How Microsoft Helped Greece’s PPC Cut Carbon Emissions

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Since 2019, Greece’s largest electric power company Public Power Corporation has been focusing on innovation with the goal of transforming itself into a modern, data-driven organization. By adopting Microsoft Azure-based solutions, the company has reduced its total cost of ownership by 30 percent and cut carbon emissions by 99.84 percent.

Founded in 1950 by the Greek government, PPC is a private company that owns 97 power plants, including 34 that are thermal and hydroelectric and services seven million people.

“PPC was struggling with huge amounts of unstructured historical data, so we wanted a swift and efficient digital transformation to migrate our database and create a cloud environment accessible to all employees,” says Konstantinos Zagalikis, Group Chief Technology, and Information Officer at PPC.

In 2019, the company’s new leadership decided to make PPC a pioneer in the energy industry once again by digitalizing all its business processes using cloud capabilities and selected Microsoft Azure as the best match for its needs.

“The most important innovation Azure has to offer is the opportunity to build an operational data space, where domain-specific teams are allowed to work on their datasets of interest. This modern approach is being adopted by the largest companies worldwide,” explains Zagalikis.

To accelerate the company’s digital transformation and support its business and environmental goals, Microsoft and PPC formed a strategic partnership.

Sealing the deal, Georgios Stassis, President, and CEO of PPC, and Theodosis Michalopoulos, CEO of Microsoft Greece, Cyprus, and Malta, signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President of Microsoft. 

“Through this partnership, Microsoft helped us develop an enterprise-scale landing zone and build a cloud centre of excellence, accelerating PPC’s transition to the cloud. In addition, Microsoft provided 500,000 consulting hours to support PPC along the way,” says Zagalikis.

To ensure the smooth integration of its SAP systems, PPC partnered with WITSIDE to integrate its data sources on Azure and adopt the Qlik Data Integration (QDI) platform. “The migration to the cloud was done seamlessly in real time with WITSIDE’s support,” says Zagalikis. “We also use Azure Data Lake, to run big data workloads and make sense of our historical data.”

PPC is now poised to reach its long-term business goals. “Adopting Azure has enabled us to undergo significant changes on operational and strategic levels while reducing our total cost of ownership by 30 percent,” says Zagalikis. “We also have peace of mind knowing that our resources, data, and applications are protected by built-in security features on Azure.”

Using Azure Data Lake, the company organizes and consolidates data in a central repository. “Information is now easily accessible, and we can perform analytics across the board according to our needs, which is simpler and faster,” describes Zagalikis. “Our domain-specific teams can also leverage Azure Data Lake to build new models or develop specific insights to tackle issues or improve business operations.”

Having more visibility and efficiency has improved the everyday work experience for employees at PPC. “Our people are empowered to work better and be more productive. It opens doors to continuous training and enablement, which will be key to our success in future technology adoptions,” says Zagalikis. 

PPC is also doing its part for the planet by reducing its carbon footprint. “Since 2017, we’ve saved more than 160 MTCO2e by switching from on-premises solutions to Microsoft Azure, reducing our carbon emissions by 99.84 percent,” he adds.

Empowered by cloud functions, PPC is now equipped for a bright and sustainable future.

“With Microsoft solutions and expertise, we are overcoming obstacles and deploying new solutions in no time. This is why we must not be afraid to adopt cloud technology. It is the only way to accelerate innovation,” concluded Zagalikis.

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