Engineering information management is AVEVA's specialty.
You probably have never heard the term Digital Asset, but AVEVA wants to change that.
“Engineering information is at the heart of any plant across its entire asset lifecycle from concept to detail design, procurement, fabrication, construction, commissioning, and within operations,” said Amish Sabharwal, Executive Vice President of AVEVA Americas.
“AVEVA’s mission is to help our customers treat this engineering information with just as much importance to their business as gauging how effective their plants are with tools like SAP.”
Just as SAP is synonymous with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), AVEVA wants you to think Digital Asset every time the company’s name comes up in conversation.
“One core philosophy of AVEVA is that for every physical asset customers design and construct, there has to be a digital equivalent based on the Asset’s engineering information, intrinsically linked with the physical reality, recalling its history, and predicting its future.
“With the inexorable rise of Internet of Things and big data, the ability to derive insights and solve problems from your facilities’ information depends on your ability to quickly put information into context: this is what a Digital Asset makes possible for our customers.”
On the 50th anniversary of this British multinational information technology company’s founding, let’s look at the history of AVEVA, and just how it can become the SAP of the engineering information world.
AVEVA was founded as a project developed within Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, and remained a private entity until 1996 when it was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Operations came to North America in 1985.
At the time, AVEVA helped empower engineers and scientists from the largest chemical company in the United States with 3D technology to build some of the world’s greatest specialty materials.
Fast forward to today, and the company continues to transform its customers’ businesses—like its partnership with Southern Company—to help them realize their vision of a digital fleet.
But North America wasn’t the only region in its sights, and AVEVA continued to expand across the world to serve the plant, processing, power, and marine markets globally. Today the organization has offices in over 30 countries, offering local support wherever its customers operate.
Until 2014, over 50 percent of AVEVA’s global business was in the oil and gas market. However, when oil prices started to decline, the team had to find another stream of revenue.
“I sat down with my sales team and used a famous quote by one of my mentors growing up as a kid playing hockey, the ‘Great One’ Wayne Gretzky,” said Sabharwal. “Gretzky said that ‘a good hockey player plays where the puck is, but a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.’
“At the time my mostly U.S.-based sales people looked at me and said, who is Wayne Gretzky?” he joked.
“But this became a metaphor for our organization in the Americas and we refocused our attention on industries that were downstream of the gas—petrochemicals and power. Today these two industries represent about 60 percent of our business in the US: oil and gas is now 25 percent and marine 15 percent.”
A shift of markets isn’t the only thing that is keeping AVEVA on its path to success. Sabharwal and the rest of the executive team has turned its attention to coaching its employees in customer-centricity.
In recent months, AVEVA has coached more than 200 of its global sales and technical employees on a customer-centric sales strategy.
“Gone are the days that purely ‘agreeable’ relationships are the only way your customer buys from you. Building relationships gives you the opportunity to have more in-depth conversations, which I believe is the way forward,” he said.
“We are in the business of transforming our customers’ businesses and our customer-facing people have learned to become trusted advisors, people that our customers value and confide in, developing new ideas on how to run their businesses.
“In addition to this, we have also aligned our entire services and business services organization to consider the customer first at every stage. Our sales, technical, services, and commercial teams offer joined-up support to our customers, pulling from their broad knowledge of AVEVA products and solutions.”
Understanding its customers, the complexities of their businesses, and the markets they participate in are internal ways AVEVA puts its customers first. But the company also shows its appreciation on a more outward level.
Each year, AVEVA hosts a flagship customer event. This year, it’s returning to its roots.
“For the first time, we’re bringing it back to Cambridge in the UK where it all began,” Sabharwal said. “We have 50 successful years under our belt. We’re expanding our thought processes and how we can help. We want to be the king of the engineering information world.”
Don’t be surprised when you start hearing more about the Digital Asset, or when the name AVEVA follows shortly after.
AVEVA’s world-leading technology was originally developed out of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom in 1967. We provide mission-critical solutions to some of the world’s biggest engineering contractors (EPCs) and owner operators. AVEVA has successfully established a truly global infrastructure—an international business with over 1,700 employees—and supports some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
AVEVA’s customers are owners, operators, and engineering contractors associated with complex processing assets who operate in the power, oil and gas, marine, paper and pulp, and many other process-related industries.
Most large-scale engineering projects are unique and of such a scale that they cannot be prototyped, but employ a concurrent design-and-build approach, often involving many partners across the globe working together on a single project. AVEVA has unparalleled experience and understanding of providing software and services to this complex market.
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