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Customer Story | Application Experience

How a Supermajor Powers Energy Innovation With ThousandEyes

When you unleash the power of technology, it can have a transformative impact on your industry. In this case study, we follow the remarkable journey of a pioneering oil and gas supermajor that did just that in the energy sector and improved its capacity to deliver affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy solutions.

Its commitment to innovation is at the core of this energy company's success. Early on, the company's IT teams recognized the importance of a robust digital infrastructure and, thus, invested significantly in constructing and modernizing its operations. But with such vast scale and complexity, spanning across the globe, ensuring stability and minimizing downtime is crucial.

Around five years ago, during a WAN expansion project into remote areas, this supermajor learned about ThousandEyes. Realizing the immense potential, operators strategically deployed ThousandEyes agents at the network's edge and in data centers. This move proved instrumental in gaining valuable insights that enhanced network resiliency.

Download our case study to see the complete story and uncover how this oil supermajor harnessed technology to assure and optimize its operations.

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When you unleash the power of technology, it can have a transformative impact on your industry. In this case study, we follow the remarkable journey of a pioneering oil and gas supermajor that did just that in the energy sector and improved its capacity to deliver affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy solutions.

Its commitment to innovation is at the core of this energy company's success. Early on, the company's IT teams recognized the importance of a robust digital infrastructure and, thus, invested significantly in constructing and modernizing its operations. But with such vast scale and complexity, spanning across the globe, ensuring stability and minimizing downtime is crucial.

Around five years ago, during a WAN expansion project into remote areas, this supermajor learned about ThousandEyes. Realizing the immense potential, operators strategically deployed ThousandEyes agents at the network's edge and in data centers. This move proved instrumental in gaining valuable insights that enhanced network resiliency.

Download our case study to see the complete story and uncover how this oil supermajor harnessed technology to assure and optimize its operations.

When you unleash the power of technology, it can have a transformative impact on your industry. In this case study, we follow the remarkable journey of a pioneering oil and gas supermajor that did just that in the energy sector and improved its capacity to deliver affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy solutions.

Its commitment to innovation is at the core of this energy company's success. Early on, the company's IT teams recognized the importance of a robust digital infrastructure and, thus, invested significantly in constructing and modernizing its operations. But with such vast scale and complexity, spanning across the globe, ensuring stability and minimizing downtime is crucial.

Around five years ago, during a WAN expansion project into remote areas, this supermajor learned about ThousandEyes. Realizing the immense potential, operators strategically deployed ThousandEyes agents at the network's edge and in data centers. This move proved instrumental in gaining valuable insights that enhanced network resiliency.

Download our case study to see the complete story and uncover how this oil supermajor harnessed technology to assure and optimize its operations.

A Global Energy Supplier

For many years, this oil supermajor has stood as a titan in the energy industry, pioneering oil exploration, refinement, and production. At the heart of this energy company’s operations lies cutting-edge technology that enables it to deliver affordable, reliable, and increasingly cleaner energy solutions. The company also leverages the potential of hydrocarbons to develop a wide range of products that have become integral to our daily lives, from common plastics to the asphalt that makes up our roads and even the moisturizing lotions that we use on our skin.

This supermajor is also deeply committed to sustainability, evident in its extensive research and comprehensive reporting that emphasizes efficient and low-carbon production methods for traditional oil and gas resources. Notably, the company is at the forefront of converting methane sourced from dairy farms into compressed natural gas, which reduces waste and contributes to a cleaner and more eco-friendly future.

A Fortune 500 company, the supermajor employs tens of thousands of people in its workforce worldwide. Its operations span dozens upon dozens of countries, each with its unique market that the supermajor diligently serves to meet demand.

A worker with protective gear monitoring a tablet

Reliable Applications for Reliable Operations

This supermajor has substantially invested in constructing and modernizing a vast digital infrastructure to sustain its operations. Given the scale and complexity of its work, ensuring stability and minimizing downtime is of utmost importance.

“Oftentimes, we’re our own telecom provider in some of those remote areas,” said the head of the supermajor’s Center of Excellence (CoE) for application infrastructure, integrations, and automation. “And we sometimes have challenges with some of those edge sites.”

The company recognizes that any disruption in its digital infrastructure could have profound consequences, affecting not only the supermajor’s operations but also extending beyond its boundaries.

“The financial cost of downtime is grave,” said the CoE head. “You potentially could see some supply chain impacts where we aren’t able to get the gas service to the station fast enough, or we start seeing a backup in our fleet.”

He continues, “And of course, all of that leads to reputational damage because there’s another gas station on the next corner that our customers will go to.”

The supermajor’s leadership has invested strategically in cloud technologies to navigate business uncertainties, enabling seamless data flow across multiple environments. This decision puts the business ahead in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

“Most of our applications a decade ago were on-premises,” said the CoE leader. “But we’ve seen a big shift in adoption towards cloud—so much so that we sold our primary North America data center in 2017—so we’re all in on our cloud strategy.”

However, as with any massive undertaking, challenges awaited the supermajor in its cloud migration journey. With a portfolio of approximately 8,000 applications, the supermajor’s IT operators encountered complicated scenarios where visibility into the labyrinth of connectivity for on-premises and cloud apps was sorely needed.

“Most of our applications a decade ago were on-premises. But we’ve seen a big shift in adoption towards cloud—so much so that we sold our primary North America data center in 2017—so we’re all in on our cloud strategy.”

All in on Cloud Strategy

Approximately five years ago, while undertaking a WAN (Wide Area Network) expansion project in remote areas, the supermajor discovered ThousandEyes. Recognizing its potential, operators deployed ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents at the edge and data centers. This strategic move allowed them to gain insights into latency and network loss and improve network resiliency.

“That’s where our journey started, and it’s just continued to grow over time,” said the CoE leader.

As the supermajor embraced cloud adoption, IT witnessed a substantial transition, with more than 15% of their 8,000 applications migrating to SaaS (Software as a Service). With the shift, operators found a greater need for visibility into user experience and Internet egress.

The supermajor’s IT team soon embarked on a complex project, migrating its global SAP stack to the cloud. Its operators understood the project’s magnitude, fully cognizant of what transferring 150 core services meant for the business. However, accomplishing this feat was no simple endeavor, given the company’s utilization of over 30 instances of SAP, each intertwined with numerous interconnected elements.


Navigating the SAP Migration

As can be expected with any major cloud undertaking, the supermajor’s operators faced performance challenges—this time with a trading application that resulted from integration issues with SAP and other crucial applications. In response, the operators decided to leverage ThousandEyes, strategically running regular SAP application analyses every 15 minutes. This proactive approach allowed them to continually identify and implement new efficiencies, leading to ongoing improvements in their operations.

“Cisco ThousandEyes gives us lots of network data and remote data to work with, which we can then use to create reports in SAP and baseline our performance,” said the CoE leader. “That level of visibility and insights ensures we always understand how our front-end is performing and where we can improve.”

In addition, the supermajor leverages ThousandEyes Endpoint Agent on user laptops to gather valuable data and insights regarding the performance of their new VPN (Virtual Private Network) client and Wi-Fi network. This initiative is part of the company’s Wi-Fi modernization project, enabling the company to monitor and optimize the user experience while providing reliable and seamless connectivity throughout the organization.

Figure 1: ThousandEyes Endpoint Agents provide valuable data and insights into VPN and Wi-Fi networks.

Figure 1: ThousandEyes Endpoint Agents provide valuable data and insights into VPN and Wi-Fi networks.

Embracing Collaboration and Continuous Improvement

This supermajor found ThousandEyes’ capabilities in data collection, proactive intelligence extraction, and workflow assistance invaluable for swiftly addressing network and application problems. Using ThousandEyes has also provided the company with enhanced transparency and visibility into application issues that end users do not report to the help desk.

“ThousandEyes has given us more transparency,” said the CoE leader. “There are also some best practices we’ve learned along the way on how we’ve siloed the data.”

He continues, “We’re trying to break down those silos between network, application, and security teams and make that more transparent between everyone.”

The supermajor plans to continue making the ThousandEyes platform more flexible and scalable across the enterprise, driving further integration with Cisco AppDynamics, and using data from both platforms for continuous improvement.

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