I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Carlos Lebrija, VP of Solution Development at Triple Point, to discuss Triple Point’s unique partnership with SAP and highlights of the recent Commodity SL 7.3 release.
Q: What is Triple Point’s partnership with SAP?
Carlos: Triple Point and SAP co-developed a commodity trading, risk, and operations software platform — Commodity Management™ — which utilizes best-of-breed components from both SAP ERP and Triple Point’s Commodity SL™. Commodity SL is the only solution endorsed by SAP in the commodity trading and enterprise risk management area.
Q: How did the partnership with SAP evolve?
Carlos: Through a very rigorous due diligence process, SAP picked Triple Point to partner with form all other major competitors in the CTRM space. That speaks volumes not only to our solution, but also to the people in our organization that helped influence that decision. Over the years, our work together has only gotten tighter, the result of which is Release 7.3.
Q: Describe the early days on the project…
Carlos: In the early days of 2005, it was just a handful of people from Triple Point and SAP working via multi-hour, multi-screen, multi-whiteboard conference calls. Today, there are over 70 people across both organizations working to service and bring innovation to Commodity SL customers and prospects every day.
Q: What makes Commodity SL 7.3 so significant?
Carlos: The 7.3 release provides full front-to-back integration — incluging master data, physical trades, logistics and settlement — for the first time. Commodity SL is now on equal footing with the Commodity XL platform.
Q: What are the high points of Release 7.3?
Carlos: As we laid the foundation of Commodity SL, we learned more and more about SAP and how it worked. This enabled us to develop tight integration with SAP methodology, dramatically reducing integration risk. In 7.3, the integrated solution now fully supports the most crucial elements of a complete physical trading scenario, including provisional pricing; secondary costs; a logistics model that matches SAP’s document structure; user-friendly message monitoring; and an incredibly robust technical infrastructure with automated log reprocessing, to name just a few.
Q: Now that Commodity SL is a full-blown solution, what’s next for Industry Solutions?
Carlos: We always have a few tricks up our sleeve…
CommodityPoint, an independent analyst firm, issued a research report studying the integration risk between CTRM and ERP systems. The paper does a good job of capturing the issue:
“The point is simply that just from a cost and effort point of view, any interface or point of integration including between the CTRM software and accounting software or an ERP solution is risky, costly and time consuming and this ignores other aspects of integration risk such as the inability to deploy proper workflow and controls across the application suite; the need for manual reconciliations, maintaining the same data (e.g. contract data) in multiple locations without a proper system of record and many additional limitations.”
In addition to analyzing the issue, the research discusses Commodity SL, Triple Point and SAP’s co-developed solution that eliminates the integration risk. The research hits the nail on the head as far as the value of the joint solution:
“Triple Point and SAP have developed and offer a seamless solution for commodity management which offers significant benefits for its users over and above the traditional approach of procuring a commercial CTRM solution and then interfacing it to SAP for financials. It virtually eliminates the integration risks and issues discussed above while providing significant benefits for the business. End users are offered a completely integrated suite of business systems where the complexities of ‘gluing’ the applications together is the responsibility of the vendor and where, should any issues arise, there is a single point of contact to get those issues rectified.
As the only SAP endorsed product with over 150,000 hours of co-development time invested, Commodity SL offers SAP users a best-in-class solution to their commodity management requirements that remains unique in the market today and provides significant value to those already heavily invested in SAP.”