When COVID-19 hit, businesses all around the world were faced with the commercial impacts of stay-at-home directives. In Australia, Woodside Energy's transition from desktop to cloud put them in a prime position to continue with business as usual – and now, their operations have been fortified with the latest cloud-native technologies.

To remain at the forefront of technology innovation, Woodside shifted their GIS capability in 2018 to Esri Australia’s platform as a service offering, Managed Cloud Services, enabling them to make the most of the improved stability, user experience and scalability offered by this solution.

Read the case study to learn more about Woodside’s transition from desktop to Cloud.

Upgrading legacy systems to the latest tech

One of the key improvements Woodside made was upgrading their GIS solution from the legacy ArcMap platform to ArcGIS Pro. Esri Australia’s Professional Services and Managed Cloud Services teams worked with Woodside on the transition from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro – developing a tailored solution that would meet the specific needs of users, and take advantage of the program’s full capabilities.

Migrating to ArcGIS Pro has enabled users to share and consume information more efficiently, access enhanced 2D and 3D capabilities and work with multiple maps and layouts in the same project.

Along with the rollout of ArcGIS Pro, Woodside sought to simultaneously upgrade their existing application virtualisation system to a more Cloud-native application streaming solution – AWS AppStream; helping to deliver the best performance for users accessing ArcGIS Pro, optimise capacity and increase cost efficiencies.

Simplified large-scale deployment

The AWS AppStream solution has provided the ability to rapidly deploy significant system changes to all users – enabling updates to be easily and consistently scaled across the geospatial user community.

Upgrading software, pushing out fixes and patches is all done from a central machine, then disseminated to all users, ensuring a fast rollout and minimal disruption.

This enables the business to easily scale desktop ArcGIS application requirements up or down to suit changing business needs with no additional servers or storage required. 

Enabling remote working practices

The migration from individual local desktop installations to a Cloud environment allows for an easy transition to remote-work practices and the ability to quickly pivot operations to comply with work-from-home directives. By migrating their GIS environment to the Cloud, Woodside enabled operations to continue as normal during the pandemic, where many other organisations faced significant disruptions.

Delivering a seamless transition

Following the initial migration to Cloud in 2018 – which was supported with a significant change management program – the company were conscious that migrating staff to two additional new systems could risk change fatigue.

To reduce this risk, significant time and effort was put into building a comprehensive change management program to ensure the migration would cause minimal disruption and allow users time to acclimatise to each of the new systems.

The migration began with a pilot program to a small group of users between December 2019 and March 2020 and issues were ironed out before the full rollout.

Following the success of the pilot program, the ArcGIS Pro solution was deployed across the organisation.  

The implementation of the ArcGIS Pro and AppStream solutions occurred over three phases:

  1. Rollout of AppStream to users.

  2. Optimisation of ArcGIS Pro to integrate with AppStream.

  3. Migration of users from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro.

A swift migration to the new systems over the weekend meant all users had immediate access to the systems they needed, and business-as-usual could be maintained.  

The combined ArcGIS Pro and AWS AppStream solution offers improved user experience and access to a more intuitive system. Utilising cloud-native Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) like AWS AppStream enables desktop software like ArcGIS Pro to be brought into the Cloud environment, providing teams with access to the tools they need to make smarter, data-driven decisions through ease-of-access to key information.

By investing in upgrading their desktop GIS to a cloud-native VDI solution, Woodside have enhanced business performance, streamlined workflows, and enabled flexible-working for the geospatial community across the organisation – setting them up for success into the future.

If you're interested in learning more about bespoke Cloud GIS solutions, enquire now to speak with a specialist. 

Download the case study

About the Author

Tom Gardner
Tom Gardner
Industry Specialist
Esri Australia, Perth
A passionate spatial industry specialist developing location-based solutions for large-scale organisations and the utilities sector.

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