Next Top ten reasons Etrm-Ctrm & Emis system implementations fail!

Post by admin on August 30, 2011

Re-posted-Next Top ten (6-10+) reasons Etrm-Ctrm & Emis system implementations fail!

The following depicts the Front-mid-to back-office complexities associated with delivering comprehensive Ctrm-Etrm & Emis solutions…so how can you avoid a failure in delivering this often complex business software: 

enterprise-risk-bubble-diagra,For the previous 1-5 of 10 reasons Etrm, Ctrm & Emis Implementations fail… see above “popular posts” to trading risk blog. Also we suggest you subscribe to trading risk blog we offer a convenient email subscription on the upper right hand corner =>

Thank you for your interest in the next 5 (6-10) reasons Etrm-Ctrm & Emis system implementations fail and how to avoid the pitfalls!

#6-10 with a bonus 11:

6. Users are not part of the implementation process resulting in disappointing results; Expanding on pitfall #2, end-users need to be involved in the process to get what they want. The more they are involved the more likely they will be happy with the results of the software implementation. This is not always easy to attain considered pitfall #2 however it is critical. Demand that the end-users involve themselves by working with the vendor to set requirements sessions. For cooperation be aware of work load schedules and try to schedule around critical times of the day, for example a trader is much more likely to cooperate after the days trading …after NYMEX close etc. Requirements can be gathered in several forms i.e. 1. Joint Application Design (JAD) sessions– JAD is a good approach for organizations that have individuals that are reluctant to participate or do not know how to articulate Etrm-Ctrm requirements 2. Scoping sessions are requirements gathering meetings that are designed to flush out requirement details and are usually adequate in getting necessary requirements if the organization. users are cooperative. The results should clearly define Etrm project (iterative) goals or be milestone (delivery) oriented to avoid rouge projects; a serious problem that has plagued the Etrm-Ctrm, Emis software vendor space.

7. Product is not flexible enough to meet stringent or unique requirements. Expanding on pitfall #1,… a flexible product is a must in today’s energy commodity trading and risk management Etrm-Ctrm and emissions information management system–Emis business. Again, every client does business differently and just because a software vendor says they have delivered a particular commodity with a previous client, be careful because your shop is probably not managing the commodity the same way. This is where expensive customization takes a toll on implementation budgets; seek vendors that are easily configurable not requiring coding changes to meet unique requirements.

8. Product cannot scale and/or has latency issues. This is usually a result of a poor architecture or a poorly integrated product and/or old technologies. Be aware that many Etrm- Ctrm and Emis software vendor companies have acquired software functionality and interfaced them, probably not truely integrated them. When push comes to shove on Etrm-Ctrm/Emis system latency issues occur …this is where systems break down. Be sure that the system is stress tested properly and/or that the vendor has built their product organically with no integration points. One red flag is a vendor that has grown product functionality through acquisition…in this case there will be issues. Issues can come in many forms, latency, bugs, multiple interfaced applications in a single database and more.

9. Product is not open architected and hard to integrate into existing IT environment. Older Etrm, Ctrm & Emis software vendor products struggle to integrate with existing environments requiring expensive application programming interface (API) adapters. Seek vendors that offer “ease of integration” with many options for building API’s. Also, they should not charge for adapters that reusable and are considered strategic to their product offering, for example an ICE adapter. Seek products that have a proven track record of working with existing IT environments including legacy applications. This is easier said than done, be careful, all vendors make the open architecture claim, however rarely are they truly open requiring heavy customization for adapters to work properly.

This is a big pitfall and a failure point in many implementations. To avoid this identify mission critical interfaces and make the vendor prove their ability in a proof of concept. Additionally, you should seek a fixed price for the interface and seek newer technology architecture frameworks that offer “truly” open protocols, for example middleware, web services, XML and more.

10. Customization is too expensive and scope is not well defined leading to implementation cost exposure. This happens more than you think and the dollars lost are staggering. If the vendors product gaps are extensive, be careful. A good rule is the product should meet at a minimum 80% of requirements. This is where rogue Etrm Ctrm, Emis & RECs software projects start! Be sure you have well defined requirements with iterations tied to a well defined scope with realistic goals & milestones etc.  Gathering of requirements can be challenging, demand an initial scoping sessions or requirements gathering joint application design (JAD) sessions. You may also demand payment upon milestone achievement, this would lower the risk of a project going rogue. Remember once you get in too deep it is almost impossible to pull the plug…if early milestones are not being met kill the project and seek an alternative vendor.

Bonus  11. One more pitfall to consider…Thinking about hiring an independent Etrm, Emis consulting firm to help you choose a vendor? While firms in the know can be very helpful, be careful, many are aligned with vendors that look out for their best interests. Do not think that consultancies always have your best interest in mind. Remember they are in the game to make consulting dollars, the more consulting, the more they make. Be careful of consultancies that claim to be independent yet often are recommending products with heavy customization needed. Check them out and find out what vendors they are frequently recommending and the consulting dollars associated with implementation. The amount spent on implementation can be staggering, 3-10 times the cost of software to implement.

Seek  an Etrm -Ctrm/ Emis software vendor that has their own quality delivery staff and that averages 1-2 times or less the cost of software to implementation. Request a fixed priced implementation cost and hold them to it…if they will not offer this …seek another vendor; doing this will drastically lower the delivery risk!

About Pioneer Solutions LLC

Pioneer Solutions is a global provider of commodity and environmental management software products serving some of the largest Utilities in the US and Europe. We offer comprehensive and affordable Ctrm-Etrm solutions that are designed to meet your needs today and tomorrow without the need for expensive coding. All of Pioneer’s products are powered by the advanced Financial and Regulatory Risk Management System (FARRMS) all web and template-based technology architecture.

Built from the back office forward, our leading-edge, template and formula-driven, Ctrm-Etrm solution called “TRMTracker” can easily adapt to unique business requirements and integrate with existing systems. In addition to the FARRMS technology platform, Pioneer provides consulting, implementation and environmental reporting products and services.

Visit us at for more information on our products including our Dodd-Frank turnkey SDR reporting solution offering.

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