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Information Technology

Information, Communication, Technologies

2010 again saw a number of change initiatives implemented on Saipem’s information systems with the aim of improving the level of service provided, in line with company requirements. A number of activities were carried out to complete long-term plans for the enhancement of the principal management systems: the adoption of new functionalities offered by release 6.0 of SAP R/3; the revision of the system architecture of the SAP BW/BO-based datawarehouse; and the continuation of the upgrade of the Oracle Peoplesoft-based personnel management system. In addition, there was a review of the business applications portfolio with the objective of adapting them to meet the requirements of the Oil & Gas market, which are constantly evolving.
Under the IBIS Consolidation initiative (connected with the IBIS – Integrated Business Information Systems – long-term investment programme), following the upgrade to SAP R/3 version 6.0 implemented in the previous year, 2010 saw a review of the work processes supported by the application with the purpose of adopting and adapting the added functionalities offered by the new version. The principal initiative was the enhancement of the current IBIS model through the design and implementation of an accounting model for managing working capital based on SAP New General Ledger. The project also encompassed the upgrade where possible of a part of the ABAP custom code in order to take maximum advantage of native SAP functionalities.
At the same time, a number of SAP roll outs were also carried out, as well as a revision of the application model in order to accommodate the new functionalities required for the roll out at the Peruvian company Petrex.
In coordination with the roll outs initiative, an important functional and technical upgrade was carried out on Spectec’s asset management application, AMOS. In order to mitigate the risks associated with the upgrade, a new improved project management methodology for use on ICT projects was adopted, which contributed to the success of the initiative. The methodology is part of an improvement process that the ICT function has been developing for some time with a view to enhancing its change management capabilities.
The WMS Workload Management System, the integrated system for project resource workload planning and control, has reached maturity and its roll out has been completed for the majority of engineering and monitoring resources. Thanks to the widespread roll out of the WMS by the central Workload Management function in Group companies that carry out engineering and monitoring services, this innovative management environment can now be considered a ‘mainstream’ application. It is currently being extended to other Saipem professional families and lines of business.
In the business support area, a large number of initiatives were carried out to improve response time and quality for engineering design and construction activities. The most important partnerships in this sector are with the suppliers Intergraph, Bentley, Aveva and Tekla, with whom we have introduced numerous changes to the engineering and construction support systems in an attempt to reduce the level of product customisation in favour of the adoption of standard solutions.
Development of these solutions is guided by Saipem through intensive dialogue with the suppliers aimed at ensuring its requirements are met.

By the end of 2010, the shared development schedule for a series of new functionalities in Intergraph’s SmartPlant Material Enterprise and Reference Data application suite had reached the pilot phase. A finished product fully meeting with Saipem’s requirements should be completed during 2011, with the objective of rolling out the new version of the tool in Saipem’s principal engineering centres, sites and fabrication yards. This should enable Saipem to define a multi-year change plan to replace an application suite developed in-house – which is still in use in the onshore business unit – with a product that comes with the full support of its developer, Intergraph, thus mitigating and eventually eliminating what constitutes a significant operating risk.
In terms of IT infrastructure, the year saw both the switchover to the Saipem.com domain, which was carried out successfully for both the company website and the email system, and the continuation of the WIE - Windows Infrastructure Evolution project, whose objective is the group-wide overhaul of infrastructure and workstations through the introduction of the functionalities offered by the latest Microsoft platforms. Following a pre-pilot phase which was used for the design of the structural elements of the new distributed Windows architecture, the design of a ‘single forest model’ was carried out. Deploying this model allows the dedicated technical component used to manage the email system to be integrated into the standard Windows domain. During the first half of 2011, a pilot project for the introduction of centralised automated management model of user services will be conducted at a number of international sites. The offices of Saipem sa in Paris will be involved in the project as of the initial conceptual design stage.
In telecommunications, 2010 saw the activation on Saipem vessels of the new satellite communications system with dedicated bandwidth provided by Telespazio, while the Orange contract for the network on terrestrial sites was renewed in collaboration with the Procurement function. In addition to the significant savings on running costs already achieved and those that will be obtained in 2011, an increase in the passband was included in the relevant contracts in order to increase the service offered to users.
As a result of the implementation of unified communications services, the reductions in telephony costs achieved through the use of IP technology for the transmission of voice conversations over a data network have now been consolidated at a group wide level within Saipem. The initiative was carried out in cooperation with Eni ICT.
ICT process governance in 2010 again focused on improving security performance. The year saw the launch of a new initiative involving the analysis of company data and the management of the associated risk. In addition, there were the positive results from the monitoring activities conducted in compliance with the Sarbanes Oxley Act and Law 262. Compliance activities, which were strengthened with the adoption of the international ISO framework 27001, are aimed at improving ICT Governance in the whole Saipem Group. Compliance assessments were carried out for nineteen Group companies, while remediation actions for the areas of weakness identified were monitored for the purposes of continuous improvement. This approach is combined with an intelligent use of the latest security technologies to enable Saipem to significantly reduce the risk of exposure of company systems and data to security threats which are increasingly commonplace in connection with the Internet and associated systems.