Shell Services International (SSI), Shell’s outsourced IT support provider is using technology from Open Text Corp. to support virtual teamwork and project management for up to 80,000 users in the Shell group worldwide. Open Text’s Livelink, groupware and knowledge management software facilitates teamwork between geographically dispersed employees. Such teams used to be limited to information sharing through e-mail and the NT File Server. With Livelink, users now collaborate, manage and discuss business critical initiatives in secure online project workspaces.
SSI’s Pauline McGinnes said “As an international business, we are required to deliver our services globally. With teams of employees working throughout the world, we need to implement a system that encourages efficiency and ensures effective communication. Livelink lets our teams communicate and share business critical information on a global, regional and local basis. Livelink provides access to specific skills and expertise when and where we need it.” SSI reports that the software has reduced document search time, and lets teams leverage collective knowledge and expertise globally. Documents and project data are stored in Livelink’s central repository, offering added security features, and facilitating automatic change reporting with push technology.
“Because Livelink is Web-based, it provides true collaborative capabilities for enterprises operating on a global level” said Andrew Pery, VP global marketing with Open Text. “Using Open Text’s collaborative e-business platform, Shell Services International is able to leverage the skill and know-how of all of its employees around the world. Livelink’s knowledge management functionalities also help SSI to overcome common business hurdles, including version control, security, distributed storage locations and time management.”
A major new release of Livelink now offers an XML back plane, tighter coupling with Oracle data bases and a new Livelink intelligent ‘spider’ which crawls the corporate file system seeking out information that has not been manually indexed. The SSI installation is said to use all of the new functionality of Version 9. But not all of Shell’s teamwork is virtual. At project kick-off, teams meet in the flesh to ascertain what resources (email, Office Automation, Livelink) will be used and how. Clarity on how tools are used and agreement between team members is sought upfront. Open text has other large oil and gas clients including Saudi Aramco, with 35,000 seats, Chevron and BP.
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