Mercury Energy uses cloud computing successfully

Mercury Energy uses cloud computing to quickly scale a service and reduce operating costs.

Mighty River Power's retail arm, Mercury Energy, offers a pay as you go service to help customers manage their electricity spend.

GLO-BUG provides control to customers to pay for power as they need it. A user-friendly display lets the customer see how much power they are using and how much credit they have left. The GLO-BUG changes colour as the balance is getting low so the customer knows to top-up. The GLO-BUG application communicates with metering systems to complete meter readings and do remote re-connects and disconnects.

Mercury Energy was keen to migrate the original platform to a new model that would deliver enhanced functionality for the customer at lower on-going operational cost. The organisation turned to Fronde to deliver the architecture and integration required.

The GLO-BUG solution was built using Salesforce.com CRM, Amazon web services (EC2), Oracle's Open ESB and database solution. Billing functions were provided by a specialist utility billing platform which was also deployed into the Amazon EC2 infrastructure cloud.

Features include:

  • CRM customer portal for call centre agents to draw customer data from various sources in the back-end systems 
  • Integration of CRM, billing, meter reading, payments, and notifications
  • Real time debit payments by customers, authorised sub-second, across high volumes
  • Real time connectivity to the smart meter using wireless mesh to enable remote meter reading, re-connect and disconnect
  • Notifications to the in home "GLO-BUG" device to indicate balance levels
  • "No code" business dashboards delivered using Google sites and Google gadgets
  • 24x7 application and infrastructure support
"We were looking to create a low cost service platform and we were interested in the opportunities that cloud technologies could bring. We've forecast significant operational cost savings, compared to more traditional deployment options, and have seen the benefit of being able to quickly create environments and scale them on demand." - Phil Gibson, Head of Technology & Innovation at Mercury Energy