2 page Case Study
Posted: 2/27/2012
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Devon Energy Energy Producer Uses Strategic Partnership to Speed Innovation, Trim Costs

Devon Energy needed to better align its IT investments with priorities such as increasing total shareholder return and boosting employee productivity. For guidance on eliminating redundant tools and improving collaboration, it used the Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program. Based on recommendations from an assessment of its IT environment, Devon has identified areas for significant IT value gain and has deployed key technologies faster.

Business Needs
Devon Energy is known for its success in pioneering revolutionary oil and gas drilling techniques. To spark continued innovation, Devon has made substantial investments in IT over the years. In some cases, this has led to overlapping and redundant functionality. Company leaders recognized the need to reduce IT complexity by eliminating unnecessary tools and consolidating more of its business functions on a single technology platform.

Executives also saw the need to expand capabilities in essential areas, such as real-time collaboration and business intelligence. “For example, a significant portion of our workforce operates in the field,” says Brad Lusk, Senior Director of IT Services and Delivery at Devon Energy. “We have people working remotely, such as on drill rigs, all across North America. We need to keep them productive, make sure they have reliable and highly secure access to corporate data, and give them the tools at the right time to allow them to do their jobs.”

As Mr. Lusk and other leaders at Devon considered the company’s overarching goals—increasing total shareholder return and increasing employee productivity—they sought guidance on how to align existing IT investments with these priorities. “We needed a trusted advisor to help us create a clear line of sight between strategic IT initiatives, business goals, and bottom-line performance,” says Mr. Lusk.

In April 2011, the company engaged the Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Program to perform an analysis of Devon’s current IT architecture and develop a plan for maximizing the return on its investment in Microsoft technologies. “When we considered the chance to access the full network of Microsoft resources—all orchestrated through a single point of contact who could integrate with our enterprise architecture team—it was an easy decision to choose the Enterprise Strategy Program,” says Mr. Lusk.

* We’ve gained several benefits through the Enterprise Strategy Program. The ability to show greater returns on investment for the Microsoft technologies we’ve invested in has been very valuable to Devon. *

Brad Lusk
Senior Director for IT Services and Delivery, Devon Energy

The company immediately began working with Greg Todd, an Enterprise Architect from Microsoft, to evaluate the alignment of Devon’s business goals with its existing IT investments. As a first step, Greg thoroughly examined the company’s business capabilities and the tools associated with critical management and production workflows. He then developed a comprehensive assessment plan for the company.

The IT group at Devon worked closely with the Microsoft Enterprise Strategy, Microsoft Services Premier Support, and Microsoft Consulting Services teams to overcome obstacles that had delayed Devon’s deployment of the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. An integral part of its upgrade initiative was the introduction of desktop virtualization functionality. Greg facilitated connecting Devon IT staff with teams from Microsoft Consulting Services and Microsoft Services Premier Support, which helped Devon resolve several technical deployment issues.

Greg also orchestrated additional connections between Devon and the Microsoft Account Team. As one example, he was able to provide timely product road map information for Microsoft Lync for Windows Phone, including feature specifications and availability details. “Mobile collaboration is an increasingly important capability for us,” says Mr. Lusk. “We’d been anticipating the option to offer our people the Windows Phone 7 device enabled with Lync. Greg’s help in relaying our technology and business requirements to our account team and then on to the Lync product team was invaluable in ramping up our mobility initiative.” Related to its goal of enhancing workforce productivity, Devon also turned to Greg for assistance in facilitating access to road map information for Microsoft System Center 2012, which provides a centralized suite of tools for managing data center and endpoint assets.

By participating in the Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Program, Devon Energy gained the following benefits:
  • Faster deployment of business-critical technologies. With the help of an on-site Enterprise Architect from Microsoft, who facilitated communication with subject matter, deployment, and product experts, Devon quickly resolved issues that had previously slowed its deployment of the Windows 7 operating system. Now, Devon can deliver the performance enhancements offered through Windows 7 to more of its people, sooner—while taking advantage of desktop virtualization tools to reduce its hardware costs over time. “We’re on track to completing our rollout of Windows 7 and Office 2010 to all employees in 2012,” says Mr. Lusk. “We wouldn’t have been able to hit this complex goal as quickly without collaborating with the Enterprise Strategy Program.”

  • Closer alignment between business and IT priorities. Through receipt of a comprehensive architecture assessment and road map plan, and through integration with Devon’s internal Enterprise Architecture program, the Devon IT team was better equipped with the dollar figures to express the business value of proposed technology investments. “The architecture review process helped us solidify the case for moving to Microsoft Lync Server 2010, fast-tracking our Windows 7 deployment, and shifting to Microsoft SQL Server for business intelligence and reporting,” says Mr. Lusk.

  • Increased value realization from existing IT Investments. The Microsoft Enterprise Architect has been a complementary resource to Devon’s overall strategic IT direction. As a result, Devon has been able to extract more value from its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. The company is using more of the functionality offered through the Microsoft solutions it already licenses and has replaced third-party applications with Microsoft assets, resulting in recurring savings. “We’ve gained several benefits through the Enterprise Strategy Program. The ability to show greater returns on investment for the Microsoft technologies we’ve invested in has been very valuable to Devon.”

Microsoft Services
Microsoft Services is a global team of professionals who are dedicated to helping customers maximize the value of their investment in Microsoft software. Microsoft Services helps customers plan, deploy, support, and optimize our technologies. They also work closely with Microsoft Partners by sharing their technological expertise and product knowledge on a regular basis.

For more information about Microsoft Services, go to:

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 5000 employees

Organization Profile
Based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Devon Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company, employing approximately 5,000 people.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Services
  • Microsoft Services
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010
  • Enterprise Strategy Program

Vertical Industries
Process Manufacturing & Resources

United States