Microsoft 2014 Global Energy Forum, Houston (April 2014)

More from the ‘Contoso Petroleum’ showcase. Big data functionality. Infosys teams on McDermott’s Pars. Rockwater—the ‘Fedex’ of fluid management. Stonebridge helps Breitburn with its data silo ‘sprawl.’ Gimmal and Transocean's SharePoint engineering document management. And Mura?

Speaking at the 2014 Microsoft Global Energy Forum held earlier this year in Houston, Paul Kimbel’s team kicked off a demo of key Microsoft tools as deployed by the fictitious Contoso Petroleum. First up was Laurie Salmon who vaunted the merits of her Windows 8 intrinsically safe tablet from XPlore Technologies. The familiar W8 interface pops up with tiles to launch applications from Honeywell, OSIsoft, Esri, Siemens and others.

The demo begins with a drill down to well flow data and documentation. Users can share their thoughts with OneNote, use Lync to call up expertise, and visit with Microsoft’s own social network, Yammer. The 82” Microsoft/Perceptive Pixel screen was also on show—impressive as an enormous touch screen, less so as a display (only HD). Seemingly, Contoso personnel eschew writing documentation, preferring instead to make videos to share their thoughts on this and that. You may think that this makes stuff hard to find. But no, video streams are converted from speech to text in the cloud and made searchable.

Microsoft business intelligence guru Tyler Chessman gave a compelling demo of ‘big data’ functionality blending full text search from Microsoft Fast, Power BI, View and Map to inspect and visualize a large dataset of US drilling and production. All ‘run from Excel!’

McDermott’s project analytics and reporting system, PARS is an ongoing development from Infosys that will collate key data from different source systems and provide project data analytics. PARS leverages SQL Server, BizTalk, SharePoint and Team Foundation.

Biren Kumar explained how Rockwater Energy Solutions plans to become the ‘Fedex of fluid management’ and is using a stack of performant telemetry and Microsoft Dynamics AX with payment management from Wells Fargo. The system lets Rockwater keep tabs on fluid levels in mobile tanks and B2B payment. The two year old company claims current revenues of $1 billion.

Breitburn Energy has grown through acquisitions and was confronted with application and data silo ‘sprawl.’ Stonebridge was called in to help develop a new IT solution embedding components from Enertia Software, Merrick Systems and Trenegy, a specialist in ‘cleaning up after the consultants!’ The result is a ‘data hub,’ that leverages a comprehensive Microsoft stack and a Ppdm database.

Gimmal has provided Transocean with an enterprise engineering document management system that includes commercial content management, access to policies, procedures and technical data. The SharePoint solution leverages an existing enterprise document taxonomy from Aker (acquired in 2011).

As in previous years, as far as we can tell from the agenda and website, there was no mention of Mura, the curious ‘Microsoft upstream reference architecture.’ Is Mura work in progress or something to forget? Read (some of) the presentations and (if you have time) watch the (unindexed) videos.

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