Basin Electric Teams Collaborate On Software Upgrade

Nichole Braunberger, Basin Electric manager of Market Operations; Germain Krueger, Basin Electric senior enterprise application architect; Jennifer Eli, Basin Electric manager of Settlements; and Kerry Kaseman, Basin Electric manager of Commodity Risk.

Upgrading software is no easy thing, and when it comes to Allegro, the Energy Trading and Risk Management (ETRM) solution at Basin Electric, it took 45 staff members to coordinate the implementation of Horizon, the newest framework of Allegro. “This is great example of people from various areas pulling together for a positive result,” says Brian Matthews, Basin Electric vice president and chief information officer. 

Allegro is the system of record for a majority of trading and hedging activities. Without ETRM systems to facilitate those activities, it would be difficult to efficiently manage short- and long-term positions, which in turn could have an impact on the bottom line. “Allegro is used by front office (Marketing and Asset Management) to capture and maintain trades for physical and financial power, natural gas, and diesel. It is used by middle office (Commodity Risk) to evaluate positions of commodities, and it is used by back office (Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable and Settlements) for the settlement of trades,” says Germain Krueger, senior enterprise application architect. 

The upgrade project began with a request for proposals and choosing the implementation vendor. Next, staff worked with Value Creed, the implementation consultant, to analyze the implementation process. The upgrade began on Feb. 1, and training was offered onsite by Value Creed. The training sessions were recorded and are now available in Learning Central. 

The biggest benefit of this upgrade is that previously reported system defects have been fixed, and any support issues that are encountered by Basin Electric will also be fixed. The previous version was no longer being fixed in a timely manner. “Functionality was enhanced in 20-plus modules within Allegro. In addition, more than 12 bugs reported by Basin Electric in the prior version were fixed in Horizon,” Krueger says. 

An automated testing module is available for the new version of Allegro. This testing module, when implemented, will provide the ability to automate end-to-end testing as well as some mundane processes performed by business areas. This testing module was not available for previous versions. 

As is the case with any software upgrade, there are bugs that need to be addressed and fixed. These are being fixed with ION support, the Allegro software vendor. “All but one piece of work that was identified as a requirement for the upgrade is in place,” Krueger says. “That one piece is being worked on under a change order to the project.” 

One might think collaborating with so many team members would be difficult, but the team used Wrike, a project management tool, to digitally collaborate on all pieces of the project. “The core project team dedicated themselves to accomplishing all milestones on time and ensuring there were available people resources to do so,” Krueger says. 

The upgrade went live on Aug. 8, and came in on time and under budget. Overall, it was a major success. 

Staff members on the project represent IS&T, Asset Management and Commodity Strategy, Commodity Risk, Settlements, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Multistate Tax, and Procurement. The core Project Team members were Germain Krueger (project manager), Kerry Kaseman, Jennifer Ehli, Nichole Braunberger, Rogetta Schmitt, Amanda Schauer, and Tiffany Zablotney.

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