Of the over 18,000 attendees at SAPPHIRE NOW last week in Orlando, 475 were from the Oil and Gas industry and had many industry sessions available to them including presentations by Continental Resources on their success with Production Revenue and Accounting (PRA) on Suite on HANA, Delek US Holdings, Valero on Predictive Maintenance, HollyFrontier on Operational Excellence, and Schlumberger on Suite on HANA, to name a few. Attendees were also able to see first hand live demonstrations of Upstream Production Operations by Accenture and SAP, and the Internet of Things from Wellhead to Revenue. Partners Rolta and Implico also moderated microforums on Operational Excellence and Downstream operations, respectively. Other replays can be found here.
The theme of this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW was “Run Simple”, and this was evidenced throughout the conference with fewer, more impactful sessions, a more open show floor design, and large signage making it easier to navigate.
Even in light of the impact of low oil and gas prices, Oil and Gas registrations were up year-over-year, showing the resiliency of the industry. The following are some of my takeaways from the event:
1. Operational Integrity is Top of Mind
Based on the discussions, questions, and general interest at the Oil and Gas Expert Table, Operational Integrity is top of mind for many in the industry. This can be explained in part by the industry downturn; as companies tighten their belts, reduce headcount, and take other cost-cutting measures, it is easy to cut corners when it comes to Safety. Companies are understandably interested in best practices, processes and tools that will prevent this from happening.
2. The Digital Economy is the next economic revolution
The Internet of Things will touch nearly every area of O&G operations and customer engagement. Improved data flows and analytics can statistically improve production rates by 5-15%, depending on data availability. See the presentation by SAP and AT Kearney entitled, “Streamline Processes from Wellhead to Revenue with the Internet of Things” here.
3. Production Management remains a top priority
Late last year IDC Energy Insights reported that, based on their survey, Production Management is the number one production priority for oil and gas companies. This was evidenced by the high interest in both demo theaters where Upstream Production Operations by Accenture and SAP were shown, as well as interest at the Accenture booth.
4. Increased focus on Operational Excellence
Interest and attendance was high in both the Operational Excellence moderated by Rolta, as well as the ASUG session by HollyFrontier. This is no surprise given the focus on cash flow and need to operate as efficiently as possible.
5. S/4HANA greatly simplifies the IT landscape, reducing TCO
S/4HANA is proving to be an excellent way to shrink your data footprint and IT costs, with its simplified data model that no longer requires indexes, aggregates, or data redundancies. It also reduces hardware and software required for applications, as well as reduce the efforts of administration and development resources. Ultimately, it’s all about reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).