E.on has formed a strategic partnership with Octopus’ tech arm Kraken Technologies as it bids to reinvent itself as E.Onnext.
The new brand, wholly owned by E.on, will serve as a restructure of the company’s online platform. Npower customers will migrate first to the Kraken platform, followed by company’s own residential customers in order to streamline operations.
It will replace the company’s current technology platform with one it deems “future-proof”, with the new subsidiary E.Onnext being touted as delivering customer-centric and cost-efficient products and services.
COO and member of the E.ON SE management board Karsten Wildberger said the company was committed to undertaking “bold steps” to take advantage of the Kraken platform.
“We are convinced this option offers our UK operations a sustainable future as well as bringing significant benefits to the entire Group – not at least by using state-of-the-art technology and processes for the benefit of our customers.”
The partnership follows the acquisition of Innogy, which owns UK supplier npower, in 2019 after it was hit by financial difficulties. As part of the takeover, E.on promised a major restructuring of the UK retail company.
A key part of this was the combination of npower’s residential and small and medium-size enterprise customers, switching them to a shared IT platform. By combining these groups so they are served by a single platform, less staff were needed resulting in up to 4,500 job losses, a move criticised by unions who deemed it a “cruel blow”.
These customers will now be switched to the Kraken platform over the next 12 months, followed by E.on UK’s residential and SME customers in 2021.
Octopus Energy Group and E.on have agreed to develop the platform further to ensure it is in line with E.Onnext’s principles.
Octopus Energy Group chief executive and Kraken Technologies director Greg Jackson added: “Our mission is to help deliver lower costs, better service and greener energy globally. E.ON’s decision to use our advanced Kraken technology platform for E.Onnext will enable this for millions of customers in the UK and sets the stage for a wave of change in energy here and globally.”
Octopus’s Kraken platform has seemingly gone from strength to strength over the last year, serving both Octopus’s customers and others. Following the strategic partnership between Co-op Energy and Octopus, the later has seen its customers swell to “well over a million” last year, all of whom are served by Kraken.
In October 2019, Good Energy also announced an agreement with Kraken Technologies, as it adopted the company’s customer services technology platform.