iZeno’s Open Source and Cloud-Native Technology Strengthens IT Transformation at Energy Market Company (EMC)

Supercharging EMC's Flexibility, Efficiency, and Speed

About EMC and Mission

Energy Market Company Pte Ltd (EMC) operates Singapore’s wholesale electricity market – Asia’s first liberalised electricity market. The National Electricity Market of Singapore (NEMS) opened for trading on January 1, 2003.

EMC completes the connection between those who make electricity in Singapore and those who use it. All of Singapore’s electricity is bought and sold through the company. EMC is like the stock exchange for electricity, providing the IT systems, the trading environment, and the governance for the market.

Energy Market Company is involved in all three areas of the governance process – rule-making, compliance, and dispute resolution. The rule-making process is the responsibility of the Rules Change Panel, which is appointed by the EMC Board. The Market Assessment Unit of EMC provides support to both the Market Surveillance and Compliance Panel and the Dispute Resolution and Compensation Panel.

EMC is committed to working with market participants to ensure a transparent, professional, and cost-effective market. The company has a bright and enthusiastic team, combining the skills and experiences of experts from Singapore and worldwide.

iZeno co-architects technology modernisation at EMC

Lau Chee Kiong, Senior Vice President, Technology at EMC, said that the company had begun an IT Transformation initiative to replace the aging hardware and operating systems, to meet market requirements. Referred to as the NEMSCAP system project, legacy systems were being replaced to ensure that the systems and technology were well supported. 

“We were in the process of modernising our core applications so that they stay relevant, up-to-date, and meet regulatory compliance. We selected iZeno as our technology partner to co-architect a modernised, cloud-native architecture on account of their experience and technical capabilities, exemplary customer support, and thorough understanding of our business requirements,” said Lau Chee Kiong, Senior Vice President, Technology, EMC.

With IT operations running round-the-clock for trade processing and publication of information to market participants and the general public, EMC sought a partner who could help accelerate their digital transformation project. 

“Our team of experts presented innovative recommendations that would be beneficial to EMC. Our technical proficiency and hands-on, in-the-trenches experience set us apart. These cutting-edge and future-enabling proposals were selected as the way forward,” said Jason Lin, Managing Director of the iZeno group of companies.

Deploying enterprise open-sourced solutions and cloud-centric technology

EMC wanted to expand their IT transformation so that their customers can access the best-of-breed integrations offered by enterprise open-sourced solutions and cloud-native technology. 

They needed to overcome the challenge of having a proprietary development framework and limited technological innovations. “By replacing restrictive, proprietary solutions with enterprise open-source technology, iZeno helped EMC modernise several monolithic application functions into APIs for improved reusability and maintainability,” said Jason Lin, Managing Director, iZeno.

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the current NEMSCAP systems needed to be considered. Another area of focus was capacity scaling, allowing for market growth and also building capabilities to scale the NEMSCAP system upwards and outwards with ease. 

EMC was looking to improve flexibility, efficiency, and speed in its provisioning and deployment management processes as the company transitioned to multiple environments. Disaster recovery site availability and disaster recovery complexity strategies were tough with existing systems. “iZeno enhanced and expanded EMC’s automation and integration with frameworks such as Node.js, Jenkins, and Apache Maven, strengthening continuous integration and continuous deployment capabilities,” added Jason.

Considering their superior technical capabilities, EMC opted for Red Hat EAP, or enterprise application platform, FUSE transformation, PAM or privilege access management, SSO or single sign-on, and Tricentis Tosca from iZeno. “iZeno presented a comprehensive proposal that met all technical requirements at EMC. We distinguished ourselves by considering challenges from the customer’s perspective while building the solution framework. By doing this, we ensured that the customer’s interest and investment were protected,” reiterated Jason.

EMC’s open-sourced solutions and cloud-native technology and customer benefits

Lau commenced an IT transformation initiative at EMC to do away with legacy hardware and operating systems to meet SLA stipulations laid down by the market regulator. 

“As the NEMS IT operations are online 24×7, it is imperative that we select a capable technology partner who could modernise our existing solutions and help us achieve business agility,” he said. 

Solutions from iZeno were deployed seamlessly as the team went through the steps of virtual hardware provisioning, development, SAT or site acceptance testing, SIT or systems integration testing, UAT or user acceptance testing, parallel run, training, and go live. The iZeno rollout facilitated the TCO reduction of the current NEMSCAP systems and enabled sufficient capacity scaling of the same, both upward and outward. 

“With the new solution, EMC has improved the flexibility, efficiency, and speed in provisioning UAT environments via virtualisation. We also gained deployment management capabilities to multiple environments and saw a marked improvement in disaster recovery site availability and a reduction in disaster recovery complexity,” Lau stated.

iZeno provided a solution that met EMC’s refresh project’s technical requirements and strategic objectives. The team proposed and provided selected application modernisations in a professional, competent, and committed manner, ensuring all assurances were delivered on target and in a timely fashion. The final “go-live” encountered no major incidents and was largely transparent to EMC’s customers. The cutover completion was well ahead of schedule and well executed by both the iZeno and EMC teams.

EMC’s transformation success can be attributed to two key approaches:

  • Enterprise open-sourced products: With open-source products, EMC now has higher agility and greater elasticity to opt for replacement solutions in the future.
  • Cloud-native technology: A digital transformation enabler, cloud-native technology reduces time-to-market and cost-to-market and improves scalability, flexibility, ease of management, and the overall customer experience.

With iZeno, EMC has gained a trusted partner to collaborate with and deliver projects that possess strong technical knowledge, expertise, and committed resources. “We were impressed by the iZeno team as they approached the project from the customer’s point of view and were able to provide value-added suggestions in improving our technology stack,” said Lau.

By selecting iZeno’s open-source enterprise and cloud-native solutions, EMC gained a significant reduction in TCO. In addition, EMC now has a sound future-proof proposal for refresh options that will provide them flexibility, efficiency, maintenance, continuous modernisation of critical applications, and constant upgrading of the skill sets and knowledge of their technology team.

The Road Ahead

iZeno showcased adaptability and flexibility, especially during the pandemic, with solutions that mitigated resource crunches and enabled collaboration to meet all deliverables. The leadership at iZeno provided oversight and prompt support during crisis management. Lau recalls an instance during the Myanmar crisis when the majority of the testing team was operating remotely, iZeno rendered assistance to the working team to resolve any roadblocks faced. 

“EMC will definitely invite iZeno to participate in future projects as technology refreshes, and modernisation of EMC’s IT systems is a constant evolution”, added Lau.

“This is our first collaboration with iZeno, and we look forward to building on this great relationship in the coming years. The team demonstrated tremendous technical expertise and have put in place innovative solutions that keep pace with industry best practices and trends. We appreciate iZeno’s focused project management, structured delivery, and constant support.”

Lau Chee Kiong, Senior Vice President, Technology at EMC

Experienced Red Hat Advanced Solution Partner

As Red Hat Advanced Partner of the year, iZeno Certified Red Hat and DevOps experts in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia could help your enterprise leverage on Red Hat Open Shift, Red Hat Ansible Automation platform and Red Hat Cloud forms. In addition, we help our enterprise clients to take full advantage of the cloud, package their applications with containers, and embrace modern architectures using agile techniques.