In a move to tap into the Middle East and Africa oil and gas industry market, Microsoft has launched a new centre of excellence for oil and gas in Dubai, built specifically to assist customers in driving digital transformation, cost cutting and optimisation of their operations across the region and the world.
At the centre, firms in the oil and gas industry will learn about latest trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics, modern productivity and cloud computing using Microsoft technologies like Microsoft Azure and Office 365 as well as meet top players like Accenture, Aveva, Baker Hughes, Honeywell, OSIsoft, Schneider Electric and Schlumberger.
“Digital transformation is top of mind for executives in the oil and gas industry, which is why we built the centre of excellence in the Middle East,” says Omar Saleh, director for Oil and Gas at Microsoft, Middle East and Africa.
The centre will help the executives to develop sound digital strategies to enable innovation and development in the industry forward.
According to the 2016 Upstream Oil and Gas Digital Trends Survey by Accenture and Microsoft, 80% of upstream oil and gas companies plan to increase spending on digital technologies in order to help them drive leaner, smarter organisations. The International Data Corporation (IDC), predicts that IT spending in oil and gas will increase to nearly $50 billion in 2016, while spending on connectivity related technologies should increase by 30%.
With 44% of respondents in the 2016 Upstream Oil and Gas Digital Trends Survey reporting that investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) is their next big priority, it’s clear that in the current challenging environment the industry is focusing technologies on areas that will deliver efficiencies and savings in the short term while enabling faster decision making. Respondents also saw the greatest impact from IoT in enabling connected field workers, with 60% planning to have field workers and assets digitally connected with smart devices.
The firm expects the center to give this sector an opportunity not only to cut costs but also redesign businesses to thrive in volatile market conditions and ensure security.