Archive for September, 2009

BW Offshore Selects IFS for Back-Office Solutions

BW Offshore has selected Industrial and Financial Systems (IFS) to provide business application solutions. In 2007 BW Offshore acquired Advanced Production and Loading AS (APL), a leader in the development, fabrication and sale of turret mooring systems and related technologies for the oil and gas industry. APL has been an IFS customer since 2004, and BW Offshore aims to facilitate the merger and streamline the companies’ business processes by standardizing on IFS Applications.

            BW Offshore will implement the IFS project-based business applications to support its major business processes, including project management, material management, human resources, financials and after-sales. The objective is to have an integrated solution covering all aspects of its business, and improving project performance through increased control over the five key success factors for project-based companies; risk, cost, cash, time and resources. The add-on implementations have started in Brazil, and the next step is to continue with the Oslo office, and have the whole group consolidated on IFS Applications during the second quarter of 2010.

            Fritz Ekloff, BW Offshore’s Sr. VP of Corporate IT & Systems, said: “We chose to standardize on IFS Applications based on IFS’ focus and knowledge from project-based industries, the rich project functionality of IFS Applications and its global consulting reach. We share the view on how to apply a standard business application solution in a project environment.”

            BW Offshore’s customers include major national oil companies such as Statoil, Petrobas and PEMEX, as well as Aker-Solutions, PGS and Teekay.

www.bwoffshore.com

www.ifsworld.com

September 30, 2009 at 2:32 am Leave a comment

NOV, Schlumberger Form IntelliServ Joint Venture

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Schlumberger have created a joint venture to provide high-speed drillstring telemetry systems to improve the efficiency and safety of oil and gas operations. The IntelliServ joint venture is expected to accelerate development and delivery of intelligent drilling solutions through the expanded use of the IntelliServ® Broadband Network, a patented technology that provides high-resolution data in real time to and from the bottom of oil and gas wells as they are being drilled. IntelliServ also will provide along-string evaluation services that will enable real-time monitoring of drill string conditions, and an unlimited ability to actuate downhole tools on demand. The current speed of 57,600 bits per second is up to 20,000 times faster than the transmission speed that is available using conventional mud pulse technology.

            NOV owns 55% of the joint venture and provides manufacturing, technical and operational support, while Schlumberger owns 45% and brings evaluation and measurement expertise, and will pursue the development of advanced drilling-related systems enabled by the IntelliServ Broadband Network. The joint venture will maintain the open access architecture of the IntelliServ Broadband Network and will seek to become the industry standard for all drilling tools utilizing high data transmission rates.

            Pete Miller, Chairman, President and CEO of National Oilwell Varco, stated: “Our new joint venture with Schlumberger will permit us to better serve our customers by opening a range of new, intelligent drilling possibilities and expanding the global reach of the IntelliServ Broadband Network. We are excited about the possibilities this joint venture brings to the marketplace, and we look forward to working closely with Schlumberger to expand further the commercial use of IntelliServ.”

            Commenting on the new arrangement, Andrew Gould, Chairman and CEO of Schlumberger, remarked: “The combination of our respective strengths in drilling measurements and telemetry brings a unique opportunity for a step-change in the development of technology capable of significantly improving drilling performance through continuous information about the well and the reservoir as the well is drilled.”

www.slb.com

www.nov.com

September 29, 2009 at 3:25 am Leave a comment

ASCI Secures ConocoPhillips Global Inventory Optimization Contract

Alaska-based Asset Management Services (AMS), a subsidiary of Advanced Supply Chain International (ASCI), announced the finalization of ConocoPhillips’ purchase of the Oniqua Analytics Suite (OAS) – Inventory software solution. The software has performed above expectations, providing rapid ROI exceeding 400% in ConocoPhillips’ trials at three of their largest upstream sites: Alaska, Indonesia and the North Sea.

            OAS – Inventory, developed by Australia-based Oniqua Enterprise Analytics, is specifically designed for asset-intensive industries such as oil and gas. ASCI will install OAS – Inventory at 25 ConocoPhillips production and refining facilities worldwide. As the Master Distributor for Oniqua products within the North American oil and gas industry, ASCI will customize the software for use at each ConocoPhillips site.

            This application delivers a tremendous return on investment by right-sizing inventory based on maintenance, inventory and procurement data and applying leading techniques for inventory optimization. The optimization algorithm has demonstrated proven inventory reduction results of 15-25%.

            “The challenge for asset-intensive corporations is to maximize their return on heavy [plant and ongoing operation] investments,” said Mike Schwarz, VP of Business Development at ASCI. “To accomplish that, companies must overcome difficulties of operating and maintaining complex and diverse equipment in difficult climates. This software suite increases service levels, thus reducing downtime, with decreased inventory investment.”

            Schwartz told PetroComputing that the algorithms in OAS – Inventory serve to “right-size” even very large, global inventories by balancing the risks of overstock with understock. Using connectors to the company’s ERP system, the software captures more than 200 fields of data per month for each SKU, or stock keeping unit. Statistical analysis is then carried out with a focus on equipment criticality and workaround options using sophisticated lead-time analysis based on past experience. The software can be “tuned” for each location to capture local costs and lead-times, and business rules can be implemented to set parameters for approvals, enabling staff to manage by exception.

            Each month, the OAS – Inventory software takes about 11 hours to upload all of the data and makes recommendations for balancing the inventory. Then a ConocoPhillips supply chain professional can model various what-if scenarios and do a reality check on the software’s suggestions. ASCI is providing three segments of training to ConocoPhillips employees:

  • One week of introduction plus one week of using the system with actual corporate data;
  • A month later, a second round (two weeks) of intermediate training after users have been able to play with it a while; and
  • Two more weeks of advanced training 6-12 months later.

            “Customers are able to deliver significant savings after the first round of training,” Schwartz told PetroComputing on the sidelines of the E&P Technology Summit 2009 in The Woodlands, TX.

www.oniqua.com

www.ascillc.com

September 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm Leave a comment

Software Toolbox Joins Siemens Premium Add-on Program

Software Toolbox® has been selected by Siemens AG to participate in its Premium Add-on Program designed to expand customer awareness of third-party industrial automation software solutions that can be used to enhance Siemens Simatic WinCC and WinCC flexible products for process visualization and plant intelligence.

            “The Siemens catalog is the key product resource for sales, applications engineers and customers,” said John Weber, president of Software Toolbox Inc. “It’s where everyone goes to look for approved third-party products for use with Siemens software.”

            To qualify for the Premium Add-on Program, products must be determined by Siemens to be important application- and sector-specific add-on products that supplement WinCC. Siemens conducts independent tests of the third-party software to ensure product compatibility with SIMATIC WinCC. Solution providers whose products pass all compatibility tests are invited to list their products in the Siemens Premium Add-ons for SIMATIC WinCC flexible and WinCC print and online catalogs. Also as part of the program, Siemens product technical support accepts calls for listed products, connects customers with the solution partners and tracks the resolution of issues.

            “The added level of assurance provided by Siemens is significant,” Weber said. “Since Siemens has focused a magnifying glass on all third-party products listed in its catalog, customers benefit from processes and procedures designed to handle any issue. This significantly lowers the customer risk for using an approved third-party product with SIMATIC WinCC flexible and WinCC.”

            Software Toolbox products listed in the Siemens catalog include TOP Server and TOP Server UCON. Both products are powered by Kepware automation communications technology through Software Toolbox’s 14-year partnership with Kepware.

www.softwaretoolbox.com

www.siemens.com

September 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Study Finds 33% of Money Spent on IT Development Is Wasted

IAG Consulting unveiled the results of its 2009 Business Analysis Benchmark report that surveyed over 400 businesses across North America. For the second year in a row, IAG found poor requirements definition and management consumes over one dollar in three of the application development budget. Yet, when companies move from using ad-hoc requirements processes to institutionalizing a well-constructed requirements definition and management capability:

  • On budget performance for technology projects improved by over 95%;
  • Budget overruns were reduced almost 75%;
  • On-time performance of technology projects increased 161%;
  • Time overruns on projects were reduced 87%; and
  • The percentage of projects that deliver the functionality needed by the business rose by more than 75%.

            The study compared companies at 5 different levels of requirements maturity: ad-hoc, defined, implemented, institutionalized and optimizing. Low maturity companies failed to achieve their business objectives on almost half their projects, while taking 35% more time to complete them. High level maturity companies, however, turned their greater management efficiency into fiscal results with their return on assets averaging 10% higher than comparable publicly traded firms in their industry.

            In the past year, 86.5% of the survey respondents tried to improve requirements discovery and management. Almost two-thirds of those successfully increased both stakeholder satisfaction and on-time/on-budget performance through this improvement strategy.

 

Common IT Productivity Myths Busted

The study examined and busted a number of commonly held beliefs about IT development effectiveness. Significant findings included:

  • CIOs cannot simply attempt to hire great analysts and expect the problem of poor requirements to go away. In fact, lower skilled people in a high requirements maturity company significantly outperform highly skilled people in a low requirements maturity company. Only organizations that improved all areas of requirements maturity competency dramatically improved overall performance.
  • CIOs cannot gain productivity by just switching development methodologies (e.g., Waterfall to Agile, Iterative, or Prototyping/Visualization-centric approaches). Switching methods offers improvement only if overall requirements maturity also improves during the adoption process.

            “CIOs need a step-by-step path that predictably delivers performance improvement,” said Keith Ellis, VP at IAG Consulting and author of the study. “Focusing on requirements maturity not only shows the long-term gains of doubling productivity, but short-term results are also immediate and tangible.”

            The report lays out a clear framework for requirements maturity and documents how the optimal path changes as maturity level increases. Transformation begins with a clear assessment of the current maturity level and identifying the strength of a company’s requirements processes, techniques, staff skills, technologies, organization and deliverables. Companies that pursued this transformation virtually eliminated project failure, delivering over 90% of projects successfully.

            The report’s most basic finding is that without a commitment to requirements definition and management, IT projects will fail.

            “Companies that rely on IT projects to execute their strategy need to commit to focused development of requirements definition and management capabilities if they are to improve business performance,” concluded Ellis.

            For a copy of the full study, please visit www.iag.biz.

www.iag.biz/benchmark

September 26, 2009 at 1:29 am Leave a comment

Noah Consulting Opens Office in Calgary

Noah Consulting is expanding its presence in global markets with the opening of an office in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Noah chose Calgary because it is home to a diverse array of industries including oil and gas, utilities, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, transportation, and technology. The new office will be located in the historic Bankers Hall twin towers at 888 3rd St SW, Ste. 1000 Calgary, AB T2P 5C5 and will open on October 1st 2009.

            Said John Ruddy, President of Noah Consulting: “In the past 5 years, Calgary has experienced above average economic growth and is experiencing the highest employment rates in the region. The office in Calgary will allow us to provide a higher level of service to our Calgary clients and provide us with a solid foundation to grow our employee and client base throughout Canada.”

            Spun off of HP last year after HP acquired EDS, Noah Consulting focuses on delivering information management solutions to clients by providing best-in-class data management, data warehousing, data integration, business intelligence, information quality, and master data management solutions.

www.noah-consulting.com

September 26, 2009 at 1:26 am Leave a comment

Invensys Offers PAS Integrity Software to Configure Control Systems

Invensys Operations Management has signed an agreement with PAS, a supplier of operations and automation effectiveness software, to provide Invensys clients a comprehensive suite of system documentation and configuration management tools and services.  Their IntegrityTM Software solution will be used to map the databases, programs, displays and interconnections within and among plant automation systems, including Foxboro I/A Series distributed control systems, InFusion enterprise control systems and Triconex safety instrumented systems. Invensys Operations Management will provide its customers with a choice of three levels of Integrity Software, allowing them the flexibility to match the solution to their specific needs.
            “A back-documentation and ‘where-used’ facility for our Foxboro I/A Series®, InFusionTM and Triconex® systems is a high priority for our customers,” said Betty Naylor-McDevitt, director of marketing, Invensys Operations Management. “Leveraging our strong industry expertise, we chose the Integrity Software solution because of its comprehensive scalability. Integrity allows us to provide a scope of offerings from simple system documentation to robust configuration management and full mapping of the breadth of systems installed in our customers’ plants.”
            “The PAS Integrity Software solution provides the capabilities that Invensys’ clients need. It simplifies the complexities of their entire automation infrastructure and enables them to capture and share knowledge in real time to improve delivery of automation system projects,” said Chris Lyden, president, PAS. “We are pleased to extend our business partnership with Invensys Operations Management for the benefit of their customers.”

www.invensys.com

September 24, 2009 at 5:53 am Leave a comment

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