Case Studies

In Sync with the Cloud

by Alan Joch

November 2014

The unique hybrid-cloud solution that Shelf Drilling uses to sync Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne running in its central instance and on dozens of far-flung rigs was a simple concept that required skill to actually pull off. “It sounds straightforward, but there are many technical challenges underlying the handshaking process among the systems and how they actually transfer data,” says Ian Clark, executive vice president at Shelf Drilling.


    Shelf Drilling Holdings

    Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Industry: Oil and gas

    Employees: Approximately 4,000

    Oracle products: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne solutions, Oracle Hyperion Financial Management, Oracle Hyperion Planning, Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service, Oracle Data Integrator

    Oracle partner: Tata Consultancy Services

Ian Clark

Executive Vice President

Length of tenure: 19 months

Education: BS in electrical and electronic engineering, Heriot-Watt University

Personal quote/mantra: “Successfully launching a fully integrated ERP system within six months was key to establishing Shelf Drilling as a standalone company. Picking the right system and implementation team were fundamental to achieving this goal.”


Getting data synchronization right was especially important for the maintenance and procurement staff on each rig, which needed to efficiently access the capital asset management and procurement modules in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne to track spare parts inventory, create purchase requisitions, and plan and submit work orders.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) created a custom design that uses Oracle Data Integrator, part of Oracle Fusion Middleware, to build hundreds of interfaces between the rigs and headquarters. At various scheduled intervals, and provided the rig’s satellite connection is available, the Oracle Data Integrator interfaces synchronize master data and transactional updates among the central and local JD Edwards EnterpriseOne installations.

“These interfaces provide a huge benefit for Shelf Drilling,” says Mohammad Tauseef, global head, Oracle JD Edwards, at TCS. “Otherwise,” Tauseef continues, “the company would have had to invest millions of dollars per rig each year for greater connectivity, which would still not allow the rig crews to access the system when the communications network was down.”

All these tools combine to help Shelf Drilling rig crews achieve high levels of operational performance. In 2013, even though the maintenance system was transitioning to Shelf Drilling’s new JD Edwards EnterpriseOne implementation, uptime performance was 98.9 percent, which was the highest level the fleet achieved in the last five years, according to Clark.

Success in the first year of operation provides a springboard for the future. “Clearly this industry offers opportunities for us to grow,” Clark says. “The key is having hosted and cloud solutions that can easily scale up as we evolve and give us the flexibility we need.”

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