Oil ITJ Interview—John Sherman

Oil IT Journal caught Landmark VP John Sherman at the London Petex Expo this month. Sherman explained the rationale behind the recent deals with Helix and Veritas and provided a peek at new developments in Landmark’s application portfolio.

OITJ—You have just announced a new ASP deal with UK consultants Helix—what does this involve?

Sherman—We are building a new application hosting environment around PetroBank for Helix’s 100 employees. Helix is a leading subsurface and petroleum engineering consultancy in the UK. The PetroBank ASP will include support for third party applications. We also recently announced Anadarko’s take-up of our ASP offering in Houston. There, users have observed that it is as fast as, or faster than, in-house, locally run software—probably because of the power of our servers.

OITJ—Is application service provision (ASP) the preferred delivery for Landmark’s software now?

Sherman—ASP is an important trend but it is not the only way forward. Landmark is all about options. For Helix, ASP is a new method of value creation. New workflows can be explored internally and new value added for customers.

OITJ—Will the Helix deal leverage Landmark’s Team Workspace collaboration software for interaction with clients?

Sherman—This is something we are looking into but it is not currently part of the deal. We have used Team Workspace in the new joint Veritas/Landmark portal ‘UKCS.com.’ This project has its origins in work done under the auspices of the UK DTI’s Pilot program. UKCS.com will provide access to Veritas’ data along with ASP software. Users will be able to rent data and software for the duration of a project. Digital rights management software will assure copy protection.

Oil ITJ—who is going to use this resource?

Sherman—New entrants to the North Sea will be able to move faster without acquiring an IT infrastructure. In the USA, Bob Peebler’s Energy Virtual Partners are using this approach to good effect. The Veritas deal follows our hosting of PGS’ data in Houston and in the UK. I believe that Hosting is a business whose time has come.

Oil ITJ—What else is in the Landmark software pipeline?

Sherman—Our CDS Slegge interpretation management environment is a breakthrough in information retrieval. The release of PowerModel marks the first of a new suite of workflow (not silo) based applications integrated with DecisionSpace. While SeisWorks continues to show great ‘product velocity,’ Decision Space will eventually become the new platform - on top the OpenWorks database.

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