Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.


Small Steps of New IoT Ideas for Fortune 100 Company

Everything we do and everything we say is based on a mindset we have. Intact, recently an article claimed that when you see an object, most of the times you are viewing the latest memory of the object you have than the object itself! So when an industry is more than a decade old, one can only imagine the challenges one will encounter while attempting to bring in new, revolutionary ideas to evolve the world of ICT! Concept and skills required, this article covers it both, take a look.
Samsurin Welch has a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also TOGAF 9 Certified. In person, he is very approachable and well composed despite the challenges on his shoulders as the Head of Digital Innovation, Strategy & Architecture for Petronas ICT (formerly iPerintis Sdn. Bhd.).

Presenting on the Title “Driving National Growth with IoT to transform ICT Landscape” at the recent BigIT 2015 Kuala Lumpur, he describes that pinching of revolutionary ideas for IoT related and other technology that would bring growth to the Oil and Gas industry both Upstream and Downstream is not what you expect from Fortune 100 IT company like Petronas ICT. However, changing the mind-sets of decades old industry proves to be an uphill task but it is a familiar challenge that he has to face over and over again. He understands that to take on the bigger task one has to break it down to smaller and tackle it at bite size levels.
 New IoT Ideas
I was also sharing with him and recalled back my early developer contractor days with Petronas ICT as pioneers of the .NET development team in the turn of the millennia where we implemented early intranet and internet web based application to automate work flows for Petronas. It was also where higher success projects were implemented based on simpler web technologies but buy-ins from various profit and cost centers still requires success stories because no one wants to be the “guinea pig” for new ideas. It was only after a few successful projects that the team embarked on larger and complex projects.

That project was for Petronas Dagangan Sdn. Bhd. where the oil tankers are scheduled to refill the petrol station throughout nation needed accurate data to be collected at specific cut off time within only half hour each day. Communicating via fax forms was daunting with unclear writing or inaccurate entry from many stations while more and more stations were being established rapidly. A web based system was implemented where the station masters are required to key in only 3 figures for each type of petrol, the level of the storage tanks which are then fed to the supply chain system so that the route stops for the tankers can be determined. I am unsure what stage of IoT automation is at now but I guess an IoT solution where safety compliant sensors can be incorporated to measure the storage tank levels instead of the basic conventional long ruler used just like the level monitoring sensors that are already being used in industrial production storage tanks.
Such mind-sets that challenges every level of the industry from Upstream to Downstream needs to be envisioned, proposed and planned out for automation growth to exist. This is especially the case when the environment is to be developed into more innovative and mature EcoSystem for the IoT and also Big Data adoption and implementation within the extensive organisation within the hierarchy of the company operations and also with the partners of Petronas Conglomerate like Shell, Exxon, Murphy Oil and etc. This includes new local partners like Sapura Kencana where profitability and cost are crucial in these competitive periods of low crude oil prices. In fact, it is these periods that IoT adoption might prove the viable action to be more competitive and agile when compared with global players which Samsurin finds every in-road opportunity to change the mind-sets so as not to allow Petronas as the National Oil Company and local players to be left behind.

"What is your strategy?" I asked the Head of Digital Innovation, Strategy & Architecture for Petronas ICT, during my interview with him. He took a deep breath and said “Patience”. I guess that is one very precious lesson I learn today no matter how large your corporation or influence is, taking small steps with lots of GREAT patience is the way forward.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 16th October 2015.
IJ Pascal Lum
IJ Pascal Lum is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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