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Lines of Contact – Tackling the Three Biggest Challenges to Global Communication in the Oil & Gas Industry

Lines of Contact – Tackling the Three Biggest Challenges to Global Communication in the Oil & Gas Industry

When disaster strikes, communication is paramount. Employees, management, and shareholders must be connected with one another in real-time, and emergency responders need to know right away that something's gone wrong. That task can be difficult enough for individual facilities – never mind large enterprises.

Many modern oil and gas companies operate in multiple countries. Royal Dutch Shell, for example, works out of more than 70, while Chevron is in more than 30. Each country has its own unique laws, language, and technology. This poses several distinct challenges where crisis communication is concerned:

Language Barriers

Language barriers can be just as much of a threat to communication during a disaster as a poorly-designed or poorly-integrated solution. For this reason, a crisis communication tool in a global industrial enterprise needs to be able to automatically broadcast in multiple languages. The alternatives – relying on a patchwork of solutions or having to swap constantly between language settings – are neither acceptable nor viable in an emergency situation.

Infrastructure Complexity and Cost

Building a modern refinery is incredibly pricey, as the $8.5 billion price tag on this Alberta, Canada refinery can attest. With such heavy sunk costs, it's no wonder so many Canadian oil firms continue to produce and sell at a loss – especially given that even 1.6 hours of downtime per week can, over the course of a year, amount to over $46 million just in salary pay. In the face of such a challenging climate, anything you can do to reduce operating expenses is essential.
Reducing infrastructural complexity accomplishes this, in addition to reducing overall operating costs. In a corporation with tens or hundreds of different facilities, even a small change can have a huge impact. Along that same vein, even a small bottleneck, if present in multiple facilities, may end up costing more than you can afford. That includes a jerry-rigged approach to crisis communications.
You need to be able to serve all your communication needs from one platform.

Regional Differences in Technology

Operating in different countries and regions also means different facilities will likely end up working with different toolsets when they communicate with external organizations. Devices such as handheld radios, for example, run on a different frequency in the United States than they do in Korea or the UK. And certain smartphones, radio types, or network hardware might be more prevalent – and more widely-supported – in one region than in another.
The ability to quickly and effectively integrate your crisis communications platform into these diverse environments is therefore essential. The last thing you want is for your team to be struggling with incompatible tools when they're trying to reach emergency responders.

The Solution

In order to ensure seamless, global business reliance and safety, your oil & gas firm needs a crisis communications tool that integrates multiple languages and unifies diverse technology, including existing mass notification systems investments like giant voice and two-way radios.
It is also much more than just a warning system. It provides real-time messaging for everyone within an organization during both crisis situations and regular operations, and it makes it easy to reach out to anyone who needs to be contacted in an emergency. More importantly, it is architected as a worldwide platform, and already protects oil & gas employees across the globe.

In addition to having a relatively low total cost of ownership, AtHoc can save money in a variety of ways, such as potentially lowering insurance costs, limiting the scope of damage in an emergency, and reducing operational downtime. An investment in AtHoc delivers savings far beyond the initial price, especially for a global organization.
Learn more about what AtHoc can do for your business here.

Efraim Petel - Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at AtHoc
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