Posts tagged ‘Microsoft’

Oil Industry Embraces Social Media Tools, Yet Corporate Policy Lags

Nearly 75% of oil and gas professionals see value in using social media and collaboration tools at work — an 83% jump from last year’s poll — but corporate-wide endorsement of these tools continues to lag behind, according to a Microsoft Corp. and Accenture survey released at Microsoft’s Global Energy Forum in Houston.

            The Microsoft and Accenture Oil & Gas Collaboration Survey 2010, which surveyed 275 professionals within international, national and independent oil and gas and related companies, found that social media and collaboration technology adoption is primarily a grassroots phenomenon within firms. At the same time, half of those surveyed said their companies prohibit or restrict the use of many of these publicly available tools, such as photo-sharing and social networking sites.

            Oil and gas employees stated that productivity gains (37%), work flexibility (95%) and the ability to complete projects on time and on budget (36% and 38%, respectively) are the primary reasons for use of social media and collaboration tools. However, company-wide endorsement has not mirrored employee demand. The survey found that only 11% of social media adoption is driven by the executive suite, and higher-ups’ greatest concerns center around a “limited ability to control or provide a secure environment” (39%).

            “With fewer resources overall and colleagues scattered across continents, it is no surprise that oil and gas professionals are increasingly turning to technology to connect and share information,” said Craig Hodges, general manager of US Manufacturing and Resources at Microsoft. “However, we recognize that securing company data and intellectual property are obviously key company priorities, and there are many corporate collaboration technologies today that achieve both goals.”

            “The survey shows that companies are not realizing the strategic benefits from their collaboration tools investments such as increased workforce performance, improved sharing of knowledge or skills across the work force,” said Craig Heiser, Accenture senior executive in the Energy industry group’s management practice. “To realize the full potential of collaboration investments, companies need to change work processes and individual roles while training their employees on how to achieve improved business performance through collaboration.”

            Johan Krebbers, Group IT architect at Shell, confirmed the industry’s need for heightened workforce collaboration.

            “The challenge we have with exploration is that we have people positioned globally to explore for oil and gas,” Krebbers said. “Eighty percent of our teams are global teams, with members in multiple locations around the world. We must offer world-class collaboration capabilities so that our people can work at a global level.”

            More information about the survey methodology and the full results are available at: www.microsoft.com/oilandgas

www.accenture.com

 

January 27, 2010 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Microsoft Offers Betas for Supercomputing Clusters

At Supercomputing 2009, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of betas for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and distributed , Microsoft Office Excel 2010 for the cluster. Together with the recently announced Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta, which helps simplify parallel programming, these advances make it possible for more users to access supercomputing power through familiar technologies and tools such as Microsoft Office Excel, Windows Server and Visual Studio.

            “Until now, the power of high-performance and parallel computing has largely been available to a limited subset of customers due to the complexity of environments and applications, as well as the challenges of parallel programming,” said Vince Mendillo, senior director of High Performance Computing at Microsoft. “Today, we’re seeing performance numbers that rival Linux … ISVs are seeing 30% to 40% performance improvements in the speed of their code on Windows HPC Server.”

            Although multicore systems are becoming ubiquitous, few developers can build parallel applications that truly leverage the available resources. Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 will help make parallel programming simpler and more efficient for a broad base of developers across both client and cluster workloads. In addition, by moving Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to the cluster, customers are seeing linear performance scaling of complex spreadsheets – spreadsheets that before would take weeks to complete, and which are now completing their calculations in a few hours.

            Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 improvements include the following:

  • Improved scalability with support for deploying, running and managing clusters up to 1,000 nodes;
  • New configuration and deployment options such as diskless boot, mixed-version clusters and support for a remote head node database;
  • Improved system management, diagnostics and reporting with an enhanced heat map, multiple customizable tabs, an extensible diagnostic framework and the ability to create richer custom reports;
  • Improved support for service-oriented architecture (SOA) workloads, automatic restart and failover of broker nodes, and improved management, monitoring, diagnostics and debugging; and
  • New ways to accelerate Microsoft Office Excel workbooks such as support for Cluster-Aware User-Defined Functions and the capability to run distributed Excel 2010 for the cluster.

            “Many frontline researchers, analysts and scientists desperately need access to more computational power than they currently have, but find it either difficult or too costly in time to gain access to expanded HPC resources. Windows HPC Server 2008 has been designed to address the needs of those wishing to expand their access to HPC, without requiring them to become computer programming experts,” said Earl Joseph, program VP, high-performance computing, IDC. “Microsoft’s latest investments in HPC and parallelism help to reduce the complexities of supercomputing, in particular making it easier to program and thereby making it more accessible to business, academia and government users.”

www.microsoft.com/hpc

November 18, 2009 at 4:15 am Leave a comment

Microsoft Joins Energistics

Microsoft Corp. announced it has joined Energistics, a global, not-for-profit consortium designed to explore ways to facilitate exploration and production (E&P) information sharing and business process integration. This membership continues the momentum that Microsoft and its nearly 500 oil and gas partners have built in driving a common platform as the “unifying language” and a force for innovation across the industry.

            Microsoft, along with its ecosystem of partners, has proven experience in bringing technologies and solutions to the mainstream oil and gas industry. This expertise will be used to deliver the reference implementation of Energistics’ standards such as the Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language (WITSML) and Production Markup Language (PRODML), enabling oil and gas companies to increase the implementation of standards while lowering adoption hurdles.

            Energistics’ founding objective was to unite the oil and gas industry and foster an environment of collaboration. Across multiple industries, Microsoft is the trusted advisor and go-to company for developing and implementing the use of a unifying language as a common platform, for example, as a founding member of OPC (OLE for Process Control). By joining Energistics, Microsoft adds this expertise in helping the consortium meet its goal of uniting people, issues and ideas to facilitate E&P information sharing and business process integration.

            “E&P companies are relying on development of standards such as PRODML to provide a common set of definitions and thus improve data exchange and work process efficiency,” said Catherine Madden, senior research analyst at IDC Energy Insights. “Companies that can help facilitate the development and deployment of open data exchange standards such as PRODML will play a vital role in ensuring the industry can maximize potential cost savings.”

            “The oil and gas industry is undergoing massive changes,” said Ali Ferling, managing director, Worldwide Oil and Gas Industries at Microsoft. “By helping the industry adopt standards, Microsoft believes the industry can drive down cost by improving interoperability and building a platform for collaboration and communication. Our customers benefit when standards are implemented because their software prices decrease, interoperability increases and adoption hurdles are lowered. As a result, they will be able to better execute their E&P information sharing and business process integration strategies.”

            “We are pleased to have Microsoft on board to help us to deliver the reference implementation for our standards,” said Randy Clark, president and CEO of Energistics. “As a body that facilitates an inclusive user community for collaborative technologies, we are keen to draw on Microsoft’s experience in the industry to help facilitate the development and deployment of open data exchange standards in addressing information challenges.”

            “Having Microsoft as a member of Energistics is very positive news for the oil and gas industry,” said Jaap Van Ballegooijen, leader of Royal Dutch Shell’s Smart Fields group. “Microsoft will be able to contribute its experience and expertise to help drive the adoption of Energistics’ standards. Microsoft has demonstrated ongoing commitment and support of the Energistics standards through its participation and sponsorship of the latest PRODML specifications presentation at the Microsoft Global Energy Forum. Shell, Microsoft and Energistics also collaborated to explore new and innovative solutions through the software-plus-services approach by implementing a PRODML proof of concept utilizing Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform.”

www.energistics.org

www.microsoft.com/oilandgas

 

 

November 11, 2009 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

DeepOcean, Statoil Pilot Windows 7 Operating System

Following the official launch of Windows 7 around the globe, Microsoft Corp. announced that two Norwegian customers from the oil and gas industry have successfully piloted the new Windows 7 platform. DeepOcean, a subsea services and construction support firm, and Statoil, one of the world’s largest offshore oil companies, have deployed or are piloting the Windows 7 operating system, improving employee productivity and increasing overall business performance.

            Albrecht “Ali” Ferling, PhD, managing director of Microsoft’s Worldwide Oil and Gas Industries, said: “Our industry is facing unprecedented challenges, and doing more with less is a priority for many of our customers. The role of IT as a key enabler to drive business efficiency is more important than ever, and Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 bring a powerful combination of cost savings, greater productivity and improved capacity for innovation to our oil and gas customers.”

            Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have been developed with today’s economy in mind, where long-term business success needs to be built on two things: innovation and productivity. Their main features allow employees easy access to information anywhere at any time while organizations can reduce risk through improved security and drive cost savings through virtualization and streamlined management capabilities.

 

DeepOcean Migrates from UNIX

In 2000, DeepOcean was among the first in its industry to implement the Windows platform for its onshore operations and offshore data processing, moving from a UNIX-based platform with flat files because the UNIX technology was out of date and the company wanted to develop new applications on the Windows platform. DeepOcean is now migrating from a UNIX-based platform to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 because of its need to support its sales force and engineers who travel between onshore and offshore locations. These mobile employees rely on portable computers that make up more than 25% of the company’s computers.

            When DeepOcean migrated to the Windows platform, it implemented the Windows NT 4.0 operating system on its 50 client computers and the Windows NT Server 4.0 operating system on its 10 servers, which it is gradually upgrading from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2. DeepOcean uses Microsoft Forefront Client Security to help protect its client and server environment from Internet-based threats.

            In an effort to enhance security for its portable computers and to address challenges with its virtual private network solution, the company also decided to migrate to the Windows 7 operating system. As a result of the upgrade, DeepOcean has simplified IT management, enhanced IT security and improved employee productivity.

            “Windows 7 has enabled our mobile work force to connect to the corporate network and access all the resources they need faster and more easily,” said Per Arne Stromo, IT manager at DeepOcean. “At the same time, Microsoft technology offers us a highly secure and reliable tool to help protect our confidential data and intellectual property even when on the road.”

 

Statoil Enables Remote Access

Statoil also wanted to improve employee productivity by making sure that workers in its increasingly global operations could fully collaborate with their colleagues. To address remote access issues that could hinder employee productivity and collaboration, the oil company intends to implement the Windows 7 and the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems, which together offer features such as BranchCache to improve data access at branch offices and DirectAccess to simplify remote connectivity. As a result of the upgrade, Statoil will deliver seamless access to the corporate network for traveling employees, improve information access at branch offices and enhance IT security.

            “Using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, we’ll be able to better support our strategy as a global company and more easily share information no matter where our employees and consultants reside,” said Petter Wersland, leading advisor for IT Infrastructure, Statoil.

            Building upon this core IT infrastructure, Microsoft, together with its partners, is continuing to tackle the creation of technology solutions for some of the industry’s top priorities – better collaboration, unified communications and role-based productivity – to fundamentally change the way people work by introducing novel workflows and knowledge management capabilities that maximize scarce labor talent and bring business-critical information to workers wherever they are.

www.microsoft.com/oilandgas

November 6, 2009 at 1:06 am Leave a comment

DocVerse Brings Real-time Sharing to Microsoft Apps

DocVerse announced the launch of its new downloadable plug-in for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, which turns those applications into full-fledged, Web-based collaboration tools. The plug-in makes any .doc, .ppt or .xls file into a secure, Web-based document that can be shared and edited by multiple users anytime, anywhere.

            DocVerse makes sharing Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents synonymous with saving them. Anytime a DocVerse user saves a document on their desktop, DocVerse automatically creates a Web-based version of it in the cloud, which is instantly shared with whomever the author has specified. All Web-based versions of a document receive a unique, secure, shareable URL that never changes and can be accessed by anyone the author invites to view it – whether they have downloaded the DocVerse plug-in or not. Users can view and comment on the most recent version of the document online using any Web browser, or via the DocVerse plug-in inside of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

            Groups of DocVerse users are able to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel to simultaneously edit the same document at the same time, whether online or offline. DocVerse tracks, manages and syncs all changes to merge them correctly into one updated version of the document – even if they save changes to the same document at the same exact time. For DocVerse users, that means no more e-mailing of attachments or repeatedly cutting and pasting changes manually to collaborate on documents with colleagues.

            “This is huge step forward for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, which turns those unconnected islands on 600 million desktops worldwide into connected, Web-enabled collaboration tools in a way that no product has ever done before,” said Shan Sinha, CEO of DocVerse. “And, best of all, you don’t need to learn anything new. DocVerse quickly and easily plugs into Word, PowerPoint and Excel, so you can keep working with those applications exactly the same way you always have; it just makes them better.”

www.docverse.com

 

October 30, 2009 at 10:49 pm 1 comment

Microsoft Previews SharePoint Server 2010

At Microsoft Corp.’s SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the public beta of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 will become available in November, and revealed some of the new SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities for the first time.

            “By taming the overflow of information across systems and technologies, SharePoint enables organizations to thrive,” Ballmer said. “SharePoint 2010 is the biggest and most important release of SharePoint to date. When paired with Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 will transform efficiency by connecting workers across a single collaboration platform for business.”

            SharePoint Server is one of the fastest-growing products in Microsoft’s history, with over $1.3 billion in revenue, representing over a 20% growth over the past year. According to IDC, Microsoft attained a significant share of the collaborative content workspace market in 2008, and had the highest growth rate among top vendors with its Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.1

            During his keynote address, Ballmer talked broadly about SharePoint Server as a business collaboration platform and highlighted three key areas. One was how organizations can respond quickly to business needs with an improved developer platform that makes it easier to build rich content and collaboration applications. Another topic was the enhanced Internet site capabilities that help businesses drive revenue and retain customers on a single platform. The third was the choice and flexibility between on-premises and cloud solutions. At the event, Microsoft showcased the breadth of SharePoint Server 2010 that ranges from wikis to workflows, while Ballmer’s keynote address highlighted features and capabilities such as:

  • A new ribbon user interface that makes users more productive;
  • Deep Office integration through social tagging, backstage integration and document life-cycle management;
  • Built-in support for rich media such as video, audio and Silverlight;
  • New Web content management features with built-in accessibility;
  • New SharePoint tools in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010;
  • Excel Services and InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Online;
  • Business Connectivity Services;
  • One-click page layout; and
  • Multilingual support.

            Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is part of the next wave of Microsoft Office-related products, which includes Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Visio 2010, that are designed to give people the best productivity experience across PCs, phones and browsers.

www.microsoft.com

 (1) Source: IDC: “Worldwide Collaborative Content Workspace 2009-2013 Forecast and 2008 Vendor Shares: A Case of Coalescing Submarkets,” Doc #219885 September 2009.

October 21, 2009 at 3:52 am Leave a comment

Schlumberger Releases Merak Enterprise Planning Software

Schlumberger has released its Merak Enterprise Planning (MEP) software, a next-generation technology that enables dynamic oil and gas business planning, including event-driven or evergreen plans.

            “With MEP, oil and gas companies can get fast answers to complex business questions for improved decision making,” said Olivier Peyret, VP Software Products, Schlumberger Information Solutions. “This software helps clients to proactively respond to changing market and operational conditions to achieve growth objectives.”

            In a preliminary field test with a large integrated, independent oil and gas company, MEP demonstrated 50% reduction in project processing time, increased confidence in results and 75% reduction in analysis time.

            Today’s oil and gas business planning process is often lengthy, cumbersome and sometimes ineffective in reflecting recent market and operational realities. MEP uses a unique oil and gas data management cube to align strategy with plans and budgets, simultaneously integrating reserves, production and financial data to reveal critical business insights for timely decisions based on continually updated business plans.

            MEP leverages Microsoft technologies to provide a collaborative platform for oil and gas business applications to generate valuable information in context using a robust calculation engine. Its data aggregation and mining capabilities deliver business intelligence and performance analytics in the context of an oil and gas enterprise.

            “This is another tangible result of the Microsoft and Schlumberger partnership. The combination of Microsoft’s industry-leading enterprise software platform with Schlumberger´s deep industry knowledge and expertise delivers a high value business solution, enabling faster and better decisions for individual assets as well as complex enterprise portfolios,” said Dr. Ali Ferling, Microsoft’s Global Managing Director, Oil & Gas Industry.

www.slb.com

www.microsoft.com

October 14, 2009 at 3:54 am Leave a comment

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