Conference Report – Landmark Worldwide Technology Forum, Houston. (June 1999)

PDM attended (and even had a stand!) at the Landmark WWTF in Houston last month. We bring you the highlights.

Bob Peebler's address traced the history of Landmark from a $35 million turnover company in 1989 with 150 employees to a $300 million company today with 1500 people in 60 countries. A theme of Peebler's talk was ‘Open Standards’ - by which of course Lanmark means OpenWorks. Peebler claims that Landmark has never wavered from its ‘Open’ strategy - and today there are 300 plus OpenWorks developers. Latest component in the ‘Open’ stakes is COM for Energy, designed to integrate petrotechnical and business. More from Peebler in this month's PDM interview (page 10).

data management

Landmark’s new strategy downplays the role of the Master Data Store and the move is now for distributed data management. This is to be achieved by integrating the Engineer’s Desktop line of products - basically, Vantage Software’s DSS. This was originally acquired by GeoGraphix but is now firmly in the mainstream of Landmark‘s offering. The Engineer‘s Desktop, made up of DIMS, AIRES and TOW/cs, is integrated with OpenExplorer and OpenWorks through the new Data Store Navigator. This will also allow integration of external (Vendor and client) databases. OpenWorks and OpenExplorer are being ported to Windows NT, and are to be addressable by both UNIX and NT clients. Full Windows and UNIX interoperability is planned both for Servers and Clients. Licensing is to be more flexible – with pay by use determined by FlexLM.


OpenExplorer is now less a bottom-up corporate datastore (competing with Finder) and rather a top-down tool for managing OpenWorks projects. Corporate data management is henceforth to be performed off-site, by data vendors such as IHS Energy. Pete Stark of IHS told how they were planning to implement such a service. The idea is to provide "just in time" data pushed into Landmark applications from IHS databases. To support Landmark’s segmentation of the workstation market, two such data links are proposed; from PetroROM to GeoGraphix and from P2000 to OpenWorks. This work is being performed as part of IHS Energy's ArchiTech program offering vendor cooperation and development resources.

Shared Earth Model

Broadly there are two approaches to the SEM, feet-on-the-ground' and 'anything goes'. The first, represented by Olivier Dubrule of Elf believe that SEM fills the relatively simple requirement of housing 3D interpretations that are shareable between all disciplines. The second, represented by Adolfo Henriquez, Statoil believes that the SEM should expand to encompass Workflow and Knowledge Management. The essence of the first simple approach for Landmark is the integration of GoCad's geo modeling engine within OpenWorks. But Landmark are also aware of the attraction of the open ended-ness of the second approach, and are quite happy to present the Knowledge Reference System and OpenJournal as part of the knowledge-oriented SEM.


Statoil’s Core Business (SCORE) was planned as an integrated platform running on a Corporate Data Store (CDS) with accompanying processes and procedures. The decision was taken early in 1998 to go for Landmark and there are now 15 Landmark employees working in Statoil. Prior to this Statoil was not a Landmark shop, had no proficiency in Landmark products so training was a major element of the program - 500 users to be trained over 18 months, 2200 training days. Not an easy task - they have gone for a quick - "high pain" changeover. The current SCORE program involves a multi-terabyte data migration into OpenWorks as a staging post while waiting for the completion of Statoil’s Epicentre Master Data Store. A Visionarium has been installed and is considered a "meeting place" as yet there are "no addicted users". SCORE is scheduled for completion year end 2000 with the CDS architecture and procedures in place. Statoil will be talking about the CDS 'in two years time'.

Mobil SLA’s ‘em!

Landmark and Mobil are working together to 'optimize business alignment with service level agreements (SLA)' in the context of Mobil's global Technical Computing Strategy (TCS). The objective is to define what is to be provided, how and where. Mobil’s TCS is a ‘seamless integrated environment for scientific and engineering IT, based on common standards‘. Mobil have developed a very formalized procedure for determining service levels. The discussion revolves around skills levels of Landmark personnel, and can is used to optimize service and cost of maintaining the TCS. Issues such as time of response and prioritizing of service are rolled into the SLA, as is bug reporting with the LMBETS (Landmark Bug Enhancement Tracking System) which is steered by Amoco Conoco and Mobil, a 'lose grouping' of oil companies who prioritize and interface with Landmark. The SLA process includes an escalation and dispatch model. Success factors for Mobil’s relationship with Landmark? Landmark recognizes its weaknesses and Mobil recognizes and moderates excessive expectations.

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