RiskTech100 2024 Winner's Spotlight: ZE

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ZE Power Group (ZE), a global provider of end-to-end data management and analytics technology, is the inaugural winner of the RiskTech100 award Risk Data Aggregation and Reporting Award - Complex Data/Alternative Data. This year also marks the firm’s first entry into the Chartis RiskTech100 ranking. 

ZE has long been recognized as a top performer within Chartis’ energy rankings. This year’s recognition in the wider risk realm reflects the strength of the company’s data offering, with solutions that empower businesses across all sectors to navigate and mitigate risk effectively. 

ZEMA’s scope and breadth

The company’s comprehensive data management platform, ZEMA, is pivotal to ZE’s success. Its suite of modular applications provides a configurable, end-to-end enterprise data management solution, with a wide array of capabilities covering data collection, aggregation, validation, modeling, analytics, charting, transformation, integration, and reporting. 

ZE is a privately owned company that is dedicated to the long-term development of ZEMA. This primary focus on data management and workflow automation has enabled the firm to successfully address the challenges of high data volumes and speed of delivery, while ensuring completeness and accuracy, resulting in strong new business growth and high levels of customer retention. 

Aiman El-Ramly, ZE’s Chief Business Officer, says: ‘The trust that our Fortune 500 energy, commodity, utility, finance and logistics customers show when they choose ZEMA to be their mission critical platform is testament to our strength. They can count on our data platform to be the cornerstone that feeds all their other systems.’  

ZEMA’s scope and breadth are key to our success. It is the most robust and comprehensive data management and analytics platform for energy and commodities, with unrivalled data and integration libraries. We are able to meet any client use case,’ he continues. 

ZEMA collects data from a vast array of sources and is able to automate complex trade and risk workflows. With the ZE Cloud, in addition to their own databases, clients gain access to the ZEMA Data Ecosystem that is connected to over 1,400 data sources. This offers global coverage across all commodity classes, including: oil, gas, LNG, petrochemicals, power, renewables, agriculture, foods, metals and mining, alongside other market and condition data including: finance and banking, ratings, generation, transmission, transportation, shipping, and weather. 

ZEMA is data-agnostic; it can collect data from any third party,’ explains El-Ramly. ‘Regardless of the commodity, the region or the format of that data, whether it’s from an exchange, a broker, or a government source, we are able to bring that data into ZEMA and deal with it very smartly. We offer a rich transformation layer, where clients can either apply their own industry specific or bespoke analysis, use ZE’s out-of-the-box analysis, or ask ZE for unique builds. In terms of our integration capability, we connect to more systems than anybody else; the whole data funnel is very robust.’ 

Seamless integration capabilities

ZEMA provides seamless integration of its data and analytics with third party applications. From an architectural standpoint, the platform is also system agnostic and has both system specific integrations and more generic web services to support movement of data between target systems. As of 2023, the platform is integrated with 135 third-party applications and custom databases, encompassing a broad spectrum of downstream third party systems, including Energy/Commodity Trade and Risk Management (ETRM/CTRM) systems, Enterprise CRM and ERP systems, Finance, Settlement and Analytics. 

The platform’s versatility and scalability are critical components of ZEMA’s success. It means that ZE can offer its customers the transition to a silo-less system, with full unification of all data processes, business practices, modeling logic, integrations, and reporting in one centralized system. 

Recent developments  

‘Over the last 12 months we have continued to refine our ability to rapidly implement complex trade and risk workflows, while providing seamless downstream integration to dependent systems. We have also continued to improve our core ZEMA applications with enhanced user experience features and more powerful analytic capabilities. Behind the scenes we are leveraging AI/ML models in our cloud operations tools to ensure our clients get the highest quality data with the lowest latency,’ says El-Ramly. 

ZE is always looking for ways to make data more accessible to industry participants to ensure easy entry points for organizations looking to access ZE’s data collection and management expertise. ZE offers many models of Software as a Service (SaaS) including its Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), Curves-as-a-Service (CaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings to specifically configure and scale to enterprise requirements. The goal is to serve all clients, in any industry or size of organization, with more performant and flexible data services, while minimizing local data storage costs and improving the user experience with easier, faster access to ZE data. 

In April 2023, the firm also launched Spaces, a new software component designed to help businesses organize and access their content in a smarter way. ZEMA Spaces are containers that allow administrators and end users to clean up their objects and categorize them into meaningful organizational units that best suit their business needs. This feature also allows users to easily control access to those objects. Users can publish their profiles (analytics, datasheets, templates and linked analytics) to Spaces and organize them based on common groupings such as desks, teams or commodities. 

Future plans

ZE plans to continue innovating and expanding its platform to satisfy increasingly complex business problems and strengthen its position in newer customer segments, such as Capital Markets and firms in non-energy or commodity markets.  

‘Looking to the future, our mission is to allow customers to digest data easily, in any way they want,’ says El-Ramly. ‘We are building new tools that allow clients to syndicate data quickly in a templated, easy to digest manner. Our upcoming application, VUZE, will offer simplified access to ZEMA data for all users, hiding complexities from non-technical users and supporting the syndication of client data and IP throughout an organization.’ 

VUZE will be a self-service platform, facilitating easy and quick analyses of the data, with intuitive access. Customers, third parties and ZE will all be able to build content, syndicate data and share on a permission only basis. 

‘Given the volume of data that we collect, along with our market expertise and that of our partners and clients, VUZE will be another resounding way to share data. ML and AI will also provide unique insights,’ adds El-Ramly. 

At an overarching, strategic level, ZE has ambitious goals: ‘Our objective is to be the must-have solution for any data-centric industry and first to mind in any data challenge. Given the ever growing strategic importance of data throughout an organization, we will continue to build use cases and remain focused on assisting our clients to maximize their return on investment, mitigate risk, and decrease time-to-market of actionable insights,’ El-Ramly concludes.

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