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Anglian Water launches £31 million IaaS, PaaS framework, eyes SAP migration

England's largest utility by geographical area wants IaaS, PaaS hosting.

Anglian Water, the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales by geographic area, is launching a £31 million cloud hosting framework -- as it sets out plans to buy its IaaS and PaaS requirements directly from the owners of public cloud platforms and eyes a major ERP modernisation.

"The services can most simply and usefully be thought of as a commodity 'utility' service where Anglian Water connect to and use the Supplier's platform and processing resources for their own requirements," the utility -- which services over seven million households -- noted, adding that "examples include the cloud hosting of an ERP system such as SAP S/4HANA and other applications used by Anglian Water."

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Critically, Anglian Water wants “a minimum platform availability of 99.9% across an all day every day baseline; compute resources and infrastructure based in the UK and EEA; [and] where hosting SAP, you must have a valid Hardware and IaaS Certification for SAP HANA and have evidence of such Certification from SAP.” (All hyperscalers can match that with little discomfort; local cloud providers may struggle).

The services framework procurement, which went live July 21, 2021 (requests to participate are due by August 23) will run for 96 months. It comes as Anglian Water continues a major digital transformation -- as well as a physical one: the utility is working to deliver the biggest infrastrcture programme in its history, aiming by 2025 to create a "new network of hundreds of kilometres of vast interconnecting pipelines, and upgrade existing infrastructure to allow water to be moved around our water-scarce region, from areas where supplies are more abundant to areas that have a shortfall, helping us secure water supplies across our region for many years to come" with the infrastructure to be mirrored by a "digital twin" that helps it monitor and optimise the network.

Like most water utilities, the company is working to improve digital channels for customers (it had over six million digital engagements in 2020-2021) as well as a range of new technologies to improve infrastructure management, like identifying leaks. (It fixed over 35,000 in 2020). As its annual report notes: "[We are] exploring fibre-optic technology, machine learning, electroscanning to assess the condition of pipes and the volume of leaks, satellites to detect leaks from space and drones to find leaks using thermal imaging".

Details on the cloud hosting tender can be found here. Anglian Water anticipates using up to four supplies and aims to ensure it has a clearly thought out multi-cloud approach.

See also: From DJ to CTO: Esri’s Charles Kennelly on the allure, power and still-emerging potential of GIS.