Energistics’ European Member Meeting, Paris

Ex-POSC EU members reflect on past, look to future (it’s XML!) and hear from IBM’s process guru.

Energistics (formerly POSC) held its EU Regional Meet last month in Total’s Paris offices. CEO Randy Clark stated that the rebrand was initiated because POSC’s market identity had faded. Energistics now has 73 member companies. Focus remains with its ‘signature’ brands WITSML and PRODML. There is a belief than billions of dollars can be saved through standardization. Even a small amount of take up equates to ‘billions of dollars of value.’ Data volumes, silos, quality and complexity make for a need for ‘interface standardization.’ There is a sense of urgency—it is not about the ‘Field of the Future,’ but about the Field of Today! Time to market is critical and companies should get involved early in the development process. ‘If we don’t do it, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft will do it for us!’ POSC’s plan for 2007 and beyond is to build a ‘value based business model’ leveraging member resources and community knowledge. ‘Priorities, initiatives and solutions are in your hands—it’s your community.’


Philippe Chalon (Total) has a long history of involvement with POSC—he was project manager of the Epicentre data model in the 1990s and Elf, Chalon’s employer of the time (now Total) was a POSC founder. The original plan was to develop a ‘plug and play’ software integration platform (SIP) to enable off-the-shelf software and a ‘buy not build’ model. This model failed because the model’s scope was too comprehensive. Today, Total’s focus has moved on from data integration to data sharing across multiple data sources. This requires semantic equivalence of objects, data quality, availability, training and global agreement with suppliers and governments. POSC failed to address the vendor problem. Halliburton and Schlumberger must be on board any new standards initiative.


Rick Morneau (Chevron) provided an update on ProdML. Originally focused on production optimization, ProdML has also proved useful in motivating vendors as they acquire more software and companies and are faced with their own integration issues. Problems amenable to a ‘community solution’ like ProdML are typically those concerning daily decision making—somewhere between real time/SCADA and longer term reservoir modeling. ProdML will be integrated into Chevron’s global ‘Jupiter’ standards in 2008.


Ron Montgomery briefly outlined the Norwegian Integrated Information Project as leveraging XML schemas, the ISO 15926 reference data library and a whole smorgasbord of standards—WITS, ProdML, ISO 15926, ISA, Mimosa, IEEE 61970/68 etc. IBM’s offering in this space is the Chemicals and Petroleum industries model-based, service-oriented architecture. By mapping to a reference semantic model it is possible to visualize all enterprise data without ‘large, bulky data models.’ A ‘piecemeal’ naming convention allows ad-hoc attachment of documents, linking asset maintenance management systems through the Mimosa standard.


Montgomery cautions, ‘IBM is always raving about SOA, but without semantic relevance to your industry it is just another point to point solution.’ SOA solves taxonomy with enterprise namespace management and industry specificity. One pitfall is to work with a single vendor solution because ‘nobody has a decent answer in house.’ IBM is ‘agnostic’ when it comes to portal and database selection which are ‘religious decisions.’ IBM spent $350,000 with standards bodies to link ISA 95 and 98—creating an explicit model, ‘BatchML’.

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