17 August 2021
As the Central Data Services Provider (CDSP) for Britain’s gas market, we deliver a suite of vital services to help the industry run efficiently and reliably for all our customers. Underpinning these services are our range of systems, all of which support the extensive processes and operations that make up a huge part of the gas market.
On occasion, some things don’t go to plan and in March we encountered an issue with file flows within UK Link that posed considerable challenges for our customers. This was caused by a fault within an established SAP product and unfortunately, we were the first organisation to encounter this issue. We always aim to learn from these scenarios and following the incident, we carried out a Post-Incident Review that allowed us to take a step back and review our systems and internal procedures. From this, we have been able to highlight opportunities for us to further improve and deliver a better experience for our customers, particularly when we encounter challenges.
While this work is ongoing, we want to share the main themes we are focussing on and how you can find out about our progress. We are also sharing more detailed updates directly with customers at the Contract Management Committee (CoMC).
Our Focus Areas
Incident Management and Communications
At the heart of our activities are incident management and communications. We have existing processes in place that dictate how we respond to issues, however we’re now expanding this further to deliver a rigorous framework that will allow us to swiftly respond to issues when they arise, while ensuring that we’re updating the right people, with the right information, at the right time. This includes enhancing our impact assessments, which will enable us to quickly understand the potential impacts to customers and provide tailored communications.
Often, we aren’t the only participant involved in incidents and we are reviewing our processes to ensure that when we need to work with vendors to resolve an issue, our existing framework remains effective and allows us to act swiftly. This includes working with our vendors to ensure they fully understand Xoserve’s critical industry position and the vital services that we offer.
End to End Business Process Monitoring
Following the incident, we are carrying out increased auditing and we are mapping out the vast amount of gas file types that underpin the gas market. This will include reviewing in more detail what files are classed as 'critical' for our different customer segments. From this, we can build on our existing knowledge and prioritise files that feed into the essential processes that keep the gas industry operating as smoothly as possible.
Our UK Link system is fundamental to our customers’ operations, which is why we’ve identified opportunities to enhance the platform through a number of system improvements. We’re exploring options to further improve the existing system, while taking into account the lessons learned from the incident in March into our journey to move UK Link to the Cloud in 2021. This will be accompanied by us looking ahead and exploring the options for a ‘test’ environment for our UK Link system, which will help us reduce the risk associated with further upgrades in the future.
Want to know more?
We provide regular updates on these activities directly to customers at the Contract Management Committee (CoMC), where we will be sharing our next update on Wednesday 18th August.
If you’d like to know more, or if you’d like to speak to us about any of the topics mentioned above, please contact your Customer Advocate.
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