In the year 1996 the software product which was originally referred to as "Livelink." was branded "Open Text's flagship product." Initially, Livelink was one of the earliest Web-based collaboration and the document management system. At the time, "Livelink Server" was used in the description of the Livelink executable file. For the period between (2003-2005) Livelink went through an evolution that transformed it from being the name of a single product to the super-brand which applied to the names of all the OpenText software products. As a result of this change, Livelink Server became known as the Livelink Enterprise Server (LES) and then the Livelink Enterprise Content Management - Enterprise Server (Savvas, 2010)
Shell International Exploration & Production, Inc. obtains a knowledge-sharing tool, Livelink, which is used internally and globally by Shell staff only. This tool is available on several networks, and is setup for almost all Business Units, as the top folder structure level, and then broken down within Projects that contain numerous levels of subfolders. All of these levels acquire certain permission settings, of which requires personal management by an appointed Coordinator(s).
Shell Company has been finding and producing oil and gas for over a century. Its Upstream International business searches for and recovers oil and the natural gas across the world, except in the American territory. This spans from the exploration activities to the commercial delivery of some of the major upstream projects and to Production. Many of the activities that are carried out as the joint ventures in partnerships, often with the national oil companies in different regions. The company is also involved in the business of liquefaction of gas and is very active in gas to liquids technology. Today, the company has interests in the upstream activities in more than 39 countries and employs a population of nearly 17, 000 people.
The company creates a technically challenging work environment which is characterized by the continuing need for extensive research and the pursuit for the new technological advancements, and the adoption of new ways of working. The company is in need of specialists who can thrive in a culture which encourages and rewards the innovation, collaboration and the ability to learn from the success as well as the failures.
Shell Company is known for the tradition of tackling the challenges, with a very long history of successful partnerships and a string of patents which proves it. The company Forecasts shows that over the coming decades, the development, integration and the deployment of the new ventures and the technologies will continue. At the Upstream the company offers the professionals, both with the technical and the commercial backgrounds, the most challenging and rewarding work environment is where the company is made part of meeting the demands of the energy challenges.
Shell is committed to satisfying the world's need for energy with the economical, social and environmentally responsible solutions. This company seeks a high standard of performance, and understanding of how the great ideas can change the whole world. If you want to work with a group of creative, ambitious and innovative professionals then you should consider Shell (Guyon, 1997). The company provides its specialists with the resources to put their ideas into action, the worldwide opportunities to advance their careers, and the outstanding benefits. It also rewards in order to support their quality of life. The adoption the modern technologies such as theManagement structure
The shell management structure can be described in terms of four organizational Elements
The Business Organizations
The Corporate Center
The Operating Units
The operating companies
The Committee of Managing Directors.
The company has four Business Organizations: the E&P ("upstream"), oil products, chemicals and gas/coal.
The Business Organizations are headed by
Business Committees made up of a number of Business Directors appointed by the Committee of Managing Directors (CMD).
These Business Directors includes:
The Business Directors with responsibility for particular business segments such as the members of the E&P Business Committee.
A Business Director for the Research and the Technical Services.
A Business Director for the Strategy and the Business Services.
Business Committees are accountable to CMD for the following:
The strategy of their business area.
Endorsement of the capital expenditures and the financial plans of the operating companies and the business segments in their business area
The appraisal of the operating company and the business segment performance.
The availability of the technical and functional services to the operating companies in their business sectors (Essentialaction, 1995).
The corporate center
This offers the support to the CMD in its role in:
Setting of the direction and the strategy of the Group.
Growing and the shaping of the Group's portfolio of all the investments and resources.
Enhancement of the performance of the Group assets.
They act as the custodians of the Group's reputation, policies, and the processes.
They provide the internal and the external communication.
The shell's Corporate Center comprises of six directorates:
The Planning, Environment and External Affairs.
The Corporate Advice
The Groups Treasurer
The Groups Controller
The Human Resources
The Corporate Center also include the Head of the Group Taxation, Chief Information Officer, Head to Intellectual Property, Head to the Contracting and the Procurement, Head to Group Security, Head of the Learning, and
Secretary to the CMD
The new units provide the functional support to the operating companies and the service companies in the Group.
The operating companies
The operating companies play their role as the primary business entities within the Shell Company. Each operating company is managed by a Board of the Directors with the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive of the operating company is responsible to the Board and to the Business Director for effective management of the operating company.
The responsibilities of the Chief Executive include:
Setting of the company's strategic aims against the backdrop of the guidelines which have been established by the Business Committees.
The chief executive provides the leadership to instill an entrepreneurial company culture.
Setting up of the internal financial and the operating targets.
The chief executive supervises the management of the business and sets the priorities.
Effectively reports to the company's activities.
Superimposition of Business organizations on the operating companies created a problem for Shell; the Operating Units were created to achieve an alignment between the new Business Organizations and the operational activities of the Group.
In the Group's organizational structure, the Operating Unit is charged with the activities in one of the Group's Businesses that are operated as a single economic entity.
Strategic Planning at Shell
The shell company has a three-way matrix organizational structure, with the geographical dimension being the most important. The fact that the operating companies are the national subsidiaries provides the basis for the geographical emphasis of the operational and the financial decision making. This is reinforced through the strategic planning process, which emphasizes on the planning at the national and the regional levels.
The Shell's planning system originates from its management system. It is one of the most sophisticated and effective to any large multinational. Its main features are as follows:
It has a strong emphasis upon the long-term strategic thinking. The Shell's planning horizon extends 20 years into the future. The basis for these strategic plans is the scenarios as the alternative views of the future thereby allowing the managers to consider the strategic responses to different ways in which the future unfolds (Essentialaction, 1995).
The breadth of the vision, and the emphasis on the generation and the application of the ideas rather than the narrow focus on the financial performance. Consequently, Shell pioneers many new management techniques, including the multiple scenario analysis, the business planning, cognitive mapping, and the application of the organizational learning concepts to the planning processes (Grant, 1995)
Setting the Stage
After the transformation the Open Text began introducing the product bundles which included the Livelink Enterprise Content Management - Enterprise Server. During this time, most of the customers which included large multinational companies such as Shell migrated from the Livelink to the bundles that contained the Enterprise Server with names such as the Livelink for Document Management which was again modified to Livelink Enterprise Content Management- Document Management and Livelink Enterprise Content Management - Content Lifecycle Management which bundled the records management and the archiving capabilities with the document management.
Towards the end of 2008, the OpenText introduced the OpenText Enterprise Content Management Suite its overall name for all the enterprise content management products. It also started the marketing of all the products under the OpenText brand. The technology component which was initially referred to as the Livelink Enterprise Content Management - Enterprise Server became known as the OpenText Content Server.
Technology Concerns, Livelink is the database driven web-based Knowledge Management system from the Canadian company called the Open Text, within the Shell Global networks are organized under the Livelink as follows;
Live Link's Transactional Content Management Connect people, the processes and the content together. Every business of the shell company relies on the transactions that take place between the internal organization and the external partners, such as the customers or the suppliers. The transactions between the companies are initiated by the Paper documents, such as orders or the invoices. Shell Company being one of the world's largest multinational enterprises can receive thousands of documents on a daily basis. If the management these documents are done manually, then it can easily result into the misfiling or even a loss of information as a result of the file misappropriation. The access to the paper-based documents proves to be difficult and sometimes time-consuming and it leads to the impaired productivity. In some fields such as the customer service, the search for the documents can slow down the responsiveness to the customer requests (Guyon, 1997). If multinational Companies such as Shell are mired in the paper-based processes and the information silos, they risk being held back by the unsatisfied customers, high customer turnover and the significant competitive disadvantage.
Therefore the shell company's adoption of the Livelink resultant products such as the Open Text helps to deliver the applications for the transactional content management that are seamlessly integrated into the business applications and bring the company workers, processes and project content together. The Open Text Enterprise Content Management Suite applications for the Transactional Content Management include the following:
Livelink provides Open Text Enterprise Process Services which automates the high-volume, transactional business processes. It is highly flexible and scalable, these Enterprise Process Services provides the event-based processing, integrates with the ERP and the legacy applications such as the graphical process design and the modeling tools.
The Livelink Open Text Shared Document Access for SAP Solutions enables the integration of the SAP applications with the Transactional Content Processing applications which enables the company to manage the content-centric business processes that have constant interaction with the non-SAP applications in addition to the SAP applications. This enables the development of the purpose-built solutions, such as the customer's and the vendor self-service portals which integrates the information managed in the SAP systems without compromising the security of those systems.
Open Text ECM Suite with the Transactional Content Processing (TCP) It speeds up the business processes by capturing the transactional contents and delivers it to the right people in the context of steps which are involved in the process chain. It has the building blocks of capture, process, preserve, access, and the integration. The TCP provides the platform for a range of the solutions which requires the integration of the transactional content with business processes.
Livelink enables Case Management
This improves the dynamic business processes with the adaptive case management approach. Case management is often associated with the government, the social work, healthcare, or the legal system. In the large multinational companies such as the shell company, the case management is finding its broad applicability in business today. The Organizations in every industry applies the principles of the case management to wider ranges of the business processes, the problems, and events such as the claims processing, customer service, employee hiring and on-boarding, the loan applications, in the contract management, the bids and proposals, and the general facility management. The Case management provides a very efficient, repeatable and the flexible structure for the initiation, management, resolution, retention, and archiving of the organizational records. All these are done while ensuring that the corporate governance and the compliance requirements are enforced.
The Open Text case management was built on the Open Text Enterprise management suit solution which includes one or both of the following products:
The Open Text Case Management Framework which allows a person to rapidly create and deploy the business process applications which are built on the dynamic case management foundations, with the configurable templates, which are supported by the ECM repository and the platforms.
The Open Text Case Management Framework for the Microsoft Share Point which provides set of tools to enable the companies to extend the Share Point in the development of Enterprise Content Management based solutions.
It manages the physical and electronic documents in a secure, compliant way within the easy-to-use enterprise content management environment. The open Text document management software product helps in reducing the time that is spent in managing the documents and the projects. It improves the productivity by making the content easier to find. This product also reduces the risks thereby enabling very effective governance of the corporate information; at the same time, it also ensures that the information is accessed through an updated central knowledge base and approved. The Open Text document management solution unites all the company documents and the business processes for greater efficiency and compliance.
Document Management forms part of the Open Text Enterprise Content Management Suite as the Content Lifecycle Management solution. The Open Text Enterprise Content Management Suite and the Content Lifecycle Management provides the fully featured and highly scalable Web-based document management with imaging and records management encompassing an archiving system with a very secure and single platform for the organization and sharing of the electronic and physical content across the enterprise.
The following products are designed to extend the value of the company's investment in Content Lifecycle Management with applications that address specific needs:
Open Text Extended Collaboration enhances the team collaboration capabilities of the Open Text Enterprise Content Management Suite and the Content Lifecycle Management with community workspaces, discussion forums, blogs, FAQs, community calendars, and the real-time collaboration.
The Open Text Extended Workflow extends Open Text features and the Content Lifecycle Management that have the enhanced process management capabilities, which include the electronic signatures, XML enhancements to the standard workflow, the PDF forms support, and a very powerful content reporting tool.
The Open Text Knowledge Management enhances the knowledge sharing and the retrieval capabilities of the Open Text Enterprise Content Management Suite and the Content Lifecycle Management with Web crawling/ the federated searching.
Easily creates the corporate blogs, collaborative workspaces, and the communities of practice which fosters the new ways of working. The Open Text collaboration solutions enhance the team interaction that is associated with the easy-to-use, and quickly adopts the virtual workspaces. The Open Text collaboration products enables the employees of an organization and the business partners to share the knowledge more efficiently, collaborate in the context of the business processes, and forms the teams that rapidly execute on projects. For the Open Text collaboration, the knowledgeable workers can participate in the communities, the blogs, and the discussion forums towards the innovation of the new products and the services. The Collaboration component of the Open Text is delivered through the following;
The Open Text Communities, this is a standalone solution which facilitates the sharing of knowledge and the best practices within the online communities with the common interest and purpose. This provides the community workspaces, forums, the blogs, FAQs, the question and answer desk, community calendars and the personal front page.
The Open Text Extended Collaboration which enhances the team collaboration capabilities of the Open Text, the Content Lifecycle Management with the community workspaces, the discussion forums, blogs, FAQs, the community calendars and the real-time collaboration.
The Open Text Content Server Pulse provides a type of people-centric views into the activities occurring within the Open Text Content Server, this is part of the Open Text Enterprise Content Management and the Content Lifecycle Management. It allows the Content Server users to discover and enhance the collaboration on the new content and shares the status updates, at the same time it leverages the existing access controls, and the audits.
Research, development and the deployment of technology for Shell's global exploration and production businesses is managed by Shell's technology division of Shell International Exploration and Production (SIEP). Two companies, one based in The Netherlands and the other in the United States, work together to provide a wide range of products and services to Shell companies in the sector.ÿ For more than 80 years, Shell's EP business has had central laboratories in each location to ensure that knowledge is gathered and shared among all Shell's Operating Companies. Shell's EP research center, Bellaire Technology Center, is one of the main technology centers for Shell globally, with other EP technology centers in Houston and New Orleans in the U.S. In-house R&D is supported by partnerships with external companies to maintain Shell's leading edge technology for supply to Shell companies as well as the open market.
At Shell our commitment is to satisfy the world's need for energy with economically, socially and environmentally responsible solutions. We seek a high standard of performance, and understand that great ideas can change the world. If you want to work with a group of creative, ambitious and innovative professionals then you should consider Shell. We will provide you with the resources to put your ideas into action, worldwide opportunities to advance your career, and outstanding benefits and rewards that support your quality of life. Join us and let's make a real difference together.
Current challenges/problems facing the organization
Shell faces many challenges including the volatile fuel prices and exchange rates, social and environmental concerns and implementing new technologies.