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Oil IT Journal tries to uncover the rationale behind Aveva’s OSIsoft/PI acquisition. The 2021 Aveva World seemed to downplay the deal, surprisingly, given the dominance of PI across many industries. ArcWeb sees more overlap than synergy.

We dipped into the Aveva World online event, hoping to hear some clear statement as to the whys, wherefores and potential synergies to accrue from its 2020 acquisition of OSIsoft. Either we missed it, or Aveva is not making a big deal out of OSIsoft. CEO Peter Herweck made a brief mention of a combined use of PI and Aveva by EDF at its nuclear plants and also indicated the PI acquisition has meant that ‘teams can do more, bringing IoT data into the cloud and the digital twin’. Herweck gave a preview of the Aveva Connect cloud, with a private cloud available mid-year 2021. We also noticed that ‘oil and gas’ has been airbrushed out of Aveva’s discourse, it is now just ‘energy’.

We also tuned-in to OSIsoft’ Russel Herbert’s podcast for more on the merger. Again we were somewhat disappointed but we did learn that despite all the new technology on offer, ‘it is false to say that that oil and gas is an advanced industry. Many of our customers work with spreadsheets’. You might assume that this backed up with digital technology. Sometimes this is true but often companies are not mature in getting value from their data. A lot of data has been collected over the years, the question now is ‘what are we going to do with all this data and how?’

In the midst of it’s a slightly sycophantic analysis of the merger, an ArcWeb blog observed that ‘Aveva’s Wonderware, Historian, Enterprise Data Management, and Plant Scada offers all have historian applications that might compete with … the more dominant PI System’. Maybe some awkward rationalization is in store for Aveva!

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2021 Issue # 4.

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