"Fujitsu has a great ability to respond to new requirements at short notice. Its agile, collaborative approach made what could have been a very painful process seamless"
Jon Wensley, IT Vendor Manager, BP
BP is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by 2011 revenues. The company has a market capitalisation of approximately $232 billion, annual revenues of $284 billion, and profit of over $17.3 billion per annum. Today it has over 97,600 employees and produces nearly 2.4 million barrels of crude oil and 8.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day. It operates over 24,100 service stations worldwide.
Like any other business, large or small, BP must refresh its technology platforms to keep up with new advances. This means ensuring that the latest operating system is available to all its employees, regardless of location. Following the release of Windows 7, BP created its own build of the software dubbed Voyager and intended to roll it out to 10,500 users across Europe. It needed the right partner to ensure this massive deployment was both successful and cost-effective.
“We have to keep in line with modern developments on the desktop and that means installing the latest operating systems to achieve full functionality,” explains Jon Wensley, IT Vendor Manager, BP. “However, we run numerous different applications, many of which are customised for the oil industry, so we need to ensure these integrate with any new platform. We also have employees based in remote and inaccessible locations that need to be reached as part of the programme.”
Fujitsu was an existing hardware partner of BP’s in Europe with an existing team of dedicated engineers and so was invited to tender for the business. Its promise to deliver $600,000 of savings compared to the previous year’s desktop support combined with its knowledge of the company and a large geographical scope secured the contract.
“Fujitsu had the flexibility and agility that this project demanded. It also had the ability to deliver service in a wide variety of locations, from the centre of major metropolises to the deserts of Kazakhstan,” adds Wensley. “From our previous experience of working with Fujitsu, we knew we would be in safe hands despite the challenging nature of the deployment.”
BP and Fujitsu worked together to identify the order in which each country would be targeted over the course of a two year installation programme. Each country had specific requirements around data retention policy that also had to be taken into account. Installations would consist of a mixture of deploying new laptops and PCs and upgrading existing devices with extra memory to cope with the new software.
“It was an incredibly complicated situation with numerous variables to take into account. Typically, the Fujitsu engineers would arrive and begin a staggered process of taking a device, transferring the existing data to an external drive, installing Windows 7 and then putting the data back on,” continues Wensley. “This would take a few hours so in a country such as Germany with 2,500 users; the entire migration process took almost two years. This required detailed planning to minimise the disruption to the business.”
During the transition, BP asked Fujitsu to include an encryption capability, which added further layers of complexity. Nevertheless, the project is being completed on time and on budget, providing a seamless migration to Windows 7. The success of the project to date has also encouraged BP to contract Fujitsu to update the software and drivers on a quarterly basis as well as become involved in new projects.
“The Voyager project covered mainland Europe but, more recently, we decided to run a similar scheme in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South America,” comments Wensley. “Following an electronic auction, Fujitsu secured the business in these regions.”
Fujitsu also won another contract to upgrade the operating environments on its shipping fleet. This involves integrating 30 specialist applications and replacing hardware within a tightly defined timeframe. When ships are in dock at Dubai, Singapore or Spain, there is only a small window for the Fujitsu engineers to operate before the ship departs on its next journey.
Fujitsu has ensured that BP can enjoy the full benefits of running Windows 7 without disrupting the business. Its ability to deliver results on time in complex environments and flexibly address the myriad challenges has made it the preferred partner for software support within BP.
“As an example, BP’s refining plant in Rotterdam is in operation 24/7 – any downtime can result in millions of pounds worth of losses,” says Wensley. “The nature of the environment is also challenging with health and safety issues to be considered. Therefore, Fujitsu’s timing had to be impeccable in order to migrate all users without impacting production.”
From three users in Venezuela to 3,000 users in the UK, Fujitsu is helping deliver a new software platform that will increase productivity and add functionality. Its global reach is providing economies of scale that give BP the best value for money.
“Fujitsu has a great ability to respond to new requirements at short notice. Its agile, collaborative approach made what could have been a very painful process seamless. With Europe now on stream with the new platform, we are continuing to work together around the world to deliver Windows 7.”
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