Shelf Drilling accelerates digital transformation journey with help from LiveRoute

LiveRoute, a part of MDS Computers Group and a leading Cloud Solutions Provider in the Middle East, has enabled Shelf Drilling, the world’s largest contractor of jack-up rigs based in Dubai, to digitally transform its operations and embark on a Cloud journey. LiveRoute helped Shelf Drilling deploy Microsoft Azure and Office 365 to become an agile and scalable Cloud-based organization.

“Shelf Drilling acquired its entire fleet of rigs in a single transaction and our establishment necessitated an infrastructure design that was truly ‘fit-for-purpose’ in line with our overarching company strategy. When we first started looking for vendors, it was important for us to find the right one offering newest and best technology without hindrance of legacy systems, and Microsoft was our obvious choice,” said Ian M Clydesdale, Director of IT, Shelf Drilling.

“We signed up LiveRoute as they are a Microsoft Gold Partner delivering Cloud-based solutions in the region, who met our requirements completely. LiveRoute’s team of technology experts spent a considerable amount of time discussing how Cloud-based productivity solutions could overcome our challenges while improving cost efficiencies with a tailored approach,” Mr. Clydesdale added.

Shelf Drilling’s digital-first experience shows how new companies can leverage the latest know-how for agile, effective solutions. “We knew where we were coming from, where we stood and were ready to go forward. Since we had no legacy infrastructure to make over, we could start directly in the Cloud and put the infrastructure on-premise only when – and if – we absolutely had to. This gave us a massive head start.”

For LiveRoute’s experts, ensuring a smooth data migration to the Cloud with minimum disruption to Shelf Drilling’s business was paramount. “We created a template for office and rig services that were then replicated across the company’s entire environment. With this standardised approach, we injected simplicity into a complex network structure with a solution that was designed to be totally integrated, simple to understand and easy to support,” said Roger Kakhia, EVP, MDS.

Since LiveRoute’s plan was implemented, each Shelf Drilling rig now operates its own local infrastructure to support basic computing services including File and Print, email and office productivity tools (Office 365), ERP (preventative maintenance, inventory and purchasing systems), personnel on-the-job training and competency management, health and safety monitoring and management services and rig operations management systems. Each rig system collates data locally and synchronises this data across dedicated satellite communications links back to the core systems.

Based on independent assessment the cost of Shelf Drilling IT services is 22 per cent lower than equivalent organisations, due largely to the systems and solutions that LiveRoute helped to implement.

Senior management at Shelf Drilling take an active interest in the IT solutions deployed and understand that the IT infrastructure and solutions act as a mechanism to enable their employees to perform their respective functions more efficiently.

To manage complex infrastructure and successfully complete this project, the company utilized its qualified manpower of highly skilled IT personnel. Furthermore, Shelf Drilling leveraged its strategic partnerships with key vendors to supplement required skill-sets to deploy and configure new technologies.

Finally, Shelf Drilling was faced with a very aggressive time-table for the design implementation and deployment of their infrastructure solution. “This timeline for implementation was very aggressive as we had to match the transition and contract dates for the jack-ups rigs. We were impressed that the implementation of the core infrastructure was completed within 6 months to match the go-live date for the first rigs. Full implementation across all 34 rigs was completed within 18 months,” explained Mr. Clydesdale.

The company maintains a forward-looking IT strategy for the next 3-5 years. “Rather than attempt to run multiple diverse projects each year, we try to focus on specific areas. Last year we focused on security and improved our security profile considerably. Next year, the company’s focus will be on endpoint security and the extension of our multi-factor authentication to include access to any corporate resource outside of our company network,” concluded Clydesdale.