The PI Gets Bigger!

OSIsoft Celebrates 25 Years, and the One Million Point PI

Gregg LeBlanc and Maureen Coveney, or is that Maureen Coveney and Gregg LeBlanc, co-directors of marketing (so I am told) of OSIsoft, visited CONTROL's offices today with lots to talk about. Celebrating their second +$100 million in sales year, OSIsoft is also celebrating 25 years in business since Pat Kennedy started his little oil patch optimization company. In 2005, OSIsoft held four User Conferences and SIG meetings. Compare that to everybody else, who can just barely get one off annually. "We spent last year listening to our customers," LeBlanc said, and Coveney chimed in,"Now we are delivering on those customer requests." OSIsoft has sold PI software that will permit up to 1,000,000 data entry points, and LeBlanc figures that the first system that will actually use all million will go online in late 2006, or early 2007. OSIsoft's business has changed over the last 25 years, and now is split: Powergen-- 30% Oil & Gas-- 20% Chemical-- 15% Pulp & Paper-- 9% Mining & Minerals-- 8% Pharma/Biopharma-- 7% but Coveney noted that this is their fastest growing segment, with new product RT Reports designed for it. Food & Beverage-- 3% Water/Utilities-- 2% They noted that purchases from businesses in emerging countries accounted for 2% of revenue last year. LeBlanc noted that people have a hard time with OSIsoft's product naming they are likely to change. "We've always had a roadmap," LeBlanc quipped, "it just didn't always look like it." LeBlanc talked about the need to change the mindset of plant operations people from "project mentality" to "ongoing process improvement mentality." "That's why every other optimization company produces a camel hump curve. When the project is being done, results improve. As soon as the project stops, results degrade. By contrast," he went on, "Our initial value comes quickly, and then building on root cause analysis and the other PI/RtPM tools, you simply build in the results to the baseline performance of the plant. The constant care and feeding of other systems is not necessary." Now OSIsoft is working on the "one big unified database." They expect a first release of a "unified database" product by the end of 2006. This will consist of a "data directory" called Active Directory with time series data, context, and asset data, all bolted to PI, and hooked into the CMMS system of the plant. "Right now," said LeBlanc, "you can do all of this stuff, it just takes a lot of work. Our new releases are designed to make this much easier." Coveney ran us through the OSIsoft mantra: "Know, Act, Profit. Better metrics lead to smarter decisions and sustainable advantages." More information is always available at OSIsoft.

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