Interactive Energy Conference Off To A Good Start

The opening-day program for Interactive Energy has been set with presentations from SAP, Booz Allen Hamilton and case studies and panel discussions from management from such companies as Reliant, Equiva, Tesoro, Unocal and SAIC.

Les Amidei, VP of business development for process from SAP America, will open the session to discuss how energy companies are working to gain maximum returns from their current investments. Many of the larger companies committed to SAP's enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems during the past 15 years, and new innovations must interface with SAP to access and uplink enterprise data.

"With all the great promises of the internet, the energy industry has made numerous investments in information technology," notes Amidei. "The reality is that while many have delivered, many [others] have not. As a result, the overall climate has changed dramatically where any investment in technology will be driven by measurable and quantifiable ROI. Leveraging existing investments such as ERP into new arenas will be critical in assuring maximum value is delivered."

A panel of senior technology officers, including Xavier Flinois, president, Schlumberger Network Solutions; Tom Halbouty, CIO, Pioneer Natural Resources; Paul Cuneo, CIO, Equiva Services LLP; and Ray Cline, CTO, SAIC, will follow Amidei's presentation. Each panelist will be asked how he or she is prioritizing IT spending and levering from investments made in previous years to maximize profitability. Accenture Partner Jeff Sakaguchi will direct the discussion. Then, Eduardo Alvarez, partner of Booz Allen Hamilton will wrap up the morning with a presentation on how some energy companies have managed innovation more effectively and what can be learned from their strategies.

In the afternoon, the conference will feature the results of an IT survey conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton and Zeus Development Corporation, which investigates how the upstream, refining and gas and power sectors are prioritizing IT spending. The two firms have joined in the research project to interview information officers at many of the world's leading energy firms to understand how they are currently managing IT investment. The report will enhance and build upon the earlier presentations, providing a broader industry perspective.

Then, four case studies will be presented: The first entitled, "Dropping the 'E:' Moving E-Business to Just Business" by Tim Pownell, general manager, e-procurement project, will discuss how Unocal is in the process of fully integrating their e-business systems into the mainstream practices of the company.

The second, entitled "Rapid ERP Integration: A New Supervisory Application to Reduce Training Time and Improve Inventory Accuracy," which will be presented by Mark Evans, CIO, Tesoro, will discuss how Tesoro was able to integrate its marine logistics unit into the broader SAP ERP to improve performance, inventory accuracy and employee satisfaction.

The third and fourth presentations will be made by management from Reliant Resources Inc. to describe how they are using IT to prepare for Texas' forthcoming deregulated marketplace. Will Symmes, director - energy information systems, will describe how Reliant has developed an internet-based energy information and analysis portal for large industrial customers, entitled "Energy Commander." Then, Ron Orsini, vice president - eBusiness, will discuss how Reliant is investigating home automation technology to better serve residential and small business accounts.

"We're very pleased with the lineup for Wednesday and believe it provides a most important full-day forum for the opening discussion of Interactive Energy," said Nimocks. "In the final analysis, our job is to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas so advancements can be made more efficiently, and this lineup promises to do that."