Robust Program Management

We believe in “no-surprises” when it comes to project delivery and the number one way to achieve this is through program management. A collaborative project culture is established that encourages transparency and adherence to the communication protocols outlined in the program management procedures.

Guiding Principles

Sucess Drivers

  • Transparency along the way
  • Honest with feedback and outcomes ​​
  • Utilization of SME expertise and industry standards along the way
  • No surprises – ensure detailed communication beyond surface-level metric tracking
  • Establishment of a Steering Committee with regular touchpoints 
  • Access to key resources
  • Acceptable level of access to relevant documentation, systems, and reports
  • Strong stakeholder communication throughout the process 

Ready to Explore Upgrading Your CTRM?

Leverage a partner with best-in-class functional and technical expertise to manage and deploy your upgrade on time and on budget.

Training Approach

Training is integrated from inception to the end of the project. We engage the users in training during phases 1 and 2 of the upgrade process. Our team will work side by side with the users to validate the system, and provide informal one-on-one training as well as knowledge-sharing sessions, essentially helping the users “learn by doing”.

Just as testing does not begin with UAT, training does not begin with UATDuring the Upgrade Assessment phase, we establish a collaborative culture with the message, “Endur expertise is on site, feel free to engage with your questions about Endur.” We engage the users during phases 1 and 2 of the upgrade process. In addition to the training embedded in our methodology, formal training at the start of UAT is provided. We edit our training materials to use actual examples to provide a meaningful training experience.  The training experience does not end at go-live. 

The training approach has four elements to execute training. The first element is Training Plan & Documentation. During this, a training plan is developed based on the impact assessment and changes. The second element is testing the training material and identifying individual training needs and deficiencies. The third element focuses on training delivery, where the training participation is tracked. The last element is about refreshing and reinforcing training which details additional training if required.

Our Hyper Care team will ensure that your users are trained in any new functionality or changes to the system. It’s a support phase that follows immediately after the Upgrade Go-Live to ensure seamless adoption. 

Ready to Explore Upgrading Your CTRM?

Leverage a partner with best-in-class functional and technical expertise to manage and deploy your upgrade on time and on budget.

Reasons for Upgrading Your Endur Platform

Companies typically evaluate upgrading their ETRM software platforms when the quality or value of the product needs the adoption of new processes or technology; which requires them to adapt to markets, products, economic conditions, and business opportunities, or to comply with policies keeping them up to date on the latest software. 

Endur upgrades are essential when the company needs improved quality results around business changes, function, and technical requirements. The decision to upgrade Endur platform is influenced by various technical and business benefits.

Technical Benefits:

Business Benefits:

JVS advanced scripting language enables integration of downstream and upstream applications of any system

Previous versions are working on the servers whereas the upgraded versions of Endur operate on cloud

APM is the upgraded feature of Endur that analyses the risk exposure of position in the market

Purging of data for crucial events helps to easily maintain the DB

Supports multiple commodities Nomination and invoice generation, support for PPAs, and managing transportation and storage considerations

Provides Real-Time and Standard Reports, Configurable central workflow engine, Graphical UI

Features like Transaction security, Audit trails, Activity logs, User authentication, and Multi-step approval process help reduce the risk of data loss. The transition of the script engine to grid cluster/engine operations reinforces better performance stability

Improved Dynamic portfolios and cross-asset coverage help to evaluate prospective business opportunities

The scheduling interface for nomination creation and transport spread valuation is configured with segmented transportation

Endur Upgrade Strategies

Your upgrade strategy needs to be planned for the deployment of new Endur releases in accordance with the pre-defined goals. Whether it’s resolving a defined protocol or working on a broader variety of fixes or implementing a new release altogether, Value Creed offers solutions across all stages.

The Upgrade Process

The CUE Method – “Clean Up & Explore” 

The CUE method requires stale data Cleanup before the upgrade followed by Exploration of new features post the upgrade.

Clean Up helps to enhance the data quality, avoid blob failure, gather business requirements, and understand the processes. Exploration helps you to add functionality before & after the upgrade along with the use of JVS.

Parallel to the upgrade phases, we focus on Robust Program Management, Training Approach, and Infrastructure Assessment. 

 

This phase aims to establish governance, set objectives, and conduct various impact analyses to develop state infrastructure designs, confirm to-be processes and identify class events to be retired versus remediated

 

    • Stakeholder Assessment - Confirming user groups​ and Initiating impact & risk assessment
    • Communication Strategy - Defining baseline communication plan by stakeholders
    • Impact Assessment​ - Defining baseline processes and roles by process​, estimating the amount of change, and determining roles
    • Stakeholder Engagement​ - Involving key stakeholders in design sessions to confirm opportunities for improvement

 

This phase encompasses initiating the technical upgrade process and observing its efficiency. It runs end-to-end tests of complex transactions and remediates all issues. Additionally, it includes the creation of detailed Training documents and providing ongoing hands-on training on new functionalities

 

    • Migration - Configuration of modules, pipeline model, settlement, and Net valuation. Environment set-up and database upgrade​ followed by extension remediation
    • Validation - Validating business processes, interfaces, class events, reports, & integration and performing remediation
    • User Review Sessions​ - Engaging users in agile cycles including issues and potential solutions
    • Stakeholder Tracking ​- Review stakeholder engagement based on quantitative metrics and qualitative assessment
    • Delivery Communications - Formal communications to executives and users to engage and update
    • Training Plan & Documentation​ – Modeling, structuring, and tailoring training materials according to individual training needs. Testing training documents against business processes​ by users

 

This phase ensures that the upgraded system can run in parallel and produce similar numbers at the same time as the Production system and mimic all activities of the trade life cycle in the new system as a full test of upgraded system functionality​. During the go-live our Hyper Care team will take the lead for system support to ensure seamless adoption

 

    • Refresh & Reinforcement Training​ – Delivery of additional training as needed
    • Support Communications – 24/7 support hotline​ along with daily issues and remediation report
    • Stakeholder Assessment​ – Qualitative assessment of stakeholder change adoption ​with a remediation plan for stakeholders
    • User Acceptance Testing​ – Tracking of engagement within UAT​ and Communicating results
    • Training​ – Superuser desk guide and small group sessions​ in addition to Custom-made sessions during parallel period

Ready to Explore Upgrading Your CTRM?

Leverage a partner with best-in-class functional and technical expertise to manage and deploy your upgrade on time and on budget.

Moving Your CTRM Database from On-Prem Oracle to Cloud-based SQL Server

Run Smart CTRM/ETRM platform managed services enable application managers to be more proactive in resolving reporting and processing errors in advance of your daily start. In this post, we examine the dominance of Oracle, while unlocking Microsoft SQL Server’s comparable functionality, cost savings, and scalability achieved by moving your on-premise solution to the cloud.  

The truth is – for much of the last decade – Microsoft’s SQL Server was viewed as less expensive and less sophisticated than Oracle. Since then, however, MS SQL Server has closed the gaps in features and power, while maintaining its cost leadership position and delivering distinct advantages in terms of ease of use and uptime. 

Reasons to Move Your CTRM Platform Database to SQL on Azure

Cost

Value Creed has helped many clients make this conversion and has found significant initial and ongoing cost savings. Microsoft’s unit license cost is about 15 percent of Oracle’s. In addition, real-time-bidding costs with SQL average $10,000 less per year. In total, a typical on-premise CTRM system that costs $75,000 the first year running on Oracle would cost only about $15,000 on Microsoft SQL on the Azure cloud.

Compatibility

The ubiquitous Microsoft workflow – the de facto industry standard – also makes it easier for technicians to troubleshoot, diagnose, and debug communications problems between the application and the database. Basing SQL Server in Azure brings Microsoft’s technical expertise to bear, making it easier to find support. As a third-party, Java-driven product, Oracle’s diagnostic and repair process can be less straightforward.

Compatibility

The most widely-used CTRM platforms were developed using Microsoft technology, so you can be sure it will not only work with Windows, it has been optimized to perform at its best using the Microsoft interface.

User Experience

Because Oracle originally developed more features and capabilities it necessarily required additional complexity. That makes it more difficult for many people to use. On the other hand, most users are familiar with Microsoft interfaces, making SQL Server more intuitive.

Oracle to SQL Database Conversion with Value Creed 

Value Creed’s Run Smart™ CTRM managed services deliver optimal performance based on your objectives, data environment, and the number of users. Backed by Value Creed’s expertise, Run Smart™ streamlines SQL database conversions and helps commodities traders reap the cost-savings and efficiencies inherent in a cloud-platform database.

Our database conversions and data migration from Oracle on-premise to SQL on Azure incorporates elegant back-end integrations with a total workflow plan that saves you money both during the SQL conversion and throughout the life of the project. We implement a multi-step process that coordinates efforts throughout your organization. 

Take Your CTRM Platform to the Cloud 

Value Creed’s dedicated professionals and proven Run Smart™ approach gives you the confidence that your switch to SQL Server will be completed professionally and that the system will operate flawlessly on the cloud. We start with a holistic diagnosis of your current database situation, including the conceptualization of how your organization’s needs should be met through the new system. 

From there, that analysis will inform how we convert schema, scripts, and applications so they integrate seamlessly with the cloud-based SQL Server. Once data is migrated, we perform iterative testing, tuning, and customization to guarantee your database and server are fully functional from day one.  

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and Cloud Migration

#1 Overcoming Data Integration Breakdowns For Seamless Daily Starts

Every CTRM/ETRM platform is responsible for aggregating prices, tracking positions, and creating reports for decision-making.  But spending half a day or more searching over potentially failed processes like:

Value Creed helps you leverage the expertise of our team and the one-on-one personalized account management and troubleshooting led by leading CTRM platform experts with over ten years of experience. We’ll show you how you can resolve common run operate challenges before they happen.

#2 How To Proactively Overcome Reporting Integration Failure for CTRM Platforms

Value Creed’s Run Smart CTRM Managed Services runs in conjunction with your reporting system to ensure your pricing, credit, risk, and other reports are complete and accurate so have the most complete information for basing your positioning decisions in the format you need and commodity managers can use.

 

#3: Cloud & Database Monitoring & Maintenance

With our Cloud & Database Managed services the CTRM platforms perform at 99% uptime, delivering reliability for your team and lower overall cost of ownership over the long-term. 

Whether your CTRM is hosted on-prem or in the cloud, our Managed Services team ensures availability and fine tunes your environment to improve performance.

#4 What Do I Do about “Crazy Crude Prices:” Be Prepared for the Unexpected

The unprecedented demand-killing consequences of COVID-19 and abnormal behavior from market participants under stress show that markets for any commodity are subject to extreme and unexpected volatility.

Value Creed’s Run Smart™ Managed Services include dual timezone coverage, so there is always someone monitoring your data inputs.

No matter what time of day or night the crazy data rears its ugly head, a Value Creed CTRM/ETRM platform expert will immediately begin reconciling it and rectifying any errors it causes.

Value Creed has automated the process of searching for and isolating outliers as they occur. By isolating the cause of errors in real time, we empower data users to begin remediating them right away.

#5: Keeping Value At Risk (VaR) Reports On Track

Value at risk (VaR) is one of the most useful risk calculations, as it allows for a consistent analysis of positions and price movements for a given portfolio across time.

Value Creed’s integrated CRTM managed service platform, Run Smart™, is easily customizable to any business model. 

 

Run Smart™ interfaces with downstream reporting software and upstream transaction-reporting and data sources. Its reporting capabilities capture, collect, and present real-time market updates, physical stores and portfolio positions.

 Every night, Run Smart™ evaluates the calculated VaR for the portfolio or selected segment with the confidence interval, loss limit, and timeframe established by the user.

Want The Full Story?

This post is our series, 5 Reasons for Choosing Run Smart™ CTRM Managed Services.  Learn more about key reasons for moving to Value Creed’s Run Smart Managed services with these posts:

Value Creed's Run Smart Managed Services Start at $3,500 a month

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We highlight how a global trading house wanted to change the methodology to calculate the portfolio exposures from one currency to another that was offered by the standard ETRM.

CHALLENGE

CALCULATING YOUR PORTFOLIO EXPOSURE

The energy industry is experiencing a rapid transformation with North America, Europe and Asia evolving as an interconnected global Energy market. Commodity prices are tying major global energy participants to each other with the European and the Middle Eastern trading hubs being heavily correlated.

However, as volatility is still common in the energy markets companies are now also dealing with a different set of risks.

Value Creed’s team has helped one of their global energy trading houses to overcome this challenge by understanding their current business process, analysing the implementation of their trading business in their ETRM system and then tweaking it to deliver the desired outcome. 

CURRENT AND EXPECTED RESULTS

If you observe the above the case there is a 1.1k approx USD exposure difference

SOLUTION AND OUTCOME

Value Creed implemented a solution on top of an existing ETRM valuation engine to accept multiple currencies to value the portfolio, new rules for the exposure calculations, stored the results and displayed the new real portfolio value.

The real insights give power to the business to plan an action and know when to implement it. The client has achieved:  

Real Portfolio visibility

The implemented solution gave the trading desk real visibility of their portfolio exposures.

Adequate Risk Management

The implemented solution helped the Derivatives and FX team to create more sophisticated hedging strategies.

Real visibility for accounting and compliance

They were able to report the correct P&L by entities and eliminate the FX differences.​

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