Aker Oilfield Services

Document Control with Alfresco: Fast Implementation and tailored solutions

Aker Oilfield Services, a subsidiary of Aker solutions, was established in 2006 to meet the growing demand for value-added services for offshore fields worldwide. The company offers services ranging from underwater installations and commissioning to advanced intervention operations in wells as deep as 3,000 meters.

The challenge

Delivering specialized services to offshore oilfields involves a huge amount of paperwork and documentation ranging from common office formats to CAD drawings. Aker Oilfield Services realized it required an ECM solution to manage its documents, provide better controls and establish best practices for document lifecycle management.

Since a long implementation process would result in a backlog of documents, a solution was needed that could be quickly implemented and customized to support the specific requirements of this highly regulated industry. In addition to automating the company’s document management processes, the new system had to provide stronger document tracking between the company, suppliers and partners.

Better than SharePoint

Aker Oilfield Services used a subcontractor to research the market and make recommendations on appropriate solutions. Alfresco was recommended over other products because it is based on open source and open standard and would be easier to customize. The other solutions on the market are still mostly database oriented. While this is not a problem if most of the users are on the same network, Aker Oilfield Services are working extensively with subcontractors as well as vessels operating worldwide. This required a net based solution where documents could be reached as easily inside as outside the firewall. Aker selected an approved Alfresco Partner to implement the solution. Two months after the project began, users were able to start managing their content in Alfresco.

Control of process

Aker Oilfield Services works with a large number of subcontractors who require access to specific documentation in order to manage projects successfully. The subcontractors not only need access to final documentation but are involved in the early stages of developing materials. For example, staff, subcontractors and suppliers need access to review and comment on engineering documents including CAD drawings. Previously, the sharing of documents was recorded and managed manually by the ‘owner’. As a result there was no way to confirm that recipients received documents and were using the correct document version.

Today, this process is completely automated using Alfresco’s built-in workflow and can be accessed outside the company’s firewall with Alfresco’s Internet-based client. Alfresco’s document control functionality provides complete control over when a version of a document is sent, and to whom. Document owners are now certain that everyone is using the latest version of their documents.