Middle East Sees Growing Need for Powerful Enterprise Software Solutions in Energy Sector

The oil and gas industry in the Middle East is booming. This article looks at why, and what effect this is having.

More than US$50 billion in contracts for various oil, gas and petrochemical projects will be awarded across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during 2013. The volume of investments is nearly twice the US$27 billion in contracts awarded during the previous year, reflecting a sharp increase in oil and gas (O&G) projects being undertaken across the region. While the enormous figure reflects positively on the overall growth of the O&G industry, it also hints at the growing complexity involved in completing these projects.

Whether they manufacture, maintain, build, service or support the energy industry, a diverse array of companies and professional services organizations are involved in the distinctly complex energy projects across the region. It is essential for such companies to be adequately equipped with the right tools to effectively manage the complex tasks involved, from controlling processes, to reducing costs, to complying with regulations, and responding to a new set of challenges each day.

We are also seeing a growing number of specialist enterprises involved in the value chain. Companies involved in various energy projects are unique because they deal with complex and diverse requirements when compared to other industries. Fixed asset management, work management, field service management, geographical information systems, CRM, and crisis management are just some of the varying needs that somehow need to be integrated together by companies operating in the energy sphere. Finding the right enterprise software solution that can handle all these diverse needs has become a primary challenge.

In light of the growing complexity of O&G projects, companies in the region are aggressively investing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to effectively reach into all areas of the business and value chain. ERP binds together various processes of a large organization, allowing each department to communicate, share information and collaborate with the rest of the company. Moreover, ERP is an ideal solution in the asset-intensive O&G industry as it helps facilitate project-driven materials management; harmonize engineering, purchasing, fabrication and other key O&G disciplines; proactively manage contractors and sub-contractors; and optimize forecasting and project accounting.

Given the significant investments involved and the critical importance of energy projects, the ERP solution must not only meet, but also exceed customer expectations and empower the company to overcome the extreme market pressures and challenges unique to the O&G sector. Finally, the solution must provide the flexibility and scalability that energy companies require to grow profitably, ultimately optimizing their most important resources.


Kathie Poindexter is a Product Marketing Manager for Epicor Software Corporation