PDM Interview - SMT president Tom Smith

Seismic Micro Technology’s president Tom Smith received the SEG’s Enterprise award for his contribution to the "economic vitality of our industry." PDM tried to find out what his next trick will be!

PDM - Tom, you are Seismic Micro-Technology’s sole owner, president and chief salesman, what is SMT’s market share of interpretation software?

Smith - well there are 15,000 SEG members which gives us 8,000 as a good estimate of interpretation seats. We have some 1,400 currently and in the first half of this year sold as many as in the whole of 1999. By that calculation that will give SMT a 20% market share SMT by year end 2000.

PDM - How did you get there?

Smith - Our history dates back to 1994 when we released the first geo-software application on Windows NT. Even then we were working on a tight integration of geology and geophysics and we were not writing software for the specialist user.

PDM - what data model does your software deploy?

Smith - In a sense data models are old technology. SMT is data and data model independent. We can run our software against an Oracle server, SQL Server and Access. In fact the same software is used for a stand-alone installation or at Exxon Corp.

PDM - What database is actually delivered with the Kingdom Suite

Smith - Our application binary code includes pointers to a database - by default this is Microsoft Access.

PDM - You have established a reputation in the field of geophysics, what about geology?

Smith - in version 7.0 - due out end 2000, EarthPac will introduce enhanced integration in the following areas.

1. Full support for geology.

2. Time and depth integration throughout - this is especially important for sub-salt plays. You will be able to flip back and forward between time and depth.

3. Authoring - you will be able to "stamp" your interpretation with time and ownership and to collaborate on projects. We call this our Digital Library - our first venture into Knowledge Management.

4. Multiple simultaneous users will be able to share the same data. This is not just for the big guys, in a small E&P shop, this will allow communication say between the interpreter and the data loader.

PDM - Your third point reminds us of parts of POSC’s Shared Earth Model venture. Will you be using this work?

Smith - We follow what is going on and use some of POSC’s work. But you cannot afford academic purity on a PC. Performance is the key.

PDM - What of the various interoperability initiatives? How does your software link to other vendor environments?

Smith - With Landmark we offer our "Tunnel L" direct pipe to the Landmark API. We will soon have a "Tunnel S" for Schlumberger.

PDM - Have you looked at Windows 2000?

Smith - Of course, we have tested on Windows 95, 98, 4.x and 2000. We are especially interested in the new Microsoft Active Directory technology.

PMD and have you checked out Microsoft Transaction Server for interoperability?

Smith - yes but at the present it is too slow to replace our Tunnel technology.

PDM - You were initially critical of Open Spirit’s lack of a C++ API. Do you see Open Spirit as a replacement for your proprietary Tunnel-X technology?

Smith - We aspire to Open Spirit. It is a wonderful concept and with GeoQuest’s involvement has benefited from vision and experience. We take GeoQuest’s involvement at face value, but nevertheless our technology should stand on its own merits. Furthermore, Open Spirit now has both Java and C++ API’s so we can hook into the CORBA bus. In fact by the end of the year we will have to choose between OS and Tunnel G.

PDM - what’s next for SMT

Smith - Complete integration of Geology and Geophysics.

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