Woodside asks: what can cloud do for us?

Woodside is a pioneer of Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry and Australia’s largest natural gas producer.

Using the think big, prototype small, scale fast approach to innovation, Woodside began the journey to expand their cloud capability with AWS.

Woodside’s challenge

The demand for cloud technology at Woodside was driven by the need to address key business challenges:   

  • accelerating resource exploration timelines by speeding up big-data processing and interpretation,    
  • maximising production capability, &  
  • optimising reliability of Woodside’s LNG facilities with best-practice support services.   

To solve these challenges, Woodside needed a cloud platform that could enable innovation whilst managing enterprise risks, including increasing cybersecurity threats.   

Collaborative partnerships are an important part of Woodside’s approach to innovation, so they approached Amazon Web Services to combine the ideas and industry knowledge of their team with outside expertise. To fully realise Woodside’s cloud transformation goals, AWS introduced them to Premier Consulting Partner, Versent.   

In consultation with Versent, Woodside identified that they needed an enterprise-grade, cloud-native platform that would deliver security automation, increased efficiency and consistency to its internal stakeholders.   

Key to the success of the program was identifying from the outset that Woodside wasn’t just delivering a technology program. Woodside’s transformation needed to be inclusive of people, processes and company culture. Versent needed to take into consideration the maturity of Woodside’s team, to manage their exploration outside the traditional IT sphere.   

“When building cloud-native – the most important thing is to build trust in those you are working with. Build rapport so you can distribute throughout the team more effectively.”  

Vilma Faoro, Former Digital Strategy & Capability Manager, Woodside 

Versent’s solution for Woodside

Versent undertook a detailed Yellow Brick Road analysis and assessment of Woodside’s requirements and existing on-premises infrastructure. The resulting customised plan involved building an enterprise-native cloud (ENC) and migrating Woodside’s existing data and applications. Versent set about putting the right people in place on the ground at Woodside’s Perth HQ, as well as creating a dedicated team in Sydney and Melbourne. This distributed agile approach was unique for the Woodside project.   

“We had teams across the country; in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. We removed some older technologies and started to adopt some fairly new AWS services that we hadn’t come across before.”

Cameron Robertson, Strategic Technology Manager, Woodside  

The Versent Managed Services (VMS) team embedded with the Woodside team both on-site and remotely. VMS collaborated with and mentored Woodside’s people on new ways of working and guided them through the entire cloud adoption journey.   

Operationally, VMS is responsible for log monitoring, proactive patching and incident response triage. VMS implemented specialist firewall technology for Woodside to centralise routing management and transparent traffic inspection.  

To optimise tracking of Woodside’s cloud deployment, Versent deployed the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tool, StaxStax gives clear insight into cloud usage in the areas of cost, risk, wastage, compliance and security that is otherwise impossible to see. Stax is a vital part of the solution Versent delivered to Woodside, providing a clear view into AWS running costs and keeping track of compliance issues.   

“Stax provides the visibility that enables us to effectively manage cost, compliance and risk across our global cloud technology platform.”

Cameron Robertson, Strategic Technology Manager, Woodside   

Positive outcomes for Woodside   

Woodside generates seismic exploration data on a massive scale. It takes a lot of processing power to capture, process and interpret it. By migrating Woodside’s seismic data to its new cloud platform, Versent applied effectively limitless computing power to the challenge. Woodside thereby made a step-change in their ability to load, process, interpret and run simulations on seismic data.   

“Our Subsurface Data and Information Management team have used the cloud platform capabilities and changed the game in how we manage seismic data. Data loading, processing and simulations can now be done in weeks instead of months and years.”

Cameron Robertson, Strategic Technology Manager, Woodside

Woodside anticipated that they would have fifteen AWS accounts in their cloud platform by the end of 2018. Business demand for agility resulted in that growth being much faster than anticipated, with the platform hosting over a hundred accounts globally and providing hubs for technology servicing international offices.   

“Going cloud-native has allowed us to do so much. We have unlocked a whole new set of possibilities for our business, delivering pace, speed, agility, time to value and innovation. We are able to deliver more insights to make better decisions.”

 Vilma Faoro, Former Digital Strategy & Capability Manager, Woodside 

Cloud adoption wisdom

Understanding total on-premises IT costs can be difficult. To clearly understand the needs of the enterprise, Versent focused on asking Woodside the right question: what is the value of the application to your business? Using Versent’s Yellow Brick Road custom-built analysis, Woodside determined the lifecycle cost of its application portfolio and confirmed a positive ROI, which contributed to ensuring the team’s adoption of AWS.   

Choosing a partner you really trust is a foundational step in successful cloud adoption. You’ll be in the trenches together, so you want to make sure you’re working with experienced, supportive consultants.   

Once you’ve built a cloud-native platform, you need to support it with the right people, and ask “what’s needed next?” The Versent Managed Services Team are the ideal collaborators to navigate this process and continue iterating your cloud platforms.   

“We’re just at the start of our journey, really feeling the value unleashing itself. Now we can support our international offices, we are multi-region, all from this new platform.” – Vilma Faoro, Digital Strategy and Capability Manager, Woodside  

Talk to a Versent expert about starting your organisation’s cloud transformation.

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