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									                                               Microsoft Services
                                               Customer Solution Case Study




                                               Oilfield Services Company Gains Competitive
                                               Advantage with Service Plan


                                               “With Partner Advantage, we are increasingly
Customer: Schlumberger
Web Site: www.slb.com
                                               addressing opportunities rather than working around
Customer Size: 80,000 employees                problems.”
Country or Region: United States
                                               Stephen Whitley, Chief Software Architect, Schlumberger
Industry: Oil and gas

Customer Profile                               Business Needs                                      Stephen Whitley, Chief Software Architect of
Schlumberger is the largest oilfield and       Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS),           Schlumberger elaborates, “When we looked
information services company in the world.     the software development division of                to move from UNIX to Windows and later
Its software division develops a range of      Schlumberger, designs and develops                  from MFC to the .NET Framework we realized
software solutions that aid in the discovery   software for the oil and gas industry. In           that we didn’t really have the internal
of natural resources.                          2001, SIS made two strategic decisions that         capabilities to support such migrations.”
                                               changed the nature of software development
Software and Services                          in the company. The first was a commitment          In addition to meeting short-term platform
 Microsoft® Visual Studio®
                                               to Windows® as a platform for delivering            migration needs, SIS particularly wanted to:
  − Microsoft Visual Studio                    technical and engineering applications; the          Ensure fast time-to-market by assisting

 Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
                                               second, a commitment to bringing open                  developers in getting up to speed with
  − Microsoft SQL Server® 2005                 applications to the industry.                          Microsoft Visual Studio® tools.
                                                                                                    Gain insight into the strategic road map
  − Microsoft SQL Server 2008
 Technologies
                                               The flagship product of SIS, Petrel, supports          for Microsoft products and technologies to
  − Microsoft .NET Framework                   rapidly developing and updating three-                 stay ahead of the market and gain a
 Services
                                               dimensional subsurface models with                     competitive advantage.
  − Microsoft Services Partner Advantage       workflows spanning seismic interpretation            Maintain system health and avoid reactive
                                               through reservoir simulation. Petrel, a                situations.
Microsoft Services                             turnkey application based on Microsoft®
As the consulting, technical support, and      Foundation Classes (MFC), was acquired by           Solution
customer service arm of the world’s            SIS to accelerate the delivery of geosciences       SIS identified Microsoft Services Partner
leading software company, Microsoft            applications on the Windows operating               Advantage as an opportunity to extend the
Services enables the successful adoption,      system. In 2005, SIS began opening the              abilities of its development team with the
deployment, and use of Microsoft solutions     application to external development,                expertise of Microsoft. Through this services
and technologies for all customers.            migrating to the Microsoft .NET Framework           offering, SIS benefits from a comprehensive,
                                               and Windows Forms to better support a               flexible, and cost-effective program that
For more information about Microsoft           stable, high-quality component-based                helps the division more effectively develop,
Services, go to:                               architecture for all developers.                    deploy, and support solutions based on
www.microsoft.com/microsoftservices                                                                Microsoft products and technologies.
                                                                                                   Though SIS initially engaged in Partner
                                                                                                   Advantage to streamline development of
Petrel, the company currently allocates 25                              Studio tools, Microsoft provided hotfixes,        to our advantage so that we can get quality
percent of its support hours to other SIS                               updates, and even private releases, which         products to our customers on schedule.”
product groups.                                                         were then reflected in the next major version
                                                                        of the product.                                   Gain a Competitive Advantage
Direct, Preferred Services Relationship                                                                                   With insight into the Microsoft technology
Latha Lakshminarayanan, Developer                                       Proactive Services                                road map, the SIS has hastened the
Technical Account Manager from Microsoft,                               Establishing a proactive IT environment is        decision-making process for product
works closely with SIS. An advocate of SIS,                             central to Partner Advantage. For SIS, this       development. Says Whitley, “Partner
she helps guide the SIS team through                                    means engaging in ongoing technical               Advantage helps us with product
proactive services that are in line with                                training, threat modeling, performance            development planning, ensuring that what
business objectives and escalates issues                                tuning, and the Technology Adoption               we do from a technical standpoint is in line
through Microsoft channels to help resolve                              Program from Microsoft, which provides            with what’s happening in the market—now
situations in the most effective manner.                                access to prerelease products.                    and in the future.”

SIS compliments this relationship, with its                             SIS also gains insight into the technology        For instance, by understanding future
own internal counterpart that mirrors Latha’s                           road map of Microsoft. Says Whitley, “With        security enhancements to Microsoft SQL
mission. Juliani Vachon, Principal Engineer                             Partner Advantage, we investigate emerging        Server® 2005 and Microsoft SQL Server
and Microsoft Evangelist for SIS, serves as an                          technologies, such as Windows Workflow            2008, the company has avoided dedicating
advocate for Microsoft technologies and a                               Foundation and Windows Presentation               its own resources to developing similar
conduit for technical communications. Being                             Foundation, and then plan ahead for which         enhancements.
well versed in the internal workings of SIS                             technologies to adopt and when to adopt
products, she is able to proactively pursue                             them.”                                            Operate Proactively
technical collaboration opportunities between                                                                             Since engaging in the Partner Advantage
both organizations.                                                     Benefits                                          Program, SIS uses considerably fewer
                                                                        With Partner Advantage, SIS has streamlined       problem-resolution support hours. Across
Product Development                                                     product development across product groups.        groups, SIS now only spends 30 percent of
Through Partner Advantage, SIS works directly                           Says Whitley, “Partner Advantage is critical      its hours each year on problem resolution,
with Microsoft experts, such as the Microsoft                           to our business. It helps us maintain system      compared to 80 percent when the company
Visual C++® and Command Language                                        health, react quickly to critical situations,     first engaged in Partner Advantage. Says
Runtime teams, and engages in architecture                              and plan appropriately for the future.”           Whitley, “The fact that only 30 percent of our
consultations to ensure that the SIS                                                                                      support hours are for reactive support is a
development teams are following best                                    Achieve Predictable Time to Market                sign of a healthy development relationship.
practices. These teams frequently visit                                 Streamlined product development helps SIS         With Partner Advantage, we are increasingly
application compatibility and performance                               achieve a predictable time to market for its      addressing opportunities rather than working
labs at Microsoft and in special cases have                             products. For example, when migrating             around problems.”
put source agreements in place, enabling                                Petrel to the Microsoft .NET Framework,
Microsoft engineers to troubleshoot issues                              Microsoft provided knowledge transfer, best       With Partner Advantage in place, SIS looks
faster by reproducing them in-house.                                    practices, and proactive and reactive             forward to the future. Says Whitley, “As the
                                                                        services that helped SIS deliver subsequent       market evolves and other SIS solutions
Microsoft also provides the company with best                           releases on time. Says Whitley, “Instead of       come into the spotlight. Partner Advantage
practices guidance on developing with                                   working around issues and waiting for all the     helps us ensure that those new products will
Microsoft Visual Studio® tools and helps with                           small problems to accumulate, we can reach        have the same quality and level of support
debugging and troubleshooting complex                                   right out to Microsoft and get help               as Petrel.”
issues. For instance, to help SIS better                                immediately. What’s more, we have learned
manage the large Petrel baseline using Visual                           to better use the products and technologies




This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published August 2008

								
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