Our digital transformation with Microsoft

Mike Young

By Mike Young
Group CIO

Mike Young, Chief Information Officer, outlines how our partnership with Microsoft is delivering for Centrica

In June 2017, Centrica announced the beginning of a strategic partnership with Microsoft to drive our digital transformation.  One year on, we met up with Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, to talk about our progress.

What’s really exciting about our partnership with Microsoft is that it means we can move at speed, taking part in innovative pilots and learning how the leading edge of cloud computing can help us accelerate change and move into new markets. We heard today about the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Microsoft, and so we’re delighted to have our data science and digital teams working with them, developing AI and machine learning capability that will transform the ways we interact with our customers.

We have largescale plans to deliver change for Centrica. We are moving fast to deliver Centrica's digital journey, working with all parts of our Group; we're building new architecture with new mobile solutions for customers and digital portals for our Distributed Energy & Power (DE&P) customers. We've been testing our DE&P services in digital for some time now.

We’ve now moved our data centre to Microsoft Azure and completed the roll-out of Office 365 in the UK and North America. The Windows 10 rollout completed in the UK in 2017 with North America completing by the end of the year. We did this to empower employees and enable collaboration. Office 365 is an evergreen service, which means that our people will be able to try new things and experiment with the latest technology.

Access to the cloud means our people are ready to collaborate, working to solve problems for customers together and building strong digital skills. Partnering with Microsoft means we’re constantly learning as we test their latest products and services.

And for everyone at Centrica, we’ve created an innovative digital education programme.  This year we’re introducing a Digital Academy so our people can experience and learn key digital skills for the future.

We’re operating in exciting and challenging times and key strategic partnerships are vital to our future success.