|By Robert Eve||
|August 23, 2011 09:00 AM EDT||
Discovering new upstream sources, smoothly delivering products through downstream distribution channels, and complying with extensive regulations are keys to success in the energy business. And information is the fuel that enables these successes.
Unfortunately prior IT investments have resulted in numerous data silos and significant complexity that is making it harder than ever to turn information into business success.
Four of the top five global energy companies rely on data virtualization to provide the diverse information required across a range of strategic initiatives and business-critical IT projects.
Here is how.
Data Virtualization at Work in Energy Companies
Data virtualization use by energy companies is extensive. Here are but a few of the use cases these innovative IT organizations have deployed:
- Well Maintenance and Repair - Keeping wells up and pumping drives revenue. When wells go down, getting the right repair rigs and teams on site fast is critical. To allocate these scarce resources optimally, requires dispatchers and triage teams have real-time access to repair rig status, staffing availability, best practice procedures, maintenance records, flow rates, and more. Data virtualization accesses and combines this diverse data so the oil and gas keep flowing.
- Regulatory Reporting - The energy industry is one of the most highly regulated industries today. EPA, OSHA, DOT, and many other federal and state agencies require hundreds of compliance reports. Because internal systems have been optimized for operations, not compliance, integrating the data needed from across these systems is often the biggest component in your compliance reporting costs. Data virtualization quickly and easily federates diverse data from across operational systems, while leaving operating data in place to avoid the extra costs that result from unnecessary data replication.
- Research and Development - Effective R&D pipeline management is the key to expanding energy sources, enhancing recovery and yield, and reducing costs in the energy business. Currently, most research project information resides is multiple systems. Managers have to access these separate systems to extract, compile, and assemble reports from multiple laboratory operations in order to keep up. Data virtualization offers easier access and visibility across the entire R&D process.
- Human Resource Management - The shortage of skilled petroleum engineers, roustabouts, geologists, and others continues to worsen. Attracting, developing and retaining a highly skilled professional workforce has become a top priority. Information is critical including skills development, legal and regulatory mandates, and demographic shifts in workforce composition. Data virtualization easily integrates all this data to maximize the work force.
- Sales Management - Sales managers need up-to-the-minute information at their fingertips to increase revenue and drive sales productivity. The costs associated with lost opportunities or problems left unresolved are significant. Answers to questions such as am I tracking to make my numbers this month, what are the hot products, how is my customer satisfaction, where can I get additional sales, and more are constantly being asked each day. While this information resides in multiple silos, you need what you need, no matter where it resides. Data virtualization can bring that information to sales leaders so they can hit revenue objectives.
Data Virtualization Pays Off!
Data virtualization is a more agile, lower cost data integration approach that successfully addresses complex upstream and downstream data silos and delivers significant business benefits including:
- Increase Revenues - Maximize output from wells and refineries
- Improve Productivity - Ensure engineers, analysts and manager have all the information they require
- Reduce Costs - Avoid long data integration development cycles and excess data replication
- Decrease Risk - Improve visibility across upstream, downstream and back-office operations
- Ensure Compliance - Meet DOE, EPA, DOT, OSHA and EU compliance data requirements faster, for less
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