ADIPEC 2017 show interview: Microsoft

The software major participates in ADIPEC to revamp its image of being a consumer applications provider.

Omar Saleh, Middle East and Africa regional director  manufacturing and resources, Microsoft.
Omar Saleh, Middle East and Africa regional director manufacturing and resources, Microsoft.

Microsoft is traditionally known to cater more to domestic consumers than major industries like oil and gas. What brings you to ADIPEC?

Digitalisation is touching upon every industry and oil and gas is no exception. What we are looking at in terms of offering digital solutions to the industry is how we can make an impact from four different perspectives. One of those is how an organisation would empower its employees. You want to give them the tools that will make them more productive, that will give them insights to support their decision-making. This is an area where we have a heritage, as we have helped enterprises make their workforce more dynamic and capable in their tasks.

Another area is engaging your customers. That’s why we think about digital transformation for the customers of our customers. Basically, its about moving closer to your customers, and are able to bring them value. You are driving a business that’s customer-centric.

The third pillar of our business is optimising operations. [This centres] around maximising the lifetime of an asset, reducing downtime in production facilities, maximising production, and being able to run safe operations all along.

The fourth pillar is to do with transforming the business model. If you’ve been able to empower your employees, engage with your customers, optimise operations, and ensuring safety, then the natural outcome is business transformation at large. Are there new revenue streams to look into? Is there an opportunity to introduce new services and products? These become the next steps in growing the business.

How is Microsoft using the brand value of its software in order to cater to this region’s oil and gas sector?

We are a software platform company and we bring capabilities that are not directly present in the industry. If you take Microsoft, we have our offerings in analytics, automation, visualisation, productivity, and collaboration, and many more that make up the entire value proposition of our platform. 

Specifically, we are exhibiting one solution that we have developed and put to the market for our customers, called the connected field service. This technology enables richer tasks for delivery, and improves efficiency and optimisation of the maintenance process at large. In essence, this is how we empower field technicians and workers to perform the tasks assigned to them, so that they are equipped with the knowledge they have.

There is another perspective, where our partners are very domain-specific and they build on solutions that are hosted on our platform. This is a collaborative model. Some examples of this in action include Hexagon PPM, a company specialising in 3D simulation and engineering and design in the offshore sector. This is very domain-specific. They also have a very nice demo arranged here [at ADIPEC], which involves mixed reality. Using our HoloLens device, you are able to view a plant. We also have Bentley Systems displaying its engineering and documentation solutions, which was built on our platform.

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