Highlights From SAP’s International Oil and Gas Conference, Berlin, April 2015

Author photo: Valentijn de Leeuw
ByValentijn de Leeuw
Industry Trends

​The conference, overlapping with the international SAP Utilities conference, was organized by TACook in Berlin on April 14th and attracted over 400 participants mainly from EMEA and Asia.

In the context of the oil price drop, Ken Evan's keynote focused on resilience.  While business maturity implies the capability of making quality decisions fast in an increasingly complex environment of connected enterprises, resilience comes from simplicity in managing the company's four core processes:

  1. Engineering/capital effectiveness
  2. Integrated digital oil filed operations (upstream)
  3. Hydrocarbon supply chain (downstream)
  4. Operational integrity (maintenance, EHS)


Ken discussed SAP's recent innovations and roadmap.  The main recent innovations most significant for our readers are found in upstream operations management, master data governance, and enterprise asset management.   The roadmap philosophy is building a foundation of an Oil and Gas solution suite on SAP HANA, a program of simplification and usability planned for the SAP S/4 release implemented as Cloud solution. This will be followed by further innovation and optimization with a more differentiated Cloud approach, including a Cloud platform, with implementations possible on-premise, in a managed cloud and in public cloud.  The approach is to take small steps, create value from low hanging fruit, thereby auto-financing the implementation of successive upgrades and improvements to a large degree, that is, by minimizing cash-out and time-to-value.

Simplification and innovation have been recurring themes for a few years, and ARC continues to believe they remain appropriate for the industry.  ARC believes that a module enabling good data governance processes is very timely and has a good fit with EAM enhancements that we will report on separately.

A keynote by Rinat Gimranov, head of the IT division at OJSC Surgutneftegas, with the title "Transforming to Become a Real-Time Energy Business" endorsed Ken's presentation in many ways.  He acknowledged that the SAP application landscape had grown more and more complex, increasing the challenge to manage it, and add value to the business.  Mr. Gimranov, who is apparently consulted by SAP in development matters, is of the opinion that applications must be 'deconvoluted' (in contrast to the current SOA-based composite applications), and be available as separate building blocks, that all run – as much as possible – on a single HANA database.

Mr. Gimranov mentioned that Surgutneftegas uses Gellish extensible language to describe complex real world objects from different viewpoints in the company, and in particular the complex information structure using a single database.  To provide value earlier to the business, that is, making quality decisions involving large amounts of data, with complex relationships, the company plans to use the InfiniteInsight Analytics solution by SAP.  He concluded with humor by saying that the future looks sunny and cloudless for his company.

The conferenced offered many presentations in tracks and discussion forums.  We attended a very interesting analysis of recent events on energy and natural resource industries by John Timson, that we will blog about soon.

ARC Advisory Group had the pleasure to co-sponsor the event with a downloadable in-depth article on "Industrial Iot Strategies In Upstream Oil & Gas".​

Keywords: SAP S/4, SAP HANA, Oil and Gas, oil price, resilience, time-to-value, simplification, innovation, cloud, Surgutneftegas, #sapogc 


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