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.
Read the case study and you’ll see the provision of Cisco wireless technologies helped enable CNR overcome some business challenges:
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.
For me, I know that a customer’s first priority is safety – and as in so many cases, if Cisco technologies can keep experts away from danger (i.e. operate remotely), or identify danger and alert them sooner if they are in harms way, then I’m much happier – and so are our customers and their workers.
Next time I’ll talk about how the Accenture Life Safety Solution, of which Cisco is a a significant part, is helping keep workers safe at Marathon Oil.
Until then, Happy Holidays!
* Provista are a Cisco accredited Silver Partner, and were awarded “Cisco Scotland’s Services Partner of the Year, 2014”