UpTrade project

A nose for good business

For Repower’s trading experts, having a “good nose” is all about making use of the knowledge of the market gained from analysis and experience in order to do a winning deal at just the right time.

UpTrade: trading gets an upgrade

A group-wide trading system for the needs of tomorrow

Repower's trading unit is being equipped to meet the needs of the future: as part of the UpTrade project, trading employees receive a Group-wide platform for handling all trading activities. But UpTrade is much more than just a new software application. The project also creates a common language and facilitates information-sharing and knowledge transfer between the various locations and divisions.

Be it electricity, gas or CO2, throughout the entire process starting from when a deal is finalised all the way to invoicing and reporting, thanks to a new trading platform, the activities in the trading process will be handled by one and the same system at all Repower trading sites in the future. As what is known as an ETRM (Energy Trading and Risk Management), the UpTrade platform plays a key role in registering and handling trades, in risk management and the availability of market data, and has been synchronised with interfaces to other internal processes such as reporting and accounting.

A platform that satisfies a wide range of requirements

The core of the new system consists of a software application for managing trading activities and an already existing internal market database. For Sergio Pini, project manager of UpTrade, the strengths of the Allegro software can be summarised as follows: “Allegro meets the highest requirements in terms of flexibility and scalability: on the one hand, it makes interfaces possible to the local systems and requirements of the trading markets and, on the other hand, it has the capability to expand trading activities over the long term.”

Closely aligned to user needs

The new software provides a consolidated view of all trading activities, which is essential for the appropriate handling of portfolio risks. Monitoring and tracking capabilities have been enhanced following the sub-division of markets and commodities into books and sub-books. Giovanni Jochum, Head of Market and member of the Group Executive Board, underlines the importance of the project: “By introducing a company-wide ETRM platform, we are orienting ourselves around the growing requirements, for example in controlling and risk assessment. It will also allow us to expand our activities to new markets and products.” The new trading platform is supported by a knowledge management system: information can be shared and updated on an ongoing basis via an in-house Wiki and a document platform. Thanks to these instruments, all information is available centrally and can be accessed by all employees who work in trading.

Internal expertise leveraged

After the platform was introduced at the Milan and Poschiavo sites for trading with CO2 certificates in 2010, the electricity business has also been handled by the new software at the Poschiavo site since the autumn of 2011. In the next project phases, the platform is being readied for electricity trading in Milan and Prague as well as for gas trading in Milan. Since project management is being handled internally, the system is maintained and updated by the company's own specialists, thereby guaranteeing the best possible transition from the project phase to the operational phase.

From project to operational phase

Implementation is scheduled for completion at the three trade sites by 2014. At the same time, the processes are being documented, experience gained and analysed and the necessary changes made. The challenge is to ensure continuity of operations as the old software is phased out and the new software phased in. Sergio Pini, however, is confident: “Our experience to date will help us to minimise the impact on staff and at the same time prepare users for the new functionalities.”

3 questions to Tiziano Giuliani, Head of Asset Trading, Poschiavo

“Users were extensively involved”

What steps were taken to ensure that the system will meet the user needs as best as possible?

The processes were analysed in great detail and adapted to the implemented book structure of the new software. New functions were developed in close cooperation between the external project managers, the application management team and the users.

What has your initial experience been with the new trading platform?

The procedure that we followed allowed us to find solutions to limit the amount of work it takes to handle day-to-day processes. After a certain amount of initial scepticism that goes along with the introduction of new systems, the platform was well-received by the employees.

Where do you think the challenges lie for the next project phases and for operations?

The biggest challenge is to further develop the software in line with future needs. Of course speed is one of the main factors here because a system can never be fast enough for its users!