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ComFin Relishes Its newly found Flexibility

ComFin has been around quite a while. It started as part of PVM Group before becoming independent in 2005 offering ETRM software solutions in the global oil and gas sector. At the end of 2018, ComFin underwent another change in ownership being bought out by N & D Beteiligungs-GmbH, a holding company co-owned by ComFin CEO, Mr. Gerald Neher, and his business partner Mr. Gunther Dauner. Mr. Neher had spent 13 years prior to that as an employee and 8 years as CEO of the company and he described it as a ‘logical next step’ when I spoke to him a week or so ago. “The acquisition offers us better flexibility as a company and the current shareholders have a better understanding of our customers,” he told me.

Comcore is ComFin’s flagship product and it has made a lot of progress with it, Mr. Neher told me. It is now live at three customer sites and several existing Bulldog users are considering switching to it as well. ComFin’s existing product trademarks – Comcore and TheBulldog are unaffected by the acquisition though ComFin’s focus will shift towards more custom-made solutions. “ComFin will offer off the shelf products but can also customize or even offer entirely new modules based on the Comcore platform going forward. We are also developing a set of smart tools like collectors, data analysis tools and so on developed from scratch.”

In terms of progress with Comcore, however, ComFin has in recent months added a new invoice manager that can directly connect to third-party accounting solutions, added new workflow around user tasks that help guide users through the system and helps to manage their busy days. Built on a .Net framework, Mr. Neher says it was built for flexibility and although it is clearly targeted at oil and gas, it can also be adapted for coal, metals and/or ags.

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“ComFin has always been focused on oil and gas,” he told me. “We still have people that have been with ComFin since 1997 who understand the industry extremely well.” Mr. Neher also sees the company’s willingness to customize as a differentiator and has even sold the source code to one customer allowing it to develop on top of the ComFin code while ComFin supported them. Of course, over the last few years, the oil and gas side has also got a bit more competitive with cloud-native offerings like ION Aspect and Inatech, amongst others entering the market. Despite that, ComFin remains strong in Europe, the Middle East and Asia he told us in terms of customers and is looking to focus on Africa and Latin America in the future.