Nowadays when people think of Oil & Gas they tend to link this industry with pollution, depletion of natural resources and super-rich countries that base their economies and lifestyle on the extraction of these fossil fuels in their territories. However, it is important to realize that most of the industrialization of the world economy and the continued increase of living standards throughout the recent history are directly related to this undeniable treasure that the human being has been able to capitalize-on for more than a century.
As economies transition to renewable sources of energy and the existing reserves of fossil fuels continue to reduce, it is more important than ever to make the most effective use of the existing reserves, and the efficient extraction (upstream), transportation & storage (midstream) and distribution (downstream) of oil and gas is paramount. Digitization has given an amazing opportunity to Cisco and our Partners to support this transition which relates not only to fossil fuels for transportation purposes, but to the many derivatives that would make today’s society unsustainable if they were gone overnight.
The Digital Transformation of the Oil & Gas Industry is the direct result a number of business drivers, here are some of the most important ones:
- Production and Assets Optimization.
- Survey respondents (Oil & Gas Companies) named “operational efficiency of existing projects” and “maintenance of assets and infrastructure” as the top 2 areas of increased investment. 
- Reducing Risk and Faster Incident Response.
- By 2018, more than 50% of Oil & Gas companies will acknowledge cybersecurity as the top IT initiative because of the vast numbers of new sensors, devices, and software presenting multiple, new entry points. 
- Operational Excellence and Reduced Downtime through Innovation.
Reference architectures for all the different areas that comprise the Oil & Gas Industry Landscape are required to provide solutions for these challenges. Our Connected Pipelines and Connected Refineries validated designs can really help our Partners seize this opportunity. Typical use cases include OT Insights to deploy security, compliance, and risk management for industrial control systems and SCADA environments; Field workforce to improve productivity and safety with remote diagnostics and collaboration via video and wireless; and Smart gas stations to make stations efficient and secure with payment video monitors, real-time data, and IoT at pumps and stores.
In order to design and deliver these solutions and use cases it is critical to have a Partner Ecosystem that can provide the different components of the Cisco Digital Oil & Gas reference architecture to address this industry’s business and service objectives.
This is a list of the main types of entities that make up this Partner Ecosystem:
- Oil Companies
These include National, International and Joint Venture Oil Companies that ultimately own the exploration and distribution of the fuel.
- Drilling and Services Companies
Independent contractors and offshore services providers are responsible for the operation of the wells and also refineries & pipelines in the case of the services providers.
- MACs and EPCs
Main Automation Contractors supply field instrumentation, control systems and safety systems and Engineering Procurement & Construction companies do the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of the project.
- System Integrators and Software Vendors
System Integrators provide the back-end deployment of Independent Software and Key Applications Suppliers.
Cisco has a strong community of partners which includes all the roles described above to address the Digital Transformation of the Oil & Gas Industry. Channel Partners positioning Cisco infrastructure and professional services to deliver customer solutions can focus on building an IoT Practice while also benefiting from collaborating and teaming up within this ecosystem.
To learn more about Cisco’s Digital Oil & Gas Solutions and Partner Ecosystem please visit our Digital Oil & Gas website https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/industries/energy/connected-oil-gas.html and our Industry Transformation Partner Guide http://cs.co/customerin.