At PCI, as an energy Software as a Service provider, our Cloud and Client Services team provides highly available, reliable, and secure software solutions to our customers. When you choose our hosted solution, you get more than just a platform to help manage your daily operations, settlements, or invoicing. You’re getting a partner that acts as an extension of your IT, cybersecurity, and application administration teams.
As your energy SaaS provider and partner, we’re committed to ensuring our platform is secure, up-to-date, and inclusive of the latest technology. As our platform and suite of applications evolve, keeping the software up to date will become increasingly complex, and this is why we offer hosted services — so we can manage that complexity for you.
Communication is key
We believe clear communication is key to making this type of partnership successful. At PCI, how much communication and the way it’s handled depends on which PCI platform you’re using.
Most of our customers’ workloads run on PCI’s Generation Supply Management System (GSMS). With this single-tenant model, each customer’s environment is completely isolated and separate; the only infrastructure shared between clients is related to the monitoring and observability of the environments.
Our GSMS platform informs the client of pending updates and changes as soon as possible. We create a client-facing ticket that informs them of what maintenance will be done and when and whether it will require a full system outage or if it can be done with high system availability or minimal disruptions. We always work with the client to minimize the impact of any scheduled outages.
Our customer success managers are also notified when the maintenance ticket is created so they can address any concerns during one of their regularly scheduled client meetings.
Additional communications are usually sent out a few hours before the execution and then again once the updates have been completed. In some cases, we may request the customer join us on a web conference after we’ve completed our smoke testing to ensure that the system is performing to their expectations.
PCI Serverless and PCI Kube
PCI Serverless and PCI Kube are the latest iterations of the PCI platform. PCI Serverless is a new multi-tenant model currently focused on e-Tags.
PCI Kube is the newest platform for running PCI’s energy solutions. With this multi-tenant model, our apps run in a Kubernetes cluster for many infrastructure benefits, including high availability and reliability.
For customers on PCI Kube, updates typically require less communication and coordination than is necessary with GSMS. This difference is because changes are released, and traffic is rerouted before old versions of the services are taken offline. The entire process is seamless and can typically be completed without outages.
We still let clients know about the changes that will be made in their environment, but less customer involvement is required, freeing them up to focus on their business.
We’re excited about this next evolution of the PCI platform because it means most maintenance and upgrades will have a minimal impact on our clients’ operations.
Take the process for the yearly global sign certificate replacement as an example. Our PCI GSMS system can take three months to coordinate, plan, and execute the update. With PCI Kube, that change can be made in approximately one day without any real coordination with the client — it’s completely seamless.
If you want to learn more about choosing the right energy SaaS provider, read our previous blog post on key considerations for power generation companies. It provides valuable insights and guidance for making an informed decision.