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It’s all about Innovation Says Gen10’s Williamson

Conversations with Gen10 CEO, Richard Williamson, are always fun and informative as I find Richard to be one of the industry’s true innovators. Always one step ahead of the crowd at least, he and his team at Gen10 have spent the last several years pushing the limits of commercial IT in commodity trading and risk management. For example, most recently, Gen10 announced its netZero OS – ‘an ecosystem of digital tools to manage and control clients origination, trading, tracking and procurement of credits at scale, efficiently and robustly,’ according to its website. It has also innovated in areas like blockchain, commodity management, industry hands on training and more. “There is a lack of innovation from most vendors in our industry,” he told me as he started to update me on his views on the topic.

Richard sees three levels of innovation to pursue. Firstly, he looks at what he calls industry level innovation. In this category he includes things like blockchain, lab testing verification and ESG auditing, for example. These are industry-wide initiatives that he and Gen10 must respond to, he feels, and all cases, has done so. The second category is internal innovation in which Gen10 continually seeks to improve via innovation. This includes areas like building cloud-native ecosystems of software, building a technical environment that allows it to add enhancements, new functionalities, and entire new modules swiftly. Finally, he sees product innovation as ensuring that the software it builds is totally configurable so that it can move into new markets swiftly. “Our technology stack allows this,” he told me while citing carbon, iron ore and so on as examples.

His hope is that the industry wants vendors to innovate and that it sees what he believes is Gen10’s leadership in this area. Indeed, it is after all why he is talking to me about innovation – to get his message out. “Who is innovating and who is delivering innovation?” he asks me hoping that the industry is asking such questions too.

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As analysts covering the space over a couple of decades, there is no doubt in our minds that Gen10 is constantly innovating. It was quick to migrate to the cloud and subscription-based pricing, it was among the first to join forces with industry partners like insurers, banks, and warehouses to pilot blockchain, it saw the need for a broader footprint than CTRM for many commodities and built out its commodity management solution as an ecosystem of solutions and again, it has innovated around carbon trading with NetZero. Richard, however, is adamant that it has also innovated on the implementation side to make delivery in the cloud something that happens very quickly. “During and post-COVID, we had ample opportunity to fine tune remote implementation of our software,” he told me. “We have done several implementations in 4 to 8-week timescales recently including training all users.” Its approach involves giving access to and use of the solution within a week of signing up, then working on modified workflows to establish standard operating and hopefully improved business processes within a few weeks. He also sees the sales cycle as shorter as well saying “Sales cycles are now measured in weeks not months. Everything is now done digitally, remotely in the cloud.”

For Gen10, innovation is in its DNA, according to Richard. Now, having established reference clients across all sides of its business proving its approach, he hopes that Gen10 will go onto to grow and find more ways to solve problems in the industry. We will be watching to see how it goes.