Following the official launch of Windows 7 around the globe, Microsoft Corp. announced that two Norwegian customers from the oil and gas industry have successfully piloted the new Windows 7 platform. DeepOcean, a subsea services and construction support firm, and Statoil, one of the world's largest offshore oil companies, have deployed or are piloting the Windows 7 operating system, improving employee productivity and increasing overall business performance.
These developments come as further proof of Microsoft's continuing commitment to the oil and gas industry and its efforts to better meet the needs of oil and gas enterprises globally. For example, on Feb. 10, 2009, Albrecht "Ali" Ferling, Ph.D., managing director of Microsoft's Worldwide Oil and Gas Industries, announced that the leadership for his organization is now located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From Dubai, Microsoft will be centrally located for ready access to its customers in the prevailing and emerging energy centers of the world. Future demand growth will come largely from countries such as China, India and those in the Middle East. Dubai, located midway between Central Europe and the Far East, is ideal for business travel to all oil capitals, from Houston to Beijing. And with the power ultimately shifting from consumer to producer in the global energy equation, the Middle East is an important location for Microsoft and its partners in the global oil and gas industry.
Ferling said, "Our industry is facing unprecedented challenges, and doing more with less is a priority for many of our customers. The role of IT as a key enabler to drive business efficiency is more important than ever, and Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 bring a powerful combination of cost savings, greater productivity and improved capacity for innovation to our oil and gas customers."
New Windows Desktop and Servers Boost Oil and Gas Employee Productivity
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have been developed with today's economy in mind where long-term business success needs to be built on two things: innovation and productivity. Their main features allow employees easy access to information anywhere at any time while organizations can reduce risk through improved security and drive cost savings through virtualization and streamlined management capabilities.
In 2000, for example, DeepOcean was among the first in its industry to implement the Windows platform for its onshore operations and offshore data processing, moving from a UNIX-based platform with flat files because the UNIX technology was out of date and the company wanted to develop new applications on the Windows platform. DeepOcean is now migrating from a UNIX-based platform to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 because of its need to support its sales force and engineers who travel between onshore and offshore locations. These mobile employees rely on portable computers that make up more than 25 percent of the company's computer fleet.
When DeepOcean migrated to the Windows platform, it implemented the Windows NT 4.0 operating system on its 50 client computers and the Windows NT Server 4.0 operating system on its 10 servers, which it is gradually upgrading from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2. DeepOcean uses Microsoft Forefront Client Security to help protect its client and server environment from Internet-based threats.
In an effort to enhance security for its portable computers and to address challenges with its virtual private network solution, the company also decided to migrate to the Windows 7 operating system. As a result of the upgrade, DeepOcean has simplified IT management, enhanced IT security and improved employee productivity.
"Windows 7 has enabled our mobile work force to connect to the corporate network and access all the resources they need faster and more easily," said Per Arne Stromo, IT manager at DeepOcean. "At the same time, Microsoft technology offers us a highly secure and reliable tool to help protect our confidential data and intellectual property even when on the road."
Statoil also wanted to improve employee productivity by making sure that workers in its increasingly global operations could fully collaborate with their colleagues. To address remote access issues that could hinder employee productivity and collaboration, the oil company intends to implement the Windows 7 and the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems, which together offer features such as BranchCache to improve data access at branch offices and DirectAccess to simplify remote connectivity. As a result of the upgrade, Statoil will deliver seamless access to the corporate network for traveling employees, improve information access at branch offices and enhance IT security.
"Using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, we'll be able to better support our strategy as a global company and more easily share information no matter where our employees and consultants reside," said Petter Wersland, leading advisor for IT Infrastructure, Statoil.
Building upon this core IT infrastructure, Microsoft, together with its partners, is continuing to tackle the creation of technology solutions for some of the industry's top priorities -- better collaboration, unified communications and role-based productivity -- to fundamentally change the way people work by introducing novel workflows and knowledge management capabilities that maximize scarce labor talent and bring business-critical information to workers wherever they are.
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