Centrica becomes latest blue-chip company to choose Microsoft Azure

The owner of British Gas is supporting its business with a number of Microsoft’s cloud services to ensure staff have the latest technology to help customers.

Centrica, the international energy and services company which also runs plumbing firm DynoRod and US energy retailer Direct Energy, is moving its UK data centre to Microsoft Azure. It is also rolling out Office 365 to empower employees and enable global collaboration, and Dynamics 365 to improve their service in the field.

The company currently stores information in on-premise servers, but has now chosen to move this into Microsoft’s cloud data centres. This will help Centrica optimise its business, and build a foundation for digital transformation.

“Microsoft is investing time supporting us to realise our digital transformation ambitions, offering advice and guidance when we need it,” Mike Young, Centrica’s Global Chief Information Officer, said. “Working with Microsoft will accelerate our Digital Workplace initiative, empower our global workforce with Office 365 and modernise field services within DynoRod by using Dynamics 365.

“Moving our on-premise data centre to Microsoft Azure is one of a number of foundational steps we are taking at Centrica to build a truly digital business for the benefit of our customers.”

Centrica’s efforts to make its business more digital has seen it deliver more than four million smart meters to UK homes and businesses over the past eight years, helping people monitor how much energy they use. It has also installed 527,000 “home hubs” so homeowners can change their thermostats and use plug sockets and lights via mobile devices.

Everything you need to know about Microsoft Azure

Centrica’s decision to take the next step in its digital transformation was welcomed by Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK.

“Microsoft is proud to work with Centrica to accelerate its transformation efforts. We are putting innovation at the heart of this partnership and look to help it add considerable value to its 27 million customers as this journey progresses,” she said.

Microsoft runs more than 100 data centres across the globe, forming one of the world’s largest online storage infrastructures. These sites hold over 30 trillion pieces of data and are backed by billions of dollars in investment since 1989. Azure offers customers access to their information at any time from any location, and features the latest security measures to keep data safe.

Microsoft Azure regions

Microsoft Azure regions

The Ministry of Defence, which employs around 250,000 people, has signed up to use Azure, along with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the country’s largest mental health trust, and Clearbank, the UK’s first new clearing bank in more than 250 years, among others.

“Microsoft’s investment in the enterprise, with the maturity of its security, controls and ability to handle mission critical workloads, is key,” said David Trice, Centrica’s Chief Technology Officer.