Oil and gas producers are under intensifying pressure to drive performance and production to new heights while reducing operating costs and focusing on capital discipline. W Energy Software’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mark Hill, recently sat down with OILMAN Magazine for an exclusive interview featured in their March 2021 digital publication. Titled ‘Interview: Mark Hill, Chief Revenue Officer, W Energy Software‘, Hill discusses how an operator’s choice of software plays a central role in bolstering business performance with a leaner team and why W Energy Software has seen double-digit growth.
Emmanuel Sullivan: Can you provide an overview of your journey through the energy business and what led you to your executive role at W Energy Software?
Mark Hill: The energy business is something I’ve been proud to be a part of my entire career starting in the early ‘90s. My first job in Houston was putting together gas transit solutions for a number of energy companies, including Shell and Tenneco, then I moved on to energy trading. My perspective has been shaped by spending time on both the vendor and the corporate side of the business. My journey in the energy business spans technology leadership, sales management and senior leadership roles at Dynegy, Divine, Calpine, Allegro Development and P2 Energy Solutions. I’ve spent the better part of my career using technology to improve the business operations of progressive energy companies.
The oil and gas software market has historically been dominated by players whose business models rely on cobbling together multiple vintages of technology rather than innovating and aligning offerings with what energy professionals are hungry for. You shouldn’t have to pay for expensive upgrades on twenty-year-old software or pay extra to get the personal support users need to operate it, which is what drew me to W Energy Software. Its vision for a unified ERP software suite that empowers all aspects of the energy value chain with one cohesive platform that runs in the Cloud is what the industry has needed, and I am thrilled to be part of the next stage of growth bringing next-generation capabilities to an industry I am passionate about.
ES: Please define what ERP is and the benefits for energy firms?
MH: In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the oil and gas business was in transition. At that time, larger operators ran their business on a multitude of point solutions. In other words, a different piece of software for managing the 30 or so unique business processes involved in finding, extracting and accounting for hydrocarbons. The point solutions were either software products or homegrown custom solutions. The problem is that this scattered ecosystem of software wasn’t connected, impeded data transparency and locked up decision-making. Because of this, the majors looked for ways to bring business processes together in one solution so departments could inform executive decisions with operational data.
Many operators turned to enterprise resource planning software, or ERP, bringing scattered business processes and data under one umbrella to better manage supply chains, payroll and other core business functions. As onshore oil and gas grew in complexity, ERP and the practice of managing the energy enterprise in one software package, spread as operators reached for a tool capable of managing construction, asset development and operations across new basins. But ERP software has its roots in manufacturing and commercial spaces, which means that the small handful of “big box” ERPs that oil and gas companies relied on were more suited for managing complex manufacturing and consumer products supply chains versus leases and barrels. What was missing until now is an oil and gas specific ERP, which is where W Energy Software comes into the ERP story. We are the only software provider with a complete solution purpose built on the Cloud covering all the aspects, including upstream accounting, land management and production operations.
ES: W Energy Software describes itself as the only oil and gas ERP. Can you elaborate and explain what sets you apart from other energy software providers?
MH: W Energy Software is the only ERP provider with a comprehensive solution that addresses the full energy value chain, meaning any aspect in which value can be extracted or cost optimized. The way our cloud-based platform evolved made this possible because we started with the end in mind and knew we wanted to build on a single platform. Today, W Energy Software has one solution that encompasses everything involved in managing a commodity and tracking the physical and accounting movement of every molecule from the wellhead to the final point of dispersal and back to an operator’s balance sheet.
I would argue that even the big box ERP providers can’t offer a complete oil and gas solution. There’s simply nothing in the box when it comes to the most important aspects of the business, like managing land, leases and the physical locations where commodities reside. The downside to the big box providers is that operators still need half a dozen solutions to fill the gaps, adding cost, complexity and frustration from having to hold everything together with duct tape and bailing wire.
Of course, there are many oil and gas software providers with broad capabilities in accounting, land or production management. Still, these are point solutions, most of which are built with different technologies at different times by different developers. It’s a nightmare to integrate such systems. There simply are no other oil and gas ERPs out there.
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. For more information, please visit www.wenergysoftware.com.