Meet Elektra, Our New Power Markets Package

With dozens of instruments and shapes across 1000s of North American modes, power is one of the most gloriously complex markets for traders.

Molecule was born in power, and we're preparing to take our next step in modernizing power trading.

In 2021, we are introducing Elektra - a brand new power markets package.

As an add-on to Molecule, Elektra will help power producers and traders manage their complex portfolio of generation, fuel, and everything in between.

Elektra will offer ISO connectivity and a panoply of power-specific block conversions.

Stacking that on top of automated position and P&L in a cloud-based ETRM/CTRM platform built with great design as a core tenet, truly separates us from the competition.

Power traders require near real-time data as they hedge positions in both the real-time and day-ahead markets. So, we've partnered with NRGSTREAM to automatically pull power prices into Elektra.

It's the first time this has been done in the energy trading space, and will make our customers' lives even easier as we continue transitioning to the most important energy source for the 2020s.

We can't wait to demo Elektra to you and your team.

Election Day 2020: A Molecule Holiday

In case you don't know by now, at Molecule we care a lot about American democracy.

The last few years have especially highlighted how important it is, and how little attention we have paid recently to nurturing our democracy. It's time for that to change and it starts by encouraging people to vote.

That starts with us. This year, we added a permanent holiday to our company calendar: Election Day (US). This year, that's Tuesday, November 3.

We encourage Molecules to vote (that day, or before; by mail or in person) and follow the election. If we're lucky, it'll be boring – like so many other amazing things (incremental scientific progress, evolution, and a functioning society), and we can enjoy a day to celebrate our democracy.

Our support team will be available for critical issues, as always. We'll resume regular business hours on Wednesday, November 4.

200 = SUCCESS

We have rolled out our two-hundredth (200th!) software release to all Molecule customers. Huzzah!

You're probably familiar with the "500 error page" on webpages that aren't working. What you might not know is that there are many more http codes--and one that starts with a 2, means that all is right with the world.

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As we look back on where we came from – from, literally, a PowerPoint presentation in a conference room on Montrose in 2012, to what CTRMCenter calls "widely known" in the industry, we can be nothing but proud of what we've built. We are committed to building our customers the best ETRM/CTRM system on the planet, and doing so with amazing usability, the latest technology, and frequent, free updates.

I am so incredibly proud of the amazing team that has made this, and the past two hundred releases of our software. When we founded Molecule, it was an idea based on the premise that enterprise software should be just as awesome to use as the apps on our phones. We also believed that this market segment was long overdue for 21st century technology. We were right, in more ways than we knew.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us along this journey. We look forward to release 300 in a couple of years. Our software will be so different (and even better) then–and we intend to celebrate appropriately, with Spartan-themed evening wear. (kidding!)

Here's a little preview of what's new in Molecule v200.

User-Customizable Reporting

Think Positions screen on steroids. Our new beta Valuations screen gives non-technical users access to the power of Molecule's open APIs - enabling them to sort, filter, pivot, and create multiple custom views that can be saved and refreshed throughout the day. This new feature will be available to existing customers at no additional cost.

Actualizations, Part Deux

Our new Actualization screen will make actualizing multiple physical deliveries of products much easier than was previously possible. This new feature will also be available at no additional cost.

Even Better Login, powered by Auth0

Molecule now supports two-factor authentication for all customers, as well as SAML-based Single Sign-on for Enterprise customers, at no additional cost. In the background is a giant set of security upgrades powered by Auth0, which helps Molecule stay at the cutting edge of cloud software security.

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Make Them Hear You

I’ve been thinking about what to add to the flood of voices we’ve heard about racism and, more specifically, police brutality and the murder of George Floyd. I want to remind our employees, our customers, our partners, and our friends in the industry, that Molecule values justice, and that we stand with America (our country and its people).

There’s really nothing I can say that’s not brutally obvious:

  • America’s original sin was slavery.
  • Many of racism’s roots were there.
  • The Civil War largely killed slavery, but not racism.
  • The Civil Rights Act didn’t kill racism.
  • Pretending color didn’t matter, as my generation did (with the best of intentions), didn’t kill racism.
  • Electing a Black president didn’t kill racism.
  • We have to kill racism in our hearts, in our subconscious minds, in our living rooms, in our families, in private and in public.

We have, apparently, a fair number of ill-trained and/or racist people who hold the power of life and death in their hands, and who are charged with keeping us safe. But instead, they get away with murder — over, and over again. Something is badly broken in America's police forces. It has been 28 years since Rodney King’s beating, and the subsequent riots, opened my eyes to police brutality. From everything I read, we’ve shuffled the chairs around a bit — but in some places, we haven’t changed a whole lot.

There’s a lot — a lot we need to do as a society, to fix this. Justin Amash’s “Ending Qualified Immunity Act”, on its surface, seems to be a great start. Nobody should be above the law; especially laws related to murder. There’s also lots more we can do, from a policy perspective:

  • Making sure to train police and first responders better, so they're less likely to shoot to kill (helping avoid cases like Botham Shem Jean), and so they're better at de-escalation.
  • Paying police, teachers, and our other public servants generously (not minimally, or simply adequately) — so we can get the best, most qualified individuals to do these critical jobs.
  • Making sure we understand that slavery in America lasted 200 years, and was followed by another 100 years of written-into-law racism that ended only 56 years ago. It’s not even close to the time when we can stop paying attention via policies like affirmative action.

But the most important thing we can do, as private citizens, is to speak. Speak to our racist uncles at the Thanksgiving table. Speak to our friends who joke about racist things. Speak to our coworkers and employees about what racism means to you. Speak to the person who wonders if maybe George Floyd encouraged his own death in some way. Speak. Without violence, but loudly — like our common heroes: MLK, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. As E.L. Doctorow and Stephen Flaherty’s fictional character Coalhouse Walker sang in his dying minutes: “Make them hear you.”

Make them f@#%ing hear you, America. Make them hear you.

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2019 In Review

Molecule is always evolving, and it’s really fun for us to look backwards every so often, just to see how far we’ve come. It’s easy for us to forget all the cool new features we’ve added over the course of 525,600 minutes. Hopefully, our work made your daily work just a little bit easier!

Here are some of the things we made this year:

New Trades Screen

After lots of customer feedback and tons of research & development, we launched a new Trades screen. On it, you can now pick the columns you want to see, sort and filter, create saved views for different types of trades, and much more.

It looks fantastic, too — and performs like crazy. Underlying it is a brand new front-end framework and an awesome grid that we plan to continue upgrading. If you don’t have access to it already, just ask your Admin.

New API

Our new v2 API began rolling out last year, and we completed the rollout late this year. Using it, users can do a million and one things, including:

  • Connect Molecule to Excel PowerQuery or Microsoft PowerBI for powerful, even mobile analytics.
  • Stitch another system to Molecule to send or retrieve trades, market data, valuations, or even VaR details.
  • Set up your master data in Molecule, and manage it.
  • Get pretty much any data out of Molecule you want.

Moreover, our new screens (like the Trades screen) use it, too — so we’ll be adding new features to it and improving it all the time. If you haven’t used it yet, documentation for our new API is at https://developer.molecule.io. (The documentation password can be obtained from our CS team.)

VaR out of Beta/Backtest

Our long-maturing VaR finally came out of Beta this year. It’s stable, it’s been running on multiple different portfolios for months, and it’s FAST. We also rolled out a visual backtest — to prove that it’s generally right.

Much Better Hourly (and sub-hourly) Power Model

Molecule began with a focus on power and then expanded to other commodities. This year, we upgraded our power capabilities to better model hourly (and even 15-minute) power — without shoving hours into product names, but by attaching intervals to contract dates system-wide and across all major integrations.

We rolled out the first of the power upgrades at the end of December, and plan to have all accounts migrated to our new model by the end of Q1 2020.

Self-Administration

A common customer request is to bypass our Customer Success team and allow users to self-manage things like master data and user access. We rolled out the first of the screens to manage this — our new Counterparties screen — this year. We plan to add much more in terms of self-administration capability in 2020.

Consumable & Inventory Trades, Logistics Preview

Early in 2019, we began sharing our physical logistics preview. We’ve been taking on board lots of great feedback—to iterate on it so that we get it right. New enhancements now include “consumable” trades, for things like transportation, RECs, RINs, and “inventory” assets, which allow for multiple buckets of inventory valued in a custom way.

Wrap Up

We made a whole lot more — over 550 improvements, big and small, to Molecule this year. All while improving reliability to 99.98% (less than 1 hour of unscheduled downtime), and improving general performance as well.

We’re equally excited about the things we have planned for next year: from single sign-on, to user-feedback-driven upgrades for many of our screens, and even more features related to self-administration and quality assurance.

Thank you for using Molecule (or just following our progress). We hope we’ll blow your socks off next year.

Love,
The Molecule Team

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