Connected Decision-Making

Sean Baird

Sean Baird

Sean leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division.

Bringing together documents and data to enable complete visibility

Energy asset operators are faced with a paradigm today: increase efficiency and reliability levels while fighting to extend the lifespan of these aging asset. To meet these opposing aspirations, customers often find that it is critical to create a comprehensive view of the energy asset, its history, performance data, technical information, and associated documentation.refinery

And while there are many solutions that aspire to deliver this complete view for customers, they often fall short of this goal. If you step back and look at the information management challenge, the reason becomes clear: there are simply too many varied types of information to manage. There are several solution providers on the market that address portions of this challenge, from managing engineering drawings, real-time analytics, and document management. Most of these solutions excel at managing one or two types of information, although many claim to do it all.

Unfortunately, this inability to deliver the full spectrum of information management means that customers are similarly unable to gain the complete visibility and Continue reading

How to Win Despite the New Oil Price Reality

Martin Richards

Martin Richards

EMC Corporation’s Information Intelligence Group Senior Director of Energy Industry Solutions

For many Energy sector customers, IT plans from just a quarter ago are under scrutiny amidst the new oil price reality. While some greet such price drops with fear, I see many forward-thinking Oil & Gas leaders seizing the dramatic shift for competitive gain. Here are three strategies our customers are using to position for market advantage, based on my recent site visits and conversations.

1 – Leveraging Subscription-Based Models

Failing Oil PricesRather than impulsively slashing costs and outright stopping projects, composed veteran leaders are getting creative in how to fund initiatives they know matter long-term. They have been through down cycles before. This approach was already underway before the economic shift, and is now trending upward: cloud provisioning.

At a major South American-based mining company, project sponsors are shrewdly avoiding any large, upfront capital outlays for hardware and software (formerly typical at project upstart). Instead, they are looking at yearly subscriptions to the same functionality — without the initial procurement and maintenance investment.

This turns a $1M one-time check writing exercise into a series of responsible, affordable payments. Most importantly, as one recent EMC Documentum customer described it, a private, public or hybrid cloud strategy ensures “no strategic dead end.” They will reap advantages in both the long and short term. They will keep their companies alive.

If and when oil prices increase, they will have made progress on critical initiatives like optimizing capital projects. If prices stay low, they are holding to fiscal responsibility while still developing competitive advantage. In fact, they are able to “have it all” with immediate, budgeted access to technology, as well as the ability to Continue reading

Enterprise Content Management in the Big Data Era

Michele Vaccaro

Michele Vaccaro

EMC Information Intelligence Group EMEA Presale Director

There is no doubt that Big Data is one of the major trends in the IT industry that has developed and matured over the last few years.

Financial Services, Healthcare and Energy are just few examples of industries where Big Data ballenterprises are identifying ways to implement new technologies in a profitable way allowing them to make more money, save money or meet compliance.

By providing the ability to collect and store enormous quantities of heterogeneous data, Big Data technologies offer the opportunity for companies to perform near real-time analysis that were unthinkable just few years ago.

But forward-looking predictive analytics alone will not be enough to face the challenges that the 3rd era of IT is presenting.

Big Data powered analytics today can provide a good navigation system that CIOs and CEOs can refer to in order to make wiser decisions on where to go and how to get there, outperforming their competitors. They will not necessarily provide the vehicle that Continue reading

How Did We Live Without This?

Sean Baird

Sean Baird

Sean leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division.

iPad Apps for Asset Operations

Pipeline junction with markings from www.energyindustryphotos.com

Source: www.energyindustryphotos.com

Scrawled in black marker across many a pipe in today’s oil or gas facility is an equipment number. Maybe it’s in thick lead pencil, or white spray paint. But whatever format, these primitive cave drawings, and the methods for managing such equipment, have persisted for decades – until now.

Asset Ops Mobile Worn Pump ShaftJust as instant information sharing has rocked fields from journalism to travel, mobile tablets like the iPad are unleashing productivity in the energy & engineering industries. Field technicians are moving away from using paper to provide feedback on their maintenance tasks back at central office each night. Today, they simply touch and swipe in their expertise from any work site through an app (check out the EMC Documentum Asset Operations Mobile app in iTunes).

No more of that handwritten graffiti, since best practices now recommend durable bar code tags. A quick bar code scan, pipe photo, or water leak video capture with the mobile app, and technicians are instantly reporting what parts have Continue reading

Solving the Energy Project Archiving Puzzle

Tom Broering

Tom Broering

Head of Americas Alliances and Channel Sales, Enterprise Content Division at EMC

Remember those 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles we’d spend hours putting together on the dining room table? Turns out they’re a pretty good metaphor to illustrate data archiving.

Anthony Markezich_TWG

Anthony Markezich, The Windward Group

I wanted to hear how The Windward Group’s Brant Rathe and Anthony Markezich thought about their solution, The Connector for EMC InfoArchive. As a member of the InfoArchive Consortium, I expected they would talk about architecture, adaptability across platforms– stuff like that.

They talked about puzzles.

“Can you tell, from just a few pieces, what the completed puzzle will look like?” asks Anthony, Solutions Executive-Enterprise Systems and a self-described tech geek who cut his early technology teeth in his uncle’s TV repair shop. “For effective archiving, you need to save the pieces, AND the final picture. For example, suppose you want to preserve construction documents and the project management database on an oil platform out in the North Sea so you can be compliant, and respond to any regulatory inquiry—years after the work?

You need to think “jigsaw puzzle,” but also “automated problem solving.”

“It’s hybrid archiving, and it clears up the headaches,” adds Brant, VP of Sales. “InfoArchive is this amazingly versatile XML-based archive. The Connector is the traffic cop. It creates complete business objects from structured and unstructured data, pulled from virtually any application, then submits submission information packages (SIPs) for ingestion into the archive, preserved according to your governance policies.”

Engineering and energy projects present special problems. For decades, energy companies have created their own applications to solve problems. Hundreds of them:  Project management applications drive field activities. Capital expenditure applications track major equipment purchases and other capex transactions. ERP systems track financial activities. In general, these companies have been happy to maintain a distributed approach to their applications….until it comes to preserving a total picture of what occurred.

“They might be running dozens of platforms, employing hundreds of applications, many of them 20-30 years old,” says Anthony. “How in the world could the whole picture come together for compliance?”

Brant Rathe_TWG

Brant Rathe, The Windward Group

“The solution,” says Brant, “involves platform specific plug-ins created for The Connector, resulting in format-neutral SIPs utilized for ingestion into InfoArchive.”

“We think we’re at least two years ahead of the curve,” says Anthony, with some pride. “But we also know, a wave of momentum is coming. Technologies like InfoArchive and The Connector for InfoArchive will fundamentally change industry thinking about data preservation. Now we can save and store nearly everything, in its proper format, with its associated raw data, multiplied into the millions of documents and data points, extracted from multiple legacy applications, at a fraction of the old cost.”

The prospect especially excites Brant who pondered, “How often do you get the opportunity to solve this kind of puzzle and be part of something that totally transforms an industry?”

How do you put the whole picture together for compliance without losing any of the pieces?