Axpo Solutions AG

Smart and flexible workplaces on Switzerland's leading energy Trading Floor

AXPO Solutions AG

International energy trading is the traditional and core business of Axpo Solutions AG. Thanks to many years of experience, Axpo has direct access to the most important wholesale energy markets in Europe, and a thorough understanding of both the opportunities and risks in the trading business.

 

The Initial Situation

The trading staff at Axpo Solutions AG works with applications, platforms and programs that require high performance PCs and a direct real-time connection between the trader and the computer. Previously, the computers were dedicated to individual employees and physically installed at their desk. If the trader worked from home, both their computer and their desk were blocked, specific functions were not available and collaboration between team members was not possible. There was not enough space available to add workplaces for new members of the growing team. And the hardware itself no longer provided the computational speed required for the trading business. Axpo decided to create the best possible conditions for its trading staff with new, flexible, high-performance workplaces.

 

The Requirements

The new trader workplaces had to be state-of-the-art, including high-performance PCs as well as new and upcoming trading technologies and applications. Furthermore, the workplaces had to be ergonomic and free from noise and heat emissions for an optimal room climate. The trading floor design had to provide space for collaboration between the different teams. And finally, retrofitting the workplaces had to take place during ongoing operations so that the traders could continue to work undisturbed.

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Case Study AXPO Solutions AG

Facts & Figures

Workplace Optimization

  • 77 workplaces each with 4 monitors
  • +300 32” 4K Eizo monitors
  • 77 smartConnectors for laptops

Keyboards

  • 77 smartTOUCH keyboards

WEYTEC distributionPLATFORM

  • 88 dedicated sources
  • IP Remote III (4K)
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The Solution

WEYTEC Partner Aveniq developed a detailed and needs-based trading floor workplace concept based on the WEYTEC's product portfolio, which is specialized in equipping all kinds of trading floors worldwide.

In the basement of the Axpo building, a system room was designed and built in cooperation with the facility management department. It houses around 88 computers as well as the WEYTEC distributionPLATFORM (WPD) with a high-performance switch matrix and its interfaces. The PC signals (KVM outputs for keyboard, mouse, video, USB and audio) are transmitted in real time between the system room and the workplaces via fiber optic connections. Entry to the system room is authorized and logged by means of an access system.

Air conditioning operates efficiently using cold aisle containment and a redundant cooling supply. Uninterruptible power is supplied via a module-redundant USP system and a back-up power source. The fire protection system includes very early warning of smoke detection.

This remote solution has significantly improved the climate on the floor and reduced overall energy consumption on the premises.

Free Seating

Energy trading is a 24/7 business. Business-critical spot and forward trading teams rely on an infrastructure that works around the clock to ensure the optimal supply of energy to Axpo customers. Free-seating on the trading floor means traders can collaborate flexibly and support each other within dynamic teams to fulfill all critical roles during constantly changing work shifts.

The new trading floor significantly enhances workflow efficiency for the traders, which in turn, contributes substantially to Axpo Solution AG's bottom line.

smartTOUCH Keyboards

Each workplace is equipped with four LED monitors as well as a smartTOUCH keyboard. Thus, an unlimited number of workstations and screens can be operated with just one keyboard and mouse. Using their personal and removable keyboard inlays, traders can now switch quickly and intuitively between workstations, screens and preset scenarios to react immediately and accurately to market opportunities.

Each keyboard also includes a specialized keypad for Bloomberg as well as a Thomson Reuters layer, to further optimize individual workflows. Two TV channels (CNBC and Al-Jazeera) are streamed in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode to the touch screen, so that Axpo traders can react immediately to critical data and global events. The Cloud9 telephony application (SaaS), connected to ETRM and CRTM broker services, provides voice recording from any device, also from home office. Optional Cloud9 Hub devices connect to IP Remote USB cards from WEYTEC. Finally, each workplace has also been equipped with a smartCONNECTOR to provide traders with full mobility on their laptops.

The Project

The new workplaces were deployed during ongoing operations. In addition to new workplaces, 69 existing workplaces were retrofitted with the new components as well as ergonomic and height-adjustable desks. To reduce the risk of trading disruptions to an absolute minimum, the installation was executed in exact accordance with a pre-defined plan. Predefined clusters of workplaces were adapted to the new standard and went live in time-staggered phases. The AXPO traders never stopped working and trading throughout the entire process.

The Benefits

• "State-of-the-art" workplaces, easily expandable to include new technologies and applications
• Simplified maintenance and support, as all computers are centrally located in one system room
• Free-seating concept with smartTOUCH keyboards
• Enhanced room climate with less noise and heat emissions
• Savings in energy consumption (Green IT)

WEYTEC is impressive first because of their customer list; they equip trading floors and control rooms all over the world. The WEYTEC products are unique in the market. They have exactly what we needed, and they exactly solved our problem for us.

Roman von Siebenthal
Head Spot & Forward Trader, Axpo Solutions AG
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