HCL: Modernising Arqiva’s core systems and infrastructure

By William Girling
Anand Birje, Sr. Corporate VP, Digital & Analytics at HCL, and Clive White, CTTO at Arqiva, discuss their companies’ recent collaboration...

Anand Birje, Sr. Corporate VP, Digital & Analytics at HCL, and Clive White, CTTO at Arqiva, discuss their companies’ recent collaboration

“Arqiva is undergoing a massive business and digital transformation and we're a strategic partner in their journey,” states Anand Birje, Sr. Corporate Vice President and Head of the Digital and Analytics practice at HCL Technologies. Part of a next-gen global tech company that is helping prestigious businesses around the world to reimagine themselves for the digital era, Birje explains that its partnership with telco Arqiva started in 2018 and has remained strong ever since. “HCL was chosen as a prime partner for its smart metering implementation programme, which was, to my mind, one of the largest of its kind in the world at that time.” 

Indeed, Clive White, Chief Technology and Transformation Officer at Arqiva, states that this initiative was highly ambitious: a future-proofing transformation programme aimed at taking the company’s customer experience to the next level. “We were looking to modernise all of our infrastructure and core systems and, very importantly, make good on the realisation of our integrated future,” he says. Achieving this meant placing data at the centre of the company’s operations to acquire the desired “single point of truth”. Arqiva’s highly progressive attitude and culture meant that it needed a partner with shared values in order to execute this vision. Following a thorough search for the right collaborator, “HCL came out on top.” 

On this particular digital transformation, Birje highlights Arqiva’s desire to reimagine its value chain and enhance its agility through technologies like cloud, APIs and microservices. More than simply tech, however, he adds that HCL’s synergistic culture has enabled it to determine the best course of action. “Enterprises are bringing business and technology teams closer together. It's no longer about delivering capabilities over a long period of time, but rather having the ability to work closely in sharp sprints in order to deliver business features.” Speed to market is paramount for Arqiva, confirms White. In fact, it was one of the origin points for the entire programme. The company’s enhanced agility also had an unprecedented benefit during the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic: “We established a digital workplace very early on; Arqiva was able to pivot the business overnight to working remotely for all our teams, apart from the operational teams and field engineers.” 

Looking ahead to the future, Birje emphasises the advantages that maintaining a strong ecosystem of partners can have. From assisting in the choice of technology stacks to supporting enterprise-wide digital change, he considers transformation to be more akin to a never ending journey of discovery than a linear process. “It's not just a one-time exercise and it's not a programme that has a ‘start’ and a ‘stop’. HCL is looking forward to undertaking that journey with Arqiva; there's a massive transformation coming in the next few years.” White considers that, as the company shifts from being a ‘data managing’ to a ‘data-driven’ organisation, the possibilities for reinvention are likely to be significant, both for Arqiva and the market it operates in. “I think we are creating self-serve opportunities the more we reach out to our customers with portals, dashboards and data interfaces. We're going to broaden those core business processes with data and insights and expose our customers to as much of that as we can.”


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