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Microsoft Industry Blogs

Challenged with rough market conditions, the Oil & Gas industry is bringing some new puzzle pieces into play and – voilá – they fit together perfectly.

Business Benefit from Big Data

By nature, faced with complex and intensive data processes, Oil & Gas companies –especially upstream exploration & production (E&P) – are using their myriad of data to strengthen their unique position. E&P organization are harnessing new technologies to increase productivity and efficiency across all business units, including challenging sub-surface data management. As reported by PwC in their 18th Annual CEO Survey: “Nearly four-fifths of energy CEOs agree that digital technologies are creating value for their organizations when it comes to data analysis and operational efficiency.” Improving and accelerating business insights from both existing and new data sources is important across all phases of this cyclical market.

Azure Platform Improves Access while Reducing Costs

Invest to be More Agile While Reducing Costs

This underlines the IDC Energy Insights Report: “CIOs have their hands full, determining how to be more productive while reducing costs at the same time.” And the report goes on to explain:  The number of mobile applications is growing rapidly along with moderate cloud growth as companies realize the value of rapid application development and deployment moving to the 3rd Platform. According to the report, another reason for building a solid IT foundation is to develop a big data and analytics platform on top of reliable systems to efficiently and effectively organize and manage critical data from multiple sources, for a deeper, holistic view and management of operations performance. The IDC report concludes that “Despite cuts, investment in innovation continues as energy companies strive to be more agile, efficient, and productive while reducing costs. As a result, there is a trend toward acceptance of cloud, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, advanced analytics, and cognitive with high expectations.“

Azure Platform Improves Access while Reducing Costs

So now, the puzzle pieces come together with pioneering companies like CGG, a leading player in geoscience. CGG selected Microsoft Azure as its new platform for lower cost and more flexible data storage and management services; a perfect fit for an industry that must reduce the complexity of managing their infrastructure, while improving agility and performance.

The new platform offers significant benefits including reliable security, faster response and greater flexibility to adapt to the industry’s boom and bust cycles.  Specified and managed by CGG, the environment is based on the latest technology from Microsoft and Microsoft’s Trusted Cloud, committed to privacy, security and compliance. CGG clients benefit from unprecedented resilience, speed and protection, with three copies of the data stored within the data center so if one copy is corrupted, two more are available.

Redundancy is achieved with an additional three copies stored at another Azure data center at least 500 km away. CGG also holds a copy of the application setup on its own servers, enabling speedy recovery if a major incident occurs, eliminating the customer’s need to store a data backup, further reducing costs.

Security and Privacy

Using the Azure IaaS product means that CGG creates its own Virtual Machine environment to which Microsoft engineers have not access to clients’ data nor applications.  Microsoft engineers only have time-bound access sufficient for support and maintenance tasks, with all access and activities logged and reported.

The environment is both secure and private. Data can only be accessed with permissions through the application, and only the CGG data management technology team and the client have access to the application.

Pay Only for What You Use

With Azure’s “pay for what you use” environment, the domain can be changed and scaled to meet client needs and changing business demands. CAPEX budget approval is no longer needed. Also avoided are the lengthy order and implementation timelines, and other delays typical with IT hardware projects of the past.

Business Advantage in the Cloud

With the large volumes of subsurface data in the cloud and almost limitless HPC capacity, advanced analytics tools can now be used to assist and accelerate data interpretation.  Innovative puzzle pieces like these, are revitalizing the Oil & Gas industry’s traditional processes, by extracting the full advantages of exponentially growing big data while also gaining speed and flexibility.