GDPR is the new General Data Protection Regulation from the European Union (EU) which comes into effect in May 2018.Its intention is to strengthen and unify data protection in an increasingly digitalized world for all individuals within the EU. Personal information is defined as an ‘identifiable natural person’, whether it relates to private of professional life. For example, as part of counterparty contact information, John Doe, Trader at Energy Corporation would be an identifiable person. Moreover, MiFID II reporting now includes natural person data as well. GDPR will require companies to adopt much stricter processes in dealing with customer data. How to comply with new data management practices: an integrated C/ETRM system!
We don’t need to dwell on how we are living in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced world. Conditions that put pressure on companies to change. Not just their markets, operations, and organizations but also their beliefs. Those willing to take risk, step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards. The current playbook just doesn’t work anymore, and neither do legacy C/ETRM systems or established expectations on how to implement them. Those ageing designs do not provide the flexibility to evolve with the business, while modern C/ETRM systems are implemented in months instead of years. “So, why get out of your comfort zone and implement a Next Generation C/ETRM system? Because that’s where the magic happens!
The past years have seen an emergence of renewable electricity generation which caused a shift to short-term and intraday trading. Traders use the intraday market to optimize their position to reduce risks associated with unexpected imbalance prices charged by the TSOs, while others see the Intraday Market as an important tool for their portfolio management. Renewable generation is less predictable, introducing volatility, where positions may change rapidly and decisions are based on multiple information sources. To manage exposures and capitalize on opportunities, it requires a live, real-time system with automated market connections to the SPOT markets; Intraday Markets: Real Money in near Real Time!
Digitization is the process of converting information from analog into a digital (i.e. computer-readable) format. It increases the efficiency of business processes. In the field of commodity/energy trading, C/ETRM systems provide a solution to accomplish this. To further improve the efficiency and speed of those work flows, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is being introduced to reduce or eliminate the repetitive processes through a virtual worker, especially the routine and rules-driven tasks in the back office. However, to enable configuration of the virtual worker or robot, the business process must be digital and automated. Yet, surveys reveal that manual processes with little armies of settlement analyst’s are still very common in the back office. You can’t put the cart before the horse: you need to digitize before you robotize!
Most market participants will not have missed the activities around upcoming changes on the regulatory and accounting side. While most are aware, are most also ready? Time is running out with the first change as soon as November 1, and significant other changes effective by January 2018. Revisions to EMIR will be up first. For those in energy and commodity trading, MIFID II Regulatory Technical Change 20 and 21 are important. MIFID II will also activate a few parts of MAR. Finally, IFRS standard 9, which industry watchers expect most companies to fully adopt, has amandatory effective date for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018.
Across Europe, consumers choose renewable electricity and do so on a large scale. In both liberalized and monopolized markets consumers are having an increased influence on the production of electricity by specifying the product they wish to use. Guarantee of Origin (GO) certificates are issued to renewable energy producers and the electronic document is used to guarantee to consumers that the energy delivered is produced from renewable resources. The issuance upon production, and cancellation upon consumption, is managed through registries. In the European common energy market, energy can be produced in one EU country and delivered to consumers in another. So, in order to manage GO certificates across multiple registries, and supporting differentiating customer product offerings, is your system guaranteed a ‘GO’?
While recognizing its importance to an efficient and effective trading process, for many trading firms it still takes a laborious and manual effort to know who their approved counterparties are, which products they can trade, and to access certification and compliance paperwork. The quality of products delivered as well as increasing food safety legislation, require proper controls to protect reputations and comply with regulatory rules. At the same time, when those controls are inefficient they will impact the business. In an age of digitalization, the successful commodity trading firms have automated this. Do you have your trading partners’ information and offering at your fingertips, or is this a Soft Spot for you?
Next Generation C/ETRM Solutions
When C/ETRM systems were introduced 20 years ago, the goal was to automate the complex and routine tasks and business processes of commodity trading, eliminating manual processes, reducing costly errors, minimizing operational risk and increasing efficiency. Today we live in an age of digital transformation, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and much more, with the goal to be agile, streamlined, efficient and harness the ability to leverage opportunities. While some of those cutting-edge technologies certainly cross the path of C/ETRM systems, industry surveys tell us that even the original automation goals have not been realized by the legacy solutions. Next-generation C/ETRM systems take advantage of the latest technology and deliver functionality to do more with less.
Companies undertaking implementation of C/ETRM systems seek to reduce the risk of delays and exceeding budget. Actively collaborating creates a foundation for finding effective solutions and an environment where both vendor and customer have skin in the game and failure is not an option. To accommodate this process, following an iterative implementation methodology such as an Agile process is imperative. This approach provides flexibility and adaptability to changes that invariably arise during the process and is designed to deliver small “wins” that demonstrate success, project momentum and therefore a positive customer experience.