Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has implemented an Oracle Exadata X2-2 machine to handle over 250 transactions per second for more than 1,6-million customers being moved from a postpaid billing system to a prepayment environment.
The prepayment environment demands that the system must be 100% available at all times. KPLC needed to invest in new technology in order to guarantee this availability.
The benefits of a pre-payment system, according to KPLC, include improved cash flow, as payments are received in advance, as well as a reduction in operating costs due to the elimination of monthly customer meter readings and production of monthly consumption statements for customers. For KPLC customers, they are able to budget for their own consumption in advance, avoiding accumulation of debt.
KPLC’s decision to select Oracle’s Exadata solution was due to the scalability (from quarter to full racks) of the machine, enabling them to invest based on their immediate need with a clear view of scaling the solution with future business demands.
KPLC also has a rich internal skill base for both Oracle database and hardware, and this combined with Oracle’s products being engineered to work together boasting high performance and availability, also made the decision to select Oracle an easy one.
The solution included Oracle 11g Enterprise Edition, Oracle RAC, Oracle automated storage management (ASM), the Oracle hardened Linux operating system, Storage management software and Infiniband switches.
Local Oracle reseller, Seven Seas Technologies, managed the implementation of the project and is providing ongoing support. Oracle Advanced Customer Services provided the consultancy and training.
“The solution is already delivering great benefits according to KPLC. The RAC architecture has ensured high system availability. Processing and storage is encapsulated, hence minimising investments in external storage and telecommunications costs,” says James Kariuki, head of new business projects, system development and maintenance at KPLC.
“Furthermore, the systems redundancies guarantees uninterrupted service provision, and automated storage management has simplified file system management. Most importantly, the high performance has resulted in fast and timely provision of services to our customers.
“The solution is encapsulated and all the components, software and hardware, are provided by one vendor who has seamlessly integrated them before shipping to the customer site. This minimises logistical and implementation challenges. End result – a happy customer,” he concludes.
Tina Patel, country manager Oracle Kenya, says, “The Oracle Exadata Database Machine is rapidly becoming the foundation technology for many large business and enterprises and by selecting Oracle Exadata, KPLC has already taken big steps towards to decreasing its total operational costs, whilst also significantly boosting its transaction performance providing better customer service to its large customer base.”