I recently spoke with Mohammed Alanizi, Commercial Director, Brady Technologies. He had recently co-authored a white paper on the latest trends in ETRM that had caught my attention. Mohammed told me that Igloo, Brady’s SaaS ETRM, had had a long development history starting with energy hedge funds and gradually moving into a broader market adding more and more functionality, curves, markets, and so on. In fact, it had a 5-year development cycle before it was even officially launched, he told me. He cited this depth of functionality in its target markets, front to back office intuitive design, and availability as a managed service as its differentiators in the market. In particular, he talked about its front office design as a contrast to legacy ETRM solutions that focus more on back office needs. “Igloo offers exceptional levels of automation to support the full trading life cycle along with a trader cockpit – all in real-time,” he said. Indeed, he was quick to inform me of a lot of features and functions that he feels are strong differentiators for Igloo.
One of the target markets for Igloo is those trading in “multiple commodities that want a quick-to-deploy SaaS E/CTRM solution with a trader-led UX, and fast connectivity to all the major exchanges,“ according to Brady’s website. Mohammed though added that Igloo targets both multi commodity markets, as well as energy specific traders – creating nomination and scheduling reports for gas and power. ” I would say that we are currently rather evenly split between the two,” he told me. “It has an installed base of entities like hedge funds, optimizers, asset-based and asset-light traders, and utilities to date and, although the system grew out of European physical gas and power, it is now also handling multiple commodities, even beyond energy, for financial trading”. It also brings a lot of automation to the users, and he quoted a customer that had suggested that they saved 75% of their operational costs due to the automation built into the solution. Additionally, being delivered as a SaaS solution, it has a different payment model in the form of subscriptions that some find more optimal than a large upfront license.
Mohammed was also eager to contrast older, legacy ETRMs that do not have a focus on the trader and may lack some functionality and/or market coverage. With the Igloo platform, some users take a supplemental approach and use Igloo to fill in any gaps with a legacy solution. “Sometimes, the legacy solution becomes highly customized and difficult to replace or its too expensive to extend it to a new desk or location. Supplementing it with a solution like Igloo then becomes a good and cost-effective option.” It can work both with other Brady solutions as well as third-party ETRMs, he said.
Igloo is also doing well with around an 80% year on year growth rate, he said. Most of that success has so far been a result of word of mouth, interest from its website on the part of energy/commodity trading start-ups and, he points out, not over selling the solution. On the physical commodity side, most customers are in Europe, but it also has users in places like Singapore, USA, Dubai and so on for financial commodity trading.