Cloud, Microsoft Azure
Public and Utilities
Dutch energy group Eneco, supplies and produces heat, natural gas, and electricity to the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1995, Eneco (short for energy and communication), is currently the largest supplier of energy in South Holland. The group was formed as a merger of energy companies in The Hague, Dordrecht, and Rotterdam. In subsequent years, the group merged with and acquired a number of other energy companies throughout the Netherlands. One of the company’s primary focuses is sustainable and green energy. Eneco even owns several wind and solar farms. It also provides 100% green electricity to private and SME customers.
Breaking Old Habits, Fostering Growth
Because energy as a commodity was no longer viable, Eneco wanted to create a sustainable path forward as a green energy partner. To do so, the company shifted focus to becoming a supplier of sustainable energy and smart services. The first step involved building an ultra-smart cloud-based infrastructure that would speed up application lifecycles and accelerate workflows across the board. Eneco hired Xebia to initiate the move to the cloud, setting up the technology and infrastructure needed. The migration to Azure was not without a learning curve. “Xebia provided us with thorough advice and critical perspective when it comes to explaining that you can’t just place a server in the cloud,” explained Stephan van Boven, Eneco’s technical lead.
Knowledge transfer and coaching was a critical factor in Xebia’s work with Eneco. Managing a 100% cloud migration “was not like moving from one house to the other. Instead, it involves creating a new foundation and using different architecture principles,” noted van Boven. Xebia’s cloud and ALM expert devised a plan to educate Eneco employees throughout the entire transition, showing them the ropes where needed while keeping stability at the forefront. Eneco employees were able to gain first-hand knowledge while also innovating and working on new applications, such as Toon Data analysis (a smart thermostat), and SlimLaden (a smart charger).
Training for the Future
Xebia’s extensive knowledge benefited Eneco in developing numerous projects. Creating platforms for big data and providing data insights with customer privacy in mind sped up the application lifecycle. When a more substantial infrastructure move was necessary, Xebia’s insight and experience ensured Eneco’s employees were ready. Training in continuous integration and continuous delivery with 24/7 direct helplines allowed Eneco employees to adopt the Agile working skills needed to succeed in a cloud environment. The process helped employees identify where they needed to improve and what was going well. Employees easily developed a critical view of what was needed going forward.