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ENSEK Accelerates Energy Transition with SaaS Solution for Energy on AWS

2021

With evolving consumer expectations, increasing regulatory pressure, and global stress on climate challenges, the need to continuously adapt is unprecedented for energy retailers. These retailers need to build customer-centric and agile retail businesses to support consumer needs, as well as the energy transition. But for many, executing a successful digital strategy in this complex market can be a challenge.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider ENSEK addressed these challenges by building a cloud-native solution for energy retailers on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This solution supports the complete customer life cycle and uses an event-driven, API-first architecture that handles the nondiscretionary tasks involved in running an energy business. This enables retailers to drastically reduce their operating costs, improve the customer experience, and dedicate more resources to supporting the global energy transition.

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The AWS team has shown a real ability and willingness to help us solve problems for our customers. That’s been key to our business development efforts.”

James Kirk
Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder, ENSEK

Building a Robust Customer-First Solution in the Cloud

ENSEK, a business headquartered in the United Kingdom with employees in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand, provides SaaS solutions to energy retailers. ENSEK’s technology supplies millions of energy meters worldwide, serving customers across multiple sectors.

In 2010, ENSEK built a data reconciliation solution that systematically identifies financial exposure and optimizes back-office efficiency. This solution ultimately became the foundation for ENSEK’s current SaaS product. “Our solutions have always existed in the cloud,” says Chris Broadhurst, director of business development at ENSEK. “Using our well-rounded domain expertise and AWS services, we’ve been able to scale faster and more securely, accelerating our energy customers’ digital transformation journeys.”

In 2016, ENSEK unveiled its new solution, built entirely on AWS. Covering the full customer life cycle, the solution combines automated workflows for customer service agents, real-time billing and self-serve portals, mobile applications for end customers, and multichannel communication powered by Amazon Connect, a simple-to-use cloud contact center that helps provide superior customer service at a lower cost.

Providing Automation and Availability for Energy Retailers

ENSEK’s AWS-powered solution provides flexibility for energy customers to pursue their own digital transformations without having to build solutions from scratch. In most cases, ENSEK reduces energy retailers’ costs by over 50 percent through automation on AWS. When onboarding a new customer or moving into a new region, ENSEK can deploy its customer life cycle solution quickly.

For example, ENSEK uses AWS Lambda—a serverless compute service that lets developers run code without provisioning or managing servers—to run thousands of microservices and scale its solution quickly and automatically. Using AWS Lambda and Availability Zones, which are distinct locations in an AWS Region that are engineered to be isolated from failures in other Availability Zones, ENSEK can increase speed to market while expanding its customer management solution to different countries. “ENSEK can move fast to meet customers’ needs, and a lot of that can be attributed to our use of AWS services,” says James Kirk, chief technology officer and cofounder of ENSEK. “We were able to launch a pilot on AWS, localized to Belgium, within 8 weeks.” ENSEK also deployed a pilot in the state of Victoria, Australia, in only 16 weeks, using Availability Zones to reconfigure its solution to meet Australian regulations. Using AWS services, ENSEK can securely implement the customer management solution in different countries in weeks instead of months, delivering solutions to its customers at a faster pace.

ENSEK also built an event bus using Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), a fully managed messaging service, and Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), a highly scalable hosted queue for storing messages as they travel between applications. Millions of events flow through the event bus every day, and ENSEK uses them to enable tasks such as smart meter communication, generating customer bills and taking payments to be performed in real time rather than relying on legacy batch-based processes. All of the events also feed into the ENSEK Digital Insights solution and provide instant access to data, which retailers can use to draw out value by proactively identifying problems, streamlining the customer experience, building innovative products, and increasing their speed of delivery.

ENSEK’s API-first approach facilitates a high degree of interoperability and flexibility, enabling retailers to rapidly adapt, iterate, and improve the customer experience. “Because our solution is flexible and event based, retailers can use our APIs to push and pull data instantly when they and their customers need it,” says Kirk. “This reduces friction and improves the overall customer experience.” This API-first design and flexibility has enabled many energy retailers to digitally transform their businesses. In fact, ENSEK customers consistently place in the top five of a ranking system created by Citizens Advice, a UK organization that compares reputable energy retailers based on their customer service.

Innovating toward a Decentralized, Digitized, and Decarbonized Future

Through its scalable, AWS-powered SaaS solution, ENSEK has empowered energy retailers around the globe to digitally transform and prepare for the future. The flexible solution has provided a sustainable foundation for retailers as they continue to advance the energy transition. Moving forward, ENSEK will focus on supporting its customers through this transition, innovating its technology to support energy retailers’ decarbonization, decentralization, democratization, and digitization movements.

ENSEK continues to deliver an effective solution to the energy industry, helping retailers understand their customers’ needs and optimize costs. Furthermore, it plans to continue to improve its customers’ operations using AWS services. “For us to be successful, we need to clear a path for our customers,” says Kirk. “The AWS team has shown a real ability and willingness to help us solve problems for our customers. That’s been key to our business development efforts and expansion into Belgium and Australia.”


About ENSEK

ENSEK is a United Kingdom–based software-as-a-service provider founded in 2010. ENSEK’s solution powers energy supply businesses worldwide, serving as the technology behind millions of energy meters around the globe.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reduced most energy retailers’ costs by 50% through automation
  • Launched in a new region in only 8 weeks
  • Provides instant insights to energy retailers
  • Improves energy retailers’ customer experience
  • Provides flexibility to support the energy transition

AWS Services Used

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic, maintaining event integrations, or managing runtimes.

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Amazon SNS

Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) is a fully managed messaging service for both application-to-application (A2A) and application-to-person (A2P) communication.

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Amazon SQS

Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a fully managed message queuing service that enables you to decouple and scale microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications.

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Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect is an easy to use omnichannel cloud contact center that helps you provide superior customer service at a lower cost.

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