Please join me in welcoming René Pluis to the Cisco Energy Blog. René is a member of my global energy team and has vast experience of Cisco architectures and technologies and how they can be applied to our customer’s business and technical challenges to create positive business outcomes.
René has been working in the industrial network domain for several years now. His focus has been on enabling business imperatives through the deployment of communication networks, connectivity and collaboration.
His main focus is the Oil & Gas Industry, both onshore as well as offshore. Deployment of wireless technologies to connect sensors (IoT – Internet of Things) and enabling mobile wireless clients (track & trace) in hazardous areas and pipeline operations are just two of his focus areas in this industrial network domain. He is also very familiar with other areas of the energy industry such as utilities and energy management.
He combines both a technology and a business view on the solutions at hand. He has spoken at several events and conferences and is considered a consultative subject matter expert by many industry and customer groups:
Cisco has been a prominent supporter of the Rockwell Automation Fair for a number of years. The relationship has grown over time to one where both Rockwell and Cisco collaborate on developing software, solutions and products for a wide range of both IT and OT (Operational Technologies) functions within industrial and other customers.
Recently Cisco showed off some of the technologies in the oil and gas space, and Ahmed Farrag, Business Development Director from Cisco, talks about Cisco’s presence at the show in the following video.
Ahmed talks about Oil and Gas as one of Cisco’s key focus industries. He mentions the huge demand increases we’ve seen over the past few years.
That’s all changing right now.
The price of oil has plummeted to half what it was only a few months ago. With China slowing, parts of Europe close to another downturn, and oil now gushing following the huge investments that have been made in fracking and tar sands in the US, some say we have too much oil right now. Some companies are going to be worried about margins and future investments. So what’s the future?
Nearly half manual processes could be automated in most industries, with Oil and Gas the most.
That chart holds the key to the future of the Oil and Gas industry.
With the advances that have already been made (and those yet to come) in the field of automation, along with rapid progress in collaboration and communications technologies between workers and companies, one of the keys to profits will be enabling lower costs and higher efficiencies. Cisco and it’s partners are leading the charge.
Please join me in welcoming Matt Morris to the Energy Industry Blog.
Matt is the Global Solution Lead for Cisco’s Internet of Things (IOT) Solutions practice (Oil & Gas, Utilities, Manufacturing, Transportation and Mining), where he leads the strategy, development and go to market of Cisco’s “big bets” and transformational solutions. This includes the Cisco Secure Ops Solution, a solution that delivers critical infrastructure security as a managed service, along with household names in ICS Security. His duties at Cisco include – leadership and governance; spearheading strategy, business and technology innovation; performing due diligence for strategic acquisitions; building/fostering new partnerships to scale the business. Matt also leads and participates in various special projects at Cisco.
Matt has spoken at, or appeared at, many events, conferences and shows as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Cisco in the areas of security and threat response :
ShaleCom West -- Network Security: Keeping Outsiders off your Network and out of your Data. April 22, 2014.
Prior to Cisco, Matt worked for Landis+Gyr (L+G), a prominent Smart Grid player. As Director of Product Management & Marketing, Matt’s responsibilities included portfolio management of L+G’s North American products and solutions, partnerships and alliances, portfolio and brand strategy, mergers & acquisitions, and complex deal negotiations. This included AMI, DA, HAN, and Cybersecurity solutions.
Cisco partner Provista IP Communications* provided a solution to Canadian Natural Resources that delivered a flexible off-shore wireless network supplying data mobility whilst remaining secure and manageable.
When you search for case studies in Oil and Gas there are lots that cover the carpeted areas of organizations -- office areas mainly, but fewer that actually reach outside to places like manufacturing or refinery areas, or even oil rigs. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to read the case study from Provista. Provista are a Cisco partner based near Glasgow with a presence in North-East Scotland and the Midlands in England.
You’ll hopefully remember my blog: Ferguson Group Ltd keeps an Eye on Operations with Cisco Physical Security, in which I talked about the coming of a new ‘space-age’ equivalent for Scotland. In that blog we looked at physical security and video in particular. With this Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) case study we can see how the Cisco technologies go further out to inhospitable environments and help keep workers away from danger, and more productive if they have to be off-shore.
1. “The cost of resourcing engineering consultancy and deployment time was significantly higher due to travel restrictions.”
2. “It would be difficult to ensure that installed wireless networks would remain active in the event of a single device failure.”
3. “Canadian Natural regularly had guest visitors to their off-shore oil platforms and thus requested a secure, but separate, connection for guests to make use of.”
Provist goes on to say that there were some major business benefits are being achieved:
Cost/Safety: “Provista’s solution ensured that there was no need for highly-trained technical staff to be present at the remote sites.”
Lower Downtime: “Canadian Natural technical staff have a longer window of time to deploy replacement equipment in the event of a failure.”
Worker/Guest Productivity: “Employees and guests can be more productive off-shore as a result of the wireless network access.”
The case study goes on to talk about the implementation and Cisco elements for management and control. This is an example of how Oil and Gas customers will often start building networking infrastructure in the carpeted areas (like CNR did) and then extend out to non-carpeted areas such as oil platforms. The number of oil rigs that have a pervasive WLAN is actually relatively low. Sure, there are numerous proprietary networks for sensors and the like, but we’re now seeing the implementation of WIFI on rigs that are providing converged (i.e. compatibility and convergence with IT and OT -- or Operational Technologies systems and networks), as the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Everything continues its journey of becoming more pervasive. This is a convergence based on Industry standards.
The coming week sees the SEG International Exposition and 84th Annual Meeting take place in Denver, Colorado. SEG is the Society of Exploration Geophysicists -- those scientists that are at the sharp end of finding oil and gas around the world. Despite the current boom in non-conventional drilling methods (fracking and horizontal drilling), these natural resources are becoming harder to find. That’s where the partnership between NetApp, Cisco, Citrix and NVIDIA comes in.
Visit us along with our partners NetApp, NVIDIA and Citrix at the NetApp Booth 709. You’ll see how we can help oil and gas enterprises enhance collaboration and enable faster decision making without exposing sensitive data. Other NetApp and Cisco partners will join us for in-booth demos and events to highlight solutions that help you:
Scale your exploration environment rapidly without impacting performance
Enable your remote teams wherever they happen to be
Deliver secure 3D access to data and applications
The four partners have come together to provide an integrated solution that utilizes the power of Flexpod from Cisco and NetApp to virtualize the computing, networking and storage infrastructure, combined with graphics processing unit (GPU) capabilities from NVIDIA and desktop virtualization from Citrix. This enables the delivery of large-scale data sets for interactive and collaborative analysis in real-time, regardless of geographic site or worker location. Workers get a similar working environment as if they were local to the datacenter infrastructure, or using a powerful and costly local workstation.
Contact Wally Beck to schedule a one-on-one or in-booth/demo meeting with a NetApp oil and gas technical expert. Make a note to him if you would also like to see a Cisco person at the booth if available.