Buy? Build? Why Not Both?

A recent survey and report by analyst firm ComTech Advisory suggests that a majority of users of ETRM/CTRM software might consider building custom software to meet their business requirements. In fact, around 70% of the survey’s respondents suggested they would consider such an option. As ComTech noted in the report, about 35% of the respondents were representatives of the top tier of the industry who have extremely complex, global, multi-commodity supply chain operations to manage. Nonetheless, given the maturing market for commercial E/CTRM solutions, the idea that anyone would chose to build a solution is perhaps surprising. ComTech concluded that especially in todays’ business environment of rising costs and diminished profits, a more appropriate solution might be to build around a commercially available solution.

This white paper examines the pros and cons of build versus buy while also examining other approaches that in the end may offer a cost effective, yet superior solution. It looks at the Brady cloud offering in particular as a potential starting point for a hybrid solution and examines why a hybrid solution may make commercial and functional sense.

Read the document online or download it from the CTRM Center Buy? Build? Why Not Both?


2016 Vendor Perception Report

Commodity Technology Advisory’s 2016 Vendor Perception Study was conducted to establish end-user views and perceptions of available CTRM vendors and products, including brand awareness, and to determine market leadership perceptions as well as buying criteria and demand levels. The research, conducted via a web-based survey, was comprised of a comprehensive set of questions that sought the informed views of industry participants including end users and consultants. Vendor personnel were specifically excluded from participating in this research. The survey was open for responses between January 14th and May 3rd, 2016 and collected some 230 gross responses.

The survey was promoted in several ways to attract bone fide respondents. ComTech Advisory used email notification, blog articles, web advertising and verbal requests to encourage participation. CTRM vendors and service providers also promoted the survey of their own accord.

Read the document online or download it from the CTRM Center 2016 Vendor Perception Report

A Managed Services approach to Trading IT Excellence

How Delta Energy Supports Its Best-in-Class Trading Operations

Companies that trade, or buy and sell, commodities face a myriad of complex business and technical challenges these days. One typical conundrum is often around Information Technology (IT). A trading firm is, after all, a trading firm and not an IT shop and yet, it needs to have an IT infrastructure, usually a very complex IT infrastructure, in order to conduct its business efficiently. That infrastructure will consist of hardware, networks, mission-critical applications, security, back up, recovery and much, much more. It requires a special set of expertise, both from a technical and a business standpoint, in order to maintain and continually improve it. Such staff is hard to come by and even harder to retain. Meanwhile, regulations and rapidly shifting market conditions mean that infrastructure is getting more and more complex and more and more critical. How is this problem to be tackled and at what cost?

Delta Energy is one company that has solved this problem and gained enormous benefits from its approach in doing so. When Michel Koornstra became head of Energy Trading at Delta, he inherited a very familiar problem to many in the industry. The company was using an ETRM solution that was already 6-years old. “We had workarounds on our workarounds,” he says, and that was only a part of the issue. The support requirements on Internal IT were so high and cumbersome that they didn’t have the luxury of following the ETRM software market. Day-to-day firefighting activities prevented them from utilizing their time around its ETRM software to properly support the best in class trading operation that he wanted to build.

Read the document online or download it from the CTRM Center A Managed Services approach to Trading IT Excellence