National Grid plc, the company that operates electricity and gas infrastructure in the UK and US, is redesigning its IT operating model to make it more scalable and flexible.
The first stage of that project, it revealed today, has been to outsource IT service management, including IT support, to Hewlett-Packard.
Under the seven year deal, HP will support National Grid’s service management function from its offshore facilities in the Philipines, with extra resources in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to satisfy US regulatory constraints.
According to Martin White, National Grid’s account manager at HP, the company is in the process of sourcing several more outsourced services, including data centre infrastructure, applications, network services and cloud computing.
This move is motivated in part because the company has acquired a number of US companies with separate IT operations, and it needs to establish a single, global IT sourcing model. But it also wants to adopt of flexible and scalable approach to IT sourcing, White said.
"As a company, they want to be able go into new geographies easily," he says. "Equally, they want to be able to withdraw operations in those geographies if the regulatory environment does not suit – they pulled out of a market in New England recently for that reason."
In addition, the advent of Smart Grid grid means the National Grid is uncertain of its future IT requirements, White remarked. "It’s impossible to know where they are going to be in five years."
It is the latest in a string of outsourcing wins by HP in the energy sector. In recent months it has signed new deals with British Gas’ parent company Centrica and European energy giant E.ON, and renewed its engagement with BP.