A major energy player in the cloud with delaware

Oct 02, 2023
  • IT
  • Microsoft
  • Microsoft Azure

How do you successfully transition the IT infrastructure of a European energy group to the cloud? In Luxembourg, Société Electrique de l’Our (SEO) took up the challenge, relying on delaware’s know-how.

  • Client: SEO (Société Electrique de l’Our SA) operates the pumped storage power plant in Vianden, Luxembourg, as well as several hydroelectric and wind power plants. 
  • Challenge: Support the migration to Azure and Microsoft’s SaaS portfolio, as well as provide a long-term maintenance solution.
  • Solution: A strategic roadmap for infrastructure and application migration. 

With turbines generating an installed power of 1,300 megawatts, the pumped storage power plant in Vianden has made SEO one of the major European players in this technology. The Luxembourg company also relies on other energy production technologies, including several run-of-river hydraulic power plants in France, Germany, and of course the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. SEO is also active in the wind power sector through its subsidiary Soler, which manages several facilities in the country. 

 

What’s the secret of SEO’s success? The care taken by the group’s 200 staff to optimize all its processes. This is certainly the case for the IT department and Alain Schmitz, IT Architect and Project Manager. He explained to us how and why SEO called on delaware to help it transition to the Azure Cloud and its Microsoft services for the company’s IT infrastructure. 

Efficiency, flexibility, agility, and cost reduction 

Schmitz: “Our on-premises architecture was particularly cumbersome to manage. The transition to the cloud was part of our drive to be more efficient and agile in the face of new demands, but also to provide more flexibility and reduce costs while having access to the most recent technological developments. And as a bonus, it allowed us to carry out faster deployments, all with maximum security! Why did we call on delaware at this crucial IT turning point? Because we knew they had the expertise, and we knew they would be the ideal partner to help us move in the right direction.”

 

How did the collaboration with delaware come about? 

“We first worked on Microsoft 365 and email migration. We then tackled the creation of the database in Azure, with the aim of preparing an automated and secure environment to easily deploy the servers. So, what data will be migrated to the Azure Cloud? Well, mailing of course, but also several business applications, for example those dedicated to maintenance, reporting, and even monitoring. This process has just begun, but our infrastructure remains and will remain a hybrid mix of cloud and on-premises, mostly because the nature of our business demands the physical proximity of certain applications to our production sites, for example sensors, fire alarms, etc.”

Homogenization of workspaces for increased mobility 

This collaboration with delaware was also an opportunity to move toward greater homogenization of users’ workspace, as Schmitz explains: “The business asked us to increase staff mobility. So we conducted internal interviews and surveys to better understand expectations. We discovered that more mobile devices were needed. But to meet expectations, we couldn’t just distribute a load of laptops; we also had to manage everything, centralizing or even deploying applications. We carried out this project with delaware, using Intune as a device management solution. Now we’re entering the concrete roll-out phase since the first laptops have just arrived.” 

A strategic partnership mapped out over several years 

Initiated in 2021, the collaboration between SEO and delaware is well underway and is set to continue for some time. But what’s Schmitz’s view of the three years of work so far?

 

“We’re very happy with what we’ve achieved together, but also with the way we’ve done it. What do we like about delaware? The quality and transparency of collaboration in the field and the advanced skills, with both Microsoft and SAP solutions. What’s also been essential for us is that delaware has ensured that we can autonomously manage what has been implemented. This transfer of skills is thanks to the workshops that have given our team the skills to manage day-to-day operations. As an added bonus, we have a managed maintenance contract, so we can call on delaware if a more specific problem arises.”

What’s just as essential is the strategic vision that delaware brought to the project. They know the market developments inside out and have a clear vision of the future. They were able to apply this know-how while taking into account our context and needs, which were analyzed down to the smallest detail.
Alain Schmitz,

This visionary exercise was carried out in a very structured manner, starting from a blueprint to establish a strategic roadmap over several years, perfectly in line with our ambitions and current and future developments. So yes, delaware has proven to be a real strategic partner! 

We were delighted to collaborate with the SEO team on these projects. We quickly gained their trust thanks to our teams’ practical experience. SEO is now ready to face the technological challenges of tomorrow thanks to a brand-new infrastructure!
Olivier Deboeck, Sales Manager at delaware