Woodside asks, What can cloud do for us?

Woodside asks, What can cloud do for us?

Business Overview

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

Using their “Think big. Prototype small. Scale fast” approach to innovation, Woodside began the journey to expand their cloud use with AWS.


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

  • Reduce the exploration time cycle by speeding up the time to process and interpret large seismic data sets; and
  • Maximise production and optimise maintenance and reliability of Woodside’s LNG facilities, by rapidly analysing large data sets.

To solve these challenges, Woodside needed a cloud platform that could enable innovation whilst managing enterprise risks, including the increasing cybersecurity threat. To fully realise Woodside’s vision for cloud, Amazon Web Services(AWS) introduced them to Versent, an AWS premier consulting partner. Collaborative partnerships are an important part of Woodside’s approach to innovation, combining the ideas and business knowledge of their people with outside expertise.   

Working with Versent, Woodside identified that they needed an enterprise-grade, cloud-native platform that would deliver security automation, increased efficiencies 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. It needed to be inclusive of people, processes, culture and take into consideration the maturity of the team, especially outside the traditional IT setup within the organisation.

Vilma Faoro, Digital Strategy and Capability Manager, Woodside said, “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.”


Versent undertook a detailed analysis and assessment, aptly named the Yellow Brick Road(YBR), of Woodside’s on-premise infrastructure. The result outlined a customised plan to build an enterprise native cloud (ENC). Once the ENC was built, it was time to migrate and transform Woodside’s existing data and applications.

Versent set about putting the right people in place on the ground in Perth, as well a in its home base of Sydney and Melbourne.

This distributed agile approach was very unique.

“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,” said Cameron Robertson, StrategicTechnology Manager, Woodside.

The Versent Managed Services team also embedded with Woodside both on-site and remotely, in a truly collaborative approach, to educate on the new ways of working and to guide the team through Woodside’s entire cloud journey.

Keeping track of cloud deployments can be tricky. That is why Versent created the software as a service tool, Stax. Stax gives its customers clear insight into their cloud usage in the areas of cost, risk, wastage, compliance and security that is otherwise impossible to see.

Stax was key part of the solution delivered to Woodside and provides a clear view into its running costs in AWS and keeps track of compliance issues.

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


Seismic data is big data and it takes a lot of effort to capture, process and interpret it – by making seismic data available on the cloud platform and accessing effectively limitless compute power, Woodside have 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,” said Robertson.  

Woodside anticipated that they would have 15 AWS accounts in their cloud platform by the end of 2018. Business demand for agility has resulted in that growth being much faster than anticipated, with the platform hosting over 100 accounts globally and providing hubs for technology servicing international offices and business.

“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,” said Faoro.

Key Learnings

  1. Understand your total cost on premise today, which can be difficult. Focus on asking the right questions – what is the value of the application to the business? Using Versent’s Yellow Brick Road (YBR) custom-built analysis, Woodside determined the lifecycle cost of the application portfolio and confirmed a positive ROI, which contributed to ensuring the team’s positive adoption of AWS.
  2. Choose a partner that you really trust. You will be in the trenches together and you want to make sure you’re covered.
  3. Once you’ve built a cloud-native platform, you then need to support it with the right people, and always ask yourself, what’s needed next? The Versent Managed Services Team helps to navigate this process.

“We are 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,” concluded Faoro.