Energy retailer streamlines processes with data warehouse

As one of the leading power companies in Australia, our client owns and operates over 3,500MW of renewable, brown coal-fired, and gas-fired energy generating plants across Australia. Their retail arm has over 600,000 customers.


Like many companies, our client found itself stuck between traditional standards and methods and emerging technologies. The team members realised that being better able to understand cost and revenue profiles would assist them in maximising trading margins and overall revenues and profits. An initial review of the legacy Data Warehouse system in place proved that it was of limited business value.


The solution was the implementation of a new, state-of-the-art Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) by partnering with SMS, who utilised Microsoft Technologies and Microsoft Azure, which offers Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This included the use of Microsoft SQL Server 2014, Tableau, Microsoft R Server, Anaconda, and Shiny Server.


Successful Integration of several high-value business data sources including consumption data, market and trading data has given the business ready access to their massive amounts of data, allowing them to improve operational efficiency and make well-informed business decisions, both daily and at a strategic level.



In early 2016, our client realised it needed to upgrade and modernise the way it was doing business. Its infrastructure was aging, as were its power plants - affecting revenues as well as customer experiences. Additionally, their business model is based on responsible growth and transitioning to sustainable energy, but the business was trying to achieve this without ready access to the data that supports business decisions. They also found that implementing changes was often too slow to have a substantial impact.


To address these concerns, the company set in motion a three-year transformation plan which has included updating their IT infrastructure as well as looking at the operating costs and benefits of coal-fired plants that may have outlived their usefulness. Having easy access to the company’s massive stores of data, and being able to sort and manipulate that data to make daily and strategic decisions were at the core of setting up the system. Renewable energy and digitisation form the basis of their strategy for the foreseeable future.


SMS was bought on board to help. An Information Management strategy and roadmap to implement their Enterprise Data Warehouse solution was developed, as well as the design of new infrastructure on Microsoft Azure which would upgrade the business infrastructure immensely, and easily provide management with the accurate and real-time data they need for effective decision-making.

SMS utilised Microsoft Azure (Cloud IaaS), SQL Server, Tableau, Anaconda and Shiny Server in order to truly transform the way they were doing business. Our client also has undertook a modernization of their customer-facing websites, and has already launched a digital application for customer convenience.

On September 30, 2016, the project was completed on time and under budget with excellent outcomes for both the Bank and SMS.


Prepped for the future, our client now has the ability to continuously integrate new data sources to further enrich the EDW capabilities. The time to acquire data from the many differing sources has been reduced significantly, and critical business information is easily presented visually through the consistent and user-friendly semantic view offered with the program.