Landmark have been active recently seeking to win the hearts and minds of senior executives with the recent study from Cambridge Energy Research Associates (see PDM Vol 1 No. 5) and a "visionary" advert with Bob Peebler, Dick Cheney and Daniel Yergin trying to hypnotise unsuspecting readers of the Oil and Gas Journal, AAPG Explorer, First Break and the like. Having dealt with the management, Landmark is now aiming at the soft underbelly of the G&G IT shop floor - the systems administrator. Release 97 will be Landmark's first synchronized release of UNIX products, and will include most Landmark UNIX products running in the same environment, i.e., the same versions of the operating system, OpenWorks, LAM, and Oracle. For the harassed systems administrator, this means that the entire computing environment and all applications can be upgrade to OpenWorks 4.1 simultaneously. The following applications will be included in Release 97: OpenWorks 4.1, PostStack/PAL 1.2, EarthCube 1.1, Geo-dataWorks 3.0, SeisWorks 3.1.1, ProMAX 6.1, VoxCube 2.0, 3DVI 3.0, RAVE 2.1, Stratamodel 4.1, TDQ 2.0, SynTool 3.0, StratWorks 4.0, Wellbore Manager 1.1, Z-MAP Plus/Contouring Assistant 3.0, PetroWorks 4.0 and last but not least, LogEdit 4.0
John Sherman of Landmark has oft bemoaned the fact that the Windows environment has to a large extent won the battle with Unix. By adopting an Office 97 style marketing approach, Landmark are doing more than window dressing. Benefits from Release 97 include; predictability of releases (a new synchronized release is planned per year - quite a promise!) and with the annual releases it should be easier to plan for changes in the computing environment. Landmark will also continue to introduce new products, enhancement releases, and bug fixes throughout the year. Also proffered is platform and operating system parity, in other words all platforms will be released at the same time, so that computers in a heterogeneous environment can be upgraded simultaneously. Release 97 will include the following platforms and operating systems: Sun Solaris 2.5, IBM AIX 4.1.4, SGI IRIX 5.3. Its goodbye however to SunOS, so it will be Solaris with everything from now on.
Take the leap!
Those of you who have been prevaricating about migration will have to take the leap now! Currently, Landmark and SGI are working to determine the feasibility of providing Landmark's software products under IRIX 6.2 for Release 97. If this is determined to be feasible without adversely affecting the on-time shipment of Release 97, Landmark and SGI will jointly communicate an update. Easier Installation & Administration are forecast with Release 97 distributed on a combined set of CDs and use a single installation procedure with a common GUI (graphical user interface) for all Release 97 applications. This will make it easier to install on multiple applications or different computers. Improved integration of applications is promised with Release 97. Applications will all be based on a similar OpenWorks model making data more accessible across applications.
With the aplomb that we are now used to in vendors discussing data models, OpenWorks is described as including "a wide array of production data types based on input from customers, reservoir engineering software vendors and public data models". Not missing a trick, Landmark go on to state that "as an original and active member of POSC, Landmark continues to spearhead POSC's project Discovery," (see PDM Vol 1, No. 1) "an industry initiative to develop a performance-based subset and combination of the POSC and PPDM data models." Without waiting for these organizations to come up with the goods, Landmark is already offering "seamless workflow from exploration to production" with the promise of members of an asset team being able to "share and work with the same data at the same time in a common environment". In the same vein, when a Landmark user makes changes in StratWorks, for example, the changes are dynamically reflected in SeisWorks as well as Z-MAP Plus.
Having dealt with the top and seduced the base Landmark is now gunning for their most important clients - the middle ground of the interpretation community.
A three day, three session seminar, the Landmark Worldwide Technology Forum is scheduled for the 12th to 14th February at the Adam's Mark Hotel, Houston. Here explorationists and production engineers will be positively reeling from over 50 technical sessions presented by Landmark customers, university experts and Landmark technologists and innovators. Landmark sure have thrown their hearts into marketing Release 97. Only one quibble, as regular conference goers ourselves, we wonder if the E&P world can take any more conferences. Are we to see a three day GeoQuest interpretation event? We have a job today keeping up with the AAPG, SEG, EAGE and the like, do we really want more? The forecast 600 plus attendees for the Landmark Worldwide Technology Forum obviously think we do.
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