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Jennifer Hartsock

Q&A with Jennifer Hartsock, VP and CIO of Baker Hughes, a GE Company

September 27, 2017
On third of July, GE and Baker Hughes announced the completion of the ambitious merger of GE Oil and Gas with Baker Hughes, to form Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE). Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Jennifer Hartsock, explains what this means for customers, and how this new framework offers the opportunity to deliver unrivalled capabilities across the full spectrum of the industry.
Q: What does the merger of GE Oil and Gas and Baker Hughes mean for these two organisations?

Ultimately, we believe the merger of these two companies creates a differentiated product for our customers, one we refer to as full stream.

We’re prepared to support upstream and downstream, with both products and services. So, it truly is an incredibly strong partnership and merger, where we look at how to leverage both the GE Store, as well as traditional products, services, and technology expertise of both organisations to create a stronger position.

Q: What can customers expect?

It marries together the product technology advances that we in GE Oil and Gas have historically known with the excellence in oilfield services of Baker Hughes. If you look at those elements coming together to produce this fullstream offering, underpinned by digital capabilities, which we believe is different to what our competitors can do.

Q: How do the capabilities of these two companies complement each other?

We talk about the partnership between technology, product and services, along with the digital component. With global presence, we are able to have proximity with our customers everywhere in the world we do business. We have 120 countries covered, 70,000 employees around the world, that specialise and are passionate about serving the oil and gas industry. We think that allows the synergy of passion around the services element, technology, leadership, in creating the one-stop-shop for our customers to partner with.

Q: How important will data analytics be to the future of BHGE?

Automation is fundamentally changing the way work gets done. We believe analytics helps to contribute to that, even when we don’t have the perfect utopia for analysis. Now we look at the Baker organisation, including them in the processes and how we manage competencies for field engineers, managing staff and deployment of those experts. Data can drive a significant amount of internal productivity which will ultimately benefit customers.

We also know those same productivity goals are similar to challenges facing our peers in customer organisations. We can use that experience to explain where we think analytics can help transform their organisations.

Q: What impact will data analytics have on the industry as a whole?

Oil and Gas is a data rich, technology rich industry. What we haven’t done well is transform that data into consumable things we can drive action on. Operators know how to monetise the data they have. They know what downtime costs. But there’s so much data it can be overwhelming. That’s where Predix comes in.

Most analytics platforms are consumer based and don’t deal with the quantity and complexity of data in industry. So, you really do need an industrial based solution to drive those values. Predix is the underpinning for our productivity solutions, whether that’s optimising the up-time of machines on the manufacturing floor or how to create and render analytics to be consumable for a business partner on their iPhone or iPad. Our manufacturing shop floor is much like a refinery for one of our customers. It’s the same basic use case, but driving it inside instead of outside.

Predix and analytics can really help drive and improve safety, which is an incredibly critical element of our industry. It will also help create better quality, better up time, and ultimately better cost. Since 2014 the market has been facing difficult conditions. We know in order to produce profitably and continue to explore for more oil and gas to support future energy demands, ultimately you have to look at new ways of working. Predix allows us to continue to explore and produce at a lower price of oil.

Q: Will the KL iCentre for Oil and Gas monitoring have a role in this future?

Do we believe providing customers remote monitoring and diagnostics will continue to be important? Absolutely. Whether customers choose to do their own remote monitoring and diagnostics using tools and analytics we provide, or use that service from us, we believe those differentiated offerings will help the management of digital industry in oil and gas more effectively.

The same is true in pipe inspection. You get all this data; how do you adequately analyse it to really hone in on those areas that specifically need attention? That’s where getting smarter about analytics can drive faster, more effective actions for customers.

The iCentre does the same thing. How do you take all these machine alerts and discover which are interesting to look at? A.I and analytics can help us get much more accurate, so the information operators see are those they need to action.

Q: What’s the ultimate ambition for BHGE?

To invent smarter ways to bring energy to the world.

It’s incredibly important to realise that the hydrocarbon journey is part of our lives for the foreseeable future. How do we create smarter ways that are safer, more productive, less impactful to the environment, and do that from the fullstream aspect, all the way upstream, midstream and downstream. That’s what we think BHGE offers.