Technology solutions meet deployment expertise: How the Technology Catalogue will help deployment in the energy industry

renewable energy

 

TechnologyCatalogue.com was launched in Q3 2018 as a key tool to support the deployment of novel and proven technologies in the energy industry. It may be interpreted as a ‘Tripadvisor’ like web platform for technologies. However, there are also some key differences as deploying technology is unfortunately not as simple as booking a hotel or restaurant. Read this blog to find out how TechnologyCatalogue.com connects an overview of technologies for the energy industry from deployment expertise to maximise impact for suppliers, end-users and investors.

 

Background

TechnologyCatalogue.com was developed based on the first-hand experience that it is difficult for decision-makers in Energy companies to stay up to date on available technology-driven improvement opportunities for their business.

Yes, most technology suppliers have a well-maintained website that you can find via Google, however, experience has shown that these are typically only found if you know exactly what you are looking for, often up to the detail of the name of the vendor.

Try for example to search for “maintenance technology oil and gas”. You’ll end up with over 100 million search results. Going through the first 10 or so pages of search results you mostly find generic articles about trends or similar high-level information and not a single overview that would help you to link solutions to maintenance challenges.

While staff in energy companies in engineering positions are generally quite technology savvy, they all have busy daily jobs with a strong focus on safety, budget and schedule. We’ve seen that amongst this group there is a frequent perception that implementing technology will be more expensive or poses a schedule risk, which may impact their individual performance and therefore generates resistance. The lack of easy to access information, including previous deployment examples to give them confidence, will sustain a limited drive to search for deployment opportunities to flag to their management unless there is a business-critical need.

As a result, decision-makers, who often simply don’t have the time to search themselves, typically rely on various unstructured channels (social media, word of mouth etc.) to learn about technology opportunities for their business to be able to challenge their organisation.

This doesn’t mean that they are not interested in technology. However, it is essential to give people at all levels in the organisation easy access to quickly digestible information about relevant technologies, including credible deployment records and impact indications.

 

TechnologyCatalogue.com: based on solid technology deployment experience

Developing very simple technology ‘marketing’ material has proven to be one of the key success factors during the years that the TechnologyCatalogue.com founders were leading the deployment efforts in a large international energy company.

Based on publicly available information, a simple page was developed for internal use per technology that had been proven somewhere and had the potential to be replicated. On such page, only the key technology information was captured, supplemented by examples of bottom-line business impact within the company, contact details of technical experts and end-users as well as the vendors in various regions that could supply the technology.

Small printed and digital booklets grouping the technologies per business theme (projects, maintenance, well reservoir and facility management, logistics, operations etc.) were circulated within the company both at the engineering level and more senior management levels.

Over time the booklets started to be used as a ‘menu’ for business improvement options, backed by a powerful visual management tool showing who had already deployed what technology and who was lagging.

In addition, we ensured that technical expertise was available to support end-users with all aspects to get the technology deployed and to sustainably embed the technology into the business.

The impact has been phenomenal: over a period of ~6 years over 600 technology deployments were delivered with a net cash impact exceeding $1 billion.

Now the same methodology has been transferred into a web environment: TechnologyCatalogue.com.

 

End-users, technology suppliers and expert consultants meet in the same online space

TechnologyCatalogue.com contains technologies in the broadest sense. Hence not only IT/Digitalisation technologies but also e.g. hardware solutions and workflows. It connects technology suppliers, end-users and experts.

Technologies can easily be selected by using filters, categories and the search function.

Every technology on the platform has a unique page capturing the key technology information, specifications and information about the supplier, as well as the opportunity to directly contact them.

User/expert reviews, as well as, deployment records give the confidence to accelerate the uptake of technology. Nothing gives more confidence than a review from someone we trust. Such review doesn’t need to belong, a few sentences can be sufficient to think: “perhaps this is something I should consider as well for my project”. This is not different from daily consumer life, where we rely on the opinions of other people to e.g. book hotels and restaurants or decide which new car to buy.

Very often, suppliers ask us: “I’m concerned about negative reviews. Is that concern valid”?

We want to emphasize that reviews cannot be made anonymously; only registered users can write reviews. Therefore we control the registration process, only allowing credible people on TechnologyCatalogue.com. By only having non-anonymous reviews, we also avoid that people start to post negative comments about competitors.

It is also good to emphasize that recognised experts don’t put their credibility on the line! They’re not going to say something positive about technology if they don’t mean it. Every user knows that hence reviews help to get the message about your technology out there.

The moment a review comes in, it never goes live immediately. Suppliers always have a chance to see it first. If the review is considered to be unfair, it will not be published. In case of doubt, we ask an independent expert for review.

In addition, companies always have the chance to respond to reviews, with the response published on our site. This way suppliers can respond to perceived downsides of the technology, for example  explaining the progress that has been made with the development of a product in recent months or years. Suppliers can naturally be pro-active, by asking selected users and experts to immediately post a review!

TechnologyCatalogue.com contains a list of other frequently asked questions as well. If you have a question that is not listed on the FAQs, please contact us!

And yes, using the platform can mean that people will choose the technology of one of your competitors. But like with hotels: some prefer 5-star hotels (and are willing to pay for it), others prefer location, etc. Hence depending on your offering, sometimes users will go for your technology, sometimes for the technology of another supplier.

The biggest competitor to technology though is not the technology of someone else, but that assets/projects just continue doing what they’ve always been doing. And this is something that TechnologyCatalogue.com addresses: by creating the visibility combined with user/expert reviews, people are more likely to start using technology instead of doing what they’ve always done.

There are also clear differences when comparing TechnologyCatalogue.com to consumer platforms like Tripadvisor or Booking.com. When searching for a holiday destination the job is typically ‘done’ after making the booking for hotel and flight and you only need to worry to get to the airport on time to start enjoying your vacation. When it comes to deploying technology the hard work typically only starts after identifying the technology that could be of value. 

As this platform has been developed and maintained by TechnologyCatalogue.com it is directly connected to a team of experts who:

  • know what makes that technology gets deployed;

  • use the right tools & processes to effectively address business challenges with technology; and

  • understand the critical success factors for making the actual deployments happen and organise the technology delivery in line with these critical factors.

Naturally, it’s in our best interest to ensure that technologies on the platform get used, and we therefore actively help to make connects with operators, including highlighting the technologies when we support operators with technology deployment consultancy and training. 

Suppliers can register their technology on TechnologyCatalogue.com for free. In addition, there are also paid services to position your technology for success; we can give you access to data analytics, showcase your technology in one of our webinars, or support you with our Tech Positioning Programme.

Individual end-users can also access the platform for free. In addition, we have paid services for end-users. For example, we can help with providing specific insights about technologies that are of most impact to your organization, or we can help you put together a technology plan.

 

Conclusion

TechnologyCatalogue.com helps suppliers to create visibility for their technologies, 24/7. The platform will help users to quickly select technologies to improve their business performance. Furthermore, we provide access to all required support to get the technology deployed.

Curious how the platform can help you? Please visit TechnologyCatalogue.com, or contact us at info@technologycatalogue.com

 

About us

The founders of TechnologyCatalogue.com led technology deployment activities in support of assets across Shell. Over 600 deployments were successfully delivered, resulting in a very significant impact on safety, production and cost. We understand what it takes to get technology deployed, including all change management aspects related to it. Since starting TechnologyCatalogue.com in March 2018, we have supported multiple operators in Upstream and Downstream with technology deployment. 

Our platform TechnologyCatalogue.com was developed based on the first-hand experience that it is often difficult for decision-makers to stay up to date on available technology-driven improvement opportunities for their business. It was launched in Q3 2018 and is steadily growing in terms of content & functionality. Since the launch, >24,000 unique users have accessed the platform. We’re also developing customised versions of the platform. For example, jointly with National Energy Resources Australia, we have delivered a customised version of the portal for Australia (Nera.TechnologyCatalogue.com)

In addition to TechnologyCatalogue.com,  we also support suppliers and end-users with getting technology deployment done, through consultancy & workshops.