CombineNet Comunique VIII: CombineNet Energy

Recently, CombineNet, one of the few companies lucky enough to have inspired a whole series of posts (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII) on this blog, launched CombineNet Energy which, although it sounds like a new sports drink, is actually a re-launch of their advanced sourcing application platform with built-in decision guidance systems for the energy sector.

As you may know, back in 2003 CombineNet, in a leading initiative, formed an Energy Division, which, considering the recent energy crisis, doesn’t look nearly so crazy or risky in hindsight. According to their

solution overview, in a competitive energy market place, shareholders insist on strong financial performance, customers expect reliable and affordable service, and regulators require detailed reporting and compliance. In this pressured environment, CombineNet Energy offers proprietary, optimization-enabled decision guidance technologies that enable energy executives, policy makers and business managers to address the most complex strategic, financial and operational issues confronting the energy industry. CombineNet Energy’s advanced technologies help energy companies increase operational efficiencies and maximize profits.

In addition to their advanced sourcing platform, based on their Expressive Bidding and Scenario Builder offering, they are now offering a Gas System Guidance System, GS2, that they are promoting as an entirely new breed of operational and financial planning tool for the natural gas industry that simultaneously analyzes all elements of the vertically-integrated natural gas operation, including supply, transmission/compression, storage, operational solutions and contractual constraints, to guide weekly, monthly, and annual operational decisions that maximize profits and efficiency. It sounds very interesting – pipeline optimization is a tricky problem. At any one time, you can only pump one-way, and it’s hard to predict exact demands in advance. They even have a Video Demo, which is kind of neat.

The also have an on-line flash-based value-assessment Calculator that an energy company can use to estimate it’s potential cost reductions using the CombineNet tool (which is quite important because this type of technology comes with a hefty price tag, and not every one understands that the rewards can be many times greater than the investment). For example, given the number of Local Distribution Companies, the annual operating revenue, annual gas purchase expense, annual volume of gas withdrawn, the weighted average cost of gas, the annual transportation expense, and the property, plant and equipment balance, it is able to calculate an estimated range of savings that would be obtained using CombineNet’s solution. Check it out.

I’ll eventually get to my promised “Powers of POE” piece …