EDF Trading Case Study
Banking & Finance
EDF Trading is a major player in energy trading. It trades actively in the international wholesale energy markets; buying and selling electricity, emissions, natural gas, coal, freight, biomass, and oil. EDF Trading is a 100% owned subsidiary of the EDF Group, Europe’s largest power utility. EDF Trading has been active in the wholesale energy markets since 1999. Over this time, it has built up a physical and financial trading business that spans the energy commodities in Europe and beyond. Headquartered in London, with sites in Cheshire and Paris, EDF Trading has 300 employees in the UK that actively manage its energy trading activities. It is thus vital that EDF Trading has a resilient IT infrastructure and environment in place to support its day‐to‐day communications.
When EDF Trading approached PTS Consulting, growth in the business meant that it was running out of space and power and equipment room capacity in its existing London headquarters. It was decided that in order to support the future requirements of the business, EDF Trading would relocate from its offices near Holborn to new purpose‐built, high specification premises near Victoria. The timescale for the project was ambitious, with project completion scheduled for just ten months later. EDF Trading needed strategic guidance to design, procure and implement a resilient IT infrastructure as well as professional project management assistance to ensure that the IT for all 300 staff members was relocated smoothly to the new building ‐ over a single weekend. PTS Consulting was retained as the IT Consultancy partner for the project. In this role, PTS Consulting worked alongside other members of the professional project team to support the client’s in‐house IT team in the scheme design and delivery of the IT relocation which was an integral part of the move programme.
Shane Turner, EDF Trading’s Programme Manager explained: “Due to the rigorous project timescale, we needed an IT partner that would help us clearly and efficiently translate our objectives into a comprehensive project schedule with upfront costs to complete the project on time and within budget. We didn’t want to run the risk of over‐stretching our internal IT resource, so we needed someone that could fully understand our IT requirements as well as the construction and fit‐out process. PTS Consulting’s global credibility in the IT relocation space gave us the confidence that we could achieve our project deliverables.”
IT Migration Strategy: The immediate task was to clearly outline the exact work required to achieve the relocation and what it would cost, giving EDF Trading a clear view of how the project would move forward. Working closely with EDF Trading’s staff, PTS Consulting reviewed the existing technology in place and conducted a user needs assessment.
From this, PTS Consulting was able to produce a gap analysis, along with strategic recommendations for the IT design, procurement, implementation and migration. Shane said: “It was vital that we were able to pinpoint right up front the strategic steps that EDF Trading needed to take to ensure that we could procure and implement resilient IT infrastructure and services that would be flexible enough to support our critical energy trading operations ‐ now and in the future.”
IT Design and Procurement: PTS Consulting then assisted with the specification and competitive procurement of structured cabling systems, a converged network and IP telephony infrastructure and a Dealer Voice System. PTS Consulting managed a comprehensive competitive procurement process that would provide EDF Trading with the best technology on the market to meet its users’ needs. EDF Trading wanted to move from separate voice and data platforms to embrace IP convergence. Resiliency and data storage were also of key importance, since EDF Trading required effective Disaster Recovery via an off site DR facility and an on‐site Datacentre facility. The converged IP network technology procured is more cost effective than maintaining two separate networks and is capable of delivering all the functionality that the front, middle and back office users require. Benefits of the IP‐based service include guaranteed quality of service for the users and enhanced security, flexibility and manageability. To maximise the effective use of space and increase resilience and flexibility, the core IT equipment was housed in two equipment rooms, designed to accommodate extra capacity for EDF Trading’s future growth. The provision of water‐cooled cabinets allowed the implementation of high‐density blade computing. The move to Blade technology and virtualisation will allow EDF Trading to expand its IT capability in a controlled way to support new services.
Implementation and Relocation Project Management: As the staff relocation was planned around a single move weekend, a comprehensive testing process beginning 12 weeks before the migration date, was undertaken to ensure that the all equipment would function correctly. Until the final migration, both old and new systems were running simultaneously to allow data migration and provide a fallback position if required. Working to PTS Consulting’s purpose built project management methodology, PACE, and ‘hand in glove’ with the EDF Trading IT team, PTS Consultants ensured that everything was planned and accounted for, avoiding unnecessary project delays or hold ups. PTS Consulting worked alongside all third parties that made up the professional project team to help manage the implementation of the technical work streams as an integral part of the relocation to the new building.
The detailed planning and pre‐migration testing meant that the final IT migration for all 300 users could be managed over a single weekend. PTS Consulting’s attention to detail brought the project to a successful close, to specification, to timescale and within budget.
Key features of the project include:
- A close working relationship with the EDF Trading project team
- Co‐ordination with all third parties to deliver an IT relocation for 300 users over a single weekend
- Initial IT migration strategy ensured budget, objectives and project deliverables were clearly defined up front
- Design and competitive procurement of a converged IT network infrastructure, IP telephony and Dealer Voice System
- Advanced equipment room facilities utilise the latest cooling and space saving techniques and provide resilience and flexibility for future growth
- Implementation and end‐to‐end project management incorporated comprehensive
The EDF Trading team was delighted that the relocation programme was such a success. The new platforms incorporate advanced technology and adequate resiliency and flexibility as EDF Trading continues to grow in the future.
Shane Turner, EDF Trading’s Programme Manager concluded: “PTS Consulting came highly recommended… and now I know why. The IT relocation programme set out by PTS Consulting delivered all that we wanted, to a tight timescale. PTS Consulting stuck to a clear budget and maintained their original fees throughout. The new IT infrastructure that now underpins EDF Trading’s London‐based business is secure, stable and future‐proof and has provided a new standard for the company to embrace as we move forward. Our converged IP platform not only meets EDF Trading’s requirements now, it will also enable the business to embrace new applications in the future ‐ including interactive video conferencing.”