Last week, ZE PowerGroup Inc. sponsored and attended a fantastic conference in Raleigh, NC; hosted by The Electric Utility Consultants Inc. (EUCI). The conference focused on Software System Integration for ISO/RTO Markets. Manal El-Ramly, ZE’s Director of Global Markets, and I were able to attend this backyard event, so close to our Raleigh office. We were also quite fortunate to have Tim Hebert, who serves as the Executive Vice President at Energy New England, join us on the “Buy Vs. Build Vs. Not at All” panel discussion.
Some of the key elements discussed during the conference involved the methodologies for handling the vast amount of data coming from ISOs and the best approach to creating a solid infrastructure, whether internally built or outsourced, to support the ever-changing data-scape of the ISO markets. The volume of ISO data and its changing format has posed a significant challenge to many IT departments who support business units across their organizations within the energy sector.
There were three main paradigms being tossed about during the conference: to build an internal infrastructure, to outsource technology to a third party software capable of handling the ISO market data, and to use internally built systems and hybrid them with third-party vendors. Presenters from companies, such as Orlando Utilities Commission, EDF Trading, and Enite Consulting, shared expertise on the methods of delivery and various challenges faced in managing quality ISO data for end business users.
Understanding the requirements of the end business user is fundamental; whether a solution is internally built or a third party has a hand in delivering a quality solution, the priority must reside with a solid understanding what the end user requires to be able to do a job right. Without the requirements and buy-in from the end user, any solution will fail.
Another fundamental component is obtaining quality data from ISOs. Regardless of delivery, the solution of choice must be capable of handling the ever-changing formats and volume of data coming from the ISOs.
A third component of interest was how to leverage an organization’s internal data, allowing ease of access to the end business user.
Ultimately, the solutions that best serve technology to the end user are solutions that meet the criteria of the functional requirements identified by the business units.
Deciding between the Three
Each organization is unique in requirements and each ISO is unique in its delivery. Having the opportunity to interact with a variety of IT experts coming from the paradigm of internally built as well as those who support third party software made one thing clear to me – that the evolving and growing data-scape affects every organization within the industry; and we, whether internal IT, third-party vendors, or a hybrid of both are providers of a service, and it is the providers’ responsibility to stay ahead of the changes to maintain open lines of communication with our end users and deliver the best-in-class solutions to meet the end users’ needs.
Overall, EUCI put on a great event, and we look forward to continuing to work with EUCI and collectively serving the market.