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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Modern CTRM database management demands flexibility in scaling, fast data processing, and cost efficiency. Cloud-native solutions can provide these benefits with more power, more storage, and lower costs.
Moving your existing CTRM software to the cloud brings several key advantages over remaining on-premise.
If an existing application provides functional value, is inexpensive to run, and aligns with your company’s technology strategy, it may be worth retaining as is and not moving to the cloud.
Oftentimes, changing business needs result in underutilized and/or unnecessary applications. Consider getting rid of existing applications that aren’t being utilized at a high rate or no longer offer needed capabilities to avoid paying for unused capacity.
If an application can be replaced with a SaaS solution, it can lead to reduced runtime costs. Ultimately, you need to consider the customization, integration, and process options before making that call.
Moving functionality to a cloud-native solution means switching to a pay-as-you-go plan. Simply shifting applications to the cloud as an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) when they’re not optimized for it can be cost prohibitive, running 24 hours a day at peak load. Assess whether the application be consumed on a subscription basis or outsourced to reduce load on your cloud infrastructure.
If you can upgrade an application or replace key back-end components to enhance existing infrastructure by employing DevOps, it can result in cost benefits in terms of system runtime and maintenance overhead. Incorporating an infrastructure as code mindset into a cloud environment greatly increases storage and computing capabilities.
SQL delivers cloud-based processing power at a third of Oracle’s database hosting cost for the same hosting capacity. Switching to SQL as part of your digital transformation creates value in several ways, including:
All this, in 11 short months.
Timely data and flexible pay and scale on-demand databases are in demand to serve modern CTRM database management needs. In fact, Forbes has determined that by 2025 more than 80 percent of companies will employ cloud-based commodity trading software to optimize and expedite their workflows. In addition, Azure Cloud users take advantage of purpose-built platform integrations and responsive customer support from Microsoft.
Of CTRM Platforms will be
Cloud-Based by 2025
The cloud solves the storage problem, but energy and commodities traders often receive a nasty sticker shock when they decide to move their Oracle database from on-premises deployment to the cloud as part of their CTRM upgrade process. For many, Oracle cloud deployment is cost-prohibitive, with a unit license costing as much as $60,000. SQL delivers cloud-based processing power at about $10,000 with RTB fees of around $5,000 – a third of Oracle’s rate.
Oracle Database Hosting Cost
$60,000 + for Oracle cloud hosting
SQL Database Hosting Cost
$10,000 – $15,000 for the same hosting capacity, and
deployed in the Azure Cloud
The licensing fee for Oracle cloud deployment increases exponentially, leading many to make a clean break and switch to the SQL server as part of their digital transformation to Azure Cloud. This creates value in several ways:
Naturally, Oracle makes switching out of its relational database management system (RDBMS) as complicated as possible. Only an experienced conversion and migration consultant should be entrusted to handle these intricate and nuanced tasks:
Engaging with Value Creed gives commodity management software users a partner that is experienced in both upgrades and cloud management to ensure quick implementation and full realization of benefits of their digital transformation:
With decades of expertise in CTRM/ETRM platforms, Value Creed’s team of functional and technical experts define a migration roadmap inclusive of business processes, workflows, data format requirements, integrations, extensions and destination data format requirements. This thorough approach ensures shorter testing cycles and seamless migration from on-premise data stores to cloud-based data stores. Rely on Value Creed’s proven cloud migration approach founded on continuous improvement.
That said, the cloud migration process requires planning, forethought, and significant regression testing to ensure continued seamless operations.
Migrating traditionally on-premise applications like CTRMs is a major step to a modern technical architecture. We affirm this decision by performing a multi-faceted testing process for a successful migration. In our practice, we use the following testing phases:
Functional testing is done for quality evaluation of applications during and after conversion, to uncover defects, and to assess the production readiness of migrated applications. Functional testing helps to reduce the attendant risks after going live.
Specific to a cloud implementation, the focus of functional testing includes several additional facets for consideration beyond the scope of typical extension/upgrade testing. These include the following:
Value Creed’s CTRM Functional experts follow a well-integrated process by documenting end-to-end business test case scenarios. These business scenarios are designed to not only focus on the current migration but also keep future business requirements in mind, planning for the future growth of the business.
We utilize best-in-class automated and manual test administration and reporting tools such as QMetry and Test Complete to ensure full visibility of test cases, bug identification and remediation, and reporting across your organization.
Value Creed’s CTRM experts have decades’ worth of successful go lives, with 100 percent test pass rates. We assist in all areas of testing:
Providing manual testing results
Bug tracking and resolution
Documenting contract-to-cash scenarios according to business requirements
Creating and uploading test scripts to Qmetry
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A well-known chain of gasoline service stations improved its performance, accessibility and security with CTRM Cloud Services and CTRM Cloud Infrastructure and Monitoring. Thanks to Value Creed’s expertise, the client has a future-proof infrastructure stack leveraging the flexibility of the cloud, as well as full ownership and control over its data.
Learn more about how cloud CTRM software transformed the client’s digital strategy.
Read the full case study:
Cloud hosting brings greater agility and efficiency to your CTRM platform. However, migrating, upgrading, and managing your cloud-based CTRM requires deep expertise in order to facilitate the transition process.
Value Creed offers three distinct services to ensure your CTRM cloud hosting experience runs and maintains smoothly, creating a continuity of service unparalleled in the commodity trading sector.
Moving your existing CTRM software to the cloud brings several key advantages over remaining on-premise:
Best of all, moving your existing on-premise CTRM to the cloud future-proofs your business, building an infrastructure for faster, cost-effective upgrades no matter what comes next.
If your current CTRM is outdated or in need of an upgrade, Value Creed’s expert consultants can perform an upgrade as part of a cloud migration project.
Moving your CTRM platform to the cloud requires CTRM/ETRM specific expertise. Once in the cloud or hybrid cloud – managing the platform long term can be a burden.
See how Managed Services works with our comprehensive cloud offerings in the detailed video below:
When a pioneering gas and electric utility company began to upgrade their CTRM, they quickly faced several challenges: outdated systems, slow performance, and extensive complex customizations. With Value Creed’s support, the company was able to achieve a 60% reduction in long-term infrastructure costs and more.
60% reduction in long-term infrastructure costs
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