rollout of Origin's new retail operating model with United Kingdom energy technology group, Octopus Energy, using its customer platform Kraken, is also expected to help the company further improve customer service and reduce operating costs. This project will run solely on the AWS cloud.

Origin Energy made a decision a few years ago to create a team that focuses on predicting what the energy landscape will look like in the future.

The Future Energy team is dedicated to ensuring Origin Energy does not become redundant. The team's general manager Cameron Briggs told ZDNet previously the team was charged with determining how to best equip the company with the skills and capabilities it needs to respond to an uncertain future.

"It's the lego blocks that we need, the people and the technologies and the companies that we're going to have to closely work with as we prepare for a future that's going to be quite fundamentally different," Briggs said.

Origin is also working with AWS and other technology providers to deliver a Cloud Academy training and enablement program aimed at arming employees with cloud-based skills. Origin will provide access to training for more than 500 employees, and aims to certify more than 100 by July 2020.

With the new training initiative, Origin joins other Australian businesses that have implemented an AWS Cloud Skills Guild-style training program, including Australia Post, Deloitte, Insurance Australia Group, Kmart Group, and the National Australia Bank.

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