The drop in oil prices in recent years has sent shockwaves through the global energy industry. Suddenly having to operate at $30 a barrel instead of the previous average of $90 a barrel drove numerous companies out of business, and spurred strategic mergers for others. Those that survived the initial plunge in prices have since been faced with the realization that oil prices are currently averaging between $40 and $50 a barrel, far below the benchmark in previous years to make a profit.
Furthermore, companies are realizing they not only need to streamline existing processes to meet this year’s objectives, but also plan and invest for the future in ways that allow their business to weather future market shifts effectively. Substantial cuts in personnel and capital expenses has helped many companies stay in business through the initial months after the drop in oil prices, but shifting business focus from innovation in field operations to innovation in the back office will enable these companies to see the profits and growth they experienced before the downturn.
Quorum Business Solutions is at the leading edge of providing the answers to the challenges the industry now faces with lower oil prices and the continued price volatility in the market. A premier provider of software solutions for the energy industry for nearly 20 years, Quorum works closely with leading energy companies to build innovative software solutions, offering a robust portfolio of energy software systems.
Quorum suggests that to be successful, oil and gas companies need to:
- Increase operational efficiency
- Streamline back office processes
- Increase business agility
- Lower integration and maintenance costs
- Ensure they have the tools to facilitate knowledge transfer
- Experienced workers are retiring, concern and the next generation workforce comes on board
Evolution of the Industry Leader in Software Solution Innovation
Digital technology is not new to the oil and gas industry as the field equipment such as sensors or monitoring equipment are being used for a long time. But, this industry as a whole has been slow to implement these tools.
In 1998, founders of Quorum realized employing digital technology in the energy industry could ease business operations of businesses, reducing errors and increasing efficiencies.
Quorum knows that oil and gas companies have excelled in the development and adoption of innovative technologies such as hydraulic fracking, horizontal drilling and cutting-edge simulation tools to cut costs and increase productivity for field operations. However, the energy industry generally spends only one to three percent of revenue on information technology, lagging behind the almost seven percent for other industries.
A big stumbling block to implementation is legacy oil and gas software programs which have a poor track record for being user-friendly. When it comes to back-office operations, most oil and gas software is archaic, monolithic, siloed, and customized to the brink of being unsupportable by the IT department.
However, forward-thinking companies have started down the digital transformation path needed to make the shift to a more efficient back office. And Quorum is a catalyst which allows companies to shift their focus from field operations innovation to back office functions that can provide the daily insights and information needed to streamline, simplify and automate complex workflows, reduce errors, and improve productivity.
As oil and gas companies shift their business focus to the digital transformation of back office, industry leaders have started to identify areas of opportunity that would make a significant business impact.
A Leader Adapting to Changing Market and Leveraging New Technology
Perry Turbes, CEO, Quorum is a Quorum veteran of more than 15 years and was Chief Operating Officer of Quorum before accepting the role of CEO.
Turbes has managed a variety of responsibilities during his tenure at Quorum including product development, customer delivery and practice lead for midstream energy solutions. Throughout his more than 17 years in the oil and gas industry, Turbes has focused on enhancing business processes across the energy value chain.
Turbes believes that knowing customers and their pain points intimately remains a key strength of Quorum’s success.
“Our clients are always looking for ways to reduce cost, minimize risk, and save time on implementations and ongoing operations, which reflects the realities of a fast paced, competitive market,” says Turbes. “With our latest myQuorum software we are delivering the digital transformation needed by forward thinking Oil & Gas companies,” he added.
Developing Solutions that Anticipate Industry Needs
Other industries are light years ahead of oil and gas with the adoption of cloud-based solutions that support mobility and improve workflows. Most software providers in the energy space focus on adding new features to their legacy code. This means not only they are remodeling on old frameworks, but users can find themselves unable to incorporate in-house applications or other data because of the closed code.
Oil and gas companies have started reaching out to these other industries to gain insight on the benefits these services provide. What these companies have found is that companies that implement user-centric solutions have the greatest improvement in internal efficiencies.
Drawing from nearly 20 years of experience working to solve customer challenges, Quorum began developing one solution that meets two key needs:
- Leverage existing investments in technology to help energy companies save time and money
- Provide much needed usability improvements to support operational efficiency, business agility, and the changing workforce.
The Need for A User-Centric Solution
Turbes and his team have realized that a user-centric solution integrates data and functionality from multiple sources into a single user interface, while providing the foundation needed to improve the overall experience of the user. To accomplish this, solutions are driven by personas, which personalize the user’s experience by providing workflows and exposing key information that represents their needs.
A persona-based solution combines the data and functionality of a user with their roles and responsibilities. With the implementation of a persona-based solution, oil and gas companies will improve efficiency and usability, in turn driving greater productivity, while also providing the tools necessary for mobile work.
The main advantages of a persona-based solution are:
- Increased user adoption and productivity
- Provide the user with automated processes and simplified workflows, which enhance user satisfaction and increase overall productivity.
- Decreased training costs
- Providing the right information in real time, the solution prompts users to take action on relevant tasks for their roles, which reduces costs and time training.
- Reduced input errors and costly mistakes
- A persona-based solution brings segregated workflows together into one experience for the user, which not only simplifies work but reduces errors and prevents mistakes.
myQuorum: First Persona-based User Experience Platform
Quorum has launched the energy industry’s first persona-based user experience platform, called myQuorum®. Available now, myQuorum combines dynamic workflows, business intelligence, reporting, and data from Quorum and non-Quorum applications into a single user experience. The platform automates business processes and gives employees the information they need, when they need it, personalize for how they work.
Powering myQuorum is Qmposer®, a powerful user experience engine designed for composing and delivering unique personas for the energy industry. Qmposer aggregates dynamic workflows, business intelligence, reporting, and data from Quorum and non-Quorum applications and surfaces it in a responsive, persona-based UX that runs on multiple devices and supports established UI technologies and standards.
myQuorum simplifies complex business processes with pre-configured personas that improve efficiency, increase productivity, and decrease training costs by bringing disparate workflows and systems together into one cross-functional experience for the user.
Taking pride in developing a user-centric solution, Turbes asserts, “Leveraging myQuorum helps companies break down barriers that prevent essential collaboration between business units and departments, delivering an agile and extensible platform that enables us to create and deliver new integrated service offerings at lower integration and training costs.” “Quorum continues to lead the industry in innovation and in our commitment to customer success. The development of myQuorum enables energy companies to take advantage of our suite of energy software in new ways that will allow them to do more with less, which is essential now more than ever,” he adds.
Expanding Customer Base while building New Technology
Current market volatility provides proof that optimization is needed across the oil and gas value chain. Companies that leverage data to optimize business processes will not only survive, but thrive during market downturns and dominate the industry on the next upswing.
Quorum launched nearly 20 years ago, founded by experienced oil and gas executives that could not find an adequate solution to collecting and consolidating the data needed to make timely decisions. Starting with a consulting focus on a common, open-source platform, that initial company structure allowed Quorum to work closely with leading companies, and developing deep knowledge of the challenges faced by companies in the oil and gas industry.
“Over seventeen years ago, Quorum started with one product and a few people. Today, we have hundreds of employees across four locations in North America and a broad portfolio of twenty plus products,” said Turbes.
He further adds, “This growth led us to develop a new brand that marries Quorum’s past with where it’s headed in the future. This is a time of transformation at Quorum as we look to grow our business and expand our technology footprint within the energy industry.”
Quorum has ongoing relationships with hundreds of customers, comprised of super-majors, independents, operators, and non-operating owners. Since Quorum began, thousands of successful software-deployment projects have been completed with more than 10,000 users – establishing Quorum as the energy industry’s most trusted software provider.