Oil ITJ Interview—Marise Mikulis

Oil IT Journal spoke to Marise Mikulis, Microsoft’s Houston-based energy industry manager. Mikulis told of Microsoft’s plans for security, ERP and high performance computing.

Oil IT Journal managed to catch Microsoft’s Marise Mikulis at the Salt Lake City AAPG this month. Mikulis was appointed as Microsoft’s energy industry manager and senior strategist for energy industry enterprise solutions last year.

Oil ITJ—What is Microsoft’s strategy with regards to the energy industry?

Mikulis—First I want to make it clear that Microsoft has no intention of creating oil and gas specific software. The plan is rather to make sure that Microsoft’s horizontal offerings get optimal use in oil and gas.

Oil ITJ—Does that mean a focus on Microsoft’s application software or operating systems?

Mikulis—Of course Microsoft Office has a great role to play in oil and gas enterprise computing. But we also believe that the new Windows Server 2003 should be of particular interest to oil and gas companies because of its designed-in emphasis on security.

Oil ITJ—Talking of servers, what is your strategy towards Linux in the high performance computing environment?

Mikulis—You know, Microsoft spends $6 billion per year on R&D and is directing a considerable amount of this in the way of high performance computing (HPC). Microsoft will be presenting its HPC activity at a half day event in Houston next month.

Oil ITJ—You have personally come a long way since your days at the Petroleum Open Software Corporation. How do you square working with Microsoft with your previous ‘open’ work?

Mikulis—Microsoft has an interesting viewpoint on standards. Microsoft wants to compete by having the best commercial implementations of industry standards. For companies seeking to deploy web services, Microsoft will offer the most compelling solution. Microsoft’s Jim Clark sits on the API/PIDX board and is also on the UN EDIFACT committee.

Oil ITJ—What of your ERP activity?

Mikulis—Last year, Microsoft acquired Danish ERP developer Navision whose solution has been rolled into our Business Solutions unit. Navision delivers integrated functionality for financial management, supply chain collaboration, CRM and e-commerce. We believe that these solutions can provide support for remote operations and plants which are often run like small autonomous businesses.

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