ION Commodities places customer engagement at the heart of its business

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ION Commodity customers propel it to the top spots in 2022 Energy risk Software rankings. In addition to forging close relationships with its clients, the firm now helps its clients connect with each other

Over the past 12 months, commodity companies have faced many challenges, ranging from the continued destruction of demand linked to the Covid-19 pandemic – particularly in China – to the increasingly profound effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and global inflationary pressures. Price spikes, security concerns and volatility continue to make energy markets a difficult place to operate and where it is essential that companies have effective risk management systems in place. In today’s environment of heightened geopolitical, market and counterparty risk, companies need accurate visibility into their current risk exposures and deeper insight into potential future exposures.

For ION Commodities, a technology company with the largest suite of commodities software in the world, the immediate focus during these crises was to help its approximately 1,200 clients on the risk management capabilities available to them in their commodities trading and their management of existing risks (CTRM) some products. He then engaged customers to help them get more out of those capabilities based on their individual needs in the easiest way possible.

“Many of our clients already had access to a wide variety of portfolio risk management tools – ranging from scenario analysis to value-at-risk – and simply tweaking some of the key parameters of these algorithms and their credit risk analysis systems meant that our customers were well positioned to deal with growing operational risks,” says Sunil Biswas, chief product officer at ION Goods. “As the operating environment becomes more challenging due to rising inflation and interest rate pressure, unlocking valuable business insights and data analytics from the information buried deep within is critical. CTRM physical databases.

Sunil Biswas

Sunil Biswas

The appreciation of this close work with customers is reflected in ION The solid performance of commodities this year Energy risk Software rankings. In the survey, in which commodity software users vote for their favorite vendors in a variety of categories, ION Commodities appeared in an impressive 58 categories, earning 16 top spots.

The company is constantly investing to develop and improve its offers, in particular by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve its products.

“We are improving our offers around AI and machine learning to provide customers with predictive analytics capabilities,” says Biswas. “A recent example of this is the planning of natural gas movements on the North American pipeline system.”

Another key product for ION Commodities is its Cargo Decision Analyzer (CDA) for liquefied natural gas (LNG), which he launched in 2021. Since then, the sanctions against Russia and the tightening of the flow of Russian gas to Europe have made CDA product even more relevant.

“In addition to commodity price volatility and macroeconomic factors driving the transition to renewable energy sources, as the Russian energy hypermarket has gradually shut down demand for LNG accelerated solutions,” says Biswas. “We have invested in LNG capabilities throughout the value chain for several years, with CDA launched before the Russian invasion.

As LNG becomes more important to the global energy mix, companies need greater flexibility for their shipping routes and delivery options. Enable traders and planners to optimize LNG freight decisions by evaluating available options based on existing contract and real-world constraints is paramount. “The CDA enables market participants to understand complex options in contracts while providing risk insights, thereby improving user decisions to maximize profits,” says Biswas.

This concept of ease of use and the possibility of optimizing the optionality of contracts have also been integrated ION Commodities approach to power purchase agreements (APPs) and renewable energy more generally, says Biswas. “The AEF The analyzer gathers and analyzes complex trade data enabling informed real-time decision making while maximizing profits across the value chain and is ideally suited for modeling optionality on structured trades, such as APPs and gas swing contracts, and recommend hedging strategies.

Alongside that, ION The commodities aspect allows for the seamless transfer of live market prices used to price trades and updates profit and loss within the CTRM, removing the risk of manual entry errors and missed price corrections. “Aspect is our all-in-one integrated platform delivered as software as a service in the cloud, which enables rapid deployment, controlled costs and immediate return on investment,” says Biswas. “Aspect primarily serves the needs of customers in the crude and refined products and metals industries through our global teams and partner network. Support for trading in carbon markets has also recently been introduced.

At the heart of ION Commodities product development is an ongoing and ongoing engagement with customers. To further strengthen these efforts, the company has developed ConnectION, its customer engagement platform.

“It’s a key part of our drive to create and nurture a real community of users and make them even more connected, not just to us but to each other,” says Biswas. “ConnectION allows us to exchange ideas and best practices, discuss industry trends and address critical topics, such as market normalization and energy transition, with our community of 30,000 users.” He gives a recent example of a discussion on how best to adhere to European standards on electronic confirmations and electronic settlements.

“We believe that bringing customers together in a community will ultimately reduce costs, increase efficiency and bring greater standardization to commodity-intensive businesses,” he concludes. .

View full Energy risk 2022 Software Ranking Results

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