REVIEWER: Brendan Austin, manager, business analysis, U.S. Oil and Gas Division, Occidental Petroleum Corporation.BACKGROUND: Occidental Petroleum Corpor-ation is a world leader in oil and natural gas exploration and production, and a major North American chemical manufacturer. A division of Occidental Petroleum, Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation has core operations in the United States, Middle East and Latin America, with approximately 1,100 employees in the group. In the U.S., Occidental is the largest oil producer in Texas and the largest natural gas producer in California, and also has production in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico.

PLATFORMS: Microsoft 2000 - virtual server running VMware.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Some of our financial team members had previous experience with Applix TM1 and recommended it to help manage and consolidate our new acquisitions. As we began working with TM1, we realized its potential to help solve any number of problems - both known and unknown. These included: taking a complex IT system and processes and rolling up the information into one system (TM1) for greater transparency and understanding of financial and operational data; simplifying the budgeting and reporting process across approximately 12,000 cost centers; enabling five levels of roll-up reporting (company totals, regional management teams, teams, subteams and individual cases); assistance and back-up for Sarbanes-Oxley audits; managing and monitoring daily reports for subsidiary-owned oil wells, including trend analysis on production; scrutinizing on a 15-minute basis daily cash wires to both intracompany and external suppliers and customers; serving as our capital information management system, tracking and managing authorizations for expenditures (AFEs) and analyzing budgets, actuals and incurred spending; and tracking parking expenditures and vehicle pool mileage and usage.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: TM1 gives us the capabilities to load and analyze data on a real-time basis. Additionally, because TM1 lets us load data from multiple sources, not only are we able to consolidate information into one "home," but we were also able to use TM1 so that three separate Oracle systems that previously couldn't communicate with each other could do so.

STRENGTHS: Real-time response; Excel interface for easy deployment and widespread usage; ability to quickly assemble the TM1 cubes for multiple applications and uses - without requiring help from IT - giving us a strong return on investment and continuing usage growth; and exporting and importing data from any number of commercial and in-house developed systems and applications.

WEAKNESSES: The Web reporting still needs some development.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Our primary selection criterion was that the technology could easily and effectively perform consolidations and consolidated reporting. We needed a system that could be used by our 75-person group within the finance department. The solution would also need to facilitate the planning, budgeting and forecasting for the division, as well as enable a number of diverse, unique applications and analyses to support operations and business strategy. TM1 fit our needs.

DELIVERABLES: Deliverables include: daily internal reporting on everything from comparisons of budgets to actuals to per-barrel employee costs based on current production; reconciliations back to the original data sources; backup data for Sarbanes-Oxley audits; daily reports and trend analysis on oil production; monthly reports on the capital information management system; and tracking and analysis of company vehicle usage by employee and cost center. We estimate TM1 has helped us to save more than $135,000 annually by reducing man-hours spent on numerous tasks.

VENDOR SUPPORT: When we selected TM1, we worked with Applix partner Revelwood to develop the TM1 cubes and set up the Turbo Integrator data extraction processes. Revelwood was extremely helpful in getting us up and running. As we've maintained and grown our applications, we have turned to Applix directly for support - which has worked very well for us.

DOCUMENTATION: The TM1 documentation is very easy to follow and to the point. The information is organized in a logical order.

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