Natural resource industries such as Oil and Gas, Utilities, and Mining have one thing in common – they operate long-lived assets. Whether that asset is a well, a pipeline, or a processing plant, the people that are operating the asset are usually not the people who originally designed and built it.
Over years (often decades) of an asset’s life, things change. Ownership, naming conventions, regulatory requirements, output, completion intervals and even well classification – among others – can and often do change. Systems change too, as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) financial systems and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems are updated, upgraded, or replaced.
In today’s world, when someone wants to know something about an asset, the first place they look is typically the system used to manage the asset, usually maintained in a functional department, such as accounting, land, exploration, health safety & environment, etc.
Legacy Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems attempted to make finding information easier by bringing a view of content into the system, tagging and organizing it, and using that information to build aggregate views from multiple business applications siloed in functional departments.
Typically, users could only view the information, not edit it, and would need to find the information in a separate system if it needed to be modified. Because of this, information became stale and outdated within a brief period as data associated with the asset changed and source data was updated, but the ECM was not. As a result, anyone looking for content based on the description or information in the departmental asset system would be challenged to find it, leading to lost time and money due to downtime.
Perhaps most importantly, the lack off effective linkage between the operational system of record and the content management ‘system of engagement’ often resulted in the wrong information being relied upon as authoritative. When you’re dealing with maintenance operations on equipment that’s handling thousands of PSI of pressure or handling toxic chemicals and the like, relying on outdated information can be disastrous.
Natural Resource Industry Compliance Challenges
There are also compliance challenges associated with long term asset management. While data about the asset can change, the original documents surrounding the asset should be protected from any changes. An unbroken ‘chain of custody’ must be maintained.
In traditional ECM systems this is difficult, not only because the information in the ECM system becomes stale quickly, but because the data about the asset needs to be changeable by people with proper access, while the asset record itself needs to be locked from changes. Keeping track of assets across multiple systems, locking some data from editing while allowing other to be edited according to multiple industry regulations can be a daunting challenge. And it can be even more difficult to produce an audit trail across these systems when needed.
Additionally, legacy ECM applications lack any means of automating the application of records management policies across these systems. Most traditional ECM systems require input from users for classification, and since most users aren’t trained in compliance regulations, they can’t do this properly. The way to apply classifications is also different for every system, making it even more confusing for end users.
The Shift from Content Management to Information Management
ECM has made considerable progress in recent years. Master data management disciplines have improved the quality of information contained in operational systems. The next big thing in ECM is to combine these two worlds together, so that the single source of structured data truth in an organization is effectively mapped to the unstructured content world in a way that allows automated policies to be applied to RM decisions.
Energy companies have not only their own data to manage, but often need to integrate information licensed from third parties, such as IHS or P2 Energy, through its Tobin Data solution. Integrating third-party data with proprietary data gives energy companies the ability to leverage consistent, rich asset data.
Furthermore, the digitization of the oilfield has exponentially increased the sheer volume of data streaming in from the field. If managed correctly this data can provide operations engineers, geologists, landmen, production engineers and other users better information to analyze, diagnose and optimize operations and make better decisions. A next generation of Information Management systems can also help to identify relationships between data, and track the relationship between data sets and a critical decision based on that data for compliance purposes.
More information also means more ways to leverage it to vastly improve search capabilities across the organization, including the ability to view content through different lenses or layers using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). GIS enables users the ability to find information via a spatial or map interface, which is the way natural resources companies think and operate. To achieve this, the next generation of ECM establishes a dynamic link between Master Data Repository and the line-of-business applications where asset data is originated, ensuring that the Master Data is updated in real time as asset information changes.
We must always remember that the ECM system is essentially a consumer of information originated from other systems, because all content that resides within the ECM is the result of a business process or event initiated by a line-of-business application used by a functional department (e.g., exploration, drilling, production, land or accounting).
The Solution: Dynamic Asset and Information Management
KeenIM and RecordPoint have teamed to provide the natural resources industry a Dynamic Asset and Information Management (DAIM) solution that leverages the best of the next generation of information management, implements transparent records management, and uses dynamic data integration to provide value throughout the lifecycle of the asset.
KeenIM’s Ready4IM solution provides quick and easy information management deployments that span the enterprise, tightly integrated with RecordPoint’s platform to manage compliance requirements in relation to electronic and physical records. Our solutions are available for both cloud (Office 365) or on-premises SharePoint environments.
Ready4IM embeds KeenIM’s deep experience with asset management and operational systems in the oil and gas industry into a flexible data-integration component that respects the needs of Records Management. RecordPoint provides automated, rules-based records-management capabilities. The KeenIM solution relies on RecordPoint to provide an information and records management solution that ensures that the current state of all assets is accurately reflected throughout the information management environment, while the auditable ‘chain of custody’ requirements of records management are always being met.
KeenIM empowers organizations, providing advantage through information with our industry-ready information management solutions and services. Our information management solutions span the enterprise and seamlessly integrate with master data and line-of-business applications to ensure data quality. Whether delivered on-premises, in the cloud or as a service, our turnkey portals, document and records management and collaboration solutions are designed to find!
RecordPoint was created to cost effectively fill the gaps in SharePoint that prevent it from being used as a standards compliant, enterprise grade records management solution. RecordPoint addresses the local compliance challenge by leveraging and extending the native document and records management capabilities in Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 to provide a 100% SharePoint solution that is built to meet global and local records standards – a task that was previously cost prohibitive or technically unfeasible.