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TransAlta’s Achievement of Seamless Data Integration and CTRM System Optimization

Client: TransAlta
Hosts: Value Creed & BroadPeak Partners
Date & Time: June 17th Webinar Event, 1:00pm – 1:30pm EST

Value Creed and BroadPeak will discuss the common data challenges customers face when trying to keep up with shifting exchange requirements. We’ll use the TransAlta case study to illustrate how customers can overcome those challenges in the short and long term, particularly on a tight schedule.

Energy CIO Awards Value Creed Top ETRM Solution Provider

Energy CIO recognized Value Creed’s dedication to disrupt conventional CTRM/ETRM application support by awarding the firm Top Managed Services Solution Provider. Read the full article here: Energy CIO Insights Magazine awarded Value Creed’s CTRM (Run Smart) the Top Managed Services Solution Provider Recognition for 2020. 

 

 

“We seamlessly partner with our clients as proactive team members devoted to ensuring the necessary proactive steps are taken daily to deliver expected functional and technical performance, with maximum up-time for business users and traders,” said Priyankar Datta, Principal and Founder of Value Creed. 

Value Creed’s Managed Services provide round-the-clock management of your CTRM infrastructure and critical application functions. Backed by an industry-leading, Service Level Agreement (SLA), we offer comprehensive monitoring and support of your CTRM application and business processes. As an extension of your business, we come alongside your team by providing:

  • 24/7/365 system monitoring to identify issues before users do.
  • Greater reliability and performance at a lower cost.
  • Increased elasticity and scalability so you can pivot and grow.

Benefit from our award-winning Run Smart platform and watch your business increase both revenue and efficiency. 

Value Creed's Run Smart Managed Services Start at $3,500 a month

Interested? Let’s Chat

Maximizing CTRM System Value and Efficiency with Targeted Expertise

Key Results:

“With Value Creed, I’m leveraging their knowledge and expertise. The high agility of Value Creed’s technical expertise meant we could get to the bottom of what we needed to do very quickly.” 

Manny Neupane, Director Applications & Business Intelligence

The Client:

Capital Power is a power producer that develops, acquires, owns, and operates power generation facilities across North America. While they are well-established with effective business processes in place, they need to continually maximize efficiency to maintain their competitive edge. That means keeping complex system platforms, like their CTRM solution, current with the latest functionalities.

Manny Neupane, Director Applications & Business Intelligence, understood that an upgrade would extend the life of Capital Power’s CTRM platform. But in the past, consultants they’d contracted to support an upgrade did not understand the product well and seemed to be learning on the fly. 

The Challenge:

Manny and his team wanted to maximize the value of Capital Power’s existing CTRM investment, while minimizing or avoiding the usual headaches of a large system upgrade. These included:

The Solution:

Capital Power needed to nimbly execute an upgrade by leveraging their in-house expertise and partnering with a firm capable of coming alongside their team to create a win-win to optimize investment while minimizing business disruption.

Value Creed offered a very agile delivery model, so Capital Power reached out to secure right-sized CTRM expertise and services. Working closely with Manny, Value Creed helped Capital Power achieve their goals by:

Outcome:

After completing the upgrade, Manny and his team are getting new value out of their CTRM platform. They have extended the life of their CTRM solution and can avoid an expensive full reimplementation in the future. Now they are able to increase efficiency, update their approach to evolving markets, and have peace of mind knowing their system is current and relevant to business goals. 

 “Now that the upgrade is done, we’re starting to leverage new functionality to simplify and add more value, like enhancements to the power module and environmental commodities module. VC’s agile methodology helped us get over the hump and adopt these new efficiencies we needed.”

Manny Neupane, Director Applications & Business Intelligence


Value Creed

Value Creed, LLC, founded in 2016, is a managed services firm headquartered in Dallas, TX, specializing in commodity trading and risk management technology and business process optimization. The firm offers expert-driven managed services, business process outsourcing, cloud enablement, and CTRM complementary technologies to help CTRM customers achieve optimal value in their software investment. For more information, visit www.valuecreed.com or call (833) 282-7333.

Capital Power

Capital Power (TSX: CPX) is a growth-oriented North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. The company develops, acquires, owns, and operates power generation facilities using a variety of energy sources. Capital Power owns approximately 6,200 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity at 26 facilities across North America. Approximately 800 MW of owned generation capacity is in advanced development in Alberta and Illinois.

For more information, visit www.capitalpower.com.

 

CTRM Veteran To Lead Exponential Growth Of CTRM Industry’s Only Dual-Time Zone, Worldwide Support Model

Value Creed, the emerging global leader in business-critical professional services and support, specializing in Commodity Trading and Risk Management (CTRM) platforms, today announced the appointment of Mr. Raja Kanthadai as Vice President of Run Smart™ Managed Services.  Mr. Kanthadai is responsible for leading the exponential growth of Value Creed’s unique Run Smart™ managed service model supporting corporations using CTRM platforms worldwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. His focus will be on evangelizing and driving adoption of the support model as CTRM clients seek to expand their utilization of their CTRM platform, as well as, implement a managed services relationship where their in-house resources work in tandem with the Run Smart managed Services team to deliver high business value programs.  

“Value Creed occupies a unique and exciting position in the marketplace today,” Kanthadai notes. “The Run Smart™ managed services model offers CTRM clients transparent support for a highly critical application, while lowering operational costs and refocusing incumbent resources to high value tasks.  It is my goal to help teams all over the globe get the most out of their CTRM experience.”

Kanthadai will focus on continuously innovating within the Run Smart™ managed services approach. His efforts will include the development of technological enhancements and automation delivered with minimal disruption to CTRM users. This method ensures Run Smart™ clients are positioned to seamlessly adopt new releases, patches, and extensions as they are made available.  

“We see the promise in Raja’s vision and his unprecedented level of expertise and leadership,” Priyankar Datta, Principal and Founder of Value Creed, said. “His joining will enable CTRM users to adopt a whole new model of application management centered around maximizing technological advances like Cloud computing, Robotic Process Automation, Automated Testing, and others.”  

Mr. Kanthadai holds a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from Texas A&M, and is a certified Energy Risk Professional (ERP).  

Value Creed, LLC, founded in 2016, is a managed services firm headquartered in Dallas, TX, specializing in commodity trading and risk management technology and business process optimization. The firm offers expert-driven managed services, business process outsourcing, cloud enablement, and CTRM complimentary technologies to help CTRM customers achieve optimal value in their software investment. For more information, visit www.valuecreed.com or call (833) 282-7333.  Follow Value Creed on social media: Twitter and on LinkedI

CTRM expertise is founded in real-world problem solving for one of the most mission-critical applications in the commodity markets. When choosing a partner for your CTRM enhancement, upgrade and ongoing application support and management, you must trust the firm and the team they bring to bear.

At Value Creed, we are on a mission to develop the world’s most accomplished team of CTRM experts available to you around the clock, 24/7/365.  In evidence of our commitment, we want to celebrate the work anniversary, and share the “get it done” experiences of our team members,  Monish and Astha, as they share their professional learnings over the last year:

Monish Malhortra, Senior Consultant

“Expand your horizons and take ownership in your work,”―that’s what I learned on day one at Value Creed. Since then, I’ve helped our CTRM customers solve their most complex issues in their CTRM applications, 

from creating functional and testing documents, to deployment packages, and performing requirement gathering. My Value Creed journey has also included establishing CTRM managed services and application outsourcing processes for our clients, as well as handling multiple CTRM upgrade projects. As a program lead for our CTRM managed services and application outsourcing, I constantly refine and implement CTRM best practices for every client’s commodity type to ensure we are able to accurately support individualized needs, rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach to problem-solving.

Astha Jain, Technical Consultant

“Being challenged every day is what I find stimulating and engaging about being a member of Value Creed’s team.

My expertise as a computer software engineer was quickly applied to the complex problem solving and critical thinking necessary to address our worldwide clients’ CTRM application solution outsourcing needs. Mentored by our tenured CTRM team, I was tasked with setting up an SSRS.  I quickly realized Value Creed is all about digging into CTRM applications, multitasking, juggling between different roles, and implementing CTRM solutions in a fashion driven by best practices, rather than the status quo. Whether it’s an extension or a bug, an automation or upgrade, front-end or back-end, I am committed to solving any challenge as a seamless extension of our client’s in-house team, so every client’s CTRM application is running error-free.

Dedication, functional know-how and technical excellence are the qualities our CTRM Superheros bring to your project. Reach out and learn more about the industry’s most innovative approach to upgrading and enhancing your CTRM solution. 

If there’s one historic certainty in the commodities industry, it’s that everything is uncertain.

This is particularly true today, when an ever-changing business landscape of technology and geopolitics can present unique challenges to those vying to stay competitive. Your CTRM application is a business-critical platform, yet due to its complex nature, finding a reliable and reasonable run-operate support option poses a deceptively simple quandary: Do you outsource, or not?

If a business decides not to outsource, they will often try one of two options:

Option 1: Hire an individual who is already experienced in the application with a high level of capability.

Option 2: Hire and train a recruit with minimal CTRM experience and train them up to the challenge.

The problem with this binary choice is that neither scenario is ideal. Here’s why.

Hiring for Experience

Perhaps the first option seems the more viable of the two. You hire a staff member who already knows the application inside and out, with experience in day-to-day CTRM requirements. On a scale of one to 10, their application capability ranks a 9 or 10.

This person may start out strong, but their capability will likely dull over time due to their myopic focus on your internal use case. They will start to lose the broad frame of reference native to consulting practices, focus on the status quo and, as a result, recommend fewer optimizations for your users. When this happens, user satisfaction – from the front office to the back office – tends to wane for both your experts and users alike.

Building from Scratch

With that in mind, perhaps you decide to avoid the expense and eroding efficiency of a ready-made expert, instead opting to train a specialist internally from a “blank slate.” With the right training, this raw recruit could learn the application precisely the way your company uses it. In turn, you could call upon them to build your own dedicated application support team from the ground up.

While it might seem like a cost savings on the surface, this method is also expensive. Missteps and false starts aside, as your staff’s capability increases with time and experience, these individuals will become highly attractive to consulting agencies that look for the same, rare skill set you invested in them. With the lure of higher pay and benefits elsewhere, this may lead to large amounts of turnover and a never-ending cycle of: recruit, hire, train, lose—recruit, hire, train, lose, repeat.

Now Consider The 3rd Option—Value Creed’s Outsourcing for CTRM Run Operate Support

This leads us back to our original question: Is it better to outsource your CTRM services, or not? As we’ve explored, full-time staffing, whether expert or newcomer, presents a host of challenges that are often problematic or resource-intensive in a way that still doesn’t provide the kind of consideration your business needs.

Value Creed enables you to flexibly define your CTRM Run Operate support needs so your team is optimized, not replaced.

We give you the best of both worlds. You are guaranteed world-class expertise, the effective “Navy Seals” of the industry, that will not decline with time. We continually invest in our experts so they remain innovative in the application across a variety of industries. Plus, you’re not hiring one person across all capabilities front office to the back office – with experience where it matters most to your business.

Our team has deep competency in all of the following functional, business process and technical operations areas of CTRM applications so you can rely on one partner as your business needs evolve.

 

Variety Of Talent

Accelerating Value, While Lowering Overhead Costs

Your CTRM solution requires top talent from various disciplines. They’re all here – dedicated specifically to making you successful in a unique approach enabling you to tap into the knowledge workers you need, only when you need them.

Risk
Credit
Trading
settings
Logistics
Accounting
technical
Technical

Why Traditional Consulting Falls Short

Traditional consulting usually takes the form of either a per-project basis or a set number of hours towards a goal or task. The former is normally expensive and has minimal flexibility, while the latter has no guarantee of matching your particular problem to a provider with the necessary skills.

Both approaches are ultimately a losing proposition, and neither is designed to support your organizational needs in a way that is both cost-effective and efficient.

You Need Another Way. We Have It.

Value Creed has a business philosophy that is at the core of everything we do. How we are different, what we can do for your business—all of it can be summed up by the five business pillars that best define us:

  • Recruit & Retain Top Talent: Our team is the foundation of everything we do. We find the most knowledgeable experts in the world and leverage their peerless talent to your advantage.
  • Drive Innovation: A company in an ever-changing business environment cannot afford to be reactionary. We strive to ensure that your business has the on-demand tools it needs to become a trend-setter, never a trend-follower.
  • Extend for Excellence: Aligning your CTRM application to your business needs does not always conform to your available bandwidth. We take the guesswork out of integrating front-office operations to back-end systems management. No excuses, just results.
  • CTRM Differentiation: We optimize your CTRM at every point that it impacts your business, ensuring that that we fully coordinate with your executive, business, and technology teams to differentiate you from your competition.
  • Quantify the Results: We provide 24/7/365 access and visibility on every aspect of what we do for you. From system health to addressed anomalies, business reviews to recommended improvements, we seek to build solid business relationships with every deployment.

Signs That Value Creed is Right For Your Business
Of course, business needs vary greatly across the industry spectrum, but if any (or all) of these scenarios sound familiar, perhaps it’s time to outsource your CTRM application support:

  1. A change in the trajectory of your users’ satisfaction. There’s a declining level of
    satisfaction amongst your user base that indicates a lack of innovation, a lack of
    attentiveness, or misaligned priorities amongst your support team.
  2. A shift in your company’s business model with regard to commodity, complexity or size.
    Suddenly you find yourself in need of a different type of support for your CTRM solution.
  3. Speed of CTRM improvements. You’ve determined that you need to change the velocity of how your system is supported, and need to get things up and moving fast.

CTRM Managed Services Priced Right

Our CTRM Managed Services are priced to be competitive, while still giving you access to the best in the business. Keep your team focused on scoping new requirements and managing high-value requirements – leave the repetitive, day-to-day management to us.

Value Creed's Run Smart Managed Services Start at $3,500 a month

Interested? Let’s Chat

The Obstacle:

The CTRM Conundrum: The Good, the Bad, and the Potentially Unprofitable

CTRM is powerful, function-rich, and offers a robust solution to the needs of ETRM/CTRM
business operations – yet there are common challenges every team faces.

  1. The application’s deep-dive capabilities make it a complex tool to use effectively,
    requiring knowledgeable, dedicated expertise.
  2. This expertise is concentrated in the hands of a few experts worldwide.
  3. Managed services from a large consulting firm may prove far too costly, and those
    services are often facilitated by a junior team, rather than the senior consultants you
    may require.
  4. Experienced in-house CTRM teams may manage day-to-day operations well, but
    may not be equipped to keep pace with the demands of your changing business needs.

Given that, what can be done to simultaneously ensure your business has the technical
expertise it needs, that it’s not seeking a solution that’s out of scope, and that it retains the cutting edge to set your business up for both short and long-term growth?

The answer is a surprisingly simple one, which stems not from a business-as-usual approach,
but one that leverages all of your business’ CTRM platforms’ strengths in your favor. A new approach to managed services we call Run Smart® for CTRM.

The Solve:

Why Value Creed Gives You The Power of a New Approach

The Value Creed Run Smart® approach brings to bear senior, experienced, and innovative
CTRM problem-solvers. We offer made-to-order teams for each individual project and hire
only the brightest, most superior experts to provide on-demand support to our customers. But
we don’t stop there. We continuously train our experts to update their skills.

With this always on, always learning, always innovating approach, you get flexible and powerful
CTRM expertise on demand. Run Smart® is based on the philosophy of pairing on-shore and off-shore resources for 24/7/365 monitoring. For specialized project deployments like
upgrading your CTRM, we design “tiger teams” made up of top CTRM experts,
embracing a wide diversity of skills and disciplines. These elite consultants and engineers
tackle your most difficult problems with a combination of superior technical skills and functional,
problem-solving talent, all with a contract that’s both easy to manage and afford. They’re there
when you need them, and gone when you don’t. No bloated project teams, no stale statements
of work, just talent on your terms.

That’s because power is in the way we play. We know the last thing you want to pay for is a
“learning curve.” With Value Creed, you don’t pay for “ramp up” time. Instead, you get an
expert, or a team of experts, who are able to get in and accelerate your path to business value.

More Than Consultants, We’re On-Demand CTRM Experts Focused on Teamwork

Value Creed is the “Navy Seals” of CTRM consulting. We’ve crafted a culture that attracts
some of the best CTRM talent in the world, tenured CTRM consultants well versed in “what
may happen if” with upgrades to your CTRM, as well as, day-to-day optimizations
capable of leveraging CTRM best practices. To that end, our team is dedicated to translating
the pulse of the industry into actionable outcomes for energy, oil and gas, manufacturing, and
agricultural operations worldwide.

When you partner with us, you can be assured that we bring the following to the table:

Experience — Our team is comprised of qualified and talented CTRM professionals with a wide range of backgrounds. Examples of our expertise include:

  • Veteran trading, credit, logistics, risk, and accounting professionals
  • Deep technical competency in CTRM internals
  • Unique combination of technical and functional skills
  • Proven — with reliable client references — at solving the hardest industry problems

Speed — We know time is a factor and your needs are urgent, so our team is ready to hit the
ground running, using our depth of knowledge to move quickly to solve even the most difficult
problems.

CTRM in the Cloud – Whether you are in the cloud or you want to go there, our managed
service CTRM in the Cloud experts are the go-to resource. We ensure your instance is
optimized for the cloud, your hosting configuration is cost-effective, and fluctuating system
demands are seamlessly met by the cloud.

Commitment — We aren’t simply about offering advice and recommendations, but our success hinges on seeing your project through and getting real, measurable, and sustainable results to help you succeed today, tomorrow, and in the future.

About Value Creed
Founded in 2016, Value Creed brings a new model exclusively to the CTRM Ecosystem. With a focus on improving the effectiveness of CTRM customers in the run and operate phase, Value Creed’s expert-driven Managed Services provides CTRM customers with the expertise to get the most from their system, securely and rapidly move to the cloud and engage with experts to accomplish the support and enhancements that will truly help them achieve their business goals and vision with CTRM. Value is our mantra and promise. We pride ourselves on providing unparalleled value to our clients. Our team of experts leverages their deep energy industry and unparalleled CTRM technical experience to deliver a set of managed services and solutions that improve your return from the CTRM system, improve your users’ experience, and deliver greater value to your organization. Run Smart™, only with Value Creed.

Reclaiming Peak Efficiency in the Face of an Information Architecture Shortfall

Key Results:

“Virtually everyone in the natural gas industry uses CTRM, but it was not fully aligned to our business needs. The knowledgeable experts at Value Creed created a unique solution that saves us large amounts of effort, internal resources, and overtime.” 

Wayne Pivec
Vice President of Trading and Logistics

The Client:

G2X Energy is a privately-owned company based in Houston, Texas that develops, owns, and operates production facilities that convert natural gas to methanol. While sophisticated and vertically integrated globally, G2X is also a relatively small shop with a near zero-risk tolerance. Efficient use of available resources is critical to their continued success.

Wayne Pivec, Vice President of Trading and Logistics, is responsible for managing the company’s natural gas inputs. He understands all too well how important it is to leverage all possible advantages to keep G2X’s metrics on track. To accomplish this goal, he uses CTRM to account for every single dollar and molecule.

The Challenge:

Wayne and his team at G2X had to contend with the following:

The Solution:

G2X needed a fix. Based on their reputation for deploying efficient “tiger-teams” of world renowned CTRM experts, they reached out to Value Creed for help. Working closely with Mr. Pivec, they helped solve this business process conundrum by:

Outcome:

Upon implementing Value Creed’s solutions, Wayne’s team felt immediate relief from the strain, which improved their work/life balance. Now they are able to put orders into the system more easily, and get dollars out of the system with much greater efficiency. To ensure that the new information infrastructure functions as seamlessly as possible, Value Creed now monitors and manages G2X Energy’s CTRM application 24/7/365.

“It can be tough to maximize efficiency when you’re a small shop, and people have to wear many hats. Value Creed was able to create a solution to exactly fit the way we do business. Now we can get the job done…and go home on time.”

Wayne Pivec
Vice President of Trading and Logistics


 

Value Creed

Value Creed, LLC, founded in 2016, is a managed services firm headquartered in Dallas, TX, specializing in commodity trading and risk management technology and business process optimization. The firm offers expert-driven managed services, business process outsourcing, cloud enablement, and CTRM complementary technologies to help CTRM customers achieve optimal value in their software investment. For more information, visit www.valuecreed.com or call (833) 282-7333

G2X Energy, Inc.

Houston-based G2X Energy develops, owns and operates production facilities that convert natural gas to methanol for the US and international markets. Transforming natural gas by leveraging existing infrastructure and proven conversion technologies, G2X meets the demand for cost-competitive methanol and chemicals using abundant, clean, domestic US natural gas.

For more information visit www.g2xenergy.com or call (713) 943-2200.

In his Value Creed Viewpoint webinar, “CTRM In The Cloud: Pros Con’s and Missteps to Avoid” Priyankar Datta addressed several points asked by attendees. We have included a transcript of the live Question and Answer segment here. 

View the entire webinar recording on demand here.

Question: Does Value Creed have enough bandwidth to support multiple customers at once with 24/7 support?

Answer: Value Creed has built its business to support customers globally 24/7/365.  We have a focus on CTRM customers in the run and operate phase of their lifecycle and because of that, our staff, tools, techniques and philosophy are all built to handle the urgent and often unscripted needs of customers running critical production systems.

Question: Who is hosting the cloud implementations? How difficult it is to determine interface compatibility to send/receive data from cloud implementation?

Answer: Value Creed can support systems in either AWS or Azure. The Value Creed cloud is hosted by AWS. AWS host over 45% of all commercial cloud implementations and is tried and tested with CTRM systems, giving Value Creed a wealth of tools, capability and capacity to bring to bear to improve the operating environment of CTRM Customers.

Regarding integrations, Value Creed is experienced in seamlessly connecting your CTRM system to all existing integrated systems in the most secure, yet efficient means possible. Also, our managed services team monitors these integrations for continuous connection and successful data transfers 24 hours a day.

Question: Can you cover the benefits of business continuity, i.e. if the building is inaccessible, can users potentially work from home, or satellite office - maybe removing the need for DR IT and offices.

Answer: The Value Creed cloud takes advantage of the expansive options that AWS provides for business continuity. From redundant servers and storage to failover across geographies and data center zones, we can assure that disaster recovery is well planned, comprised of easily accessed systems and deployed in a budget-minded fashion.

Question: Is the licensing model changed to SaaS (CTRM)?

Answer: CTRM offers both subscription and perpetual licensing. Engaging Value Creed for cloud hosting or managed services has no impact on your CTRM software licensing. Value Creed works with your existing licenses and migrates your licensed instances to the cloud. We can also help you interpret your future licensing needs and work with you and CTRM to right size your future growth.

Since the 1990s, outsourcing has served as an effective way for businesses to boost overall performance, lower costs, and free up resources and personnel to create innovative new products. However, in the world of CTRM, outsourcing has evolved beyond the practice of hiring third-party providers to handle administrative tasks and manual labor. Through managed services, companies can now outsource complex tasks such as infrastructure management, application management and day-to-day application enhancement, maintenance, user support, and custom programming.

The Evolution of Managed Services

As the CTRM industry has started embracing managed services, a shift in expectations has occurred concerning capability, services, processes, and providers. Since the inception of the CTRM/ETRM market, CTRM selections and implementations have largely taken the same approach. First, companies navigate a tedious and well-thought-out selection by comparing a slate of known competitors, each with proven capabilities and considerable accomplishments. Then, the companies initiate an onerous implementation, the success of which is largely dependent upon both the customer and vendor’s sophistication in business, processes, and technology.

However, with the unprecedented growth of the gig economy during the last five years, the process has been considerably simplified. So much so that even the smallest companies have incorporated the best technology and support vendors into their business strategies. The modern approach to CTRM selections now follows a different pattern. It begins by hiring an on-staff manager. That manager is then supported by a hybrid IT/business expert and a boutique consulting company. They advise the manager concerning the valuation, trading, and logistics of the company’s target commodity or selected technology. Finally, after assessing the business’ potential SI partners, a vendor with the best qualifications is chosen. Through this revised process, a significant number of small- to mid-sized boutique consulting firms have entered the market and, in some cases, have prospered.

Selecting the Right Managed Services Partner

Despite the growth of these boutique consulting firms, their success isn’t defined by a steady upward trajectory. Market conditions are chunky, slowed by cyclical commodity cycles and arduous budget processes. In many instances, these firms must look for ways to smooth their revenue curves, augment their benches, and keep their highest revenue sources engaged during downtimes.

As a result, many firms have started offering smoothed support contracts under the guise of managed services. Though this is most certainly an intelligent and entrepreneurial solution for the firms, there’s the risk that their customer base could lose interest, be underwhelmed with capability or, even worse, they may not have the financial stability or commitment to continue. Thus, the CTRM industry will start to see a new type of firm emerge. These firms will be specialized, purpose-built managed services firms with the appropriate strategies and expertise to fulfill all necessary CTRM needs. When selecting the right firm for your business, the following four areas will help illuminate qualifications and identify a true long-term partner:

  1. SLA Every true outsourced application management relationship is defined and measured by a broad, transparent, and solid service level agreement (SLA). SLAs are a familiar concept regarding IT systems management, as they provide an outcome-based set of benchmarks. However, they are not a “one size fits all” solution. SLAs must be retrofitted for the markets, business processes, and business operations of the systems they’re governing. When analyzing the SLA of a potential managed services firm, ask the following clarifying question: “Will this SLA improve the way my business operates?
  2. Processes — The creation and implementation of operating processes—an area of significant maturity in the IT outsourcing space—will translate nicely to CTRM managed services. When professionally developed and stringently adhered to, operating processes are the hallmark of well-managed systems. As you evaluate the viability and effectiveness of a managed services provider, dig into their operating guides, process manuals, and the staff’s training on procedures that are specific to your business and specific to the application being managed. These factors serve as great indicators of the professionalism and level of confidence you can have, should you move forward with this provider.
  3. Personnel and Staffing — Application outsourcing and managed services require a full-time commitment. The firm’s staff will manage all interactions with your organization, shadow your team members, and manage your systems and programming. This staff should be robust enough to provide support 24 hours a day and provide that support at a higher level than you could provide in-house. Redundancy isn’t a conversation limited to hardware or facilities—it should also include personnel. In addition to the size and expertise of the staff, the firm also has a responsibility to keep all team members current on your software’s technology updates, capability changes, and trends.
  4. Strategy — The managed services firm you choose has a responsibility to provide world-class application support, and to do so, it must have a clearly defined strategy which guides all activity and is constantly refined. A lack of focus on strategy can lead to confusing business models, misaligned priorities, and competing resources. To offer 24/7, expert-driven, top-quality support for your systems, this firm must demonstrate a strong discipline concerning all necessary competencies. Specifically, you must ensure your managed service isn’t hijacked by a conflict between utilization and hourly driven services. You must also ensure your managed service isn’t diluted by a least common denominator approach, in which horizontal, readily available resources—as are prevalent in general IT outsourcing—are used. If you understand the strategic focus of your partner, you can effectively build a fruitful, long-term relationship with your application managed services vendor.

To learn more about moving your CTRM system to the cloud and transforming your business, contact us at 833-282-7333 or by email at sales@valucreed.com today to get started.

About Value Creed

Value Creed, LLC, founded in 2016, is a managed services firm headquartered in Dallas, TX, specializing in commodity trading and risk management technology and business process optimization. The firm offers expert-driven managed services, business process outsourcing, cloud enablement, and CTRM complimentary technologies to help CTRM customers achieve optimal value in their software investment. For more information, visit www.valuecreed.com