As CTO, one of my main responsibilities is ensuring that our organization’s technical infrastructure supports our business objectives: enhanced innovation, faster time to market, greater cost efficiency, improved productivity and more. Enabling these opportunities is key to the success of our business – but it also directly impacts our customers’ success. A perfect case in point: our composable services architecture.
A composable services architecture, also called simply a composable architecture or distributed architecture, is the framework we use to build and power our SaaS products. I like a recent definition of this framework in Forbes: “A design pattern that emphasizes the ability to assemble a system from loosely coupled components… a way to divide the architecture of a system into smaller, simpler components that can be easily combined and reused.” It’s one of the many benefits of being a cloud-native company and a critical reason that SaaS is the future of the energy industry.
How does our composable services architecture directly benefit our customers? Let’s take a closer look.
Benefit #1: We pass our cost savings on to our customers
At W Energy, this modular system comprises a number of discrete services connected by APIs and orchestrated to support our very specific use case: delivering an exceptional ERP solution to our oil and gas customers. The foundational layer relies on proven, best-in-class AWS offerings like Lambda, S3, CloudFront, and Cognito. It allows us to automatically scale up and down for greater flexibility, agility, and cost effectiveness – something not possible in a traditional on-prem environment. This scalability reduces our costs, which we pass along to our customers as cost savings for them. There is a very good reason SaaS offerings are typically less expensive than traditional server-based solutions: it costs us less time and money to develop them.
Benefit #2: Faster time to market means more innovation, more quickly
Speaking of time, using a composable services architecture dramatically accelerates our time to market. It lets us develop and deploy individual components without disrupting the overarching architecture, so we can quickly and continuously roll out new capabilities. This translates to more innovation and the latest functionality for our customers. Our framework’s agility enables us to be more responsive to our customers as well. A customer recently asked for well head balancing capabilities in our ERP solution. Thanks to our composable architecture, that feature is being actively developed right now.
Benefit #3: Our AWS foundation delivers best-in-class security and reliability
A composable architecture also virtually guarantees zero downtime for our customers. With AWS’s 99.999999999% reliability, we can all rest assured that our systems will be available when we need them. Even more importantly, it offers the best possible security. No single organization today, including ours and our customers, can match AWS in threat detection and prevention – and never has that security been more important.
Benefit #4: Industry-specific solutions integrate across on-premises and cloud environments
The advantages of a composable services architecture don’t only stem from our AWS backbone. On top of that, we have built proprietary components and connectors specific to our energy customers. We create these components to deliver leading-edge ERP capabilities that we orchestrate together into a powerful, industry-specific solution.
I say “leading-edge” and not “bleeding-edge” very deliberately. As a nimble, cloud-first team, we use the same tools and processes internally that we provide to our client-facing services. It’s never our first rodeo: by the time we deploy a solution externally, we’ve thoroughly tested and proven it ourselves and are simply scaling it to our customers’ ERP specific use case.
This rigorous development and testing of our built-from-scratch components benefits customers in numerous ways as well. We standardize our use of APIs across our internal and external offerings so that we have a deep understanding of how they operate. If there’s an issue, for us or our customers, we can fix it fast. These APIs also ensure that our platform is fully integratable. Every component seamlessly speaks to every other component – including on-prem systems of record. We understand that energy organizations can be big ships that take time to turn, and we’ve built our platform to turn with you.
Benefit #5: Customers are always in complete control of their data
Finally, our composable services architecture ensures that our customers always remain in full control of their data. We are just the data custodians; it always belongs to their business. APIs not only extract data from customer systems, both on prem and in the cloud, they send it back. This enables our customers to gain real value from a unified data set, as it is passed downstream to be visualized and synthesized into impactful analytics. And of course, with our best-in-class components, that data is always fully encrypted, secured, and in compliance with government, industry, and internal regulations and guidelines.
A back-end architecture built just for the energy industry
Many oil and gas companies rely on a federation of point products and processes that may or may not “talk” to each other. This causes tremendous inefficiencies and lack of productivity. Data is captured in silos and spreadsheets, unable to be mined or acted on without significant manual intervention.
Not with SaaS. Our orchestration of services approach connects all your systems, from the back office to field ops, into an integrated, enterprise-grade platform. Further, it not only talks amongst itself, it integrates with your existing on-prem infrastructure. That means you don’t lose any of your current data or functionality – you just get a whole lot more.
Powerful visibility and analysis
A unified digital data set opens up countless possibilities for visualization and analysis. Because SaaS solutions play well with others via APIs, it’s easy to connect to your analytics platform of choice, like Tableau, PowerBI, or Amazon QuickSight. A stable data layer also lets you copy data back into your systems without having to create an integration layer.
Many organizations worry about monitoring when they move from the data center to the cloud. No need. Our SaaS offering includes a powerful monitoring layer so that you can always view your specific instance and have full visibility into uptime and more.
A SaaS solution that unifies back office and ERP software with field operations technology delivers all these benefits and more. For oil and gas companies, digital transformation powered by the cloud is the foundation of innovation, competitive advantage, and a business built for tomorrow.
Vipul Bansal | Former CTO, W Energy Software
Vipul 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.