How Enterprise Social Media Can Prevent Disasters

Imagine how different our world would be if man-made oil spills could be prevented entirely?  If all oil companies used enterprise social media, this would be a more likely possibility.

Apache Corporation spends $2.8 billion annually to drill wells.  With about 4,000 employees who have the knowledge needed to prevent trouble costs, they use TIBCO’s enterprise social media offering to share information needed on a real-time basis.  Their business model is one of rapid acquisition of fiercely independent sites with their own techniques for drilling – their own tools and processes.  Now, these diverse, once-competitors who kept best practices to themselves can share key learning and avoid redundant mistakes in global operations.

If all oil companies had an enterprise social media implementation like at Apache, there would be more community-driven oversight.  The dialogue among employees at sites who know drilling is going badly could ask for advice and critique from key knowledge workers across the globe to identify what is going wrong.  The instant feedback loop created by private social networking between experts would rapidly feed the cycle of communication.  Rather than ignoring the warning signs and continuing drilling obliviously, there would be many more internal checks and balances and helpful advice through open, real-time communication on the situation.

Apache uses enterprise networking not just to avert disaster, but to increase efficiency and encourage innovation.  Enterprise social provides a central place for workers across the world to share knowledge around key business processes and technical practices at each drill site.  By making enterprise social media the backbone of their communication, Apache was able to facilitate community, not software. With a simple and easy to grasp user interface, Apache Corp. employees have enthusiastically adopted use of our enterprise social platform.  Apache now has the power of real time in the palm of its hands to avoid disasters and mitigate expensive mistakes.

“Why don’t we bring in other independents, other oil companies?  This [can] become a centralized cloud service that everyone leverages and everyone can utilize,” says Andrew Barendrecht, Knowledge Advisor for Apache Corp.  If Andrew’s Utopian vision ever became a reality across the entire drilling industry, oil disasters would be less likely to happen.  Although somewhat inconceivable to think of competitors working together, if collaboration could prevent these incredibly expensive public relations nightmares, the whole industry would be better off both financially and with the public.

Read more on how Apache uses TIBCO’s enterprise social media.