Outstanding Turnout at 4th Annual EcoSys User Conference

2014 EcoSys User Conference

Thanks to our many attendees for making the 2014 EcoSys User Conference a great success! Our 4th annual conference was held in Broomfield, Colorado in the Denver Metro Area this past September 7th thru 9th. Some of you will remember that our first conference was also in Denver, but a few things have changed since then. Denver has been our home since we relocated our corporate headquarters there last year.

Bigger and Better!

The conference was much also much larger this year! We had over 50 organizations attend, with 70% more attendees than last year. There were more case studies, along with a new Partners track focused on Project Controls Trends & Implementation, an Expert “All Star” Panel Discussion, and three different courses of follow-on training after the conference.

With many new faces attending the conference, we had an amazing blend of owners and contractors representing long-time customers, newer customers currently implementing their EcoSys EPC solutions, and prospects looking to more fully comprehend our project controls platform’s capabilities and use cases.

For most attendees, the 2014 EcoSys User Conference served as a valuable opportunity to network with professionals in the capital program management, project cost controls, and earned value management fields. The conference’s size allowed for “good opportunities to speak to both EcoSys staff and clients.” For prospects, “it was useful to hear how others approached implementation. Since [they] are not yet up-and-running, this information is beyond valuable.” Attendees found great value in having real conversations and sharing with other companies on how to utilize the project controls software.

Order of Events

The Conference was kicked-off with an evening reception where guests mingled and networked with colleagues and professionals from industries spanning Oil & Gas, Utilities, and Mining to Engineering & Construction and Federal, State, and Local Government. Our Monday breakfast was sponsored by Pinnacle Management; lunch was sponsored by Faithful+Gould; and the second evening reception was sponsored by Accenture.

Kick-off Reception

 

Kick-Off Evening Reception

Speakers – The conference had a total of seven Customer Case Studies speaking to how EcoSys EPC is being used, how it’s impacted their organization’s capabilities, and lessons learned from the experience:

  • Alain Sculfort from Technip;
  • Ed Latawiec from CH2M HILL;
  • David Brasher and Lee Jackson from KBR;
  • Britt Buhl and Pablo Balsamo from Goldcorp;
  • Tim Hilton from Parsons speaking about San Bernadino Area Governments’ transportation planning;
  • Hassan Teftal from Suncor; and
  • Chris Caddell from Turner & Townsend; and Jorge Rossini from CIMA discussing the Repsol oil field development in Brazil.

Presentations – The conference held over 20 presentations – case studies, EcoSys presentations, and Partner tracks. For the full agenda, please visit the 2014 Agenda. Below are examples of some of the highly-rated sessions:

  • “How EcoSys EPC was Implemented at Technip Group: Pathway, Lessons Learned, & Governance” – presented by Alain Sculfort, Technip

Technip implemented EcoSys EPC as its Cost Management System in 2010 for Technip USA. It then extended the software’s use to major Technip entities globally in 2012. This presentation exposed and shared the process Technip used for EcoSys to meet Technip Cost Engineering and Control needs in the oil & gas industry from design and configuration up to and including version release and implementation.

  • “Change & Risk Management” – presented by Dan Perez & Tom Brown, EcoSys

EcoSys EPC is a robust planning and controls solution with extensive capabilities across a variety of business needs. In these sessions, attendees were presented with topics showcasing specific solutions available within EPC and the screens, reports and dashboards that drive functionality.

  •  “EPC and KBR: Business Process, Integration, Performance Management Lessons Learned from a large EPC Implementation” – presented by David Brasher and Lee Jackson, KBR

KBR, a leading global engineering, construction, and services company, is deploying EcoSys EPC as the enterprise project controls standard as part of a broader “CoreERP” initiative, which combines implementation of Oracle EBS, EcoSys EPC, and a number of other supporting applications in a single, integrated framework. This presentation described this initiative, business objectives, and technology architecture, and also provided insights into the challenges and lessons learned along the way.

For more information, please refer to our User Conference pages.

Whether you’re a long-time client or recent prospect, we hope that you and colleagues will join us for next year’s EcoSys User Conference!


Project Cost Control a Rising Concern for Oil and Gas Megaprojects

Project Controls Imperititive for complex and often overbudget megaprojects

Project complexity is growing. It’s a truth we’ve seen across a multitude of industries as projects become more ambitious, take on new technological challenges, and command stratospheric budgets (where a $10 billion capital expense is no longer surprising and can be dwarfed multiple times over by the world’s very largest endeavors).

A recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Big oil companies struggle to justify soaring project costs,” corroborates this growing complexity and cites the difficulty in containing costs with megaprojects that span years and face ongoing market changes. Factors that are driving complexity and cost are diverse, but can include items like:

  • Exchange rate fluctuations as projects utilize multiple currencies which can also be distinct from reporting and home currencies.
  • Underlying economic conditions affecting the viability of projects – from commodity price volatility to changing regulatory requirements
  • Rising labor costs as competition rises for a limited skillset and increasing productivity becomes essential
  • The need for collaboration on projects amongst competitors, as multiple players join forces and pool resources to embark on these gargantuan projects.

The result is seen in megaproject costs soaring 50% to even 300% of original budget. The article quotes Gary Fischer who leads Chevron’s 120-person cost controls and contract management group. These projects “are very fragile and totally unforgiving” indicating why the department has tripled in size in its efforts to complete megaprojects on time and on budget.

Why undertake “Elephant Projects” of this size and scope then, you may ask? It’s a key part of the growth strategy of many of the oil majors looking to boost production to replace aging fields. It’s a calculated risk, however, given the long lead times between capital expenses and when the revenue begins to flow.

Major oil companies, once seemingly impervious to project cost overruns which had paled in comparison to revenues the projects produce, are now directly impacted by the sheer cost of megaprojects and their negative impact on near-term profits.

To combat the megaproject complexity, organizations are implementing procedures and systems that offset the risks of overruns and combat the factors noted above. The intent is to add visibility into project performance and allow for greater agility to address issues that lead to overruns before they grow into billions in added expenses.

 

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