Questions to ask your ETRM vendor – Part 1

If you’re in the field of energy trading and you’re looking for a new ETRM solution, what questions should you be asking potential vendors?

From our experience, there are technical questions worth asking your ETRM vendor before you commit to implementing their solution.

We answer some key questions that we might be asked by businesses considering our enTrader® ETRM solution for their energy trading.

Do you provide a comprehensive and open API to all functionality in your system using a standard, widely used technology such as SOAP or REST?

Contigo provides three comprehensive APIs:

  • A REST API for querying and data extraction
  • A SOAP API for command and control, data creation and automation
  • An event driven .NET API for customisation of workflows, processes and data manipulation

This gives you access to all features in a consistent and secure manner, allowing you to build and maintain interfaces in a similarly consistent, supported manner.

Why is this important? Some vendors may not provide a proper API. In this case, integration usually requires a bespoke interface or API to be developed by the vendor, often making it difficult and expensive to integrate with their product.

How do you handle extending the system to meet a client’s specific needs?

Contigo has designed enTrader to fully support client-specific extensibility. We have a single version of our core code, so do not have separate core branches to maintain.  All our clients can use the same version of the code; upgrading to the latest version is simple and straightforward.

We can also write bespoke code for client-specific interfaces or validation, and bespoke pieces of work become part of the clients’ release packages going forward.

Why is our method beneficial? Some vendors can find it difficult to extend their application to meet particular client needs and can end up creating separate branches for each client.  While this solves the problem in the short term, it creates an ongoing issue when it comes to managing upgrades and can be expensive to support. 

Is your implementation and upgrade process fully automated and backwardly compatible?

As a Contigo client, you can upgrade at any time to the latest version of the software, which we generally release on a quarterly basis.  The license to the new version is included in your support contract.  The upgrade process is simple, backwardly compatible and fully supports an implementation that has client-specific customisations and extensions.

Can you easily apply upgrades to the software, including handling of customer-specific extensions?

We work with clients to ensure a smooth integration of the upgrade process. The upgrade process is automated, can be run in minutes, and can incorporate automated regression and smoke tests to verify a successful upgrade. 

Contigo allows clients to run the upgrade process themselves and all upgrades are included in the support contract; no additional license fees are payable to move to the latest version.

Why is this process good for clients? For some C/ETRMs, a new license fee is payable when you upgrade to a new version of the software and this can be expensive.  With Contigo, all upgrades to your licensed modules are include in your support contract.  You can choose when and if to upgrade.

Find out more

We’ll be posting more questions to ask soon, but in the meantime, our overview of enTrader can give you a good insight into the benefits of our scalable and extensible software solution. You can download our brochure here.

If you have a question you’d want to know if you were considering our ETRM software solutions, we’d be happy to answer it, so please do get in touch.