Mar 13, 2020

C3.ai and Shell: modernising oil and gas

Technology
Oil & Gas
William Girling
3 min
Oil industry giant Royal Dutch Shell has had a fruitful relationship with C3.ai since the two companies formed a partnership in 2018
Oil industry giant Royal Dutch Shell has had a fruitful relationship with

Oil industry giant Royal Dutch Shell has had a fruitful relationship with C3.ai since the two companies formed a partnership in 2018.

When Shell was looking for a tech partner to help it navigate through its tech transformation, it decided that deploying C3’s suite of AI services aimed at streamlining the oil and gas industry through increased safety, security, integrity and sustainability was the best choice. 

Leveraging Microsoft Azure as the method for utilising C3’s AI applications, Shell has been able to analyse high-risk assets and predict faults far in advance of a problem occurring, maintain optimised IoT sensors and conduct production-loss research with ease.

Helping to serve customers better

Highly satisfied with the results of using C3.ai, Jay Crotts, Shell Group Chief Information Officer (CIO), said that the partnership was unlocking the company’s potential

“With the C3 Platform‚ we’re looking forward to significantly enhancing the productivity and scope of our advanced analytics capabilities to create greater economic value across Shell’s operations.

“C3.ai allows us to optimize our existing investments in data and cloud infrastructure while accelerating time to value of AI-based applications‚ so Shell can better serve our customers with even more agility and efficiency.”

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Shell currently manages 280 AI projects at various stages of development, including locating drilling sites, maintaining the status of equipment and helping to steer the drilling process. 

“We’re using machines to do a lot of the [manual] work accurately that would take humans a very long time,” commented Dan Jeavons, General Manager of Data Science at Shell.

The labour-reducing capacity of AI and machine learning systems can be significant - in some cases as much as 80%, hastening the response-time to evets from months to weeks. 

Shell says that it will continue to expand its usage of AI, meaning its relationship with C3.ai will likely develop as the company augments its existing tech with new industry innovations, such as 5G which is predicted to vastly enhance AI and machine learning.

Confirming C3.ai as a ‘partner’ in the true sense of the word, Thomas M. Siebel, CEO, stated that more than simply providing Shell with software, the company was committed to joining it on a journey aimed at improving the energy sector for customers. 

“Shell’s selection of the C3 Platform on Microsoft Azure reflects the growing macro-market momentum towards platform adoption for accelerated digital transformation.

“We are excited to partner closely with Azure to support Shell’s digital transformation journey and are jointly committed to Shell’s success in applying AI and machine learning across its global business.”

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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