In 1993, I was part of a team of people from the US electric power industry that worked on a new problem: the management of SO2 emission allowances that were created by the US Acid Rain Program. All of a sudden these big companies had a new asset to forecast, track, buy, sell, report on, and optimize. It was a terrific experience that I later replicated with other US cap-and-trade programs as well as programs in Europe and Australia. Each time the programs got a little more sophisticated and complicated, making the management and accounting issues more complicated as well. My specific role was always to make sure our company had a commercial data management solution to meet the needs of our customers.
After a few years away from this space, our company is being drawn back to it by our customers. The reasons are twofold:
1) a growing US push for a domestic, if not North American, greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program; and
2) the availability of 2015 technology, including the cloud, to make the information management easier and more cost effective than ever. At xOverTime, our customers are asking us to help them manage their compliance instruments more effectively. As a result, we have created the xCITSS solution.
Many people ask, “What is the purpose of the name xCITSS?” Well, today the one registry for California and Quebec carbon credits and allowances is managed by the Western Climate Initiative and it is called CITSS, which is short for Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service. The provider of this technology to California and Quebec is the same vendor that supplies the registry for the USEPA NOx and SO2 programs, only CITSS is their latest technology. At xOverTime, we anticipate CITSS will one day be the basis for a complete North American compliance instrument registry. So we decided that xCITSS is going to be our commercial offering to help companies manage their compliance instrument portfolios internally and communicate with the registries for compliance.
Twenty years after the first software systems were developed for allowance and credit portfolio management, we are excited at xOverTime about how much more flexibility we can offer customers today. Firstly, we will let companies leverage Microsoft Excel for data entry and reporting. Excel supports the flexibility users need and the xOverTime Platform provides the power and security of a cloud database. There are no servers to set up and maintain and no software releases to schedule and push through with IT Teams. The solution is much more open and flexible for customers to share and collaborate on their data.
Based upon our team’s experience with allowance and credit portfolio management, we are busy introducing xCITSS to new customers and revisiting customers with older solutions. The registries themselves have improved their ability to deliver reporting and tracking to companies, but they do not handle the financial accounting, forecasting, and co-ownership issues. Today our xCITSS solution is also more connected to emissions data to produce complete position reports for management. The financial value of these assets warrants that a company independently tracks their portfolios due to their fiduciary responsibility to their stakeholders. Based upon experience, we know that errors can occur in registry software, just like they can occur in business software.
For me, I am experiencing déjà vu as I start connecting with long-time customers and introducing xCITSS. It’s terrific to have 2015 technologies available now to help keep in check the growing complexity of the new cap-and-trade programs. We are racing with the regulators who also seem to be leveraging new technology to fuel the increased complexity and sophistication. If you have not seen our xCITSS solution, don’t hesitate to contact us for a presentation.