Stranded Oil Pumps Up Core IT Services

By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 2016-10-12 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Exploring IT Consolidation With Hosting

The oil services firm had hosted IT systems from eight vendors, so it began exploring IT consolidation and vendors that could create a streamlined environment.

As organizations look to improve business performance, IT infrastructure is increasingly in the spotlight. The ability to manage systems and data efficiently can determine whether an enterprise soars or stumbles.

At Stranded Oil Resources, a Golden, Co., firm (owned by Alleghany Capital) that specializes in extracting stranded oil from depleted fields—which are sometimes 50 to 100 years old—the task is magnified by a decentralized business structure. The firm operates fields in Shreveport, La., Southeast Kansas and Casper, Wyo., with about 30 operational employees at each site and another 10 at headquarters. The employees use a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Over the years, Stranded Oil had amassed an assortment of hosted IT systems from eight different vendors, including email, telephony and an Exchange server. The result was chaos.

"A lot of the systems weren't reliable, performance was subpar, we had provisioning and de-provisioning issues, as well as security challenges and people using personal Dropbox accounts for file sharing," recalls IT Manager Kevin Finnegan. "Sometimes, people had to email files to themselves notes. In addition, we had one company managing servers in a hosted environment and another vendor hosting remote desktops. When a problem occurred, companies would point at each other."

Exploring IT Consolidation and a Streamlined Environment

The business and IT framework was unsustainable. As a result, Finnegan began exploring IT consolidation and looking for hosting companies that could create a more streamlined environment.

Stranded Oil eventually turned to Intermedia and deployed the vendor's full suite of services, including Exchange Email, POP Email, Cloud PBX, SecuriSync file backup and sharing, Email Archiving and its Cloud Server application infrastructure. "The concept of a comprehensive yet highly integrated set of hosted solutions was extremely attractive," Finnegan explains.

The company migrated to Intermedia in April 2016, and the results have been impressive, according to Finnegan. Eliminating fragmented systems, multiple control panels, confusing technical support issues and other problems has resulted in a 40 percent cost savings—about $96,000 annually.

Another plus is enterprise-grade security—which includes real-time provisioning and de-provisioning and remote wipe capabilities—along with a 99.999 percent uptime service level agreement and 24/7 support.

Stranded Oil has also realized other benefits. Today, Finnegan and other IT staff members can view everything from a central dashboard on any type of device. In addition, the new environment allows IT to manage accounts and security far better than it had in the past, and it enables employees to work more productively.

For example, the SecuriSync tool automatically backs up all files, but it also allows employees to manage and share them. If a problem occurs, there's a complete record of all versions, including who edited or changed something. "We can find the desired version and go right back to it," Finnegan adds.

Most importantly, employees are able to work faster and better. The company has introduced collaborative tools, including Skype for Business and distributed calendars and contacts.

"We have everyone on a single Exchange server," Finnegan reports. "We have the entire company with a single hosted provider. In addition to the tangible benefits, there have been enormous intangible benefits. The platform has fundamentally changed the way we work and how we get things done."



 
 
 
 
Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).
 
 
 
 
 



















 
 
 
 
 
 

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