IBM has won a multi-million pound deal to supply cloud services to digital platform provider Smart Energy Water.
SEW serves more than 150 utilities companies around the world and plans to use IBM Cloud to create a common infrastructure for its enterprise and web applications.
It’s expected that the infrastructure will enable it to respond faster to shifting demand, and its clients to manage customer engagement and mobile workforce applications in the cloud.
The five-year deal represents a major success for IBM, which faces fierce competition in the public cloud market. It registered $19bn in cloud revenue in the 12 months leading up to 30 September, putting it behind Microsoft and Amazon, which generated $26.7bn and $23.4bn in cloud revenues over the same period.
But the company has struck a series of deals in the first few weeks of 2019, including a huge contract to supply Vodafone’s business customers with a portfolio of cloud offerings valued at $550 million (£425 million). Towards the end of January, IBM also inked a deal to provide cloud solutions to French banking giant BNP Paribas.
The energy sector faces a series of challenges around ageing infrastructure and evolving demands from customers and governments. Cloud providers are keen to market their services to the industry as a way to overcome these issues.
“Consumers are open to new ways of engaging with their utility,” said Harman Sandhu, president of Smart Energy Water. “Together with IBM, we can deliver solutions at large scale that help utilities lower the cost-to-serve by moving customers from the call center to lower-cost digital channels, personalize service to increase overall customer satisfaction, and target customers for the right opportunities for value-added programs and services.”
“Smart Energy Water is anticipating the major impact connected technologies will have on their customers business,” added Brad Gammons, global managing director, IBM Energy, Environment and Utilities. “By investing in data, their workers can do their job better than ever before and customers will have access to self-service capabilities that can help improve client service.”