Israr Ahmed, Founding Director, UK, KWA AnalyticsIsrar Ahmed, Founding Director, UK
“Whatever you do, do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and bring others to show them how well you do it,”—Walt Disney

This philosophy holds true no matter what business you are in. KWA Analytics follows the same wisdom in their winning strategy—turning every customer into a brand ambassador. As Openlink experts, KWA Analytics receives a constant stream of favourable recommendations and customer referrals, which are a result of their successful Openlink implementations and comprehensive Openlink services.

Receiving customer recommendations is highly challenging in an industry like energy trading and risk management(ETRM)where customers frequently switch service providers in search of better consulting, implementation, upgrade, and support services. However, KWA’s growing and loyal customer base that includes organisations ranging from commodity traders, insurance companies, investment banks, oil and gas majors and treasuries,speak volumes of their solutions and services that attract customers.

"Our commitment to client fulfilment stands resolute to our company values"

Founded by a trio of Openlink consultants, Richard Knight, Phil Walsh and Israr Ahmed, KWA today has evolved as a unique and independent specialist Openlink consultancy with offices in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. KWA brings its consulting and delivery skills to the ETRM ecosystem to address the intricacies faced by customers in this space. The challenges that impede the progress of ETRM projects include a poor understanding of business and systems that leads to delay and risks in projects, in addition to the cost of ownership. It is essential for organisations to have experts and competent people in their team to steer the business ahead, and KWA understands this very well. The company is driven by a group of seasoned and established consultants, including some of the original Openlink product architects, who strengthen KWA’s capabilities and have the required skill sets for quicker and more cost-effective execution than their competitors.

Comprehensive Service Offerings

KWA’s broad range of Openlink services in the ETRM space includes functional and technical consulting, auditing, training, support, upgrades and test automation. The KWA team provides optimal Openlink configurations and recommendations to integrate Openlink into an existing application landscape. “We take pride in having knowledge about the best solutions and sharing our breadth of experience and industry best practices with clients as well as our teams,” says Israr Ahmed, Founding Director, UK, KWA. The company offers several training courses powered by Openlink foundation to guide clients and give them an unparalleled level of insight into the Openlink environment.

“In terms of the support, we provide an array of bespoke services around the clock. Our support functions are led by a dedicated team that operates remotely and homogenously,” says Vikas, Director, India. When a British multinational company specialising in precious metals and sustainable technologies required round the clock support for their UK, US, Hong Kong and Shanghai operations, KWA proved to be an ideal choice.
Vikas Jain, Director, India & Fred Reimer, Director, Americas

KWA co-manages EOD for all regions, monitoring and troubleshooting any issues detected and status reporting. The company’s offshore support as well as onshore services delivery teams interact regularly with the client about performance against target incident response and resolution times.

In addition to the support services, KWA has developed robust end-to-end upgrade services for businesses planning an ETRM system upgrade, and an automated testing framework for organizations seeking early testing or defect resolution. Both the service and framework are underpinned by the company’s Openlink system expertise and proven delivery model.

KWA’s comprehensive range of Openlink services in the ETRM space includes consulting, auditing, training, support, upgrades and test automation

The testing framework works with Openlink Endur/ Findurbut can also be integrated with other custom applications or ETRM systems.“Our automated testing framework is distinctive as it offers tangible financial benefits to clients of multiple sizes,” explains Israr. While many automated testing frameworks test individual parts of a business process, KWA’s automation service tests a business process end-to-end. It reduces the time to test new releases, thereby enhancing the value that can be derived from Endur/ Findur.“Whether it is a minor release of locally developed code or a full system upgrade, the KWA framework improves the productivity of the testing process,” continues Israr. KWA has experienced Openlink subject matter experts (SMEs) to help clients define focused test suites, which can then be encapsulated in the test automation tool.

A Specialist in Openlink Implementations

Determining clients’ requirements and understanding their pain points have always been the company’s laser focus, which defines KWA’s commitment towards its customers. Part-way through a greenfield implementation of Openlink at a leading Chinese oil and gas and company, KWA was engaged to strengthen the implementation and assist the project team in meeting their intended delivery deadlines. Following a successful go-live, KWA was retained to provide their expertise to assist the client in delivering a series of new market add-ons and functional enhancements that allowed the business to rapidly expand and exploit the benefits of their new trading and risk management platform. This included design and development of cross-border trading capability, implementation of ROCs, LECs and Green certificates and emissions migration (Symphony to Openlink).
A variety of futures, options, spot, forward and inventory (auto futures roll, intra-day transfer process, inter-book ‘inventory’), ICE auto-booking feeds, and was followed by implementation of coal derivatives, physical LNG and spark and dark spread options.KWA also provided complex valuation curve construction, support for additional hedging instruments, Secondary Cost Management (Vessel Charters, Bunker fuel purchases, Ports Costs) and P&L explained refinements.

KWA showed the same dedication and expertise with a leading British multinational oil and gas company that wanted to move from a legacy ETRM platform to Openlink and needed design and implementation expertise. The project scope included implementation of regulatory reporting, business as usual (BAU) improvements, including asset performance management, back office, and P&L enhancements, complex swing contract modelling, and much more.

KWA was entrusted with the task to implement new markets for financial power and options trading with aggressive ‘time to market’ requirements from the business. From providing SME resources to successfully migrating the business to Openlink, KWA finished the project two months ahead of the original schedule with a significant reduction in overall expenditure. For new markets, KWA assisted in delivering the solutions to production in two 12-week release cycles. Furthermore, KWA’s subject matter experts designed and implemented several complex enhancements, which resulted in reporting improvements, significant time savings for middle-office users and the retirement of several off-system spreadsheets.

Serving different customers has helped KWA gain tremendous experiences and references in terms of global projects, which has enabled them to recently win a large greenfield Openlink implementation in the Americas, demonstrating their continuing success.

Taking a Customer-Centric Approach

Recently, the company was recognized in this year’s Energy Risk Rankings and was awarded “Best at CTRM Software Implementation” building on their 2018 award for “Best Implementation Specialist”.“These milestones and rankings reflect KWA’s commitment to growing the breadth and depth of its offerings without compromising on its core aim of providing the highest quality of service to clients,” explains Fred Reimer, Director, Americas, KWA.

KWA sees tremendous opportunities for growth in terms of delivering end-to-end services. Beyond the Openlink landscape, recently KWA partnered with Veson Nautical, a provider of best-in-class maritime shipping solution—the Veslink IMOS Platform, which can be integrated with Openlink to provide a holistic logistics solution. KWA are also providing product management support for clients undertaking in-house builds and are evaluating the potential to work with vendors building cloud based ETRM/CTRM solutions.Amid the path to building strategic relationships, KWA’s focus is on scripting the next string of customer success stories. “At KWA, we believe in prioritising clients’ needs and delivering robust solutions. Our commitment to client fulfilment stands resolute to our company values,” concludes Fred.