AWE Limited is an ASX-listed oil and gas exploration and production company. With interests in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the US, this is a truly global organisation. Further, it’s a company that is in a growth industry and sees the opportunity to extend its reach in the future, with the company actively reviewing additional growth opportunities across the world.
The company has reached a stage in its growth and maturity as a business where it has complex technology requirements across a range of key concerns. These include:
- Finding opportunities for competitive advantage
- An IT roadmap, scalable for future growth
- Increased scrutiny over its security and compliance initiatives.
With technology now underpinning AWE’s expansion drive, it was time for the company to modernise its systems and adapt to the changing needs of their business.
AWE’s rapid growth had left it in a position where its previous managed services provider was simply unable to offer the depth of service that the company required.
When a resources company is doing exploratory drilling anywhere in the world, for instance, any downtime translates directly into a significant loss of income, and as it was looking further afield to do more drilling, AWE found itself in need of finding a new IT provider that could offer 24/7 support.
“Being able to call up and have patching done at 3 or 4 in the morning, or having a technical issue immediately resolved, highlighted to us the benefits of working with a company like Brennan IT,” Todd Ryman, AWE’s IT Manager said.
Beyond the need for all-day support, the growth of AWE raised secondary challenges for the company. Security and compliance are ongoing concerns for any ASX-listed company, who were still operating off standard file servers, which meant limited file sharing capabilities and rising concerns of corporate data access. They required a secure content management system and collaboration portal that allowed for easy and customisable access to corporate data. A Microsoft SharePoint solution was recommended by Brennan IT, giving AWE a portal to access information with the added ability to customise security permissions for documents, folders or workspaces. AWE leveraged Brennan IT’s expertise in SharePoint, which led to a smooth and secure transition over to the new platform.
Beyond this, AWE was looking to invest in technology in order to improve the efficiency and competitive advantage of its systems. “Our previous provider was a much smaller company. When we went to the higher level things, such as trying to virtualise backups and storage, they didn’t have the experience that we needed to move us to the next level of our own business,” he said.
It was decided that AWE would look for a single partner that could provide a host of Managed IT Services, and following a competitive tender, the transition from the previous provider to Brennan IT took place. Ryman said that in addition to its expertise and ability to offer 24/7 support levels, Brennan IT was selected because the company’s own scale and market position aligned with AWE’s.
“It was compelling to us that Brennan IT was so clearly focused on that midmarket area. It meant that we had the peace of mind to know that we wouldn’t be treated like a number,” he said.
Following the transition, which was completed on time and on budget, Brennan IT was then able to start proactively recommending additional measures to help improve AWE’s technology infrastructure. “Brennan IT has recommended we implement quite a few positive changes on the security side of things, such as moving towards the Cisco Meraki devices for our Wi-Fi solution, and to make improvements around our patching levels. We also just recently went live with our SharePoint program with Brennan IT,” he added.
The technology curve that AWE has been on in the past few years has greatly helped in preparing it for significant growth into the future. Ryman joined the company four years ago, and was initially presented with an organisation in which everything was stored on physical servers, and security was a genuine concern. In the years since, AWE has virtualised its environment and is now prepared for large scans, data links, backups and redundancy.
The measures that AWE has taken has also helped the company meet its compliance and regulatory requirements, Ryman added. “We get an independent audit by EY every year and we did see a vast improvement in our security maturity, and a lot of that is down to working with Brennan IT and improving our policies, applications and the equipment that we use it from.”