Case study

National Grid boosts its IT infrastructure with HPE and Syntax

Energy utility stays at the forefront of IT innovation to deliver smarter energy solutions for a rapidly growing customer base.

One of largest distributors of electricity and natural gas in northeastern United States, National Grid is pioneering new ways to deliver smarter, cleaner energy solutions for the 21st century. With the U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, National Grid is part of the British multinational electricity and gas utility company National Grid plc. National Grid U.S. operates more than 9000 miles of electricity transmission lines and delivers electricity and natural gas to 20 million customers in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. As part of a strategic technology transformation initiative, National Grid aimed to modernize its aging IT infrastructure and systems for cost-efficiency and agility to enable faster development of new products and services while meeting stringent regulatory and security requirements.

Transformation project entails consolidation while pursuing agility

National Grid's core business systems run on SAP. The company uses its SAP system to track all of its human resources, payroll, inventory, accounts payable, and leasing or indirect property taxes, leveraging SAP HANA to process billing and for business analytics. However, the underlying IT infrastructure was nearly a decade old. Built before the advent of cost-efficient, high-speed networking, the IT infrastructure required resource-intensive hardware deployments, making it time-consuming and costly to make changes. Furthermore, SAP services from National Grid were spread out among three different providers - two for hosting and one for remote operational services. The company wanted to consolidate operations to a single service provider, so it could co-locate virtual and physical environments and deliver a private cloud service encompassing everything from data center migration to the technical administration of the SAP environment.
"We wanted to drastically cut our lead time to build infrastructure," says Sanjeev Arora, National Grid's director of IT. "Another driving factor was security. We need to exchange data across multiple environments, so we want to make sure our infrastructure is safe and sound on top of the networks. We aimed to build a model from a business requirements perspective that is more compliant, more agile, and that takes advantage of new compute and storage efficiencies."
The company wanted the new platform to accommodate seven or more years of growth without having to replace the underlying hardware.