For more than a decade, the world has been living in what is known as the zettabyte era, when the total amount of digital data exceeds 1021 bytes, or one with 21 zeroes after it. With such a vast amount of data, having the right technologies in place to handle that data is crucial. In the world of energy, the introduction of the smart meter has led to an acceleration of the amount of data, enabling consumers to better understand their usage, helping them reduce bills and supporting them to meet net zero ambitions. 

In this joint thought piece, we, Procode and Utilidex, outline the power of agile development, the benefits of adopting cloud technology and the importance of having the most robust data available.

Procode and Utilidex have known each other and have been collaborative discussions with respect to our complementary business lines for a number of years. Over and above business, one particular area where we have converged is technically where we leverage similar architecture patterns in Microsoft cloud. 


The power of being agile


Many companies claim to use agile development methods but the truth is often very different; the company will promise agile but they quickly slide back into less efficient waterfall methods that are not laser-focused on a customer’s real needs. Procode and Utilidex are agile through and through.  

Research by the Association of Project Management among 850 project management professionals found that agile project management has had a positive effect in 76% of projects. Agile project management shows benefits both externally and internally. A McKinsey study on the performance of agile business units found that 93% enjoyed better customer satisfaction, 76% better employee engagement and 93% better operational performance than non-agile business units. This is why both Procode and Utilidex trust in agile’, to allow them to pivot and reprioritise to meet customers’ needs quickly. 

“By focusing on the customer first, we ensure that our solutions not only meet their requirements but also provide a world-class experience. This approach allows us to deliver software that adds value and drives success for our clients,” says Procode’s Head of Commercial Technology, Darren Cheeseright. 

“To ensure the highest level of quality and efficiency, we embrace multiple levels of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD). Our comprehensive CI/CD pipelines enable us to deliver complete solutions as well as individual microservices and components seamlessly. This approach streamlines the development process, reduces errors, and facilitates faster time-to-market, empowering our clients to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving business landscape.” Utilidex runs similar architecture patterns and deployments to Procode.  

With software releases every two weeks to its customers and hosting in Microsoft Azure, Utilidex has been leveraging the tools and frameworks available in the cloud for a number of years. Like Procode we are transitioning to a microservices environment to support an improved user experience which does not deteriorate with more smart meters. Further individual services if well managed can be re-purposed to support new use cases and drive customer value. There are also possible infrastructure cost savings through utilising microservices where you effectively pay as you use. 


The power of technology 


Top-performing companies like Utilidex and Procode know that using the right technology delivers a huge competitive advantage. Both have embraced Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based technology extensively. Both Procode and Utildiex are also a firm believers in infrastructure as code (IaC), the concept that infrastructure can be managed and provisioned through code instead of manual deployment. 

IaC promotes efficiency and cost savings through managing, and configuring computing resources such as servers, storage, networks, and applications as if they were software. Data and privacy is vitally important, and both Parties have built security into everything we do with infrastructure as code. 


Why having robust data is vital 


There is a concept in technology called garbage in, garbage out. It encapsulates the idea that if the data going into a system is not robust then what comes out of the other end is effectively useless. Procode’s Energy Expert technology automates processes such as meter validations, errors, meter reading and change of supply disputes. 

Typical issues that adversely impact business is meter data quality, the ability to automatically reconcile bills or a market message failure. Through smart workflow and design outlier issues can be isolated thus minimising the impact of garbage data being processed by our respective systems.   

In the world of energy, having the best possible metering data means we can be certain that billing is as accurate and as timely as possible. Procode’s Smart Datastream technology is supplier-agnostic and grants energy companies access the UK’s growing estate of smart meters, without having to go to the cost, time and effort of gaining accreditation and approval to directly access the DCC communications backbone that forms the link between energy suppliers and businesses and householders across the UK.  

This allows businesses to take back control of their energy data to ensure bills are based on the correct consumption, and through exposing this data via Utilidex, end customers can also address behavioural change initiatives or the impacts of carbon reducing projects based on robust internal and external data sets. 


If you’re interested in learning more about our partnership or products, don’t hesitate to contact Mike McCloskey at [email protected]. We’re here to answer your questions.