How Pemex plans to automate IT -- and make workers like it

Credit: Novo Dia via Flickr

Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), increasingly is relying on its staff of 4,000 IT workers to help increase production and shorten time to market.

But a recent streamlining of the company’s IT operations – which included a half-dozen IT departments – and reallocation of tech resources left a void: Pemex’s staff of computer-based employees (80,000 out of a total of 140,000 workers) were used to a high-touch IT experience. Some didn’t like the change.

“Taking away those resources from the general managers of our business has created some discontent,” Pemex CIO Abraham Galan tells CITEworld. “People are a little disgruntled. They feel we aren’t giving them the level of IT service they are used to. They are used to having their own IT guy sitting right beside them and solving the problems that come up on a day-to-day basis.”

So Galan has decided to automate IT services as much as possible, but in a user-friendly way. He turned to MyIT, a social-based tool from BMC Software that provides users with up-to-date information about an enterprise’s network status, along with information about the availability of IT services on a location basis.

“MyIT drives the whole thing to the user,” Galan says. “The user is made aware of what services are near them, if there’s a printer nearby, for example.”

Sounds simple, but for workers who visit a lot of field offices, knowing the locations of IT services and available conference rooms (MyIT also provides labeled floor blueprints) can be a huge time-saver.

MyIT does more for field workers than offer information, though. It also auto-configures wi-fi connections, eliminating one more potential road hassle.

For more location-bound Pemex workers, MyIT will allow them to submit problem tickets to the IT department, which will schedule an appointment and notify the user on his or her MyIT calendar.

Users also will be able to personalize their menus of IT services (email, Salesforce, customer-care apps, etc.) using MyIT, including only the services relevant to them. And if they want to know when a service’s status changes (for example, if email is back up), users can choose whether to be notified via Twitter, Facebook or a text to a mobile device.

Jason Frye, senior director of BMC Software’s office of the CTO, says with MyIT the company intended to build a “product that consumerizes the IT experience in the enterprise.”

“We wanted to take our cues from the best consumer services out there,” Frye says. “We designed MyIT from the front end down. We started with the types of things that you want to do. It’s really about personalizing the user experience.”

Now in beta, MyIT is expected to be available commercially in January. BMC Software has not offered pricing information.

Meanwhile, Galan tells CITEworld that Pemex is “using MyIT in a controlled environment before rolling it out” to its computer-based workforce.

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