Drill rig operator steps towards cloud

 

AJ Lucas enters stage two of business transformation.

Drilling group AJ Lucas has taken its first step towards hosted software through an enterprise resource planning (ERP) deployment, ‘Project Cornerstone’.

The group this month deployed web-based human resource, payroll and competencies modules of the Oracle e-Business suite, with a view to replacing six core software systems by October.

According to chief information officer Simon Soon, Project Cornerstone was the second stage of a three-stage ICT Strategic Plan conceived two years ago.

Under stage one in May 2009, AJ Lucas deployed Telstra, Cisco and HP networking equipment to connect its 16 offices and 83 drill rig sites in Queensland, Western Australia and NSW.

With the wide area network (WAN) in place, AJ Lucas began seeking a single ERP platform to replace business applications from four separate vendors.

It forged a new relationship with Oracle and channel partner CSG last June, after assessing 21 other proposals.

Soon said Oracle onDemand financials, projects, procurement, inventory and business intelligence modules would go live by October.

Other “enablement, efficiency and business intelligence” tools would be deployed between October and April, after which Soon hoped to look at “innovation; where to from here” applications until late 2012.

Outsourcing and the cloud

AJ Lucas chose to have the Oracle ERP suite delivered and hosted by CSG after determining that it lacked the skills internally to deploy and maintain the system.

Decision-makers were also attracted to CSG’s offer of a fixed price for implementation and hosting, Soon said, explaining that this lowered the level of risk that AJ Lucas had to bear.

“When we selected Oracle, it was quite clear that we didn’t have the skill set to get that going,” he said, expressing a reluctance to hire Oracle database administrators and consultants for the project.

Prior to Project Cornerstone, AJ Lucas operated two full racks of equipment in an HP data centre in Sydney. Soon expected to need only one rack when all the Oracle modules were activated.

After Cornerstone, the group would also decrease its IT headcount from 20 – including seven project staff and eight business leads – to about three.

“All these resources will be deployed back into the business on completion of the ERP project,” Soon said.

“Depending on the outcome of our cloud computing strategy for office productivity applications, our ICT support model will change.

“Most of our applications will be accessible from the internet, hosted in either a private cloud provided by CSG or a public cloud infrastructure.”

Soon said AJ Lucas was comfortable with outsourcing its IT.

Offshoring, he said, was a more serious concern and one that the group currently faced as it considered cloud-based productivity software, including Google Apps and Microsoft’s Office 365.

“We’re looking at the business case of the cloud because that suits Lucas’ type of business,” he said.

Managing change

Despite its technologically focused components, AJ Lucas’ ICT Strategic Plan was “really a business transformation exercise”, Soon said.

He declined to identify the company's outgoing core business applications, stating only that it was “very much a Microsoft SQL company originally”.

Prior to the WAN deployment, “we couldn’t even communicate; sending files across different parts of the business used to take a long time”, he said.

“People used to store files on their own laptops. There was a tremendous amount of duplication and different processes with timesheets for example.

“The CEO recognised that the business could not keep operating the way it did.”

AJ Lucas planned to reduce its number of different timesheets from more than 20 to four. Those four would adhere to Oracle best practices, Soon said.

While Project Cornerstone was uncomplicated so far, Soon expected most challenges to arise from having its 600 computer-using staff adapt to the new system and processes.

During the next nine months, the company planned to deliver 120 structured training courses to the 270 staff it expected to directly interact with the Oracle suite.

 “What [applications] we’re rolling out to the business is a lot better than what they ever had,” he said.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Drill rig operator steps towards cloud
Tags
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1455

Vote