Drax Group plc is a British electrical power generation company. Its key objective is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Successful merger, acquisition and subsequent transition is critical to achieving this goal, and Leading Resolutions was asked to support the recent acquisition, transition and integration of Scottish Power assets, valued at over £700m.

Leading Resolutions was asked to support the acquisition and subsequent transition and integration of Scottish Power assets, valued at over £700m, in to Drax.

We initially advised Drax on the acquisition strategy and Transition Service Agreement (TSA), validating and recommending additions to the proposed approach, with a specific focus on IT and developed the TSA framework.

We then led the IT cut-over phase, working within very tight timelines. We undertook full analysis, successfully completing the initial due diligence and achieved the cut-over from Scottish Power’s critical systems to the Drax systems within 10 weeks.

It was essential that all the assets were cut-over on the same date of 31st December, a date set by the UK regulator OFGEM, to protect competition rules.

Due to the success in cutting-over all trading sites on schedule, we were retained to manage the full IT transition and integration, with an aspiration to exit the TSA within 12 months.

This involved transitioning 15 physical sites across the South East, North West and remote parts of Scotland, 300 staff members, 50 applications and 1,000 technology devices. A new regional office in Scotland was also fully equipped.



We tailored our standard approach to reach the aspirational deadline and deliver the remaining elements of the transition, broken down into four phases.

Solution Design and early application cutovers
In the initial three month phase we focussed on the critical transitions of payroll and health & safety. In parallel, the detailed design and planning was completed for the remaining aspects of the full transition.
Application and infrastructure transition
The applications and infrastructure workstreams were run in parallel. The business strategy was “like for like” for all applications, with minimal change to operating processes, with transformation planned at a later stage.  However, we identified opportunities to upgrade or rationalise applications reducing the significant inherited technical debt within the existing budget. With over 50 applications to transition, we took a staged approach to reduce the risk exposure.  Utilising ‘Browser’ and ‘Virtual Desktop’ technology we transitioned over 80% of the applications to Drax centrally hosted systems.

The decision was made to reinvest in the technical infrastructure platform and re-equip each site in parallel. We designed a new, self-contained infrastructure ‘pod’ for each site. Each pod was built and tested centrally then delivered to site to be commissioned and optimised.  In parallel, we worked with the group WAN provider to extend the provision of new MPLS network connections to each of the acquired sites.
Proving the concept to achieve a "go" decision
One of the smaller sites was selected for early pilot to fully prove and refine the technical infrastructure and our transition process. The learnings were taken and fed into the planned full transition, reducing risk.
Successful transition and exiting the TSA
The full cutover was completed over an intense, four week period.  Each site was ‘flipped’ from Scottish Power to Drax to enable the IT technology and the synchronisation of the changeover of each site. Given that Drax is part of the critical national infrastructure it was essential that we collaborated with Plant Facilities and Security to ensure that rigorous compliance requirements were met.

Business engagement and a robust communications strategy were key to ensuring that all staff were fully briefed and knew what to expect. The outcome was that staff had minimal disruption and were able to switch on their IT and telephony equipment to find that everything they needed was available, with little or no change to their daily working practices.

The whole transition was a huge success, with all sites transitioned and the TSA exit achieved within the 12 month target.
The Leading Resolutions team brought strong governance and a real understanding of the need for pace balanced against risk. Thanks to them there was great integration between internal and external resources working as one combined unit to achieve 3 years work in less than 12 months.