Information technology

Information, Communication, Technologies

The change initiatives implemented on the Company’s information management systems in 2013 produced significant results in terms of both applications and infrastructure.

In terms of applications, the year saw the virtual completion of a programme of initiatives which over the past three years have been the focus of Saipem’s investments in enterprise software applications, i.e.: 1) SAP Consolidation; 2) e-Procurement; 3) Business Intelligence; 4) HR system; 5) Workload Management.

These initiatives were accompanied by a broad range of business support initiatives, which demonstrated the Company’s firm commitment to its strategy of work process digitalization.

  1. The roll out of SAP R/3 at Saipem do Brasil was completed. The system will be operational as of January 2014. Meanwhile the roll out of the inventory management application SAP Material Ledger, which has been coordinated to include Spectec’s asset maintenance management system AMOS, continued at the main Saipem Group companies using SAP. July saw the introduction of Saipem’s new e-Procurement system, which is based on SAP SRM module 7.0. The aim of the project is to ensure the continuity of the e-Business services, which were previously provided by Eni for the entire Group using SRM 4.0, via a carefully planned migration strategy involving updates to the electronic catalogue, consolidation and standardisation of the existing processes and standardisation of user interfaces, leveraging the functionalities offered by the new technology. The results of the project as at the end of the 2013 were very positive, with a completely issue-free implementation and increased user numbers for the platform, compared with the previous version.
  2. The new Business Intelligence initiatives led to the identification of new service areas in Procurement, HR, WMS areas, as well as in the Offshore E&C and Drilling business areas. A number of releases were completed in 2013, while the dashboard for the business areas are scheduled for release in the first half of 2014.
  3. In the HR area, the OSA (One Step Ahead) project being developed in partnership with Oracle Corp relating to the Peoplesoft HCM (GHRS) application continued. The new releases completed during the year were a Saipem SpA Recruitment module and the cloud solution developed for training processes called PeopLearning. Meanwhile work on the Talent Management module will carry on through into 2014. The roll out of the Saipem-developed international payroll solution continued apace. As of year end 2013, roll outs had been completed for the payrolls of 16 Saipem Group companies. Due to the complexity involved, the roll out of the payroll solution on to GHRS, which by itself covers more than 7,000 individual payslips, is now scheduled for completion during the first half of 2014, meaning the ambitious goal of achieving 30,000 monthly payrolls will have to wait until next year. Development and maintenance of the software and HR management activities have been offshored to Saipem India Projects Ltd in Chennai, producing significant cost savings. In parallel with the introduction of the new payroll solution, ICT is also aiming to introduce the new Falcon suite of applications within Group companies. The suite will provide a standard solution for international HR management satisfying all local requirements plus all related authorisation workflows, and will also enable uniform, centralised management of personal and contract data that in the long term it will be possible to use as a basis for producing comprehensive operational and analytical reporting. In particular the PiPe module, which handles labour costs data, when integrated with payroll systems and SAP, has been shown to lead to a drastic improvement in both the quality and reliability of the data produced.
  4. The roll out of the workload management system which currently provides coverage of all operating areas in terms of business demand and HR capacity, corresponding to a total of over 30,000 resources managed, has essentially been completed, together with the release of the dashboard for top and middle management on the company’s Business Intelligence system, which can be accessed via web and on tablet devices.

Business support development initiatives carried out during 2013 focused on the adoption of innovative tools targeted at increasing the efficiency and quality of engineering design and construction activities and on a review of the support offered to the Company’s business processes by existing applications. This second area of intervention, which has been called Project Information Management, is an improvement initiative that the ICT function is carrying out for the Engineering, Project Management and Quality functions which aims to identify areas in which improvements in efficiency can be targeted.

Through partnerships in place with major suppliers of software solutions, Saipem continued during 2013 with its strategy of adopting wherever possible standard platforms enhanced on the basis of a continuous dialogue between the suppliers’ development centres and Saipem experts. The adoption of new modelling tool Intergraph SmartPlant 3D and the development of new processes for automated drawing generation and for checking engineering data quality and consistency were successfully completed. The lessons learned from the experience have been leveraged to obtain a competitive edge on new contracts requiring the use of the same product. Additional business support initiatives were carried out during the year to support site operations, with the porting of a new application for managing piping spools and the related technical documentation for use on ‘rugged’ site-suitable tablet devices. Use of the application has seen a drastic drop in issues related to fabrication work carried out by subcontractors.

The year also saw the deployment of a new construction management suite called Cosmo, which features site activity planning integrated with Oracle Primavera, functionalities for job accounting and the development of pre-commissioning and commissioning plans, plus a new quality system.

With regard to IT infrastructure, the roll out of the WIE (Windows Infrastructure Evolution) project – which will allow Saipem to take advantage of the benefits deriving from the functionalities of new Microsoft products, in particular Windows Seven – was completed.

The change programme was implemented using Project Management techniques in order to minimise risk and identify any potential critical issues and interdependencies between individual activities.

In addition to the project activities outlined above, 2013 also saw the ICT function establish a presence in Chennai, India, where a number of infrastructure activities have been offshored, thus laying the foundations for a future internationalisation of the company’s infrastructure management services. 2014 is expected to see 24x7 first level support for international servers and local networks.

2013 governance, compliance and security processes were carried out according to schedule. New ICT initiatives launched during the year regarded the definition of application profiles for the Company’s principal software applications and automatic role assignment to users via the adoption of the CA RCM role and user management module. This approach was combined with a cutting-edge use of IT security technologies and is designed to mitigate the security risks associated with data processing by the company information systems. Another significant security-related development was the introduction of advanced credential management systems. This initiative included the adoption of the Oracle FastLogon system, which enables users to access the principal Company applications on a Single Sign-On basis.