About the Business

ESP is the largest utility management company in New Zealand and is the leading expert in combining big data techniques, advanced AI analytics and engineering nous to reduce costs and improve profitability through more efficient asset utilization. ESP is at the forefront in utilizing cloud-based computing resources via AWS to assist over 70 Clients at 500 sites in manufacturing, industrial, retail, commercial property, tourism and education sectors, government departments and city councils.

Energy Solution Providers (ESP) strength is the metering and measurement  of the consumption and cost of energy; electricity, gas and water. Measurement has become sophisticated and is tailored around customer’s business and how customers measure performance.

ESP’s full-service model  is from measurement to management, unlocking the value from the data. ESP can determine what change is required to achieve savings and assist the customer to manage and implement the changes. ESP core business and value proposition is based on the data and performed analytics to arrive and provide insights to the businesses.

Challenge

  • The current infrastructure collects data from various data sources including electricity/water/natural gas metering as well as temperature and other weather-related data.
  • ESP has introduced the MS Dynamics in 2017 to manage the operations and with a potential to streamline the master data related to accounts, buildings, sites etc. outside the core EICT third-party application.
  • EICT Application and Portal (third party database) restricts ESP to control the collected data
  • Acquisition of data is required from loggers as a pre-processing to CSV file to be uploaded to EICT.
  • Master data is uploaded using the XLS files to set up a new customer or any other master information
  • Extraction of data from the EICT is performed using a web client, which is restrictive and doesn’t provide an end to end view of data for analysis
  • ESP wants to reduce the dependency of EICT database and wants to create its own data lake which allows collecting any data from any source in any format and analyses across various dimensions and by different personas. This can include additional data from external sources like weather, retailers’ rate information, Customer Data including BMS, SCADA, production data, etc.

Solution

Rather than apply a traditional waterfall approach to the delivery an agile and business integrated methodology is being employed by the project.

AWS Partner Blazeclan engaged to land data within data ingestion layer and model the required data for the data lake. ESP teams have been engaged collaboratively to provide business expertise and perform required analysis, validation, and reconciliation from the data. This was further extended to the creation of the data marts specific to each business subject area within the RDS by the business users.

This approach is founded on the assumption that the existing data has required quality and integrity and the business resources of ESP have both the business intimacy and data knowledge required to model and produce consistent data products.

Tech Stack

  • Amazon EC2 was used for computing capacity management for their application deployment. It helped in reducing the time required to spin up new server instances to minutes, allowing them to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as per their requirement.
  • Amazon Redshift service was used to manage all of the work of setting up, operating, and scaling a data warehouse.
  • Amazon S3 was used to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere and everywhere.
  • Amazon EMR was used to manage a cluster platform that simplifies running big data frameworks, such as Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, on AWS to process and analyze vast amounts of data.

The Benefits

ESP is a leading expert in utility management especially when it comes to using granular data to drive business improvement for their clients. However, ESP absolutely acknowledges they are not a cloud-native organisation and as such needed help in bringing their Data as a Service business into the cloud.

BlazeClan caters to an ever-growing number of clients, with a focus on high-scale start-ups, independent software vendors (ISVs) and enterprises. Providing a one-stop shop for all of their client’s cloud needs. From cloud advisory, migration and deployment, and product development, as well as managed services and big data analytics.

Our cloud approach delivers real and ongoing value to our clients. For ESP the core benefits have been

  • Freedom to continue to focus on their client’s needs, pioneering new ways to improve sustainability whilst knowing their cloud transition was being well managed
  • Reduced staff time and acceleration in delivering meaningful insights to their clients using AWS AI and ML tools
  • Architecture Security is paramount with each customer having a separate login id & access credentials to access the data mart which is hosted on an SSL layer
  • Automated data exception checks and correction mechanisms helped the data verification and validation process without the need for manual intervention. Reducing time and improving data accuracy.
  • Prediction calculations on the customer utilization pattern were automated which removed Human error
  • Automated alerts of changes in usage patterns providing significant benefits to ESP’s clients including reduced energy costs, early detection of mechanical faults allowing true preventative maintenance to take place. 

Customer Testimonial

Blazeclan has developed and deployed our Big Data Machine. They have connected a multitude of data sources into a single EDL allowing to generate actionable insights for our customer base like never before. Blazeclan have been so accommodating we simply could not have asked for a better partner.

With Blazeclan connecting our data to and AWS EDL and enabling Sagemaker has provided a complete end to end solution that has dramatically improved the our ability to engage with our customers. Through this improved engagement we will deliver significant reductions in Green House Gas Emissions through the optimisation of our clients plant and machinery.

Jeremy Allen, Managing Director, Energy Solution Providers