Oracle enabled Trahan's IT staff to become more efficient by providing one set of development tools. "It's impossible to shift people between projects when those projects are built using different tools—that would become a complicated skills issue for a small shop like us," says Trahan. Using Oracle tools, Trahan's team was able to write custom solutions that ride on top of the Oracle software. In addition, the lower cost of support and Oracle's commitment to improving its products—for example, by supporting Linux and providing its customers with Web-based solutions—were key reasons why Diamond chose Oracle and is satisfied with that choice. "Oracle helps us support our user base with fewer people than many other companies in the drilling industry using SAP," says Trahan. "The old paradigm is not working; people expect, want, and need access to more and better information."
"Oracle has the muscle to offer best-of-breed point solutions in a structured way and have them integrated into a system to streamline business processes without a company needing to hire an army of people," says Heagney. "Oil and gas companies want to concentrate on their core business, such as hydrocarbons and renewable energy."
"We have eight people involved with the Oracle applications, and we have developed four additional systems with Oracle tools," notes Trahan, who says that Oracle costs less to buy and run than competing solutions. He adds, "We have [Oracle] Financials up in four countries and four on the way this year. The ratio of worldwide user to total IT staff is 48 to 1, while Oracle users to total Oracle IT staff is closer to 60 to 1, which is great."
Heagney believes that the most important benefit that partners, such as Oracle, can provide to oil and gas companies is to "minimize risks." The complexity of the oil and gas business can lead companies to partner with potential competitors in different countries and remain unaware of both sophisticated compliance issues and tax laws that differ from country to country. "Oracle offers oil companies an ERP [enterprise resource planning] system that can handle complex problems," says Heagney.
Trahan believes that as Diamond continues to move employees around the globe, the need for a solution that allows for a synergistic sharing of information among the company's rigs is critical. According to Trahan, the old paradigm of managing information has not worked. "We have several Oracle solutions in our U.S. office that allow team members to better manage the business," says Trahan. "Team members who have been moved to international locations are requesting that we expand these resources to their locations. Oracle gives us flexibility and portability to scale without requiring us to build something too elaborate or expensive."