So after what seems now to have been almost an eternity I am back from my travels. Taking in Barcelona and Budapest, I first set out to be a keynote presenter at Allegro‘s European Customer Summit with it’s theme of A New Age of Innovation in Barcelona the week before last. The Summit was very well attended, a lot of fun and a good study in catching up with Allegro’s strategy and product as well as most of the company’s management team. I actually gave a keynote on day 1 of the event and then participated on a regulatory panel along with Aviv Handler of ETR Advisory and Reiner LandGraf, product manager for Allegro. Amongst the Allegro management, staff, customers and partners, I met some people I had not seen in a very long time such as Michael Hinton, Randy Asire (we go back to an old TransEnergy client in the late 1990s!), and Rick Rivich of Deloitte. It was great to see them as well as meet CEO, Ray Hood and SVP of Marketing, Melanie Ofenloch and her team of marketeers at the event. My thanks to Allegro for the invite and their hospitality.
From Barcelona, I made my journey to Budapest via Prague. In Budapest, I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of the newer players on the energy trading scene in the form of IP Systems Ltd. They are a consultancy and IT solution provider specializing in services and solutions for the liberalized energy market and they also sponsored the Conference I was there for later in the week. If you have never heard of IP Systems Ltd, you should take a look at their web pages as they actually have done quite a lot of work in the region in and around energy and have a good amount of expertise to offer as well.
Finally, I ended up at the Synergy Conference Energy Trading Central and Eastern Europe. It was very well attended and I met a lot of people that I knew and was able to catch up with people from Brady PLC, Trayport and Trayport Contigo, IP Systems, Allegro, CEZ and Ezpada amongst others but I have to say I was a bit disappointed by many of the presentations really. I had hoped to learn more than I did. The first morning really only told me something that I already knew – along with many others in the region I suppose – which was that while central planning is subject to delays and disagreements, local private initiatives make swift progress…. Translated, this means that the EU single market targeted for this year probably isn’t going to happen due to lots of issues, delays and disagreements (many of which seem to be related to the practicalities of flow-based market coupling) while local initiatives involving commercial entities and a common objective all seem to have been successful. The concept was that the CEE region would be joining a project in progress when it came to broader market coupling rather than something that was fully functioning as envisaged by the EU.
Oh well, the Trader’s Party was good.