Rockwater Energy Solutions: from start-up to enterprise with Dynamics

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 26 January 2015
Rockwater Energy Solutions: from start-up to enterprise with Dynamics

This article was first published in the Winter 2014 issue of OnWindows

Rockwater Energy Solutions is a fluids management and environmental solutions provider that was formed in 2011 to pioneer the concept of a complete lifecycle solution for oilfield water management. The company focuses on recycling water that is used during hydraulic fracturing and provides services to meet the water, stimulation, fracturing, fluids and production needs of customers in the oil and gas sector.

Following the appointment of Biren Kumar as the company’s CIO, Rockwater set out to build an IT environment that would support its growth amid an aggressive acquisition strategy.

One of the most important decisions ­Kumar would have to make in his new role was choosing the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

Before adoption, several key requirements had to be addressed. The system would need to support Rockwater’s complex entity structure, including the ability to perform multi-level consolidations and handle multiple charts of accounts. The system also needed to analyse business information across region, location and line of business. Multicurrency and deep manufacturing capabilities were also required.

Rockwater selected Microsoft Dynamics AX as it has the features and capabilities required to meet the company’s needs. Rockwater would also be able to fully use the Microsoft technology stack thanks to the solution.

“Our major reason for choosing Microsoft Dynamics AX over other ERP systems is that it allows us to be flexible and agile,” says Kumar. “It has robust manufacturing capabilities and is backed by partners that offer industry solutions.”

Following the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX, Rockwater’s management decided the next order of business would be to deploy a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

“From a pricing and value perspective, we liked what we saw with Microsoft Dynamics CRM – and as an added value, integration across the Microsoft solution stack allows for seamless flow of information,” says Kumar.

Over 18 months, Rockwater worked with ­Microsoft partner Edgewater Fullscope to deploy Dynamics AX to 30 entities. Today, a single instance of Microsoft Dynamics AX manages all 30 entities and accounts for the company’s complex organisational structure.

“Rockwater Energy Solutions has experienced tremendous growth in a short period of time,” says Russell Smith, senior vice president of Edgewater Fullscope. “Microsoft Dynamics AX has kept pace with Rockwater’s growth and provides a strong platform for them to build upon in the future.”

The initial deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX took only six months, and currently 400 staff use the solution. These users are spread across 30 business entities and the company’s chemical manufacturing and water management divisions.

 In the chemical manufacturing division, Microsoft Dynamics AX is used in nearly every process in the manufacturing and distribution of chemicals to wholesalers and retailers. In the water management division, the ERP solution covers equipment rentals, water transportation, sand pipeline and proppant management used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Rockwater is using cloud-based technologies, including Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, to help increase the availability of business information to mobile and remote workers.

The company has also built dashboards and analysis tools to leverage the data created by Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM through PowerPivot and PowerBI. And thanks to Microsoft Azure, Rockwater is making data from Microsoft Dynamics AX available in a number of mobile applications.

“For a company with 1,000 trucks and 5,000 mobile assets, mobility is huge,” says Kumar. “We have built apps such as a truck locator which helps us answer the questions like where is a particular truck? How far is that particular truck from a job?”

Rockwater has also centralised its back offices from ten processing locations to just two, helping improve back-office efficiency by as much as 30%. With Microsoft Dynamics AX, Rockwater is able to react to market changes and deploy new functionality that will help improve processes, support the needs of new acquisitions, and innovate.

“With Microsoft Dynamics AX, we can begin to differentiate our company to our customers based on information – be it through portals or mobile devices,” says Kumar. “And it’s being able to provide that information which will hook our customers and keep them coming back to Rockwater.”

Bill Moffett, manufacturing industry senior product manager for Microsoft Dynamics, is excited about the partnership with Rockwater Energy and Edgewater Fullscope. “Rockwater’s success with Microsoft Dynamics is a fantastic example of what happens when you bring the power of the full Microsoft solution platform together with resources from our partner ecosystem that know really how to implement effectively,” he says. “When you combine the right tools with the right partner and then throw in a powerful vision of what success looks like from three key business partners in Rockwater Energy, Microsoft and Edgewater Fullscope, it makes for a fantastic success story across the board.”

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