Harnessing the potential of big data is essential in today’s energy environment to produce better business outcomes. While analytics can unlock the power of big data, generating business insights at all stages, challenges like data inaccuracies do exist, costing Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. “These inaccuracies stem from a series of possible issues including manual number-crunching mistakes, errors processing EDI feed data, incorrect mappings when trying to merge data between disparate systems, and more,” notes Howard Cho, CEO, Ende Solutions. Based in New York City, Ende Solutions offers its BLACKSTART platform to comprehensively simplify ESCOs’ operational needs, from rich CRM functionality, to customer contracts, customized pricing, billing, wholesale positioning, and ultimately to highly detailed reports.

Ende Solutions is much more than a software solution for the deregulated energy space; it is the one-stop platform that handles all business functions into a single integrated solution. “Since all aspects of the application are in a unified system, the chances of data errors are greatly minimized,” says Cho. “With all the data points residing in a single platform, BLACKSTART provides unprecedented levels of accuracy and detail.”

For instance, a leading ESCO, handling over 32k of their electric and gas accounts, replaced their antiquated software solutions with the BLACKSTART platform. The platform was specifically designed to handle the ESCO’s incredibly complex requirements, while also enabling more basic, quicker methods of handling accounts. “Our data professionals are always available to work closely with clients during the integration phase; we can handle a wide variety of data sets, and work closely with the client to ensure that all data has mapped precisely,” asserts Cho. “Since many of the current software solutions aren’t necessarily built with the intricacies of the energy business in mind, we offer many bulk features, allowing the end users to easily update missing data.”

The firm has also worked hard to ensure that any ESCO can easily run their entire book of business through their application without the need for external tools.

With all the data points residing in a single platform, BLACKSTART provides unprecedented levels of accuracy and detail


“Nevertheless, should an ESCO still want to use external applications, our platform is built utilizing a web-service architecture, allowing easy integration with third party applications like Salesforce,” states Cho. In addition, BLACKSTART is built to handle both internal and external agencies and brokers, making commissions easy to track. “For companies looking to restrict user access, we have multiple fine-tuned levels of user permissions, along with historical user tracking to improve accountability,” affirms Cho.

With over a decade of experience as a Database Administrator, Cho assures that the platform is built with speed, stability, and scalability in mind. In one instance, an Ende client was “flying in the dark” due to the lack of data accuracy and transparency when trying to hedge their wholesale purchasing. Their previous applications’ stability was a constant issue with crippling slow-downs and crashes. Additionally, many of their daily pricing updates required manual updates by software developers, causing significant delays in being able to work with the latest data. BLACKSTART not only relieved them of these challenges, but also unearthed a huge number of data integrity issues throughout their entire electric and gas systems.

Forging ahead, “We have plans to release a broker and agency portal, allowing brokers and agencies to view all their customers and contracts and to sign/renew new contracts easily and quickly,” says Cho. “This will be followed up with a customer portal, allowing existing customers to view their usage in near real-time and manage their respective accounts.