Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Energy Markets’ Software Acquisition & Implementation
How to Reduce Cost, Increase Efficiency and Proliferate Profitability
December 5-6, 2018 | Denver, CO

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Overview

As the energy and commodity markets mushroom in their sophistication, software solutions become increasingly critical to an energy company’s operating success.  Tightening margins require technical solutions that can lower market cost, reduce risk and increase profitability.  Systems and applications must evolve to meet the ever-increasing demands of users and markets. Most legacy systems — including many longstanding market leaders — were engineered so that the business had to fit the system, rather than the system fitting the business.  Consequently, they are not flexible enough to be configured to suit current or evolving business practices and reporting requirements.  Instead, they are often inefficient and out of date, moreover the original solution architects are either no longer available or willing to maintain an archaic or insufficient system. For any or all these reasons energy companies find it necessary to investigate, choose, implement, and maintain a third-party software —often, even multiple — solution(s) with complex and broad-reaching impacts across their organization.

This course will provide attendees with the tools and experience to navigate the full spectrum of transitioning to a third-party software application. It will review what to look for in a software solution, and how to assemble a truly effective software acquisition team.  The organization’s approach to acquiring software, including development of a sufficient RFP, and successfully selecting the correct vendor will also be explored. In addition, the course will review the critical steps of managing successful third-party software integration, as well as how best to set up the solution(s) for keeping pace with the demands of the contemporary energy industry. Throughout the program, the course will be enhanced by examples and case studies drawn from software vendors, integrators and energy company implementation specialists.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss methods of how organizations can maintain control of procurements and techniques to take the sales out of the process
  • Demonstrate how to reduce the risk of costly change orders
  • Identify key items to include in contracts
  • Describe how to identify and get the system that best fits a market participant’s business requirements
  • Evaluate how to level the playing field and keep the procurement process competitive
  • Determine if a vendor’s solution will meet the organization’s business requirements or if those business requirements will have to fit the vendor’s solution
  • Assess how to turn competing vendors’ proposals into apples to apples comparison
  • Explain how to take emotion out of the selection process and use empirical data to reach a decision

Credits

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.

 

Instructional Methods 

This program will use PowerPoint Presentations, group discussions, as well as active participation. 

Requirements For A Successful Completion Of Program 

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit. 

Agenda

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

7:45 – 8:15 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 – 8:30 a.m. :: Overview and Introductions


8:30 – 10:00 a.m. :: Blue-Printing the Project

  • Applicable systems
    • EMS/GMS (energy management/generation management)
    • DMS (distribution management)
    • ERM (Enterprise-wide risk management)
    • ETRM (Energy trading risk management)
    • ISO transactional management/settlements
    • (OMS) outage management
    • Third-party invoicing/accounting
    • MDM (meter data management)
    • EA (energy accounting)
    • TSR (transmission service reservations) management
    • Tagging
  • Identify situation
    • Why is your organization looking to acquire or change software?
  • Establishing the project mission and developing the plan
    • Setting acquisition philosophy and objectives
    • Other considerations
  • Identify business impacts and right-sized approach
    • Pre-project training
    • Interface (what does the software look like)
    • Types of implementation structures to consider
      • On-site hosted
      • Software as a service (SAAS)
    • Design (how capable is the software to meet needs)
      • Out of the box vs. customized (combination of both)
      • Variety of needs depending on user (i.e., IT vs. front end)
      • Choosing between ‘best in class’ or single vendor solution(s)
    • Interoperability (how well the software links to other software) and interfacing
    • Data management

10:00 – 10:20 a.m. :: Morning Break


10:20 am – 12:00 p.m. :: Blue-Printing the Project (cont’d)

  • Assembling the team
    • Critical roles
  • Create project enabling documents/project plans
    • Process mapping templates
    • Project plan
    • Requirements traceability matrix
    • Develop RFI documents
    • Develop RFP documents

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon


1:00 – 3:00 p.m. :: Identifying Business Needs and Requirements

  • Process mapping
    • Current state and future state
  • Gap analysis
    • Identify business impacts
  • Requirements gathering
    • Business and functional IT requirements
    • Development and use of requirements traceability matrix (RTM)
  • Documenting design
    • Business and IT functional design document

3:00 – 3:20 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


3:20 – 5:00 p.m. :: Conduct Acquisition: Selecting the Best Technical Solution and Vendor for Your Business

  • RFI — program set up and demonstration
  • RFP — program set up and demonstration
  • Selection Process
    • Quantitative selection
    • Qualitative selection
  • Contracting
    • Key items to include in contract
    • Mitigating risk of change orders
    • Best positioning for negotiation

Thursday, December 6, 2018

7:45 – 8:15 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast


8:15 – 9:45 a.m. :: Implementation

  • Discovery
    • Refinement of requirements
    • Shadowing of client process SME’s
    • Documenting findings and requirements refinement
  • Configuration
    • Interfacing with other systems
    • Data gathering and uploading into system
    • User set-up
    • Base configurations

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. :: Morning Break


10:00 – 11:45 a.m. :: Implementation (cont’d)

  • Advanced configuration
    • Automation of processes
    • Bid and offer automation
    • Set up of advanced calculations and strategies in system
    • Strategic use of “dashboards”
    • Ability to manage by exception
  • UAT (user acceptance testing)
    • Implementing multi-purpose testing program
    • Developing, approving and readying of test
    • Execution and approvals of test
    • Test and defect tracking
  • Parallel operations
  • Cut over
  • Go Live
  • Post Go Live

11:45 a.m. :: Course Adjournment

Workshop

Software Acquisition and Implementation Structure Type and Funding

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Overview

When a participant organization in energy markets makes the initial decision to acquire new trading and related transactional software, two critical decisions are often overlooked: 1) Implementation structure type, and 2) project funding. This workshop will look at the different types of software implementation structures — on-site hosted and software as a service (SAAS).  It will consider the two approaches from the perspective of an energy company’s traditional set-up biases to other, more recent, factors such as equipment cost, staffing requirements, cyber security, etc. on the choices being made today.

The second part of this workshop will take a deep dive into best practices and requirements of corporately funding both the acquisition and the implementation of the software. Market participants and other attendees will leave with both a roadmap and checklist to ensure their project is adequately funded through the duration of the process, leveraging today’s best industry methods in setting up these funding mechanisms.  The course will be enhanced by examples and case studies drawn from software vendors, market participants and independent system integrators.

Agenda

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Registration


1:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Software Implementation Structure Types

  • Structure – Hosted or SAAS
    • Description of each service type
    • Considerations in making decision
      • Performance needs
      • Ability to support business needs (requirements)
      • Workflow and process efficiency gains
      • Analysis needs
      • Reporting needs
    • Impacts of each structure type
      • Equipment
      • Costs
      • Staffing
      • Regulatory (i.e., cyber security)
    • Industry direction
    • On-site deployment vs. hosted solution
    • Internal Vs. outsourcing

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


3:00 – 4:45 p.m. :: Software Acquisition and Implementation Funding Mechanisms

  • Defining funding requirements
    • Effort and timing requirements from initiation to Go Live
    • Internal and external support costs
    • Types of implementation plan establishing: agile vs waterfall
    • Identifying non-intuitive internal costs of RFPs
  • Identifying capital source and responsible organization
    • Where does the internal budget come from?
    • Who pays…front office, back office, IT?
    • CapX vs. OpX (CFO approach)
  • Considerations in making decision
    • Building consensus across large groups and departments
    • Determining whether to use a one-time license fee approach or subscription fee model

4:45 p.m. :: Workshop Adjourns

Instructors

Dan LoBue, President, Competitive Energy Consulting

Dan LoBue is President of Competitive Energy Consulting.  He is a subject matter expert with more than 30 years’ experience in power markets, holding both senior management positions at market participating companies and as a consultant in the electric industry.  As a corporate employee, he has held positions in generation, transmission, regulatory and commercial operations; specifically trading and origination. As a consultant, he specializes in advising and providing solutions to decision-makers looking to improve margins and reduce expenses in electricity markets through the application of adept knowledge of the market rules, regulations, risks and use of time proven systems and processes.  Mr. Lobue works on behalf of market participants in MISO, SPP, PJM, CAISO, ISO-NE, and NYISO. He was the lead consultant for the MISO South / Entergy integration, assisting Entergy, MISO and many of the other embedded companies successfully transition and integrate into the market on time. Post-market integration activities have included proving solutions to improve market performance and reduce P&L leakage. He is considered a “go-to-guy” for bridging the gap between theory and practice.


William Batchelder, Director – Business Transformation Team, The Energy Authority

William “Batch” Batchelder leads the Business Transformation Team for The Energy Authority, a public power-owned, nonprofit portfolio management company serving municipal utilities across the U.S.  Business Transformation synchronizes Operational Transformation initiatives across TEA to optimize current business practices – supporting ongoing operations more effectively, more quickly and more economically.  He also provides strategic leadership and perspective, ensuring investments chosen on the basis of their alignment with TEA’s overall vision and objectives and that those investments measurably contribute to TEA’s success.  Mr. Batchelder has spent his career in and around energy and utilities, beginning as an analyst in Accenture’s Utility Practice, and later serving as a consultant and manager in The Structure Group’s advisory and software implementation practices in the energy industry.  Immediately prior to his work with TEA, he served as Senior Director of Customer Support for The Structure Group and Ventyx Enterprise Software, where his teams specialized in supporting solutions for utility systems management. 


Robin Frost, Energy Management Coordinator, Black HIlls Power

Robin Frost is an Energy Management Coordinator for Black Hills Power, where she has worked for the past 19 years.  She initially served as Payroll Coordinator to Payroll Manager/Corporate Accounting Systems Manager, then switched gears and went into operations as a Scheduler for Day Ahead Marketing in the Generation Dispatch and Power Marketing department and was subsequently promoted to Real Time Marketer.  In Ms. Frost’s role for the past 5 years, she manages Generation Outages. In addition, she is project lead in acquiring and implementing new software for BHE’s Bilateral Markets Operations.  Before joining Black Hills, she managed payroll, accounts payable and other controller functions for an insurance agency and non-profit organization.

Location

EUCI Office Building Conference Center

4601 DTC Blvd, B-100

Denver CO, 80237

 

Suggested Hotel

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center
8300 E. Crescent Parkway
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
0.9 miles away
Nightly Rate for EUCI Attendees: $149.00

Click on the following booking link: Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center – EUCI and use Group Code: EUCI or

Call Central Reservations at 888-492-8847 and ask for the EUCI rate of $149 under the corporate/group code EUCI

Other Nearby Hotels

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
7800 E Tufts Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1234
0.3 miles away

Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech Center
7675 E Union Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-770-4200
0.6 miles away

Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse St
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1100
0.7 miles away

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