Nabors: Remote Field Operations in Non-Connectivity Landscapes

Since its founding in 1952, Nabors has grown from a small land-drilling business in Canada, to one of the world’s largest drilling contractors. At the beginning of 1990, Nabors’ fleet consisted of 44 actively marketed land drilling rigs in Canada, Alaska and various international markets. Today, Nabors owns and operates the world’s largest rig fleet and is a leading provider of offshore platform workover and drilling rigs in the U.S. and international markets.

Nabors also provides advanced wellbore placement services, drilling software and performance tools, automated drilling equipment and innovative technologies. Through its various subsidiaries, Nabors manufactures and sells top drives, catwalks, wrenches, drawworks and other drilling related equipment which are installed on both onshore and offshore drilling rigs. Leveraging advanced drilling automation capabilities, Nabors' highly skilled workforce continues to set new standards for operational excellence and transform their industry. Nabors has operationalized their core values of safety, teamwork, excellence, accountability and innovation and continues to do so daily.

The Business Challenge

  •  Business requirement to modernize, digitize, and mobilize dozens of applications and manual paper processes at speed and scale
  •  Reliance on a complex ERP system that is core to the entire business operation
  •  Tens of Thousands of Field and Plant Service Workers, fluctuating seasonally and working in remote locations with no connectivity doing jobs that rely on data being accurately collected and used. 
  •  A need to enable the rapid development of applications in weeks instead of months with significantly less resources than traditional development based approaches

Results

  •  Pillir’s EdgeReady Cloud offered the ability for Nabors to quickly generate applications that worked in any connectivity landscape, on any device, and were tightly integrated to Oracle while running as cloud- native SaaS applications.  
  •  The Nabors team now has the capability to design and build custom online and offline apps with user-centric, customized experiences that are tightly integrated with Oracle. 
  •  Deployment to multiple locations and users was done seamlessly.
  •  Hosted on Pillir’s cloud-native SaaS platform, with no infrastructure or operational overhead added to Nabors’ plate.
  • A simple, user-based pricing model is utilized that fluctuates seasonally for contract workers offering fully customized enterprise- scale applications.

The Situation

Nabors is a large, Oracle eBusiness Suite customer and primarily operates their field operations on top of Oracle. Nabors had an internal development framework built off of technologies such as .net and also an  internal web portal to their applications suite called myNabors. The challenge Nabors faced was not unlike many in the oil and gas and manufacturing space as they have tens of thousands of employees and many independent and seasonal contractors - all of whom work in landscapes that do not guarantee cell phone service or internet connectivity.

Not having connectivity at all times made it extremely difficult for Nabors to digitize their business processes due to the complexity of data integration with their Oracle systems and  intermittent connectivity that impacted data accuracy and synchronization. The ability to respond to business requests quickly when building applications using traditional programming languages was also proving to be cumbersome, especially as the business users of these applications were quickly turning into millennial employees who typically know only how to use digital devices.

Nabors’ goal to find a new application development platform to wrap around their core business system, enabling them to modernize their existing legacy applications, digitize manual processes in the field, build applications once that run on any device, and allow them to respond to business requests in weeks instead of months without putting an additional strain on their development organization was essential.  Nabors explored market offerings and evaluated dozens of low code application development platforms from Gartner’s magic quadrant. Despite meeting all their technical requirements, the market solution that was chosen didn’t seem to be established enough to handle their offline requirements. Nabors, who had originally approached the Pillir team and chose to not utilize their EdgeReady Cloud solution, came back only four months later looking for a solution from the Pillir team. An accelerated evaluation around their requirements mentioned earlier was then conducted, which included bringing multiple devices out to an actual oil rig and testing the data synchronization to Oracle in an advanced intermittent scenario with thousands of records that included data and pictures.   

“Nabors was actively looking to move all of our legacy applications to mobile and digitize field processes that were historically paper based because of connectivity challenges.  We weren't looking for 1 or 2 application projects, but an actual platform that would enable this transformation for dozens of applications and processes - all in low connectivity landscapes with multiple unique device requirements. The architecture and ease of development is enabling us to rapidly transform field operations digitally - opening new business opportunities and allowing us to continue to compete in a challenging and ever changing market.  With their new investment round, we are extremely excited to scale significantly in the coming years with the Pillir team.” Aparna Mathur CIO, Nabor

 

Results

Pillir’s EdgeReady Cloud offered the ability for Nabors to quickly generate applications that worked in any connectivity landscape, on any device, and were tightly integrated to Oracle while running as cloud- native SaaS applications.  

The Nabors team now has the capability to design and build custom online and offline apps with user-centric, customized experiences that are tightly integrated with Oracle. 
Deployment to multiple locations and users was done seamlessly. 
Hosted on Pillir’s cloud-native SaaS platform, with no infrastructure or operational overhead added to Nabors’ plate.
A simple, user-based pricing model is utilized that fluctuates seasonally for contract workers offering fully customized enterprise- scale applications.

 

Main Benefits

Productivity and operational efficiency

Process and productivity efficiencies were gained, without dependency on network availability and resulted in near real-time updates into Oracle - enabling visibility with improved reporting capabilities, including users only having to enter critical information.   

Minimal investment, rapid deployment 

Solution was deployed quickly with little-to-no programming and no infrastructure investments or people overhead for operational costs. Even offline capability and deployment were completed rapidly with minimal resources. Significant reduction of maintenance time and effort for future enhancements and support. 

Customized user-centric experiences for edge an clean ERP core

Oracle was maintained as the core system of record, however, kept as standard and as close to best practices for existing processes as possible, allowing Nabors to still have customized user-centric experiences for edge use cases and processes.

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Cecilia Santis

Cecilia Santis

Cecilia is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Pillir and loves to write about emerging technologies.