Equinor QualiWare

Equinor is an integrated Oil & Gas Company with extensive international activity in 33 countries. In 15 of these, Equinor is engaged in exploration and production. 

One of the world’s largest sellers of crude oil and a substantial supplier of natural gas to the European market, Equinor markets two-thirds of all Norwegian gas. 

The company is the largest retailer of oil products in Scandinavia, with about 26,000 employees, half of whom are located outside Norway. The annual turnover in 2005 was NOK 393 billion.

Equinor's information systems are im­portant drivers in implementing world-class busi­ness processes, fulfilling the company strategy, and achieving clear growth targets. 

ICT (Information & Communications Technology) at Equinor is considered a crucial business contribu­tor that must be incorporated into all relevant strategies.

Terje Lie, responsible for Equinor’s Business Process Model, says: 

“All business process mod­eling is handled with QualiWare Lifecycle Manager (QLM). QLM is an important manage­ment system tool for further implementation work on a common enterprise model at Equinor.” 

Harald Wesenberg, Discipline Advisor for Enterprise Architecture on the Corporate Staff of IS/IT at Equinor, adds: 

“QLM is the foundation of our quality management system. The ability to manage work processes, application portfolios, and government regulations and legislative man­dates in a single tool allow us to continuously improve com­pany performance. And, we retain previous im­provements even as we move forward with new ones.”

Benefits achieved
Terje Lie continues, “The work to date has re­sulted in several benefits: Cost savings from improved application portfo­lio management, improved project efficiency, and improved interoperability. Furthermore, we have created a common modeling platform for business and IT, incorporating high-level models and risk reduc­tion related to migration plans.”

Substantial savings
A crucial initial effect of the QLM implemen­tation at Equinor is substantial savings on soft­ware maintenance and application development, and operations costs. By the end of 2005, more than 500 applications had been discontinued at the company, resulting in substantially improved IT governance. Equinor has achieved an annual saving in excess of NOK 60 million and antici­pates further potential savings in excess of NOK 60 million in ICT operations. Equinor has imple­mented unified global models for the production and supply of gas and, by April 2006, was SOX 404 compliant using QLM Business Process Modeling.

Alignment of IT processes
The initial motivation for Equinor was to build a high-level model showing how IT systems sup­ported business processes and to identify the need for process information and data. In 2003, Equinor initiated several first steps to align IT applications with business processes. The goal was to achieve three key objectives:

- Ensure a linkage from business strategy and improvement goals to the migration of plans and projects (“alignment”)

- Establish a model of the enterprise with dif­ferent views and levels of detail, depending on the purpose

- Build a governance structure to ensure that the delivery of IT solutions follows best prac­tices and ensures continuous updating of the architecture.

The alignment of more than 3000 IT applications involved the grouping of applications into three categories:

- Key applications for further refinement and development

- Applications to be maintained

- Redundant and overlapping applications to be phased out.

From Business Strategy to ICT Projects
Equinor follows an Enterprise Architecture-based methodology to evaluate the need for ICT tools. This methodology makes it possible to compare future strategic requirements and ar­chitectural principles with the company’s current environment, including business processes, sys­tems, infrastructure, etc. The resulting gap anal­ysis will lead to migration planning and project execution for new solutions.

Process Reengineering of Gas Sales
In 2003, public regulations for gas marketing and sales were changed. This called for reen­gineering of some of the company’s key pro­cesses. Equinor took advantage of the situation to synchronize its operational processes in Norway and the UK.

Future Challenges
Among future challenges facing Equinor, Terje Lie mentions: 

“Achieving and maintaining quality with increased model complexity; implementing new ways of working across process areas, busi­ness areas and internal ICT vendors; and foster­ing and focusing organizational awareness. 

Challenges regarding implementing new processes in organizations, and linguistic and cultural differences should not be underesti­mated.”
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