BKW: A Single Point of Service with Microsoft AKS
As an energy and infrastructure service provider, BKW supplies over one million customers with electricity.
As a central access point for the numerous private and business customers in the energy business, the BKW OnePortal has developed into a core application. Customers can use this portal to access all service offerings from BKW and its partners. This is enabled by a personalized dashboard, in which electricity bills, smart meter data, and planned maintenance measures can be displayed in a clear and comprehensible manner.
The demands on customer relations in the electricity market are complex and diverse. Accordingly, the applications used in this field rely on a large number of source systems. However, BKW was interested in a single, consistent portal that would bring together the wide range of functions and service offerings in a single point of truth. Together, Microsoft and PRODYNA supported BKW in the implementation of this holistic and sustainable challenge.
Technical: In order to ensure high availability and reliability of the applications, a micro-service architecture is used in the Azure Cloud. The front end is designed in a user-friendly angular and material design and is linked to the back end running on Spring Boot and Node.js. MariaDB and MongoDB serve as databases, while state is handled by RxJS and security management by RHSSO servers (Red Hat Single Sign-On).
The provision of APIs for BKW trading partners was implemented with a REST interface and JSON. The overall goal is to be able to use all applications in a lean and, if required, highly dynamically scalable manner. Therefore, both the front and back ends were built as docker containers for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). This allows new possibilities in application development and software deployment:
- Better application scaling
- No downtime
- Simplified load balancing
- Greater clarity and transparency
- Faster deployment
- Integrated service bus for data exchange
Organizational: Work was carried out in all project phases according to the SCRUM method. The teams involved worked agilely, partly on-site and partly from a distance: PRODYNA consultants worked on-site directly with local BKW colleagues. Important project steps could also be carried out remotely by a well-rehearsed PRODYNA team. To cover additional peaks, nearshore colleagues from PRODYNA SE were also deployed.
Technical success factors: All self-services from the B2B and B2C areas were successfully consolidated in a central portal. These include:
A new, central dashboard (screenshot 1 and 2): Within the central dashboard, private and business customers can overview services and maintain their master data. All customers can quickly view bills, report moves, and select the desired electricity mix. Business partners can also find the current prices on the electricity market with indicators for electricity prices, consumption, and forecasts of trading volumes.
Smart meter app (screenshot 3): With the new digital electricity meter, called Smart Meter, private customers can measure their electricity consumption to the day and business customers can even measure it at quarter-hourly intervals and, if required, export the collected measuring points over a certain period and process them for analysis. This allows them to optimize the control of consumers in order to increase their energy efficiency in the long term.
Overview of maintenance work (screenshot 4 and 5): A dynamic neighborhood plan in the power outage app allows users to get an overview of planned maintenance work on the power grid at any time. They receive information about power failures and can report faults themselves. With the lighting app they can report defective streetlights.
Based on the long-standing and successful collaboration between BKW, Microsoft, and PRODYNA the OnePortal has been able to develop into a central and modern contact point. Furthermore, a solid foundation was built which will continue to meet BKW‘s latest professional, organizational, and technical requirements in the future.
To find out more, please do not hesitate to contact me.