Over the past decade, uncertainty has been constant in Canada’s oil and gas industry, brought on in part by unknown investment outlooks, lack of market access, and a complex regulatory process. According to PwC Canada’s 2019 Energy Visions report, there are two main factors that could catalyze change for the oil and gas industry: a national energy strategy as well as further technological innovation.
The first step in creating a national energy strategy is to restart the energy conversation with a focus on the future. The federal government, in collaboration with provincial governments and energy companies, need a national policy with a clear vision that supports industry objectives as well as environmental imperatives. Having a policy of this nature will facilitate infrastructure to move Canadian oil and gas exports to non-US markets, as well as encourage further investment in sustainable energy sources.
With a policy focused on supporting the energy industry, Canada could capitalize on its competitive advantage: its vast resource base. Currently, the United States is Canada’s biggest competitor, as explosive US supply growth has shifted the global energy landscape. The Canadian industry can no longer expect US markets to absorb all of its increased production. Exporting Canadian oil and gas to expanding Asian economies becomes more urgent every year. In addition to supply, environmental policies in many of these new markets are also propelling demand for lower-carbon energy sources like LNG.
“Canada’s energy sector has faced evolving issues in the past decade, but it has always responded with effort, innovation and resilience,” says Reynold Tetzlaff, National Energy Leader, PwC Canada. “Today, the expanding number of challenges has created an overall lack of clarity and pathways for future progression. Complexity is now the norm in a capital intensive industry, used to making long term decisions, but now faced with many shorter term challenges.”
A silver lining to this decade of disruption is that it’s driving oil and gas companies to innovate. No longer are oil and gas companies just considered an energy business, they’re now in the manufacturing business. Margins and return on capital have become important metrics of success, and technology is seen as an opportunity to speed up resource recovery and lower unit costs as production has increased.
“At PwC we believe companies have an opportunity to turn disruption into opportunity and technology is a major part of the equation. Today, technologies centred around data are having a profound impact. The industry produces a lot of data and advanced analytics like machine learning and artificial intelligence give new ways of interpreting the data and creating previously unknown insights,” added Tetzlaff.
Past technology investments are paying off as operating costs have been reduced by nearly half since 2014. Also, greenhouse-gas-emission intensity has fallen by 25% in the past decade, bringing oil-sands barrels in line with US production. What’s more, the industry continues to invest in technology that keeps production competitive. However, there is a growing innovation gap. Canadian companies are investing money in the early stages of technology development (testing and validating the technology) only to have other countries commercialize it.
SOURCE PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
Volvo Group Capital Markets Day – “Perform and Transform”
At the Capital Markets Day today, Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President and CEO, and Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO, presented a partnership to jointly develop the decision-making system of autonomous commercial vehicles and machines. The Capital Markets Day focused on the Group’s strategy and improved financial performance on the theme “Perform and Transform”.
Utilizing NVIDIA’s end-to-end artificial intelligence platform for training, simulation and in-vehicle computing, the resulting system is designed to safely handle fully autonomous driving on public roads and highways.
The Volvo Group has improved its financial performance in recent years. Martin Lundstedt pointed to a stronger service business as one contributor to the improvement. Driving the development of services is a key area for the Volvo Group, since it strengthens the relationship with customers and helps build a company that is more resilient to changes in market demand. Another cornerstone of the improvement is the well-invested industrial backbone with increased operational efficiency and flexibility.
Jan Ytterberg, Volvo Group CFO, covered the importance of securing the financial performance to be able to provide good returns for shareholders as well as invest in the transformative technologies shaping the future of transport. The commercial vehicle industry is in transition in a time with growing transport needs and increasing infrastructure investments. This provides great opportunities for the Volvo Group in developing more sustainable transport solutions.
Lars Stenqvist, Volvo Group Chief Technology Officer, laid out the Group’s innovation road map within areas such as electrification, automation and connected solutions using a modular concept based on the Groups’ CAST system (Common Architecture and Shared Technologies).
Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo Construction Equipment, gave an update on Volvo CE’s strategy and the potential to grow further in the excavator market and within services.
Furthermore, Martin Lundstedt outlined how the Volvo Group is building new businesses through the new technologies exemplified by Volvo Buses’ ElectriCity with Keolis, Volvo Trucks’ automated solution for Brönnöy Kalk, the Vera autonomous transport system’s first assignment with DFDS and Volvo Construction Equipment’s Electric Site concept with Skanska.
SOURCE AB Volvo
RBC and Microsoft Launch New Program to Accelerate the Digital Transformation of Canadian Businesses
To help Canadian businesses unlock greater business value and capitalize on advancements in smart technologies and cloud solutions, RBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of RBC’s Go Digital program. The program is designed to remove key barriers which businesses have cited as preventing or delaying their digital transformation. Go Digital offers a suite of turnkey technology solutions leveraging the power and security of the Microsoft cloud and skilled Partner Network, as well as innovation financing and tailored advice from RBC to help businesses embark on their digital transformation journey with greater ease and confidence. The program is currently available to Canadian food manufacturers and will continue to expand to other industries over time.
A recent IDC report found that while Canadian executives acknowledge the importance of embracing new technologies to digitally transform their business, the majority have yet to take action. A similar report found that 29 per cent of Canadian organizations are lagging in digital transformation and have not yet started their digital modernization. The most common barriers identified by Canadian companies include the challenge of finding the right solution, sourcing the right provider and securing capital.
“Technology is disrupting customer expectations and traditional business models everywhere, and businesses need to adapt to these historic changes to differentiate and lead in the market,” said Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “RBC is committed to creating more value for clients and helping them along this journey. That’s why we’re coming together with industry-leading partners like Microsoft to deliver tailored solutions that will help accelerate and simplify their digital transformation.”
RBC & Microsoft design tailored solutions to fuel business growth
The manufacturing sector in Canada accounts for approximately $174bn in GDP, more than 10% of the total GDP of the entire country.1 The adoption of advanced smart factory technologies can help fuel the next wave of business growth by way of significant cost savings, increased productivity and enhanced quality which ultimately results in delivering greater value to customers and employees.
Despite these benefits, mid-market Canadian manufacturing firms are falling behind when it comes to the digital transformation of their business, making Canada one of the worst performers in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development (OECD)2. Fifty-five per cent of manufacturers do not use advanced technologies and one-fifth have no plans to invest in them in the next three years, naming cost and uncertainty as deterrents for digital transformation3.
1 https://canadianvisa.org/life-in-canada/key-industries/manufacturing, Canadian Visa Org, 2019
2 Industrie 2030: Accelerating Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, 2017
3 2018 Management Issues Survey, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, 2018
Given this significant opportunity, RBC’s Go Digital program is now available to Canadian food manufacturers as part of its initial launch with plans to extend the program’s reach to additional industries.
“This strategic partnership with RBC demonstrates our strong commitment to helping companies across Canada have greater access to digital technologies,” said Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada. “By leveraging the breadth of Microsoft’s trusted cloud platform, tapping into the skilled expertise of our Partner Network and maximizing RBC’s sector-specific business and financial expertise, we believe this program will give organizations in Canada the confidence to truly embrace the next wave of computing, and expand that reach to more businesses across North America in the longer term.”
Optimizing food manufacturing operations powered by Microsoft
RBC and Microsoft co-designed a curated suite of technology and innovation financing solutions tailored to food manufacturers. Leveraging a group of industry-leading partners from Microsoft’s Partner Network, RBC’s Go Digitalprogram offers access to digital solutions that are powered by artificial intelligence, cloud business applications, data analytics, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT). These solutions include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental monitoring (i.e. temperature, humidity, air quality) leveraging the scale and intelligence of Microsoft’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled sensor technology to reduce waste, drive efficiency and realize cost savings;
- Food transparency and traceability leveraging blockchain technology to meet regulatory requirements and standards, from farm to table;
- Production variability monitoring using Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Azure IoT capabilities to reduce equipment downtime, increase output forecasting accuracy and improve quality control; and
- Cloud-Based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) leveraging Dynamics 365 to address food safety and compliance, quality and production, recipe development and management, and food recall traceability.
SOURCE Royal Bank of Canada
Resulticks Welcomes Sophie Pibouin as Executive VP of Sales of the Americas
Real-time omnichannel marketing solutions provider Resulticks has announced the expansion of the company’s leadership team with the hire of Sophie Pibouin as Head of Sales, U.S. Resulticks’ AI-powered platform provides users with segmented data and consumer behavior analytics, allowing marketers to create highly targeted and individualized campaigns across telecom, healthcare, banking, hospitality and other diverse industries.
Sophie Pibouin brings a global perspective, deep understanding of the market and unparallel expertise in propelling business growth. With two decades of executive experience including roles at IBM, SDL, Chronicle Solutions and CA Inc., she has led the strategic evolution and exceptional expansion of Fortune 500 and VC-backed high-tech companies, achieving record increases in sales and uplifts in competitiveness.
“The addition of Sophie to our executive team comes as we see strong opportunities across the region, which will play a significant role in Resulticks’ forward growth strategy,” said CEO and co-founder Redickaa Subrammanian. “Bringing deep marketing and global technology experience that complements our existing capabilities, she is well-positioned to be an integral asset to our U.S.-based clientele.”
In her new role, Sophie will lead efforts to expand Resulticks’ U.S. footprint and identify new opportunities for accelerated growth.
“I am delighted to be joining a rapidly growing organization that is delivering a holistic solution to its users,” said Sophie Pibouin, Resulticks Executive VP of Sales of the Americas. “Resulticks’ all-in-one cloud-based platform helps marketers understand and reach their audiences in a truly integrated way, and I am eager to bring that value to even more U.S.-based brands.”
Prior to joining Resulticks, Sophie was the Worldwide Sales Leader at IBM Watson. A graduate of the University of Flaubert in France, she is based in New York City.
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