Expro International Group
Company: Point to PointCustomer: Expro International GroupSubmitted by: Eclat MarketingPoint to Point have been working closely with the Expro Group over the past six months to provide a virtual private network which would allow users in remote and underdeveloped locations to connect to the local area network. Point to Point were involved in the key phases of providing advice and testing equipment to the point of completion and installation of the Intel/Shiva VPN solution. They are continuing to provide support and consultancy on an ongoing basis. Point to Point’s close relationship with the Expro Group ensures that they receive the very best technical support and advice.Expro International Group PLC (“the Expro Group”) is a leading oilfield service provider of key products and services necessary to safely complete and manage oil and gas wells. Founded in 1973, the Expro Group has grown to employ over 1,800 people world-wide, of which 900-1,000 are computer users.
Current customers span the globe and include blue chip clients such as Arco, BHP, BP Amoco, Chevron, China Oil, Mobil, NAM, Shell and Texaco. Current turnover figures stand at over £160 million pounds per annum.
Commitment to excellence
“The Expro Group prides itself on both its reputation as an innovative leader in oilfield technology, and the commitment it has to research and development,” said Martin Ogden, Technical Support Manager for the Expro Group.
“It aims to provide the calibre of products that lead the way in the oil and gas industry, and it is this goal which has driven the need for a network which can provide connectivity to the central systems throughout the world.”The system currently supplies core applications to its global offices which consist of eight major sites in Holland, the UK, the US and Western Australia, as well as 30 to 40 smaller sites which are local to field operations. The main applications include e-mail exchange, the organisations Intranet, Oracle Financials and HR, and RMS, an internal Enterprise Resource Planning system.In 1999 Ogden was faced with the task of changing the IT infrastructure throughout the Expro Group so that employees in both remote and underdeveloped areas could still access the network and improve speed and integrity of information flow.He turned to Point to Point, a Value Added Reseller, for advice and support in choosing an appropriate solution. The initial brief was to provide a very secure Remote Access solution for both mobile and remote based users as well as using LAN-to-LAN tunnels, moving non-critical traffic off the company’s frame relay network and onto the internet.
Point to Point looked at a variety of solutions currently available, within the confines of being cost-effective, whilst providing the level of support required.
Future expansion needs
An Intel/Shiva VPN solution was chosen because of its fast and reliable connectivity to core applications, ease-of-deployment and enterprise-wide scalability. Additionally, as the wide area network requirements grow, additional gateways, remote clients and central management stations can be easily added to accommodate the expansion.The next stage involved Point to Point loaning equipment to the Expro Group so that it could test the solution to ensure that it would satisfy the requirements. Point to Point provided a consultant to implement the solution, monitor it and provide technical support.Since implementation, the number of long distance calls has been significantly reduced with users now only being charged at the local rate.
Another significant advantage is that the Group can now supply IT systems to replace the existing paper-based systems which were unwieldy to manage, while providing business advantages through increased speed of information flow and accuracy and integrity of the information supplied.
Reinvestment of savings funds future developments
The solution proved so successful that it became apparent that it could also be used to provide connectivity between the main bases for other applications. Furthermore it has enabled the Group to provide WAN access to smaller offices where traditional solutions are not cost-effective. The money saved is currently being reinvested within the IT department so that further projects can be undertaken.”Point to Point were extremely helpful from initial enquiries to the development cycle, right through to completion,” said Ogden.
“They offered a significant amount of pre-sales help and advice and were therefore an obvious choice when looking to deploy new solutions. We look forward to conducting more projects together in the future.”