Your company is four years old now and you have achieved a lot in that short span. Tell me, what are your top three achievements?
The energy industry has been down for several years and we needed to diversify our holdings So, in the past few years we have entered into four major verticals:
- Oil and Gas
- Light rail
- Power and renewables
We did this from an economic standpoint to get a blended revenue base and open our product to a wider market. Essentially, we have moved from oil and gas optimization to create a platform that is a network optimization tool for anything from a network aspect to cover things such as electrons in a wire, to oil in a pipeline to trucks on the road. Furthermore, we went from standalone software to a cloud-based SaaS subscription-based product.
Our top three achievements over the past few years are:
- Moving from consulting to software development company and offering SaaS.
- Launching a technology collaboration with GE which fills a gap in their services and provides us with access to their global clients.
- Getting our first major subscription deal at end of 2017.
Many companies out there say they do predictive analytic. What separates you from the rest? Why do you rise to the top?
We provide an early window in the predictive analytics at a low-cost entry point. We offer high speed and the ability to integrate multiple outputs into the software. Essentially, we can plug in the operating assets’ data stream into our software. We have the burden of proof model: The physical, financial, and business are intertwined together from which, we can create a risk-sensitive profile on the whole of a company.
The GEs of the world are really focused on the data coming off one piece of equipment in terms of maintenance predictability, however, the analytics are above the business component of the asset and what we are focusing on is the business planning of the asset. We are using business knowledge in the model. The software is essentially a business planning tool; finance as opposed to engineering. We can combine business with engineering into one operational platform. Furthermore, we can plug in other analytics models into this system. Can look at the entire model or business from the wellhead all the way to putting gas in the end-user’s car.
Who is typically using the software?
It is a mix of people. Usually there is an analytics team using the software. Anyone who is making daily, weekly, monthly, and annual decisions based on the output information is who is going to be looking at this. It is really focusing on the operations side of things. The C-suite team would obviously look at the report but it would be the analyst using the software to run simulations and calculations. If you don’t have an analyst, we can provide you with one. The software can run tens of thousands of iterations to get the optimal result.
You launched your cloud-based pipeline scheduling software, SimOpti. How has it been received?
It is just now getting an uptick in traffic. There have been some adoption barriers because the pipeline scheduling industry is complex. So far, we have three majors that are looking at the software today. We are working three opportunities to bring the software to a place where it can be beta tested in the market. We got a lot of traction on it over the past year.
How easy is it to integrate the simulations information from SimOpti into pipeline scheduling systems?
The reality is that the integration component is not hard, it is getting the stakeholder to buy in. We don’t want to build a scheduling program, the market is flooded already with those. SimOpti sits on top of the pipeline scheduling software and analyzes everything else in the company of what to optimize. For example, you could have your pipeline optimization down to a science but be losing out on your logistics. This platform is very powerful. The main challenge is that we need to educate the stakeholder. We want them to understand that this is not another scheduling tool, but rather a way to optimize their scheduling tool and go above and beyond the pipelines to the entire company.
Can you tell us about your best customer success story?
It would have to be that we made the first commercial deal for the SaaS. We spent 11 months working with the customer and got them through the technological barrier. They went from being skeptical to joining to being onboard. Having the ability to bring them across the table and being able to educate them so that they understand the power of this tool was really a milestone for the company.
What is next for Stream Systems?
As our technology matures, we want to continue to build the business. Our technology is unique, having won the Alberta ASTech award for innovation and being recognized as one of the top tech startups in Canada. In 2017, we opened an office in Montreal to access the local AI talent and as a base to serve our eastern clients. We expect the Montreal office will grow significantly and possibly become a springboard into other markets. Of course, we will continue to do research to further advance our technology.
What do you think about blockchain technology? Would you consider using it in your business? If yes, how would you implement it?
We are currently not at the stage to implement it. We would consider adding it into the financial aspects of what the model is doing. There is opportunity and synergy to using [the blockchain model] for business planning purposes and would be implanted in the underlying financial transactions.
Oil and gas companies are regularly faced with many industry-specific issues to overcome. Such issues, including exploration and drilling, are often complex and intricate processes with many unique challenges to overcome. Data analytics can play a massive part in streamlining some of the most fundamental operations that are involved in the oil and gas industry.