Case Studies Blockchain Architecture Assessment and Technology Roadmap for Aquilon Energy Services

Blockchain Architecture Assessment and Technology Roadmap for Aquilon Energy Services

Aquilon Energy Services is defining the future of transaction settlement among counterparties in the energy industry, from electricity to natural gas. Its transformative services have powered rapid growth for the company.

Because the company itself is built on transformative ideas, it’s no surprise that Aquilon’s leaders are highly attuned to emerging technologies.

One of those is blockchain. Two of Aquilon’s leaders attended an educational seminar about blockchain presented by Concurrency experts including Mark Rentmeester, Director of Application Development Services.

“Mark and the team did an excellent job presenting what blockchain is and where Microsoft is going with it. We recognized blockchain could be a fit in our business paradigm,” said Jeff Kararo, VP Application Development at Aquilon.

After the session, Jeff and his colleague Paige Greve, EVP of Strategy and Corporate Development, introduced themselves to Mark and the Concurrency team.

The result was a two-pronged project:

  • An in-depth assessment of Aquilon’s current technology architecture—to ensure readiness to meet demands created by the company’s fast growth
  • A blockchain architecture assessment—to establish both a strategy to apply blockchain in Aquilon’s business and the nuts and bolts of how to do so

Our technology assessment focused on Aquilon’s need for increasingly high levels of scalability and extensibility in the technology powering its platform for energy-industry transaction settlements. Because of the company’s success serving its customers, demands on its technology architecture were growing faster and faster.

Through in-depth discussions with the Aquilon team, we developed a detailed understanding of the company’s business strategy and needs as well as its current technology framework.  

Paige Greve of Aquilon said, “I really couldn’t say enough positive things about the Concurrency team’s ability to traverse up and down both strategy and technology.”

“They got down to the reality of the nuts and bolts of things,” said Paige. “That’s one reason our leadership embraced working with them on not only blockchain but on a broad technology assessment. We had confidence the team would help us at all levels—what’s required across strategy and business processes and the technology that support them.”

Our technology assessment resulted in short-, medium- and long-term recommendations to help Aquilon to:

  • Strategize on how to continue to advance the platform by harnessing Microsoft Azure cloud technologies to achieve the necessarily high levels of scalability
  • Ensure readiness to extend the platform with additional capabilities, such as integrations, that customers may request
  • Explore emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and blockchain, as part of a detailed enterprise technology roadmap

The second portion of our two-pronged project with Aquilon delved even further into blockchain. Here we focused on establishing the specific architecture needed to implement a blockchain solution for transaction and data verification in the energy settlement process.

Paige said, “One of the reasons we connected so well with the Concurrency team is we are a business that’s all about blocking and tackling. Mark and the Concurrency team were very pragmatic. They shared in a very honest way what’s real and what’s not real in blockchain—much more than just having a ‘vision’ of things.”

Aquilon’s interest in blockchain stems from its leaders’ desire to stay flexible as the company grows. The Aquilon team recognizes that emerging technology can quickly lead to opportunities to serve customers in expanded ways.
“Concurrency made us feel comfortable in how they explained blockchain,” said Jeff. “They took time to explain. If we didn’t understand something, they came at it from a different direction.”

At Aquilon, embracing growth means embracing innovation.

Jeff said, “Concurrency is on the forefront of new Microsoft technology. Concurrency has the ability to come in and say ‘Microsoft is developing this tool in beta—it might work for you in six months, and if you want to go in that direction we can help you plan, so you’re ready when the tool is ready for prime time.’”

The result of the blockchain architecture assessment was a plan that embraced business strategy and a deep awareness of practical technology considerations relevant to Aquilon’s business.

Paige said, “The Concurrency team was very proactive. In response to some time-sensitive needs that emerged, they rallied to quickly provide high-quality content.”

We were honored to do so—and, more broadly, to support Aquilon’s vibrant growth through our work on both the blockchain and broader technology assessments.