The Legacy Software Stranglehold: How to Break Free, Shrink Costs, and Do More with Less – Part 1

Part 1 – 7 Signs You’re Ready for Change, and the Cost of Doing Nothing


W Energy Software has teamed up with the Novus Consulting team to bring their voice of authority to the upstream oil & gas C-suite.  Through this blog series, we’re going to talk candidly about the lack of innovation in the back office, and why old legacy technology is holding upstream companies back –  just as much as an entrenched mindset and culture of doing things the way they have always been done. Some leading organizations are afraid of making the change that will ultimately allow them to operate more efficiently, build business resilience, and unleash the potential of their workforce, by eliminating the data and cultural ‘silos’ that are holding them back. They are choosing instead to maintain the status quo, and kick the can down the road exposing them to the risk of being at the mercy of market fluctuations, and of being out-performed by their peers who have modernized their accounting, land, and production systems. In this blog series, Chevy Thomason, a founding partner at Novus Consulting, discusses how to navigate and close the widening technology chasm with unified upstream solutions built on the cloud, and even more importantly how to navigate change, and create a data-driven culture that will increase business performance, unlock agility, and save your team millions.


Let me tell you about a recent meeting I had. I had walked into the office of a Chief Financial Officer for a larger E&P with a strong business case for deploying modern, cloud-based software and data management that could save the company millions.  It should have been an open and closed case.  With years of experience in information technology and helping oil & gas companies cross the chasm from legacy platforms to the cloud, I was confident in telling the CFO that a company of her size is likely overspending $1M annually on 20- to 30-year-old accounting, land, production, and other systems along with the G&A that goes along with it.  Plus, based on my extensive experience and analysis of many E&Ps, I estimated that the company accrued about 600 hours per month in duplicated effort, about half of which was centered around financial workflows.  It was a good meeting. I walked out of the CFO’s office knowing she agreed in principle with the business case for digital transformation – yet, much to my surprise, learned soon after that the E&P opted to do nothing.

Over the next few posts in this guest blog series, I’m going to present a strong business case for upstream companies to upgrade not just their software, but the way they think about data and integrate corporate knowledge across departments; breaking down data silos and siloed thinking.  I’m going to take a deep dive into the challenges and solutions with checklists to help you navigate choice of software, setting up a data-driven culture, and driving and sustaining transformation in your organization.  But first, I’d like to answer two questions:

1 – Why is there pervasive resistance to change?

2 –  What is the cost of doing nothing?

Untangling Resistance to Change

There is a large gap between what many operators can achieve with their current ERP systems, and what is now possible through the cloud – automation, AI, analytics, and a technology capability chasm that is only widening with time.  My experience shows that attaining the prize of a modern technology stack and benefits of a highly collaborative, data-driven, low-cost operation takes more than digital transformation, it takes business transformation.

We’ve seen a wave of innovation transform drilling and field operations, so what’s holding back that wave in the back office?  Many energy professionals have effectively grown up, and built their careers around a lot of the legacy software products.  Case in point, one E&P’s team uses a 20-year-old solution for accounting and land.  Even though it’s expensive to license, and has poor acreage reporting, the software is what they’ve known for decades.  If an innovative new CFO wouldn’t rock the boat, there’s nothing an outside consultant can do to pry people away from what they’re used to, even if it would make their lives easier, increase productivity, and save money.  And it doesn’t help when legacy software vendors drop their prices at any sign of clients looking to modernize.  All too often, E&P’s opt to kick the can down the road, and renew their legacy software licenses, trading short-term licensing cuts for long term opportunity and building business resilience.

While choice of technology can compartmentalize and limit the flow of business-critical information, there are also entrenched cultural data silos in some organizations.  People who sit across the hall from each other may have very different views about the types of oil & gas data that matter to their particular workflow.  As an industry, we just haven’t done enough to place a value on data and build cultures that see it as an asset for the entire organization to consume.  This explains why there is pervasive resistance not only to moving away from legacy software, but to establishing robust data management practices that can increase the free flow of validated, decision-ready data.  Creating even more resistance is an oil & gas workforce nearing retirement who has been hit time and again, with industry busts.  At this point in their careers, many energy professionals see upgrading as injecting unwanted uncertainty or requiring them to do even more when their bandwidth is already maxed out.


Checklist: Are You Ready for Change?

Let’s start first with a simple checklist to assess where you are in the spectrum of technology adoption. If any of these are true about your oil & gas business, you are ready for business transformation:

  1. Your support costs fluctuate, and services are harder, more costly to find.
  2. You have been dinged on an external audit for software-related items.
  3. Your engineers, accountants, land techs, and geologists constantly ask for more data.
  4. Software interfaces look outdated and are cumbersome to use.
  5. You have a highly skilled workforce, but they maxed out and simply cannot take on more work – this is even harder when acquiring or divesting an asset.
  6. Your teams are entering wells, vendors, and cost centers in 3 or more applications.
  7. Your software vendor provides very little support, forcing your team to spend big on integrations and resorting to complicated excel workarounds – leading to excel hell.


The Price of Standing Still

There are very measurable costs associated with kicking the ‘legacy software change’ can down the road.  Even when vendors drop their licensing fees to retain clients, it’s a story of diminishing returns akin to renting a used car indefinitely.  Adding to the total cost of owning accounting, land, production operations, and the other software systems an E&P needs, it’s the decisions made on bad, incomplete, or multiple versions of data that accrue staggering hidden and opportunity costs.

Connecting the right data with the right people in your organization can unlock millions in cost savings.  Because of data silos and a siloed culture at many energy companies, something as simple as knowing how much subsurface coverage to carry for your acreage can be a shot in the dark if accounting and risk management don’t have access to reliable, accurate vertical depth data.  In the absence of data, your team often resorts to one-off decisions just to get the job done, such as pulling a name out of a hat or giving the job to a buddy for oilfield supplies when a master vendor list would make the decision easy.

What about duplicate data?  I know of companies that have overpaid for oil and water hauls because they were receiving duplicate invoices; a costly oversight that could have been prevented with a digital field ticketing system.  In these examples, and countless others, robust oil & gas data management has the potential to save hundreds of millions.  But solutions are reactive.  With the right digital infrastructure already in place, your team can be proactive and get ahead of problems, from accounting, land, and field operations to HSE and compliance.

In my next blog post, I’ll delve into what a modern ERP technology stack looks like and the benefits of a fully integrated solution. Stay tuned.


This is Part 1 of our 4-part series: The Legacy Software Stranglehold – How to Break Free, Shrink Costs, and Do More with Less. To catch up on Part 2 of the blog series, click here.



About W Energy Software
Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, W Energy Software offers the oil & gas industry’s only unified ERP solution built for the cloud that is relied on by more than 100 upstream and midstream companies to accelerate business performance, improve operational efficiency, and drive costs down.  W Energy Software combines precision-built software in one extendable cloud-based workspace with an intimate understanding of the oil & gas business to deliver solutions that offer flexibility, affordability, and continuous upgrades.  Unlike other ERP software that loosely ties together a mix of legacy solutions and fragmented technologies, W Energy Software designed a unified upstream and midstream ERP platform to seamlessly track oil, gas, and NGL from the wellhead through transportation and marketing, eliminating data silos as well as the burden and costs of maintaining multiple systems.  With W Energy Software, oil & gas companies stay lean and agile with the tools they need to adapt to market changes and meet evolving customer needs head-on, all while gaining the confidence that their business is running on the latest technology.  To learn more visit:



Chevy Thomason, Founding Partner, Novus ConsultingChevy Thomason, Chevy Thomason has over 17 years of experience in data & information management, spending 15 years with Chesapeake Energy, building and expanding enterprise data management disciplines.  During his time, he held various positions from Director – Well & Facility Information Management to Advisor – Enterprise Data Strategy where he was responsible for developing and expanding a data management footprint allowing data to be turned into valuable and trusted information.


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Hayes Luger

Vice President of Professional Services

Hayes has over 17 years of experience in the Energy and Financial Services space driving high growth organizations while focusing on operational improvements and delivery excellence. She earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Mississippi.

Specialties: Management / Technology Consulting, Strategy, Disciplined Sales Execution, Account / Customer Success Management, Relationship Management, Delivery Methodologies & Best Practices, Estimating Models & Frameworks, SaaS & On-Premise Software Implementation, Program / Project Management, Team Building & Leadership, and P&L Management.


Chief of Staff

Jonathan joined W Energy Software in 2022, bringing more than 10 years of experience in corporate finance and financial services. Prior to joining W, he served on the FP&A team at Magellan Midstream Partners, where he focused on business optimization and cost containment. As Chief of Staff, Jonathan’s current responsibilities include strategic planning, project management, and decision support within W’s executive team. He graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Northeastern State University, earning a B.B.A. in Finance. Furthermore, he holds an MBA from Louisiana State University Shreveport and a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Rachel Collins

Chief Executive Officer

Rachel Collins joins WES with over 25 years of organizational transformation experience. Prior to WES, Rachel was the General Manager of Insite360, the software and analytics division of Gilbarco Veeder-Root (a NYSE:VNT operating company). Prior to Insite360, Rachel served as General Manager and SVP at Aurea Software (ESW Capital/Trilogy), where she directly managed several acquisitions including ista NA, Lyris, MessageOne, AlertFind, Artemis, Jive software operations, and Jive’s FedRAMP program. Rachel is responsible for over a billion annual recurring revenue since 2013. She also founded a boutique consulting firm focused on java development and middleware integration serving the energy, financial services, and healthcare sectors.

Rachel graduated with Cum Laude honors from LSU, with a B.S. in Information Systems and Decision Sciences. In 2019, Rachel graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Colorado State University Global, with a Master’s Degree in Finance.


Chief Financial Officer

Michael earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky and holds an MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. He began his career at LaSalle Bank in Chicago, later transitioning to an asset management firm, leading efforts to optimize internal processes and manage data flow across the organization. Michael has over 20 years of experience in FP&A, accounting, information systems management and capital markets.

Andy James

Chief Product Officer

Andy has 30 years of oil and gas experience which have been focused on technology leadership roles. He has extensive experience in commercial software delivery, product management, and product life cycle. Mr. James joined W Energy Software in January 2023, prior to which he served 10 years at IHS Markit where he led the global software development organization for the upstream oil and gas business. Key contributions include leading the geoscience software organization, migration of key platform technologies to the cloud, and Agile development transformation. Mr. James also spent 20 years in global roles in London, Holland, and Houston with Halliburton, including stints with KBR, Halliburton Integrated Solutions, and finally Landmark Graphics.

Vipul Bansal

Chief Technology Officer

Vipul Bansal brings in 20+ years of technology experience helping organizations build scalable solutions. In his role as VP of Engineering, Vipul leads the platform engineering teams delivering robust ERP solutions and plays a critical role in helping W Energy remain at the forefront of innovation. Prior to joining W Energy, Vipul was Head of Engineering for Seven Lakes Technologies building truly cloud-native SaaS solution for oilfield production, field operations and production accounting. Vipul received his Master’s from Wayne State University and holds a Bachelor’s in engineering from Sardar Patel University.

Whitney Braden

Chief Human Resources Officer

Whitney joined W Energy Software in 2013 and currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources. She is passionate about building strategies and initiatives focused on solving business and people challenges. Whitney earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rogers State University and a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from Oklahoma State University.

David Craig

Senior Vice President of Client Experience

David has over 20 years of experience in Upstream Oil & Gas spanning the IT strategy, design and implementation disciplines as well as extensive experience in data warehousing, business analytics, revenue accounting, production accounting and land applications. He earned a BA in Business Administration and Management and his MBA from Baylor University.

Frank Fuda

Vice President of Sales

Frank joined the W Energy team in 2020 and currently serves as Associate Vice President of Sales. He has 14 years of experience in various sales roles and enjoys helping clients across the oil and gas industry achieve strategic transformation. Frank earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baylor University.

Aubree Witt

Business Operations Coordinator

Aubree joined W Energy Software in 2018 and currently serves as the Executive Administrator for the Leadership Team. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelors in Sociology and comes with 10 years of administrative experience.

Stacey McCroskey

Head of Product Strategy

Stacey McCroskey, Ph.D., PMP joins WES with over 25 years’ experience in both corporate and educational settings. She has focused on software products and services in the oil & gas, construction, and financial services industries. She is a management professional with global experience in strategic planning, product leadership, project and change management, product development, and employee development.  Stacey has also worked as a college professor and Dean teaching management, leadership, organizational behavior, and project management courses.

Stacey earned her undergraduate degree and Master of Science in Accounting Degrees from Oklahoma State University. She also has a Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management from Capella University. She has her Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification from the Project Management Institute.

Sean Giese

Board Member

Sean joined True Wind in 2018 and is a Director of Envoy Global, Sysnet Global Solutions, and W Energy Software. Prior to joining True Wind, Sean spent over a decade at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) where he led and managed growth equity investments and buyouts within technology. Sean was involved with various investments across the technology sector including Actifio, Cradlepoint, Datto, ExtraHop, Fuze, GoDaddy, Twilio, XRS and several others. Prior to joining TCV, Sean was with Deutsche Bank in the Technology Mergers & Acquisitions group.

Sean holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles.

Mike Crest

Board Member

Mike brings more than 25 years of IT industry experience where he was most recently CEO and President at Optanix, a software and solution provider for large enterprise collaboration and communications technology, where he led the team through a successful sale of the company in 2021.

Prior to joining Optanix, Mike served as CEO of Arcserve, a provider of data backup and recovery solutions, where he led the team that took the company independent. Before that, he held several executive level roles at CA Technologies, one of the largest independent software corporations in the world, and spent eight years in technology sales leadership roles at one of the largest resellers in the world.

Mike holds B.S. degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science and Communications from Minnesota State University.


Board Member

Sam joined True Wind in 2021. Prior to joining True Wind, Sam was co-CFO of Active Interest Media. Prior to his role at Active Interest Media, Sam worked at Wind Point Partners, a private equity firm, and in the Financial Sponsors Group at Citigroup.

Sam holds a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

Mike Anello

Board Member

Mike Anello is dedicated to helping growth-oriented businesses maximize their operations by applying his extensive sales and marketing expertise to portfolio companies.

Prior to founding M33, Mike was a member of the ops team at Valor Equity Partners, where he focused on implementing sales and marketing best practices across the firm’s portfolio. Before this, Mike led business development for Axium Software (acquired by Deltek), where he led acquisitions and helped double the size of Axium’s sales and marketing engine in less than two years. Mike has worked with several companies to optimize and streamline their sales and marketing efforts, including Illumio Software, Tesla Motors, Manduka, Porch, and Project44. He was also a cofounder of Cleverlayover. Mike, Gabe and Brian first worked together at General Catalyst. There Mike built the sourcing team and focused on software and healthcare opportunities.

Mike graduated from the University of Notre Dame summa cum laude. He walked on to the Notre Dame Football Team, eventually earning a scholarship and two-time Academic All-American Honors. Mike received his MBA from Harvard Business School. While there, he partnered with Shikhar Ghosh and Mark Roberge to build a playbook around best practices for scaling sales teams from $10 million to $100 million in revenue.

Mike’s passion for giving back led to the launch of Boston’s inaugural St. Baldrick’s Event, a pediatric oncology research foundation. Since then he has led more than 10 events in four cities.

Peter Waldroop

Board Member

Pete Waldroop has served as executive, CEO, and Board member for numerous organizations over his 26 year career in IT and software.  Mr. Waldroop has founded such successful organizations as Waterfield Energy, Capitalize Consulting, and Quorum Business Solutions. Mr. Waldroop’s commitment to client service now extends to cyber security though Asgard Cyber Security.

Rachel Collins

Board Member

Rachel Collins joins WES with over 25 years of organizational transformation experience. Prior to WES, Rachel was the General Manager of Insite360, the software and analytics division of Gilbarco Veeder-Root (a NYSE:VNT operating company). Prior to Insite360, Rachel served as General Manager and SVP at Aurea Software (ESW Capital/Trilogy), where she directly managed several acquisitions including ista NA, Lyris, MessageOne, AlertFind, Artemis, Jive software operations, and Jive’s FedRAMP program. Rachel is responsible for over a billion annual recurring revenue since 2013. She also founded a boutique consulting firm focused on java development and middleware integration serving the energy, financial services, and healthcare sectors.

Rachel graduated with Cum Laude honors from LSU, with a B.S. in Information Systems and Decision Sciences. In 2019, Rachel graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Colorado State University Global, with a Master’s Degree in Finance.


Chief Operating Officer

Sally has spent 20+ years in IT, Commercial Software and Consulting focused on Operations and Customer Success.  Sally most recently was the VP of Customer Success at Gilbarco Veeder-Root (a NYSE:VNT operating company), a retail petroleum equipment manufacturer and technology platform with a customer base of more than $450mm in annual revenues in their Retail Solutions organization. Sally joined W Energy Software in April of 2023 and will leverage her extensive experience in managing large Services & Customer Success organizations to drive efficiencies through automation and build cross functional synergies to support our growth and scale.   


Head of Product Management

Hari is a highly experienced professional who over 18 years has consistently demonstrated a passion for leveraging technology to achieve exceptional business outcomes in the Energy industry. Prior to W Energy Software, Hari as the Director of product management was pivotal in shaping the JOYN product line and ensuring its alignment with overall business strategy making Seven Lakes Technologies a market leader in oilfield operations and data capture. As an offshore oilfield engineer in the North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, Hari brings a unique perspective to the Energy software industry. 

Hari graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management with an MBA. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Materials & Metallurgical engineering from the world-renowned Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.

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