Archive for the ‘Energy & Engineering’ Category

Laying a Strong Foundation for Major Capital Projects

Katherine Granat

Director, Global Partner Marketing. Responsible for global ECD partner programs, marketing, and enablement initiatives to drive mutual success for ECD and its robust and experienced partner ecosystem. Follow @KatherineGranat

Major capital projects, like factories, oil rigs, dams, and energy plants, are complex endeavors that typically span years, even decades. Because these assets require enormous investment over long periods of time, companies in industries such as oil & gas or utilities need tools to help them accurately plan and manage capital projects.Digital Enterprise

Digital technology has revolutionized the construction, maintenance, and ultimately the decommissioning of a major asset. Digital tools enable hundreds of people to collaborate fluidly, while working thousands of miles apart. Today, ECM and other systems are used to manage millions of documents related to any major asset, from architectural renderings and 3D computer-generated models to budget spreadsheets and maintenance manuals.

EMC’s Sean Baird points out how digital asset management allows those responsible for a capital project to “more effectively use asset information, data, and analytics to predict asset performance, identify changing conditions, and evaluate investment options.”

It does make you wonder how these projects – and all the information associated with them – were managed in the days before computers sat on every desk.

Of course, modern facilities are so much more complex than in the past, and many of today’s capital projects are only possible because of software from companies EMC and its partner AVEVA.

Rebecca Ward, Vice President, Strategic Partners at AVEVA (LSE: AVV), was kind enough to give us a few minutes recently to help us understand how Connected Decision Making—a bi-directional integration of the AVEVA NET information management solution with EMC Energy & Engineering solutions—assists project teams in the day-to-day management of major capital projects. The EMC and AVEVA integrated solution provides cross-organizational teams with secure access to engineering data, architectural drawings, and other (more…)

In Energy, It’s Time to Transform Digitally

Sean Baird

Leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division. Follow @sean_baird

Several weeks ago, we explored three key ways that Energy companies are able to take advantage of technologies to transform themselves digitally. For this entry, let’s explore one of these areas in more detail.

Digital Asset Management enables organizations to more effectively use asset information, data, and analytics to predict asset performance, identify changing conditions, and evaluate investment options. By creating a complete, 360 view of all asset information, an organization can better understand how an asset is performing, gain more detailed insight into increase its efficiency through predictive maintenance, and ensure more accurate operations and maintenance of the asset.

But why now? What is happening today that is driving organizations to invest in better ways of managing asset information? Let’s look more closely at three key drivers:

Holding on to Knowledge

experienceThe reality today is that workforce disruptions are draining organizations of key subject matter experts. In the oil and gas industry, the lower price of oil is driving many organizations to reduce their workforces but across the energy industry, experienced workers are approaching – or surpassing – their retirement.

With this expertise leaving your organization, it’s more critical than ever to make sure that you aren’t reliable on individuals to operate your plant. By creating a single source for all of your asset information, your teams will rely upon these reliable systems rather than “the old guy” to get as-built specs and engineering drawings or to understand the latest procedures.

This allows you to not only insure that your information survives the next retirement announcement but also improve reliability in the process.

Timing is Everything

time to tranformBecause of today’s lower oil prices, most oil and gas companies are reducing capital investment. This actually gives many of these companies the opportunity to take a breath and invest in improving their operational efficiencies. In fact, we see a large number of organizations across the energy industries investing in Operational Excellence programs.

While the benefits of operational excellence are very well understood, the reality is that when profits are high and opportunity is abundant, organizations quite understandably focus on taking advantage of these opportunities. As long as operational inefficiencies don’t impact the bottom line, there just isn’t the time or bandwidth to invest in improving productivity. But as profit margins narrow and investment slows down, priorities can finally shift to running the business better and focusing on digital transformation.

Transform the Bottom Line

transform profitsIn the energy industry, shrinking margins driven by competition and new sources of energy are forcing an increased focus on improving operational efficiency. While loose operational procedures may still result in profitability when market conditions are good, today’s lower prices and increased competition mean that absorbing sloppy maintenance and dealing with unplanned downtimes is simply not sustainable.

To maintain profitability in these market conditions, organizations must look more closely at their operating costs and at a minimum, focus on driving results in two areas:

  • Improving accuracy and timeliness of operational and maintenance procedures to improve plant productivity and reduce unplanned downtime.
  • Ensuring consistent plant operations to safeguard against safety incidents and compliance violations.

We will continue this discussion in the coming weeks, looking at steps that energy companies can take to transform themselves digitally and improve their operational excellence in the process. Where are you at with your digital transformation journey? Let’s discuss it here.


Catching a Breath, and Prepping for Energy’s Future

Martin Richards

EMC Corporation’s Enterprise Content Division Senior Director of Energy Industry Solutions. Follow @MartinR_Eng

I was driving into the office and swerving to avoid potholes and large cracks on a popular highway here in California. “Why can’t they fix this road,” I thought, and this in fact led me to think about our own customers’ dilemma.

RoadFor as long as I can remember, oil companies and energy providers have been absorbed with large capital projects as they keep the world’s lights on and industries humming. How could they possibly stop to fix and improve archaic systems while running hydroelectric plants and LNG facilities? Just as our road transportation authorities can’t shut down a major thoroughfare during commuter hours to fix it, our customers can’t fully stop to build new plants while keeping existing ones running.

That said, with oil prices still low relative to historical highs, the pace of capital projects in the energy industry has slowed down enough for companies to take stock of their situation and make strategic moves. We discussed the possibility for these changes to happen when oil was less than $50 a barrel last July, and now the waters have parted, presenting an opportunity to act.

What we don’t know is how long the situation will last, and how quickly the window to do something impactful will remain open. If oil prices stay low another year, it will be a cumulative two years of this capital-light climate. That’s far too long for any (more…)

When Lightning Strikes Your Enterprise

Bryan Reynolds

Over 20 years of experience as a senior executive and managing consultant with core competencies focused on business process engineering, imaging, document management, eDiscovery, records management and enterprise content management.

Latest posts by Bryan Reynolds (see all)

Lightning strikes nearly 300 days a year, or 80% of the time, in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, which NASA has declared the lightning capital of the world (Source: NY Times). In today’s enterprise, what sparks that same level of energy? Your Content.

Whether structured or unstructured content, chances are your enterprise workers depend on interacting with your content, together with colleagues and business partners.

Lightning BoltCollaboration lights up your workflows when it comes to jointly-developed documents like FDA new drug applications, nuclear power plant drawings, or regulatory compliance documentation.

Customers I spoke with recently at EMC Momentum discussed three different types of content collaboration needs, many of which tie back to mobile solutions (full disclosure, I run our Enterprise Content Division Mobile Practice). Here is how I would characterize these varied dimensions of content collaboration:

1 – Bringing Offline Field Data into Your Enterprise

If there’s ever a place that needs collaboration, it’s at that intersection between content you capture offline, and all that’s living within your systems. Customers need to head out to oil pipelines, patient clinics, and crime scenes. Today, much of that field work is still (more…)

Making Deployment Decisions in the Energy Industry

Sean Baird

Leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division. Follow @sean_baird

Over the past few years, CIOs and many analysts have been predicting and observing a major trend in IT: the move to the 3rd Platform. This trend is being driven by innovation from software vendors, as well as underlying changes to the speed and manner that businesses are transforming their IT systems.

One of the factors that is driving IT departments to consider new systems is the speed of change that is occurring at the business level. As market conditions change overnight – such as how low oil prices are impacting the oil & gas industry – or as business priorities change – such as increased investment in renewable power sources – IT must be able to adapt to meet these changing requirements. And the reality is that most legacy applications cannot be changed quickly or inexpensively.

public cloudThese factors have resulted in a torrent of activity from software vendors. Many existing vendors have adjusted their focus to deliver new options for their customers. In addition, new vendors have entered the market, providing cloud versions of critical business systems. Market and business pressures, as well as new options available to CIOs and IT managers, has created both an opportunity and a dilemma: the opportunity to deliver considerable value to the business comes with the dilemma of choosing where to deploy the system.

Let’s take a closer look at the deployment options available in the Energy industry, and (more…)

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