Video conferencing (VC) for multiple site collaboration is one of the key drivers to improve cross-functional collaboration and ensure that geographically dispersed teams communicate effectively.

Over the last four years BP has deployed a system with close to 300 endpoints for video and application sharing across Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the UK. This system links eight offshore facilities, a major terminal, three offices in Baku, offices in the UK, and pump stations across Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. This is the largest integrated collaboration deployment within BP.

One of the key success factors which has evolved over the deployment has been the transition from a dedicated petrotechnical user base to an integrated deployment across all elements of the business. Many users familiar with the PC based tools then become "power users" to support team members with the same tools in a room environment. Peer to peer, platform to platform use of the system offshore has developed into a useful knowledge sharing tool outside office hours.

This changes the perception about VC technology from highly sophisticated and technical concept to a commodity IT enabler.

We identify and discuss 10 major use case scenarios, each of them having a unique blend of technology and business process: Executive Meetings and Inter Office communications, Site to Site collaboration, Multi-site Mixed Audio/VC call, Multi-site VC conferencing with third-parties outside of BP network, Incident Management, Diagnostic Support, Staff Townhalls, Enhancing Interactions with employees, Turnaround, ACE to ACE and ACE to Advisor collaboration.

Lessons learned on delivering ease of use to the end user, and in moving from a petrotechnical tool to a cross business tool with horizontal and vertical business integration, will be discussed.

Some of the business value can not be quantified - e.g. improvement of daily/weekly planning process; helping deliver the nationalization plan; ability to rapidly diagnose an issue and get to the root cause; facilitating the development of an intrinsic knowledge base on 3rd party supplied equipment.

However, there are some real monetary benefits that we were able to capture during the last 4 years - e.g. 0.5-1.0% increase of operating efficiency; 15% acceleration in the execution of planned work by enabling the completion of 7 quarters work in 6 quarters; 10% increase in operational offshore bed utilization; preventing several days loss of production.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.