Microsoft targets oil ERP

SAP’s oil and gas ERP hegemony has got some competition from Microsoft Canada and WellPoint Systems who have teamed on an oil-patch specific solution, built with Axapta, Microsoft’s ERP suite.

Calgary-based WellPoint Systems Inc. claims to be breaking new ground in the oil and gas Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software sector with the creation of a ‘comprehensive, integrated suite’ based on Microsoft’s Axapta ERP technology and the .NET architecture.


WellPoint’s flagship client is Deer Creek, an operator in Western Canada’s massive oil sands development. Core of the WellPoint offering is a joint venture accounting and ERP solution for finance, inventory, project management, cost control, field operations and production accounting.


Deer Creek CFO John Kowal said, ‘The integration of Microsoft technologies from Axapta, through SQL Server, to the server and desktop operating systems brings a tremendous advantage. This enterprise-level solution adapts to your needs as opposed to forcing compliance with rigid processes.’


WellPoint CEO Frank Stanford added, ‘We have the products and the expertise to assist in the strategic development of systems and processes to support Deer Creek’s fast growing business. Users of a previous Axapta implementation have reported increased employee productivity by up to 25 per cent. Managers have access to the information and tools they need to make smart, strategic business decisions and they’ve streamlined processes for better turnaround.’


Axapta is said to streamline ERP by using a single business ‘logic’, one source code, one database and a comprehensive tool box. Wellpoint believes this level of integration is particularly relevant to the oil and gas industry, which is currently populated by ‘multiple, disconnected systems produced by small software vendors’.


Axapta was first released by Danish software house Navision in 1983. In 2002 Microsoft acquired Navision Axapta and Navision Attain for $1.4 billion—its largest acquisition ever.


Earlier this year, WellPoint acquired Calgary-based EnCompass Solutions Inc. a Microsoft business solutions provider and specialist developer of Axapta-based solutions. Last month, WellPoint announced record quarterly revenues for Q2 2004 at $1,6 million, up 86% over Q2, 2003 and its highest quarterly revenues to date.

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