Jennifer Pallanich, senior technology editor, Hart Energy: Hi, I am Jennifer Pallanich and in this Hart Energy exclusive at CERAWeek by S&P Global, I'm with Rob McGreevy. He is the chief product officer of AVEVA, and he wants to tell us all about what's going on with immersive technology and why it matters.

Rob McGreevy, AVEVA: That's right. That's right. Well, thanks, first of all for having me here. It's great to catch up with you and hope you're enjoying the event. Yeah, boy, the world's been abuzz with a lot of talk about immersive technologies and in the industrial settings, we think in particular for upstream oil and gas, there's a lot of really useful applications of it. And what I would suggest is, if we think about it in terms of two pieces that we see, one is the fully immersive training. This is think putting on the headset, almost like maybe what kids will play with for gaming environments, if you like. And what we see for that is a huge market for operator training. So putting customers of ours into a fully immersive operating environment where they can train people on industrial activities, whether that's safety related activities, how to respond in an emergency situation, whether it's a fire or a very serious situation.

We see immersive technologies being perfect for that because they can run full high fidelity simulation models against real equipment, real scenarios. And then gamify, if you like, how the operators in the workforce of the future sort of behave in those environments. There's a huge value in that. It reduces the time and cost complexity in terms of getting people up to speed. It gives them a lot of on the job training in a sense, but in a safe virtual environment. So that's one hemisphere I would say, of this whole technology around the immersive piece, and that's typically referred to as virtual reality and then become perhaps more fashionable, and I would argue a bit more perhaps practical in the mass market is the augmented reality that's the case where you don't necessarily have a full headset where you're fully immersive, but it'd be like us sitting here, but perhaps objects, physical objects around us would be animated with digital technologies like maybe the wattage off that light or things like that.

And in an upstream oil and gas environment, it would be essentially the ability for you to identify equipment and actually see flow rates, see vibration analysis, see temperature profiles without having to do anything sort of being sort of overlaid. And that can be through headsets in a sense, but not the fully immersive ones, but also through handheld devices, tablets, phones, where you can essentially hold your phone up to something, it can self-identify what that object is, and then show you what's going on. So those are two pieces of technology. Ultimately, the value in that is training the next generation workforce to enable them at a faster rate by using these two different technologies in two different ways.

JP: What is AVEVA's contribution in the world of immersive tech?

RM: No, that's great. Thanks for asking. So AVEVA's been around, oh, more than 50 years now in, and I would say the industrial manufacturing and critical infrastructure markets. And we do design engineering software. We do production operation software, essentially all the elements that you need to define the digital backbone of the digital twin for all things that sort of transcend the value chain of the lifecycle of industrial automation and operations. And so what we do is we create software that helps you design, build, operate and optimize that entire lifecycle. And we do that in primarily the energy markets, power, utilities, oil and gas, and then of course many others. So that's a little bit about us. We're the software tech behind not only the immersive technologies but a lot of the design engineering tools that you'll see for power plants, refineries, pipelines, FPSOs food, [beverage] facilities, pharmaceutical companies, a lot of the software that's used to make and manufacture that comes from AVEVA.

JP: Okay. And so what is this next generation of the cloud? Where are we going with the cloud?

RM: Yeah, the cloud. Well, it's obviously been a profound impact on just about every market that's out there and it's here to stay clearly. Industrial manufacturing has been quite interesting. What we see is a very symbiotic relationship between the on-prem onsite edge systems, if you like, and the cloud almost fusing those systems together in more of a hybrid deployment. And what that allows us to do is essentially manage and maintain the software solutions that sort of sit at the edge on-prem that do things like critical control, safety related systems, but also take the advantage of high scalability performance that the cloud offers for running things like high performance analytics scenarios for optimizing value chains, looking at prescriptive analytics cases. So the cloud itself becomes sort of an extension of manufacturing industrial environments and enables new use cases that frankly weren't feasible beforehand. We look at it as kind of an extension or an evolution, if you like, of the very operating systems that sit within manufacturing.

JP: Okay. You mentioned the words industrial intelligence. Talk to me about industrial intelligence as a service.

RM: Sure. So industrial intelligence as a service for us is really the amalgamation of all the process production design information that makes up this digital twin. The application of the models that is, the behavioral side of making manufacturing, moving, oil and gas, handling things like custody transfer and then of course visualizing that all in sort of one integrated environment. And because of the nature of the markets we serve and the world around us, these things have become quite complicated, necessitating bringing all those things together. So for us, industrial intelligence as a service really is this tool or the means through which you can optimize all elements of that value chain in sort of one place.

JP: Sounds really helpful.

RM: We think so.

JP: All right, well thank you so much for explaining these things to us and that is our Hart Energy exclusive.