Economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region may be outpacing that seen elsewhere, yet to post a 75% rise in year-on-year regional revenue from 2011 to 2012 is impressive by any standard and helped technology vendor Triple Point Technology secure this year’s ETRM Software House of the Year, Asia award. The company also boosted regional head count by some 60% to 400 since the start of 2011. This included the acquisition of Australian firm Qmastor and its 110 staff.
The US firm, which is about to turn 20, has recently demonstrated the reason for its staying power by adding some of the biggest energy companies in Asia to the list of clients using its flagship Commodity XL trading and risk management product.
Client wins in the past year or so include state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country’s third biggest energy company; South Korea’s largest refiner, SK Energy; and Mumbai-based Cairn India, part of the Cairn Energy group. Other recent additions include India’s Dhanlaxmi Bank, HMEL, State Bank of India and Yes Bank; Japanese commodity trader Marubeni; and Merit Chartering in Singapore.
These bolster an impressive client base, including Indian giant Reliance Industries (which is implementing Triple Point’s shipping solution this year) and mining companies BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Triple Point has benefited from moves by some of the biggest refiners and energy producers in Asia to boost hedging and trading activity this year and last, says Simon Woods, London-based vice-president of international sales. He points to various factors behind this trend, including the growing level of risk management requirements in the industry and the higher volatility in the market.
The integrated management of the end-to-end supply chain is becoming more important
Moreover, Reliance – which uses Commodity XL to support refineries including Jamnagar, the world’s largest – has just started implementing the Triple Point Chartering and VesselOps solution. This reflects a growing trend for energy companies to integrate their chartering with their cargo operations, says Woods.
Shipping used to be done more independently, with commodity traders buying cargo then passing it to the shipping unit to execute the movements, he notes. But now “the integrated management of the end-to-end supply chain is becoming more important,” he adds.
One area where Triple Point stands out is its ability to implement quickly, on time and within budget. Installation of CNOOC’s system was completed in 14 weeks, which may be a record time for such a project, Woods believes.
Reliance is another satisfied customer. CS Borar, Reliance Group’s senior vice-president, commercial, has gone on record this year saying: “With Triple Point’s system implemented across all of our worldwide offices, including Houston, London and Singapore, there are no gaps between trading activities in various locations. Reliance gains a global picture of its price exposure and that’s extremely valuable in our business.”
Moreover, the vendor has added to its product range in the past year or so, including providing quicker access and analysis of credit data and thus credit risk; new mobile applications for commodity management; and advanced energy supply chain optimisation software through its acquisition of Qmastor in November.
Triple Point also added enhancements to Commodity XL for gas, including hourly physical gas trading, physical gas swing options, tiered pricing contracts, point balancing automation, point-based heat value conversions, and advancements for managing crude pipeline logistics, batch management and tariffs.
The firm also added new functionality to its commodity hedge-accounting solution, including the ability to handle fair-value inventory hedges, commodity swaptions and complex regression analyses.
In terms of commodity trading and risk management technology, Asian energy firms are jumping straight from long-standing – often in-house – legacy systems to the latest solutions, says Woods. They want to do so as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible, he adds – and they expect a high level of service to boot. That’s a challenge Triple Point has risen to admirably thus far.