Oil ITJ Interview—Meyrick Williams SAIC

SAIC is ‘virtual’ prime contractor, system integrator, program manager, and service provider to three BP companies—Exploration, Oil, and Chemical—at ten major sites throughout the world. The $100 m/yr program involves 500 people. Oil IT Journal spoke to Meyrick Williams, SAIC VP and BP global account manager, about the history and scope of the alliance.

Oil ITJ—SAIC has been working with BP for a while—run us through the history of this partnership.

Williams—The relationship goes back 10 years, actually before my time with SAIC. The genesis was the upstream deal in Aberdeen which has developed into a long-standing and continuous relationship. In August 2000, SAIC won BP’s Application Hosting and Outsourcing Program (AHOP), a competition to host the majority of BP’s legacy systems, excluding upstream. A similar service delivery to the Aberdeen model is being offered in Houston. Today SAIC is heavily involved with BP’s digital business initiative in three continents. The biggest footprint is in the USA where SAIC provides desktop and back office support to upstream and downstream. Similar support is provided in to BP units in Columbia and Venezuela. In the UK and elsewhere we supply back office support for the BP Common Operating Environment.

Oil ITJ—We reported recently (Oil ITJ Vol. 7 N° 1) on SAIC’s acquisition of Oracle’s Energy Division. How has this impacted your work with BP?

Williams—We acquired the Oracle Energy Division last year, including the support for BP’s home grown ERP system ‘ISP’ which is used in some 27 countries. Our BP contracts also provide support for SAP in the USA while others leverage SAIC’s
$ 1 billion investment in leading edge research. These contribute to BP’s technology effort through projects such as the e-field initiative—to ‘drill smarter’.

Oil ITJ—What other applications are supported in these deals?

Williams—We also support applications like Maximo, Documentum, and E&P vertical tools. We maintain networks and communications for upstream and downstream primarily, but other BP businesses are represented.

Oil ITJ—Do you offer Application Service Provision—remotely hosted applications?

Williams—Yes, in the US, we provide ASP through a large server farm located in Tulsa. We also have the BP mainframe contract. Overall we support some 2,000 applications for BP, and we are helping BP develop new ones.

Oil ITJ—2,000! What happened to BP’s portfolio rationalization?

Williams—You have to remember it’s not just BP but Amoco, Vastar etc.. We are helping BP rationalize its software—working towards the goal of web-centric computing and leveraging public infrastructure. Legacy is legacy—it has either to go away or get turned into a solution.

Oil ITJ—How is SAIC going about proselytizing its success with BP, will we see you at the SPE or SEG?

Williams—Yes, we presented a joint paper with BP at the SEG D&P Forum recently on how we have implemented a true risk/reward business partnership model.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.