Archive for the ‘Energy & Engineering’ Category

Cloud Flexibility Gives Customers The Experience They Want

Frank Lynn

Leads Customer Success and Solutions marketing for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division

Latest posts by Frank Lynn (see all)

In today’s consumer market, great companies with high brand equity have one thing in common: they’re using digital innovation to continuously improve upon their already tremendous customer experience.

For example, Costco is known for its generous return policy – now it’s been digitalized so that you can still get a refund if you don’t have a receipt. Starbucks lets you order and pay for your beverage with an app so you don’t have to wait in a long line. And Disneyland has an app so that you can see Yoga[1]wait times in real time and better plan your day at the park.

Enterprise Content Management software is a means to an end. Customers are trying to accomplish something and they’re looking for ways to do it cheaper and easier. Cloud-based solutions enable customers to do both. And they’re ideal for customers with growing or fluctuating bandwidth needs because they’re easy to scale up or scale down when needed.

But a public cloud for everything approach doesn’t always provide a great customer experience. Changing enterprise business processes to align with inflexible SaaS solutions is time consuming, expensive and frustrating. Having a flexible solution that can be configured to align with existing business processes reduces total cost of ownership and makes for a better user experience. In fact, according to Gartner¹, “The increased use of multiple public cloud providers, plus growth in various types of private cloud services, will create a multicloud environment in most enterprises and a need to coordinate cloud usage using hybrid scenarios.”

The increased use of multiple public cloud providers, plus growth in various types of private cloud services, will create a multicloud environment in most enterprises and a need to coordinate cloud usage using hybrid scenarios.
– Gartner

EMC provides public, private and hybrid cloud models of our Documentum as a Service or DaaS software – and you can mix, match and integrate them. Our Life Sciences customers are working on life-changing innovations to cure disease and help people live longer, better lives. Most prefer to protect their Research & Development content in a private cloud, while creating a public cloud clinical trial data repository that enables easier collaboration. And they don’t want unnecessary patches or upgrades forced upon them smack in the middle of a big clinical trial or new (more…)

Surprise! No More Solution Customizations

Martin Richards

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

Things are not always what they seem, as the earliest of Roman writers pointed out, and the same is true today in our content management-driven world. As every enterprise seeks its own digital transformation strategy, ironically, there is a tendency to revert back to accepted truths or how things have always been done. One of the first comments I hear from customers in our solution discussions goes something along the lines of this: “Our company works in unique ways and we have an accumulation of different technologies, so we will have phaedrusto heavily customize any content management solution.”

What I notice, however, is what else the ancients knew: “The first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” (Source: Phaedrus, c. 15 BC – c. 50 AD). While customers start out thinking they want to customize a solution, they sometimes take a surprisingly different approach in the end.

Here are three considerations for anyone assuming content management solution customization is the only way to succeed. Please share your own thoughts at the end in the Comments section.

1 – Technology has caught up

More rapid software development approaches have shortened product update cycles throughout the technology industry. More capabilities are delivered more often through existing solutions. It used to be acceptable to evaluate content management solutions once every 18 months. Today, a solution you reviewed just two quarters ago may have already packed in far more capabilities.

In EMC Documentum Capital Projects Express, for example, common user requirements (like the ability to provide graphical annotations during a review task, or to automate workflow recipients from a pre-defined distribution matrix) are already built in. It’s highly possible these types of ongoing updates can save you custom development work, while still meeting your (more…)

Sharing Experiences 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 couple of months, we have had some great opportunities to bring our customers together and share experiences. Talking with customers, hearing about their challenges, and working to better understand the value that our solutions and technologies deliver is one of the best parts of my job, but providing a forum for customers to talk to one another is a completely different experience.

It Started in Vegas

No, this isn’t another sequel to The Hangover. Our few months of watching customers interact with one another started at Momentum at EMC World 2016. While there was plenty of discussion throughout the entire week, the highlight was on Monday, when we kicked off our Energy & Engineering track with an industry panel discussion.

Industry PanelThis year’s industry panel featured several customers and partners, as well as a few EMC industry veterans. While we started off with some planned discussion topics around digital transformation, the conversation quickly moved to being driven by the customers in attendance, both on the panel and in the audience. The customers discussed how they are managing to keep their businesses profitable in today’s economy, how Operational Excellence programs are more important today than ever to reduce costs and maximize efficiencies, and the role of IT enabling their businesses to succeed.

Let’s Meet in Houston

Last month, we reinstituted an event that used to be a regular tradition with Documentum customers in Houston, the Momentum User Group meeting. With an agenda driven by – you guessed it – customers, we met for an entire morning last month to give our customers a chance to learn, share, and ask questions.

HMUGIn addition to a couple of customer-led presentations, sharing their information management strategies and initiatives, we again featured a customer and partner industry panel to discuss many of the same topics that we covered in Las Vegas. Like Momentum, the conversation quickly became driven by our customers, with familiar topics like digital transformation, cloud initiatives, and operational excellence dominating the discussion.

The feedback we received from our customers at this event was excellent! In fact, a few folks mentioned that it would be nice to extend the meeting by another hour or two for even more interaction and networking. We will be helping our customers “continue the conversation” by working with them to schedule future events for this community. This meeting was a great start!

It’s a Global Economy, so Virtual Meet-ups Were Next

The reality is that not all of our customers are able to join us in Las Vegas or in Houston, so we kicked off a series of virtual roundtables last month, as well. During these sessions we met up, Google Hangout-style with a select number of customers. The format worked beautifully, enabling our customers to both share and listen to others experiencing the same challenges. A special shout-out to these customers, as they were extremely open and provided great detail about their operational excellence initiatives.

More of these sessions are planned through the end of the year; if you’re interested in joining, please reach out to me directly.

Helping customers share experiences and best practices remains an important part of our role as a solution and technology provider. Our industry solutions represent this collaboration, but I really appreciate the interaction, the shared experiences, and the new learnings directly. And no, we’re not done with these initiatives.

  • Momentum Barcelona will be taking place October 31st – November 3rd
  • There are several Customer.NEXT events scheduled in the U.S. throughout the month of October (for those in the Oil & Gas industry, please plan to join us in Austin, Texas).

For those that weren’t able to join us in person, let’s continue the conversation here (leave a comment) or on Twitter (you can reach me at @sean_baird)!

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.


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