ComTechAdvisory: What is Contigo seeing in terms of uptake of the ETRM in cloud and what are the benefits of such an approach?
Adrian Bullock: We are seeing strong interest in implementing in the cloud from both small and bigger players. Over 80% of our contracts signed in the last 18 months are implemented in the cloud, we have also migrated a number of our deployed clients to the cloud in the last year.
ComTechAdvisory: What does Contigo see as the main pros and cons of a single tenanted versus multi tenanted approach for ETRM software?
Adrian Bullock: The flexibility we can offer our clients with a single tenanted model greatly outweighs the operational advantages of a multi tenanted architecture. Using a shared infrastructure with a high level of automation of releases and upgrades gives us many of the advantages of a multi tenanted architecture whilst still maintaining the ability to have a high level of customization for each of our clients and ensuring data segregation. We have never had an actual or potential client insist on a multi tenanted model.
ComTechAdvisory: Among other technology trends, ComTech is keeping an eye on automated trading particularly in intraday spot power and gas markets, what is Contigo’s view on increasing automation in areas like trading and where might Contigo be active in the future?
Adrian Bullock: trading automation is becoming increasingly important and is something we are actively working on. We are seeing increasing levels of spot trading and strong demand to automate within day balancing. With our ability to manage intraday positions and trades in real time and being part of Trayport, we are well placed to offer a compelling solution in this space. We already have interfaces to a number of the spot exchanges across Europe and provide a 24×7 capability and aim to continue to deliver functionality in this area.
ComTechAdvisory: Another hot technology is Blockchain. How does Contigo see Blockchain and its future in energy trading in particular?
Adrian Bullock: from being a potential future technology not that long ago we are now seeing active evaluation of this technology and initiatives such as Enerchain getting wide support. We therefore expect this technology to be actively used in energy trading in the near future. In some ways, we would view this as another trading venue to support and traders would adopt this alongside traditional venues. We are monitoring adoption of this technology and plan to support it once it becomes actively used.
ComTechAdvisory: The ability to consume a lot of data very quickly is another area we are seeing a lot of interest in with Business Intelligence tools and GUIs being used to help users, what are your views?
Adrian Bullock: we see increasing demand for managing large amounts of trading and market data, being able to view and analyse data quickly and being able to have data being updated in real time. Traders can’t really wait for the end of day to see their positions anymore. Users increasingly expect an ETRM to be a decision support tool. There are a number of technologies available to support these capabilities but they do require an ETRM to be designed to be scalable and make the required data available. Contigo’s solutions are based on the latest Microsoft technology which provides a number of tools and capabilities to deliver in this area.
ComTechAdvisory: Are there any other technological developments or trends we should be aware of?
Adrian Bullock: ETRM technology providers have been relatively slow in adopting new technologies but new entrants in the market are quicker at adopting newer technologies. There are a number of technologies and approaches that can benefit ETRM systems, especially as move to the cloud. Some of the technologies/approaches we believe are important are:
- Cloud based micro-services/componentized architectures;
- Devops capabilities for automating and reducing development to release lifecycles;
- Decision support and optimization;
- Big data management and data mining;
Adrian Bullock, Contigo Managing Director
A co-founder of Contigo, Adrian is managing director and also responsible for Contigo’s technical strategy and product development.
He has over 20 years of commercial software development experience using a wide range of technologies for a variety of blue chip companies including AT&T, AXA Funds Management and E.ON UK. At E.ON UK, Adrian was responsible for designing and developing systems including trading, notification, credit risk management, gas forecasting and fuel trading systems.