Recently at Pipeline Week Oil and Gas Space got the chance to catch up with the new president of Novara GeoSolutions, Neal O’Driscoll, to discuss his new job, the new products they have to offer, and the direction of the company and their focus on the IT pipeline space.
Novara GeoSolutions, a division under the Engineering firm CHA, has been using Esri products and has been an Esri business partner for 20+ years. Novara GeoSolutions prides itself in creating tools and workflow driven processes to get data into GIS systems. They accomplish this through a variety of different implementations from stand-alone systems to Esri, AutoCAD and MicroStation plug-ins. Their offerings include tools such as Alignment Sheet Generators, PODS specific business logic data loading to manage linear referencing and data integrity, and give the client the ability to do WIP, also known as “work in progress” transactions to handle the lifecycle of management for a pipeline system. Novara also offers pipeline design solutions, being under the umbrella of CHA they have access to a whole utilities division that works on the newest regulations as they come out. This provides a very engineering and survey centric approach to their services.
For many years the O&G industry has been playing a game of catch up to get the data into the system because of regulatory changes and the transformation and accessibility of new technology. As standards, protocols, and best practices are starting to be reconciled into standardized workflows there is a consensus that integration of Vendor provided solutions becomes a priority. Why do you ask, because now these systems are going into “fix” mode. The data is there but how do you use it? The answer is integration and interoperability. Novara GeoSolutions claims to have several solutions for the Oil and Gas Pipeline Management industry through its product, Intrepid, which can communicate across all these platforms.
Neal has been the Interim president since January of 2016 but recently took over officially in the 3rd quarter of this year. His background is founded in Civil Engineering, graduating from Worcester Polytecnic Institute and started working in the Utilities and Roadways design industry. According to him, he made the switch to GIS 18 years ago when he joined Novara solutions as a Project Engineer and worked his way up, and hasn’t looked back. He plans to diversify Novara options moving forward by expanding and creating solutions for new vertical markets while achieving Novara’s main goal of “managing assets back into the GIS.”
One thing is clear, integration and interoperability are guiding industry standards now and having a system in place that can handle the multiple aspects of using the data that has been collecting for years is becoming a more prevalent issue than before and having an integrated system of platform and vendor provided tools is becoming more the norm. This I believe is a good thing as users and managers will become open to new forms of solutions previously considered “out of the box”, which will revolutionize GIS and bring it to the next level we are all waiting for.