Matt Barrett, Co-Founder & Director
The energy trading sector is going through a massive phase shift on both technological and business fronts. As the velocity of digital adoption has increased in the ETRM space, quick trading has become a norm, and trading opportunities are closing faster than ever before. Companies within the ETRM space are striving to gain higher volumes of liquidity, volatility, and technological as well as competitive edges to figure out their market position globally and consequently determine their settlement period benchmarks in the rapidly transforming trade landscape. On the flip side, the current vendors in the ETRM space are often wholly unsuited for this approaching real-time velocity of the technological wheel as a large portion of existing trading platforms are built on top of legacy technologies. Following this market condition, there has been a significant demand for a bespoke solution; a hybrid of buy vs. build that can combine the innovation of a digital marketplace with the intricacies of existing ETRM technologies. Addressing this market demand head-on, Adaptive Financial Consulting entered into the ETRM arena with its unparalleled business and technical expertise in the trading landscape.
As a software consultancy firm, Adaptive brings to its clients their prowess in real time, event-driven trading systems expertise to build bespoke digital business platforms that allow them to achieve a differentiating edge in the marketplace. Matt Barrett, co-founder and CEO says, “We have an unparalleled understanding of digital marketplaces and the ability to build electronic digital channels for market participants or energy traders. The ETRM platform in return, enables them to trade with their clients and showcase new routes to market for their services.” With a robust set of services segmented into design, build, and operate, Adaptive builds highly resilient platforms that accurately match the business structure of its clients in the trading space.
With years of market experience across financial services, capital and commodity markets, Adaptive’s team understands its client’s business ideas and turns them into technical designs. The team then delivers a working software platform for its clients with an option to assist them in operating it if required. Barrett says, “Our design, build, and operate are services rather than a process. The idea is that we work with our clients to understand their business goals and do the design of their platform with them. This design involves both user experience and technical architecture. Once done, we can then turn those designs into a working ETRM platform. We don’t expect our clients to have a fully formed set of requirements that is ready to be developed.”
Adaptive follows a unique approach to understanding all the detailed requirement of its clients and comprehending what they need to accomplish. This allows Adaptive to determine how, as a technological partner, they can help their clients design the right ETRM platform for their use case. Assisting its clients with the design aspect of the platform, Adaptive transforms their business goals into a technology design that delivers them the best ROI.
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The build service constitutes taking these designs and bringing them to life. Engaging their own and, optionally, the client’s software developers and testers, Adaptive builds the platform by in an agile, iterative process throughout the delivery. The operate service enables a delivered platform to be run in production by Adaptive, performing operational tasks, maintenance, and the support of keeping the platform up to date and running. These services specifically enable Adaptive to focus on its relationship with its clients over the long term.
Illustrating a successful customer story, Barrett mentions a European energy utility who was struggling to provide their customers with required products and services, while dealing with vast sections of mixed demands flowing in through their client base. Battling a moderate amount of operational risk, they wanted to provide a more straightforward and simple way to trade with their clients to unlock significant customer growth, revenue growth, customer retention and improve their business. Initially, they were trading with the customers through voice or email which turned out to be quite difficult for them. They reached out to Adaptive with a request to build a client-facing power and gas click-and-trade platform. They wanted a platform that their clients could load in a web browser, log in, and trade with them electronically.
The resulting e-trading platform provided the clients with access to 24/7 liquidity, caused reduction in their cost of market access and lowered operational costs and risks through automated post-trade processes. Clients are now able to trade digitally on prices as well as place limit orders of their own. The platform handles all the trade acceptance logic, including the integration with the central credit check systems and fine-grained management of counterparty trading permissions. Moreover, the platform is easily extensible with a resilient back-end, can be easily cloud-hosted. “We built this innovative platform by working closely with our clients. Success came from openness about our client’s business goals, and our understanding of how to translate them into a digital platform,” adds Barrett. As the clients share their insights, it’s a seamless process for Adaptive to bring its technical expertise, the understanding of the fundamental real-time trading protocols and how they could be mapped to the client’s business domain.
Recording a significant increase in revenue last year, Adaptive today has grown to more than 150 staff with establishments in North America and Europe. Adaptive plans to consolidate their business in the trading landscape in the North American region by building robust relationships and networks. Moreover, the company aspires to venture beyond borders and cater to an ever-increasing global customer base. Presently, the company continues to innovate by developing more functionalities in its technology to better serve its customers in the days to come. “Our goal is to bring extremely robust solutions for our clients as we want to be the most compelling option for them in the vast energy trading and risk management marketplace,” concludes Barrett.