Monday Metric: Mobile Asset Management In Oil And Gas

SAP Performance Benchmarking

By Shikhar Srivastava

This week’s analysis focuses on the issue of mobile technology and enterprise asset management (EAM) in the oil and gas industries.

Creating and unlocking value in an organization starts with knowing precisely where things stand, and where the opportunities for improvement lie.  To help, SAP’s Performance Benchmarking group publishes a short analysis each Monday, highlighting hot industry topics and high-impact strategies. 

KEY QUESTION: What impact does mobile technology have on asset management in Oil and Gas?



KEY TAKEAWAY: Oil & Gas companies around the globe are working hard to increase efficiency in their operations, bring down the maintenance costs and ensure higher asset availability. Many, however, continue to struggle in asset management – for instance, lacking visibility into not only key factors such as equipment downtime but also available materials, skills, manpower and tools.

The negative impact on performance can be substantial.  On the other hand, best practice companies in the industry have noticeably better results.  As an example, based on recent SAP benchmarking analysis, Oil and Gas organizations that report a higher adoption of mobile asset management technologies have 81% higher margins. Similarly, organizations that have improved and automated asset data collection methods report 10% higher wrench time. 



Note to readers: SAP’s Performance Benchmarking program is a strategic service sponsored by its Value Engineering organization. Originally launched in 2004 together with ASUG as a forum to exchange metrics and best practices, the program today has grown into a global effort and one of the largest such programs in the industry—with more than 12,000 participants from more than 4,000 companies and studies available in 12 languages. Participants receive—free of charge—customized and confidential benchmarking comparisons against industry peers as well as aggregate analyses. To participate in the SAP benchmarking program, visit


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The Power of Online Networking

Lindsey Nelson

Personal Brand is defined by as the “process of developing a mark that is created around your personal name or your career. You can use this mark to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values.”

Why Online Networking?

The end goal? Your personal brand helps you develop your reputation and grow your network both in person and online. Especially in today’s age having and maintaining an online presence is essential – especially through online networking.

It’s not all about who you met at the company holiday party, it’s also who you engaged with on Twitter, or LinkedIn. It is a networking relationship like any other that must be handled and nurtured the same way.

So what are some ways you can improve your online networking? Here are 4 for you.

Confidence is Key – Always

Just like in the office, you cannot overlook the importance of always sharing a positive, confident message online. This message includes knowing who you are and where you want to go with your career. Have confidence in your field; show this by commenting on relevant discussions, this will show you’re invested and not afraid to share your expertise.

Work Your Networking Sites – The Right Way

Online networking wouldn’t be what it is without these sites we all know and love: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+. These are made to help you enhance your online brand.  You have a LinkedIn account to reflect your most current expertise and knowledge. Make sure it’s updated. Use your Twitter account to share anything regarding your passions in your field.

If you don’t have either of the above, take the time to not only create one, but do it right and use them to their fullest advantage.

Stalking Is Okay – Only For the Right Reasons

I don’t mean to look up your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend then Link-In with her only to sabotage Gossip Girl style. Use it for good, like to build your online networking circle and  to learn what the people you’re interested in are interested in. This will help not only with starting the online conversation, but once you get face-to-face you’ll be ready to communicate on your shared interests.

Boost Your Online Presence – Then Take It Offline

Put a person behind the curtain picture. Always be on the lookout for new ways to connect and to reply to those who are trying to talk to you. Try apps like TweetDeck, or Buffer. Scheduling tweets may help you reach your audience when you can’t.

Another way to reach your audience would be taking the conversation offline and meeting these people in person. Face-to-face is still the strongest method of contact.

Don’t ever miss an opportunity; use your social sites to their greatest potential. They, paired with online networking, may take you to your next step on the career journey.




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The Science Of Subtle Signals

Jonathan Becher

Mark Buchanan is a theoretical physicist who writes about how physics can be used to understand biology, economics, psychology and other social sciences.

His book, “The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You” is a fun read in the style of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics. In an article entitled Science of Subtle Signals, Buchanan chronicles the work of Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland at the MIT Media Lab who is challenging the prevailing wisdom on organizational effectiveness.

Traditional models of human behavior assume people are primarily influenced by reasoning and logic. In other words, “it’s what gets said that matters, not how it is said.”  However the MIT researchers have shown they can predict the outcome of sales calls with 87% accuracy – without hearing a single word.

The researchers developed small, wearable electronic devices to accurately observe behavior.  The devices gather a wide range of information, including tone of voice, body language, the ways people interact, and the time spent on tasks.  This so-called science of subtle signals shows that participants with the highest ratio of listening to speaking and with the most voice fluctuation were the most successful in their tasks. In other words, what the participants said was less important than how they said it.

In marketing we could apply subtle signals to focus groups, consumer surveys and product design. Rather than relying on participants’ written or vocal responses, the sensors could be used to understand how people physically respond to a product.  This might dramatically improve accuracy, as participants tend to self-report skewed results. However, using sensors to track subtle signals would likely cause some privacy concerns which reduces their practical use.

What do you think?  Would you wear sensors to have a more productive workplace?

Follow me on Twitter @jbecher.


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Enterprise Pricing Strategy: Focus On Value

Tien Anh Nguyen

In my previous blog posts, I have discussed at length the complexities of establishing an enterprise pricing structure, the dials on the model to optimize revenue and growth, and building a long term view of the price strategy. In this last post in the series, I want to go back to an even more fundamental concept: Value.

Ways to define Value for your Pricing Strategy

Pricing is really about establishing and communicating the value that your product or service brings to your customers. The price of a product really needs to be consistent with its value in the following aspects:

  • It is the value that your target customers will realize by using the product or service in the intended use case, compared to the case where they do not have a similar product or service
  • It is a value that your target customers can perceive and are used to measuring or (even better) quantifying
  • It is communicated in measures or metrics that the customers are familiar with and that they believe are important
  • If your product or service delivers any value in conjunction with other peripheral products and services then your price needs to account for the incremental values or costs of these externalities.
Enterprise pricing strategy: focus on value

A software product can be valuable in many different ways. For example, it can be an essential enabler of a business function, such as sales force automation.

In a brand new market created by a disruptive technological innovation, there is no historical data or competitive pressure to set the price at any particular level.

In this case, the value of the product can be considered as the value of having that particular business function, which can then be measured as outputs generated by this new business process, or improvement in productivity of existing processes, increase in outputs (sales), or reduction in waste.

For more mature product categories there are more competing products, and therefore there will be price competition and far more options for the buyers.

For most companies, the value of software is typically determined by the laws of supply and demand, and tends to be driven down due to price competition. In such a case, most of the value of the software will be tied to how it is differentiated from the competition by offering unique functionalities or scalabilities that are not easily replicated by competing products.

In such a market, having a focused customer segment is crucial. By building features that are valuable for a particular market segment, the company produces a product that is more valuable for customers in those segments, and can therefore charge a premium price over competing products.

It is also important not to get overly distracted by price reactions of customers outside of youe target segments, because your pricing model is probably not right for them in first place (at least not in terms of how they perceive the value of the product).

Another thing to consider is that the value of the product does not simply scale linearly with usage or complexity. Your product is vastly more valuable, for example, when it has a built-in network effects, whereby the more people use it, the more valuable it becomes.

If your product can leverage the value of its network of customers, you should price it with this exponential growth in mind. This is an example of a positive externality whose values only become important as the product grows in scale, but need to considered in evaluating the overall value of the product.

Establishing the value of the product is also important because it adds clarity to the pricing model and makes communicating it to the customers a lot easier. To avoid causing sticker shock, the pricing model needs to speak to the values that customers are familiar with, and ultimately, it needs to be consistent with how the success of the product is measured.

Why not establish the measures of success upfront and link them with pricing components, so your customers automatically have a product success scorecard that doubles up as a price list? 

For example, if you know that customers in your market typically require a ROI of 20% on technology investments, then your pricing needs to be consistent with this — after taking into account all costs and benefits associated with your product — from the perspective of the customer.

To wrap this up, I would like to recommend a few additional thought provoking blog posts by experts and practitioners on the same topics. Many of my thoughts were guided by them:

Image by Tom Buford Marketing


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Top Ten Business Innovation Posts of the Week [January 21, 2013]

Lindsey Nelson

On the Business Innovation site, we deliver the top blogs, news and featured content on business innovation for professionals looking to grow and gain a competitive business advantage. We cover hot topics and thought leadership on mobile applications, cloud computing, big data, real-time analytics as well as the top challenges facing executives and leaders in sales & marketing, finance, human resources and much, much more.

Each week, we curate and publish the top ten posts of the week on business innovation from across our content categories. We hope you find these articles valuable, informative, and interesting. Enjoy!

2013 Technology Trends

Industries – By Tien Anh Nguyen, @tienanh

Tien reflects on his 2012 predictions, as well as what may be in store for 2013. Do you agree with these? Read more to find out.

The Soft Benefit of Big Data Analytics: Thinking Differently

Analytics – By Joseph Dennis Kelly, @JosDenKelly

Big Data is helping decision makers gain by giving them direct insight into the patterns that shape tomorrow’s trends, and access to real-time data. What are the soft benefits and how do you make the shift to this decision making culture? Joseph shows you how.

Mobile Is Maturing — Are You? [Infographic]

Mobile – By Mutual Mobile, @MutualMobile

Mobile has finally moved out of its adolescence. It’s become more sophisticated — and so should your marketing approach. Here’s an infographic that will help you discover the who, what, where of how you should handle this new mobile environment.

Duct Tape And IT Management

Industries – By Norman Marks, @normanmarks

Is the relationship between your business and IT hanging on by duct tape? Norman gives us a few real life situations to consider and a few questions you need to ask your organization that will help strengthen the relationship.

Baking And Computers, A Surprising History Of Analytics Pioneers

Analytics – By Timo Elliott, @timoelliott

You’d never think put “bakers” and “pioneers of analytics” together in the same sentence, but they were in fact the first businesspeople to use the first business application ever. Learn more.

Why Content Marketing Should Be In Your 2013 Plan

Sales & Marketing – By Lindsey LaManna, @LindseyLaManna

As a consumer, it doesn’t surprise you to hear that you are passionate in the buying process. Searching for and using all the information you can to make an informed purchase. So what happens when you invest in content marketing? Hear from Lindsey on the value you’ll see, as well as some lessons learned.

The In-Memory Database Revolution

Big Data – By Carl Olofson, @databaseguru

There’s a revolution at hand in the database world. Gone are the dominant paradigms, here to stay is very fast, multi-core processors. Carl Olofson, Research VP at IDC weighs in on the current state and implications of the new technology.

Building Content Marketing Strategy – 10 Steps

Sales & Marketing – By Michael Brenner, @BrennerMichael

As we heard from Lindsey LaManna earlier in this post, content marketing is the key to reaching your consumers. Michael shares with us his expertise on how to build a strong content marketing strategy.

Analytics For All: The Promise of Big Data

Analytics – By Irfan Khan

Analytics isn’t a new technology, in fact it’s been around for decades. So why the all of a sudden huge growth? Irfan cites big data as the catalyst. Learn more here.

The Enterprise Mobility Minute #3: Got an Enterprise Mobility Strategy? Go Get a New One

Mobile – By Dr. Ahmed El Adl, @aeladl

As we enter 2013, it’s time to consider the major trends that are now shaping mobile opportunity – and causing us to completely rethink our approach to mobility strategy. Make sure your aspects meet those that Dr. Adl identifies here.


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