7 Reasons to Replace Your Legacy Plant Accounting Software: Benefits of a Unified Platform Built on the Cloud

Part 3 – Benefits of a Unified Platform Built on the Cloud

In the age of working from home, streaming services, and social media, we run our digital lives on the cloud.  Just ten years ago, cloud computing was new and something companies were debating whether to embrace. Today, leveraging the benefits of the cloud is commonplace so it’s shocking to see applications still running on servers in the office, admins whose only job is to maintain databases, and software that can’t be accessed on your device of choice.  Unfortunately, legacy plant accounting users are experiencing those same pains. This gap doesn’t just effect plant accounting software but legacy solutions throughout the oil and gas industry. Being unable to leverage software in the cloud creates dozens of point solutions that don’t play well together while creating enormous costs for companies and making energy professionals work harder.

7 Reasons to Replace Your Legacy Plant Accounting Software is a series of blog posts aimed at helping energy professionals understand the limitations and risks of legacy solutions.  It began with the backstory on why midstream is ready for change and so far we’ve covered enhancing data transparency and accessibility and improving user experience.  Future topics will look at making upgrades easy, replacing spreadsheet-based workarounds with a complete solution, ensuring compliance, and accelerating processing speed.  In this post, we are delving into the many benefits of a unified software platform built on the cloud.

The Problem with Multiple Software Solutions

Oil and gas companies often rely on different software systems to run their business, several of which are built on twenty to thirty-year-old technology, predating the inception of the web, cloud computing and the shale revolution.  A midstream company will often have one software package for plant accounting and other separate systems for division order and disbursement, contract management, gathering, and financial accounting, just to name a few. In nearly every situation, these pieces of software were built with different technologies at different times by different development teams with different ways of coding.  Each of those differences translates to poor or nonexistent integration between disparate software systems, restricted flow of business data, and inability to answer questions through reporting solutions. If you use these kinds of systems, you know just how much effort it takes to get your job done since many midstream workflows require multiple types of software. You spend time shuffling data between systems, working with drastically different user interfaces, and generally trying to avoid a plethora of technical pitfalls with manual workarounds.  I mean, why would someone need to create the same data object in three different modules or software solutions?

In attempting to modernize, legacy solution providers have had to either extend their products with outdated code or bolt on newer pieces of functionality.  Most software vendors try to buy their way out of the problem by acquiring other software companies. As a result, their fundamental business model prioritizes acquisition over innovation, creating a sprawl of loosely coupled ERP tools and data silos.  Ultimately, users of legacy software suffer from inability to support the business, technical issues between software systems, and more time spent in monthly processes. Without a roadmap, such solutions merely compile new features incrementally which creates gaps, slows performance, and renders a poor user experience.

Full disclosure – W Energy Software’s CEO and founder, Pete Waldroop, was a software developer 30 years ago for one of the biggest legacy plant accounting solutions still used in our industry.  Since then, the needs of energy professionals have evolved along with the cloud and modern development practices. Pete had a rare chance to start from scratch and reinvent plant accounting and other modules our industry needs for core business operations.  Imagine how great you’d be if you could take years of experience and lessons learned in a software/industry and get to redesign it again with those pitfalls in mind. Like Pete, you’d fix the pains of legacy software, including a lack of integration, ancient screens, and a lack of support.

W Energy Software started with a roadmap for building a unified oil & gas ERP platform on the cloud.  By pulling core ERP workflows together in one place, applications share a common and consistent dataset, eliminating the problems posed by data silos.  This means that applications are inherently integrated with each other and share a common user interface. For plant accounting and ancillary modules, this means that you can access everything you need in one system without logging in to different applications and shuffling data between division order/contract management systems.  For gathering customers, W Energy Software’s unified approach means that they can securely manage nominations and track inventory from any computer. It’s all seamless and fully integrated. For companies looking to dramatically reduce software, administration, and hardware costs while accelerating business performance, W Energy Software is the clear choice.

Ready to learn more? Let’s talk.

This is part 3 of a 7-part series. Read part 4 here.

Blake Fraley, Director of Midstream Implementation Earning a B.S. in Management of Information Systems from Oklahoma State University, Blake started his career with Deloitte Consulting where he worked as a software developer using SAP, report developer, and PMO support. Joining our team in 2012, Blake was the first implementation consultant and helped start the Midstream team. He loves helping clients make a complicated industry easier using the W Energy Software suite of products. Blake enjoys traveling with his family and almost has as much energy as his two young daughters.

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