Siemens Energy XHQ offers solutions that give companies in the oil and gas and energy-processing industries real-time business views. Because Siemens Energy wanted to improve operational data processing and give business intelligence (BI) tools
to plant managers and other non-analysts, it used Microsoft database software to enhance its XHQ Operations Intelligence solution. The technology will increase the company’s business significantly and give customers self-service intelligence and increased
scalability. The solution also reduces deployment time.
Siemens Energy XHQ (Siemens) is part of the Oil & Gas Division of Siemens Energy, the world's leading supplier of a complete spectrum of energy products, services and solutions.
||SQL Server 2012 helps us maintain our high level of competitiveness, and it will contribute to significant growth for our business.
| Jesse DeMesa
XHQ Operations Intelligence, the flagship solution of Siemens Energy, is deployed at the world’s largest global oil and gas and chemical firms. XHQ integrates and contextualizes operational and business data to offer a comprehensive view of a customer’s performance,
and provides real-time insights to drive impactful business decisions.
Over the past two years, Siemens has strived to meet growing customer demands for self-service BI capabilities and enhanced integration of updated, event-based manufacturing data. “We’re focused on providing the power of BI tools to people who wouldn’t normally
use them,” says Jesse DeMesa, General Manager, XHQ Business, Siemens Energy. “Maintenance managers, supervisors, plant managers, quality inspection workers—these are the people who don’t typically have time to do their own analysis, yet they’re looking at
operational and performance data for their sites every day and want to understand the business impacts of that data.”
Because many of these employees work in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software every day, Siemens wanted to enhance XHQ with more analytical capabilities. “We wanted to give customers the ability to easily create online analysis structures themselves, so they
would need little assistance from IT or business intelligence experts,” says Tim Henigman, Software Architect, XHQ Business, Siemens Energy. Siemens also sought to increase the scalability and functionality of its solution. “Our customers need to process real-time,
event-based operational data and deal with larger volumes of data all the time, so they need a solution that can scale easily with a low cost of ownership,” Henigman states.
In early 2011, Siemens decided to upgrade XHQ with new database technology in order to meet its customers’ needs.
Siemens chose Microsoft as the technology provider for its expanded vision of XHQ. “We have been a Microsoft partner for eight years, and our strategic direction is closely aligned with Microsoft BI technologies and self-service concepts,” says DeMesa. For
example, XHQ used the BI features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 software.
Siemens upgraded to SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, which offers a level of analytics, data-processing flexibility, and BI functionality that the previous version of XHQ lacked. For example, SQL Server 2012 Integration Services extends the solution’s ability
to process real-time and historical data with other operational data based on events that occur in batch and semi-continuous production processes. This extends XHQ real-time caching by providing even greater levels of cache intelligence with efficient, scalable
data refresh methods. Also, complex KPI calculations and preparation of data for analysis can be performed based on real-time events like batch completions and anomaly detection.
In addition, SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services features SQL Server 2012 Power View, an interactive data visualization tool that can be launched from within Microsoft Excel 2010. With Power View, users can easily extract, process, and analyze any combination
of business and operational real-time data, and create their own reports and analysis views. SQL Server 2012 also includes the BI Semantic Model, in which SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, Microsoft Office 2010, and Power View can be used as a semantic layer
on top of other data for reporting purposes. This model is integrated with the patented XHQ information model to provide complete context for business and operations data for real-time performance management.
In July 2011, Siemens developed a new version of XHQ that moves customer information from the XHQ real-time connector framework through SQL Server 2012 Integration Services into XHQ data marts. The data is then placed into relational databases, where it
can either be moved into a SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services cube or consumed from the data marts, through Power View or Excel.
With SQL Server 2012, Siemens Energy expects significant growth, and can deliver the self-service BI functionality and scalability that its customers need. The company can also implement its solution quickly at customer sites.
Will Help Increase Business Significantly
Siemens Energy is well-positioned for growth because its solution now delivers a broad set of decision-making and data- processing capabilities to customers. “SQL Server 2012 helps us maintain our high level of competitiveness, and it will contribute to
significant growth for our business,” says DeMesa. “Our customers will want to deploy it because it improves their ability to understand operational data and real-time performance in an impactful way for their business.”
Meets Customer Demand for Self-Service BI and Scalability
By capitalizing on the BI capabilities in SQL Server 2012, Siemens delivers the self-service intelligence functionality that its customers have been seeking. “Our mission for XHQ is to give advanced decision-making capabilities to everyday users who are
not technology experts,” DeMesa says. “We greatly enhance this with SQL Server 2012, because everyone from management to operations can use Power View to support their own analysis and can share that data globally with others in the organization.”
SQL Server 2012 also offers higher scalability. “Some of the projects we’re working on involve huge amounts of customer data, and this technology offers the scalability needed to make those work effectively,” Henigman says.
Speeds Customer Deployments
Siemens has also demonstrated that it can implement the new version of XHQ quickly. “The deployment and base technologies in SQL Server 2012 make it easy for us to get our solution deployed fast,” DeMesa says. Recently, Siemens and a competitor were given
two weeks to perform 10 different use cases at a customer site. “Our competitor only did a few, and we did all but one,” he says. “And we were able to prove that the one use case was not valid. So ultimately, the fast implementation of SQL Server 2012 helped
us win that business. This is definitely the right technology for us.”
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