Below are responses to the most frequently asked questions
does SoftSmiths do?
How does SoftSmiths do this?
Is a transaction management system really crucial?
What makes SoftSmiths different from other transaction
and risk management companies?
What products does SoftSmiths offer?
How does SoftSmiths impact its customers?
Who are your customers?
How does SoftSmiths impact ROI?
What makes SoftSmiths a stable, smart choice in
an uncertain economy?
Who is your biggest competitor in the marketplace?
What is SoftSmiths’ revenue model?
What is your approach to research and development?
Can SoftSmiths software prevent power outages like
consumers saw in California in 2001?
Can your software help identify wash trades?
How can silos be integrated within an organization
using SoftSmiths technology
does SoftSmiths do?
SoftSmiths helps energy
marketers sell, purchase, trade and deliver energy
scalable, adaptable and tailored energy transaction
management systems for Utilities, Municipals, Investor
Owned Utilities, LDCs, Power and Gas Marketers, Generators,
Producers, and Pipeline companies. We facilitate
energy trading, transaction processing, risk measurement
and decision support
within the wholesale energy markets. Our solutions
and services automate the manual processes of our
customers, eliminate redundant data entry, reduce
settlement cycles, increase business visibility
across the enterprise and help reduce risk allowing
to make faster and more informed decisions that
can improve profitability, operational efficiency
How does SoftSmiths do this?
has an in-depth understanding of industry business
practices and a
track record of solving
the complex challenges brought on by deregulation.
These resources, combined with our intellectual property
and consulting services, allow us to deliver integrated
software solutions designed to give our customers
an edge in the competitive marketplace. We then take
it one step further with our ongoing commitment to
research and development and our rigorous standards
for quality assurance and customer service which
include a Customer Engagement Method that recognizes
the use of the technology as being as important as
the technology itself. With more than 100 years of
combined industry experience, SoftSmiths has been
able to develop proven solutions that fit our customers’ needs
like a glove.
Is a transaction management system really crucial?
tools we provide are a “must-have” because
they are focused on the backbone of our customers’ business.
These tools designed to integrate seamlessly into
a customer’s systems to handle transactions
from deal capture to settlement supporting straight
through processing. Our customers need a scalable
and adaptable transaction management tool to compete
successfully in a deregulated environment. SoftSmiths
solutions are critical in that they enforce and support
business processes, thereby improving information
control, communications, visibility and efficiencies.
makes SoftSmiths different from other transaction
and risk management companies?
New Solution for a New Era – The SoftSmiths
solution was developed from the ground up using industry
standards for reliability, performance, openness
and portability. We strive to make our technology
conform to business, not vice versa, and we support
changing business practices through an unmatched
level of adaptability, flexibility and scalability.
of Use – The
interfaces and features of SoftSmiths’ solutions address the business
users’ every-day needs and are laid out logically
and intuitively. SoftSmiths is not a rigid, one-size-fits-all
solution and allows users to slice and dice information
to be presented in a way that makes sense for their
Adaptability & Scalability – SoftSmiths’ solutions
evolve with the marketplace to solve real, ongoing
challenges for customers. We take the time to understand
the role of each business unit and mold products
around them to help customers now and adapt to their
needs in the future, avoiding re-writing software
every time business rules change.
Knowledge – Few
companies can boast energy expertise similar to
what the SoftSmiths team
can offer. As thought leaders in the transaction
management sector, SoftSmiths has a thorough understanding
of the industry standards and regulations that impact
its customers and can work with them to address challenges
and opportunities to make them more successful.
Service & Support – Our
approach to technology and customer service is based
on our commitment to
developing true partnerships with our customers.
SoftSmiths offers a full spectrum of services and
allows customers to choose from variable levels of
support to mold solutions that fit their company’s
needs like a glove.
does SoftSmiths Offer?
SoftSmiths offers software
and solutions, implementation and technology
services, business practice services and customized
solutions to fit the unique needs of various
organizations. We have distinct product
suites that focus on different market participants:
application solves practical business problems for Load
Serving Entities, Purchasing Selling Entities and Municipal
Utilities. SoftSmiths Power provides Load Forecasting,
Resource & Portfolio Management, Real-time and Term
Trading, Multi-Commodity Deal Capture, Net Position and "What-If" Impact
Analysis, Volume and Mark-to-Market reporting, P&L
reporting, Scheduling, Transmission Reservation and Electronic
Tagging. In the Middle Office, SoftSmiths Power capabilities
include Operational and resource constraints, Risk Measurement,
Controls and Monitoring, while the Back-office provides
financial settlement, invoicing, payment tracking and
– This product suite provides
Front, Middle and Back-Office capabilities for Natural Gas Marketers,
LDC, Utilities and Pipeline companies. SoftSmiths Gas provides Deal
Capture, Transportation Management, Storage Management and Risk Management.
In the Middle Office, SoftSmiths Gas capabilities include Operational and
resources constraints, Risk Measurement, Controls and Monitoring, Nominations
and Pipeline Imbalances, while the Back-office provides Contract Management,
Confirmations, Financial Settlement, Invoicing and reporting.
SoftSmiths Transmission is a collection of business-critical, robust and
easy-to-use interactive applications designed for
RTOs, ISOs and transmission providers. Our product
offers a scalable and flexible business technology
solution that seamlessly integrates scheduling
transmission services, ATC management, Interchange
checkout, EMS integration and accounting/reporting.
Electronic Tagging – The
Electronic Tagging Portal Suite (ETPS) allows energy
marketers to communicate with one another in a
manner that is compliant with NERC regulations.
The three components of ETPS, e-Agent, e-Authority
and e-Approval, enable load serving entities, purchasing/selling
entities, generation producers, transmission providers
and control area operators to create, verify, approve
and manage energy delivery transactions using the
Internet as its platform.
Markets – Through
a single application SoftSmiths Market allows market participants
connect and communicate transaction requests from
the system to any number of markets based on the
Standard Markets Design model.
e-Link - The e-Link modules provide critical interfaces
between our SoftSmiths Gas, SoftSmiths Power, SoftSmiths Transmission and
SoftSmiths Electronic Tagging Portal Suite applications and other business
systems, using XML schemas consistent with electric
industry and internet standards such as XML schema,
SOP and SMXP. With our e-Link product, we provide an
XML framework that enables you to seamlessly integrate
back-office systems by deploying business adapters
for risk management, trading, scheduling, generation,
load, meter, and NERC E-Tag information. e-Link interfaces
are designed using publish and subscribe, so transfers
are event driven and occur as events take place, thus
critical information is transmitted in real time, optimizing
decision-making processes enterprise-wide. This enables
organizations to manage risk and optimize usage of
assets in a highly dynamic environment.
SoftSmiths impact its customers?
Operational Efficiency and Reliability – SoftSmiths’ solutions
improve visibility into resources and obligations
in real time as the volume and complexity of
transactions increase. The resulting reliability,
reduced cost and minimization of errors enhances
the ability of SoftSmiths’ customers to
plan, forecast and execute upon reliable and
timely information – turning risk into
Settlement Cycles – The
accurate and timely back-office information
provided by SoftSmiths helps customers limit
the number of disputes in the settlement
process. This, combined with an enhanced
capability to monitor the market and contractual
requirements automatically results in increased
speed to booked revenues and improved cash
Complexity – SoftSmiths
delivers an increased efficiency of processes
throughout the enterprise and real-time knowledge
of positions that results in reduced costs
and increased asset optimization of resources.
The automation of processes eliminates redundant
data entry and a single data repository enables
all reporting activities and data transfers
to be centralized in one place. In addition,
the assignment, definition and enforcement
of roles and responsibilities helps simplify
the business process and improves the ability
of SoftSmiths’ users to respond to
A typical SoftSmiths
customer is an asset-backed company with local
generation across multiple control areas that focuses
on physical power deals, an area where SoftSmiths’ solutions
excel. The company specifically targets Load Serving
Entities (LSEs), Generation Production Entities (GPEs),
Purchasing/Selling Entities, Transmission Providers
and Control Area Operators. We help these companies
update aging legacy systems, automate their trading
processes and comply with new industry regulations.
The common thread within our customer base is the
need to integrate technology in way that optimizes
assets and the desire to find a solution that fits
our customers’ needs from deal capture to settlement,
from cradle to grave. Examples of companies for whom
we have successfully implemented SoftSmiths solutions
include Bonneville Power Administration, Indianapolis
Power & Light, Grant County Public Utility
District and the Northern Indiana Public Service
SoftSmiths impact ROI?
By deploying SoftSmiths solutions,
customers achieve measurable ROI by reducing their
cost of doing business and avoiding unnecessary costs
and penalties. With SoftSmiths, customers can grow
revenues, improve cash flow, increase staff productivity
and improve service quality for business partners
and customers by streamlining processes, keeping
current with evolving industry standards/regulations
and having real-time access to business-critical
information enterprise-wide. If an organization knows
what its resources and obligations are in real time,
it is better prepared to make decisions that can
positively impact the health of the business. Having
the power to make better-informed decisions impacts
makes SoftSmiths a stable, smart choice in an
We are a growing and profitable
company, with developers and service professionals
who understand the marketplace and business practices
of our customers. SoftSmiths has become successful
by identifying the needs of our customers and addressing
them through our products and services. We remain
committed to our core competency: providing transaction
management solutions is all we do. With our track
record of solving complex challenges for a broad
base of industry-leading customers, we leverage our
focus on transaction management to provide the most
adaptable, easy-to-use products for transaction management
available in the industry.
your biggest competitor in the marketplace?
There are a number of companies
that compete in our space, but none that offer the
unique combination of customized solutions and industry
knowledge that we do. Those that claim transaction
and risk management capabilities usually only provide
an isolated island of solutions that are normally
disparate. They are often more on the side of pure
risk management or trading applications only. SoftSmiths
focuses on providing customers solutions that make
power move from point A to point B in the most efficient
is SoftSmiths’ revenue model?
We generate revenue from three
sources: software licenses, software maintenance
and implementation revenues. The proportion of what
each makes up of our total revenue varies based on
the market and our customer base.
is your approach to research and development?
SoftSmiths is committed
to research and development in business as well
We do not adopt new technologies simply because they’re
new. We identify the most accurate and refined tools
available that will help our customers realize greater
efficencies in their business. From the technology
perspective, SoftSmiths focuses on utilizing components
and processes that allow our solutions to remain
cost-effective for all sizes of energy companies.
This means we often turn away from new, exotic tools
that would require our customers to make huge initial
investments to take advantage of our technology.
On the business side, our team members attend various
work groups where we follow, track and participate
in developing new business practices and standards
and keep up with industry news and developments.
By combining business and technology goals in research
and development, SoftSmiths minimizes the disconnect
between research and implementation that many companies
software prevent power outages like consumers
saw in California in 2001?
Our technology provides information-gathering
tools that allow energy traders to have access to
real-time information regarding weather, usage and
other aspects affecting demand for power. The information
SoftSmiths provides can be used to facilitate more
accurate scheduling in the day-ahead and hour-ahead
markets, which could help avoid outages like those
experienced in California last year. It is important
to remember this is a complicated market driven by
software help identify wash trades?
First and foremost, we encourage
our customers to implement policies and procedures
that reward ethical behavior as the first line of
defense against such activities. However, in the
event of a wash trade, the transparency into all
aspects of trading for the company provided by the
SoftSmiths system can alert members of the organization
to such unethical behavior.
can silos be integrated within an organization
using SoftSmiths technology?
Often organizations implement
tools that do not integrate well into existing technologies,
thereby creating silos. SoftSmiths helps customers
by keeping this issue top-of-mind throughout the
business process, beginning with research and development.
Instead of waiting until implementation to confront
silos, we continually monitor the industry for technologies
that will allow our customers to avoid them in the
first place, making integration of SoftSmiths tools
painless. Where other organizations may try to push
a system on top of these disparate silos in an attempt
to integrate them, SoftSmiths approaches the challenge
from a business perspective. We take the time to
understand the role of each business unit and mold
our products around them to deliver a flexible solution
that will help our customers now and adapt to their
needs in the future. For example, SoftSmiths uses
e-Link in all its products. e-Link is an XML framework
that enables customers to seamlessly integrate back-office
systems by deploying business adapters for risk management,
trading, scheduling, generation, metering and tagging.
Thus, silos are addressed even before the solution
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