PDO plans major system overhaul

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) — the largest hydrocarbon exploration and production company in Oman — is planning a multimillion-dollar overhaul of its IT systems, with around 70 different IT projects on the drawing board for 2006.

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By  Diana Milne Published  March 5, 2006

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) — the largest hydrocarbon exploration and production company in Oman — is planning a multimillion-dollar overhaul of its IT systems, with around 70 different IT projects on the drawing board for 2006. The oil company, which recently implemented Cisco’s IP Call Centre (IPCC) Enterprise solution, to run on top of its Siemens PBX system, has many more IT projects in the pipeline for the year ahead, executives told IT Weekly. Thureya Almahrouky, busine- ss administration services team leader at PDO, said the projects covered such areas as infrastructure, telecoms, business improvement and implementing software to improve business processes. The aim of all the planned projects is to support the company’s growth and a growing workload associated with oil exploration. “The bottom line is we would like to get more oil from the ground,” she stated. “That’s our objective and all our work should serve that objective.” “We are planning to expand our IT infrastructure to support more work,” she continued. PDO said that, in total, it plans to spend over US$10million on computing and telecoms in 2006. One such project has seen PDO deploy Cisco’s IPCC solution with HP’s Service Desk application, which will allow the firm to improve internal and external communication. It will also create more ways for customer agents to contact the company. The system allows for web, e-mail or voice communication. The Cisco system will run on top of an older PBX telephony system from Siemens, which PDO has been using for over 10 years. The Cisco implementation will see PDO replace an interactive voice recognition (IVR) call centre system from Siemens, which was originally installed to support PDO’s IT helpdesk only. Almahrouky said PDO was keen to modernise its communications infrastructure. “Technically we had to move forward because our extensions were not capable of expanding any more. We could not add any more extensions to the system,” she said. “The IP telephony system will allow us to add more extensions and gives quicker access to the services we offer both for people working inside and outside the organisation,” she added. The system will be integrated with HP’s Service Desk application which allows PDO to distribute its 50 agents anywhere in the country. “After evaluating multiple vendors in the market, Cisco’s IP Communication solution provided PDO with a unique scalable and flexible communication platform, formerly not possible thro- ugh a traditional PABX system installation,” said Ibtisam Riyami, manager of information management and technology at PDO. “The decision to migrate to a Cisco IPCC environment is partly due to the internal productivity gain this deployment would offer but also to the long term repercussions this type of flexible communication environment would provide in efficiently enabling PDO to cater to the growing market demand,” he added. “As a major player in the regional energy sector, PDO required a robust, scalable, flexible and secure communications network,” said Samer Alkharrat, general manager, Cisco Systems, the Gulf Region and Pakistan. “Oil and gas companies are prime candidates for the IPCC solutions that help automate the entire communication chain, with value additions that enhance productivity and streamline operations, as communications is the pivot of any successful enterprise,” he added. Last year, PDO signed a deal with Trend Micro for the security vendor to implement its Enteprise Protection Strategy across the company’s systems.

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