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Smart Enterprise: Greater Expectations

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wireline logging, well completion and field management — provide the actual services, similar to the way retail merchants offer products in a shopping mall. What's more, with its IT group and operating units working in tandem, Baker Hughes can provide customers with a desir- able package of IT-powered services. "The primary mission of BEACON is to enable Baker Hughes to provide remote well and reservoir services to our customers, and BEACON does just that," Arango says. Drilling for oil is expensive — and get- ting more expensive all the time. Finding and retaining skilled workers is challenging and costly, especially in remote locations or politically unstable countries. To control these and other costs, the oil industry is moving toward the remote control and monitoring of drilling and well operations. Using video and other telecom- munications links, the oil industry's drills in far-off places can be directed up and down, left and right, slower and faster — all by operators sitting in the relative comfort of control rooms hundreds, even thousands of miles from the drill. Once an oil well has been drilled and is operational, its pumps can also be monitored and optimized remotely, further reducing operating expenses. The BEACON service at Baker Hughes provides remote monitoring, remote opera- tions, secure file exchange, file storage, remote access and remote collaboration, all from centralized locations. At any one time, BEACON oversees some 200 well sites. Triplett, the IT executive behind BEA- CON's success, joined Baker Hughes in early 2009 as the company's first-ever CIO. Previously, the company had been organized into eight independent operating units, each with its own IT department. Now, For oilfield services supplier Baker Hughes Inc., managing IT assets is more than just a good idea — it's also a competi tive advantage. The Houston, Texas-based company is transforming its organization, some of its markets and other factors. In part, the company needed IT to become a core business partner, one that was able to support the business as well as boost its competitive standing. "We believe asset management will be a differentiator between us and some of the other com- panies in our peer group," says Graham Crisp, the company's Global IT Assets Director. The IT asset-management program at Baker Hughes has several internal objectives as well. The company needed to reconcile known IT assets with owned IT assets; increase IT availability and asset usage; increase the reprovisioning of existing assets to reduce the need for new purchases; improve IT asset manage- ment; and dispose of selected IT assets in environmentally responsible ways. Ultimately, Baker Hughes decided to rely primarily on CA Technologies asset- management solutions for the project. With these solutions, Baker Hughes was able to integrate IT functions. For example, when Baker Hughes needed to replace an aging help desk/call center applica- tion, it used CA Service Desk to integrate asset management and then to change its configuration and release into a help desk application. "We wanted one product that gave us flexibility across the organization," Crisp says. "We didn't want to bolt prod- ucts together to give us that functionality." For a company the size of Baker Hughes, that's no small effort. The company has some 35,000 laptops and desktops scattered around the world. It has equipment being used in the deep sea and other remote sites, oen for extended periods of time. What's more, the company's workforce is highly mobile. To make it even more challenging, the IT department, under the leadership of its new CIO, Clif Triplett, was for the first time centralizing all Baker Hughes IT assets under a single departmental umbrella. Soware inventories posed a challenge. Like many companies, Baker Hughes erred on the side of caution with its soware licenses, thinking it was better to have too many soware licenses than too few. "But we found we were overlicensed and oversubscribed," Crisp says. The result: In the first six months of the IT asset-management program, Baker Hughes identified more than 600 systems as underutilized; many of these systems could be redeployed. Internal buyers could reassign the systems to users who needed them. This has yielded additional results. For example, in IT procurement, if an internal user in Nigeria wants the IT department to purchase a server, buyers can now evalu- ate the warranty status, usage and refresh schedule of internally owned machines. They can then determine whether Baker Hughes already owns equipment worth shipping to Nigeria; if so, they avoid pur- chasing new assets. In addition, with the new asset- management system, Baker Hughes can forecast its replacement needs on a quarterly basis, and then make a bulk order. Rather than purchasing systems on a one-off basis, now the purchasing and shipping is done in bulk, which is a money saver. "From a deployment perspective, we can be cost-effective in how we deploy the machines," Crisp says. Another benefit: IT now has greater confidence that it has the hardware and soware it needs. This also improves IT's ability to negotiate with suppliers. "It put our licenses in perspective," Crisp explains. "Do we need 10 licenses or five? Do we have 10 licenses, but only five deployed?" Baker Hughes' IT asset-management program is lowering expenses, improving utilization and enhancing the company's competitive position. – A.S.H. IT ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE " We believe asset management will be a differentiator." —Graham Crisp | Global IT Assets Director | Baker Hughes PHOTOGRAPH: KIM KULISH 24 SMARTENTERPRISEMAG.COM

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