Trading Application development for Power Utilities Customer

Case Introduction:

Client’s Information Management department was evaluating its market systems support strategy and implementation options. The landscape included a proprietary suite of systems collectively referred to as Market Management System (MMS) that performed various market facing and internal front-office to back-office functions covering various parts of the bid/trade to cash process. Client utilized nMarket suite, which is the transaction management platform for ISO bidding, position management, nomination/logistics, dispatch and settlement. nMarket Jobs were insular and accessible only through the manual use of the product’s UI. Business was facing following challenges with the current process and systems:

  • Business had to use complex spreadsheets with each having a unique approach and multiple software investments to communicate with ISOs
  • MMS application was difficult to maintain and extend to other markets.
    • Security:  APIs to ISO not secure
    • UI not integrated with Excel.  MMS used only to cut and paste information from Excel.
    • Database structure was not conducive to reporting or auditing for root cause analysis
    • Supportability was impacted by turnaround time to fix issues
    • Multiple Database-only processes was not tied to User Interface resulting in unintentional breaks
  • Plantek developed a platform for the client (calling it Platform X, for anonymity). Plantek delivered the strategy, architecture and execution of the Platform X for ISO integration and Platform X for Gas Pipeline integration
  • Cost Optimization Potential: Multitude of vendor product investments presented significant saving opportunities.
Challenges & Lessons Learnt:
  • NEER schedules up to 33 pipelines in various markets making Gas Logistics a significantly diverse operation across multiple systems landscapes implemented by each pipeline. Client wanted to consolidate platforms to accelerate the onboarding of operatorship of new pipelines acquired through business acquisition or new pipeline construction. Plantek implemented Platform X -Gas architecture to automate EDI integration to the largest pipeline Transco as a working proof of concept. Then it was extended to other pipelines. Doing the POC as the MVP and then extending to other systems helped in bringing down the time to market for a highly needed product
  • The records from UI (excel) need to be persisted somewhere if it failed to submit to ISOs. A messaging based system (RabitMQ) was implemented to house the messages and retry if it failed.
Solution Impact:
  • Roadmap Clarity: Platform X unified cross market investments to a single platform.  It eased the challenges of growth into existing and new markets and products.
  • Ability to Respond to Business Changes: Implementation of Platform X resulted in quicker iterations to meet new needs based on prior experience
  • Technical Debt: Platform X’s modular design results in not being locked into a design and provides agility
  • On average 105K transactions are committed by traders everyday using Platform X!
  • Platform X performs bids and offers, trades, schedules, and Auctions for the ERCOT and PJM Markets
  • Platform X submits and pulls back related data from the ISO in a secure real-time way using RabbitMQ for messaging and MongoDB for persistence.

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