Shell, a multinational oil and gas firm, intends to merge the features of Microsoft Azure with C3 IoT ’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.
This endeavor is intended to develop an infrastructure that would enable it to not only rapidly scale but also replicate machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) applications across its enterprise.
The initiative by Shell comprises its upstream activities, whose operations entail the identification of new supplies of gas and oil as well as its downstream enterprise that is concerned with the distribution and refining of such products.
Initially, Shell claimed that it plans to utilize the platform for supporting the predictive maintenance of all the hundreds of thousands of vital assets under its management all over the world via its downstream and upstream activities.
“Digital technologies are core to our strategy to strengthen our position as a leading energy company. Our collaboration with Microsoft gives us a solid digital platform to make our core business more effective and efficient and supports our ambition to provide more and cleaner energy solutions through technology,” explained Yuri Sebregts, executive VP for technology and CTO of Shell.
However, this work by Shell does not represent the company’s initial entry into machine learning and artificial intelligence(AI) since it is currently utilizing such technologies for accurately projecting where to identify its horizontal mines in an attempt to make the most out of its newly spotted oil and gas sources.
It is also utilizing Azure-related, deep-learning technologies in other areas in its enterprise that integrates Internet of Things(IoT) devices and CCTV footage in a bid to spot and alert workers to impending safety hazards, particularly in all its retail sites.
The Executive VP of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business Judson Althoff asserted that Shell ’s commitment to adopt emerging and new technologies is terming it as a “ digital pacesetter”, primarily in the oil and gas industry.
“As one of the energy sector’s largest and most prominent players, Shell’s wide-scale adoption of AI, machine learning and IoT technologies sets an example of how digital transformation can help the industry address resource challenges, improve asset performance and promote safety,” explained Althoff.
Away from artificial intelligence (AI), Shell is currently a reference client for Microsoft Azure DevTest Labs, which it utilizes in providing its developers with self-service access, particularly to virtual machine-related development environments.
Having combined the tech with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services, Shell is convinced that the setup entails that its software creates currently consume about 80 percent time to complete.
The IT Chief Technology Officer situated at Royal Dutch Shell Johan Krebbers said that a section of this trickles down to how much more efficient and productive the technology makes through creating development environments in a blog that was published back in August 2018.
“In the past, our people would wait for days, if not longer, to get help creating VM [virtual machine] environments. They had no control over the process. Now, with the approach based on DevTest Labs, people can create and change their own setups on the fly. That gives them more versatility, more freedom, and more value to the company,” he said.