Sarawak Energy & Huawei: Collaborating to Build a Smart Business Blueprint
Sarawak Energy is a vertically integrated energy development company and power utility that has a vision: it wants to achieve sustainable growth and promote prosperity for the Malaysian state of Sarawak, meeting its reliable, renewable energy needs.
With a multidisciplinary workforce of over 5000 employees, Sarawak Energy serves approximately 700,000 customers and a population of almost three million across the state. While Sarawak Energy’s generation mix is predominantly renewable hydropower — supplemented by natural gas and coal — the company is also exploring new technologies in alternatives and renewables, to help it achieve that goal for sustainable, cost-effective energy.
Built on 100 years of tradition, the government-owned corporation is now embarking on a transformation journey that aims to enable Sarawak Energy to become a digital utility.
Utility companies of the future will be dominated by renewable energy generation. They will also be fully digital. So Sarawak Energy decided to begin digitizing its business. This involved the transformation of the entire organization, opening wider digital opportunities across every value chain, all the while embedding sustainability into operations.
Digitization is a way to realize the vision for sustainable growth and prosperity for the Malaysian state. Sarawak Energy’s enterprise modernization initiative includes various aspects of business management, focused on achieving operational efficiency and more cost-effective work management in the company’s key focus areas.
The company launched a three-state digital journey that began with refreshing its ICT and infrastructure, to build the digital foundation for future digital capabilities, revolving around End-to-End (E2E) processes, equipment, and technology that’s fully intelligent. This foundation enables the integration of digital technologies into daily operations, namely power generation, transmission, distribution, and customer services.
Huawei’s role in the partnership involved the upgrade and refresh of legacy network devices and data storage solutions.
A Wider, Stable and Efficient Data Storage Solution
With the State of Sarawak’s growth accelerating, the energy company’s customer database inflated, increasing business density. The corporation required larger storage capacity as it developed a reliable, stable, yet affordable IT infrastructure.
The preference was for a unified platform that could provide the whole enterprise with consistent support, to manage a large amount of data. Huawei’s converged storage platform proved an ideal solution.
Seamless Integration with Latest Network Equipment Technologies
Wi-Fi technology has evolved to its sixth generation: 802.11ax, also known as Wi-Fi 6. With high bandwidth, support for multiple concurrent connections, wide coverage, and low latency, Wi-Fi 6 has successfully enabled wireless office services, in turn increasing enterprise service efficiency.
Sarawak Energy focused on seamlessly integrating such new technology, to improve user experience and reduce the burden on IT resources. This included simplifying the authentication process of wireless roaming networks, achieving full coverage at manned areas, and zero tolerance for any offline downtime.
Differentiating user access rights between employees and guests also helps to prevent security risks, such as intrusion of unauthorized devices and packet attacks.
In the near future, Sarawak Energy plans to use Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities of next-generation Wi-Fi technology to further enhance the interconnection, with new intelligent devices and applications.
On the basis of Huawei’s ability to fulfill technical requirements with an emphasis on “economy and affordability”, Sarawak Energy first commissioned Huawei to undertake collaboration projects in data storage and Wi-Fi 6 technologies in the second half of 2019.
Since then, Huawei and Sarawak Energy have built an integrated wireless network featuring zero coverage blind spots, wait times, and packet loss roaming. The partnership with Huawei has resulted in storage area network upgrade with improved capacity, and Wi-Fi 6 implementation with improved wireless signal coverage and bandwidth throughput.