“Built, not bought” is sometimes the only approach to solving highly specialized problems
For us networking specialists, the work sequence of the typical project goes something like this: assess the current environment, determine how the network is to be used and what for, map it out, procure products, and execute the solution. Most of the time, this is the process broken down in the simplest of terms. After all, the majority of Compugen customers are corporate offices and retail or industrial operations – most of the good brands we work with would fall somewhere within that spectrum.
Now, what about a type of organization that’s situated so far beyond said spectrum? Not to shy away from a challenge, our team would instead say, “Now, it gets interesting.”
A perfect example is our work with a Canadian energy services and technology company. They are what you would consider an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to oil rigs, both on- and offshore. As an operation that covers 70% of rigs in the Western Hemisphere, the customer required a custom solution that was not a one-off but, instead, a replicable solution that could be deployed to all the drilling rigs that they supported. Their current IT infrastructure had reached end of life, and it was time for an upgrade and all the good things that come with it.
The client values uptime the most, as any interruptions mean rigs get shut down, and significant losses are incurred with every minute of downtime. Anything less than 100% uptime simply will not do. Any instances of disruption mean the client gets penalized by their customers due to lost revenues resulting from halted operations.
The Calgary-based firm knew specifically what they wanted and needed a partner who could help them design, proof and deploy their technology to their customers across the Western Hemisphere. With most of their clients out in the middle of the sea, there is no room for conventional connections – satellite is the only way. They had a rig-in-a-box concept and required help in packing it with the necessary technology that would offer connectivity and redundancy that customers can rely on – day and night, rain or shine.
This was where it got interesting. Simply buying off the shelf wasn’t going to cut it.
Realizing they needed to work with thought leaders in the field, the customer turned to us for help in designing their rig-in-a-box technology. Being deployed in harsh environments, the box needed to be ruggedized and able to withstand the elements while ensuring that it didn’t compromise or jeopardize the sophisticated equipment around it.
We enlisted the help of our trusted networking partner Cisco to bring this concept to reality. Together, our teams worked closely to develop these rig-in-a-box access points within the customer’s specifications in terms of capability and construction. On top of being robust, the technology needs to be able to route OT/IoT-specific data and enable edge computing to process data as they are being collected. This information is processed into the dashboard, a platform created and supported by the customer, which provides critical information on rig output, performance, fault incidence, and other business analytics that can help their customers make decisions on the fly.
In this arrangement, both Compugen and Cisco acted as architecture and design consultants to help create the rig technology, with features and functionality highly customized for the environments in which these access point boxes were being deployed. The customer became Cisco’s quality assurance team, testing the rig-in-a-box in the labs of Cisco’s wireless business unit, where the solution was continuously developed to suit the oil and gas ISP’s requirements.
The design was finalized and is now in production. Once deployed, the rigs-in-a-box will enable secure connectivity and better redundancy to ensure that their customers are online 24/7, 365 days of the year. The technology will also allow their clients to gather and process data right at the edge, alerting them of rig performance, production output, as well as potential faults in the equipment. Finally, the Operational Technology (OT) and IoT data enabled by this solution will be sent out to a central location for pattern recognition, giving customers access to valuable business intelligence.
Looking for out-of-the-box solutions for your networking or IoT-enablement challenges? Please reach out, we’d love to discuss and help figure it out.