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German petroleum industry is convinced: The future belongs to cloud and web services

* IFLEXX Meeting 2019 discusses community reorientation

With data communication being a vital element of a seamless downstream supply chain, partnering companies must agree upon common processes and standards. To discuss this topic further, key players of the German petroleum industry gathered at the 15th IFLEXX meeting in Bochum on Thursday, October 24. All in all, 14 companies followed the invitation of the international software and consulting firm Implico. The participants came from the refinery, tank terminal, service station, software, consulting and trade sectors.

After a welcome speech and a review of the eleven years that passed since IFLEXX’s introduction in 2008, the attendees turned their eyes towards the future. A central topic: innovative process integration options that go beyond the established standards IFLEXX (International File Exchange XML) and PIDX (Petroleum Industry Data Exchange), such as cloud services. Here, the attendees discussed the option of expanding the IFLEXX community’s topical focus in the future. They showed keen interest in the idea of making the annual gathering a suitable forum for companies and solution providers within the downstream supply chain to discuss requirements and exchange views.

The representatives of the German petroleum industry agreed that enhanced process integration is a key piece of digital transformation. They quickly came to terms that the IFLEXX community had to open up and embrace cloud solutions, too. The pursued goal: to broaden the range of interests and provide a forum for participants to learn about and discuss the latest innovations. Furthermore, they favored the idea of inviting external experts to provide additional impulses on certain topics. The outlined reorientation of the IFLEXX community received very positive feedback from the assembled members.

Thomas Fahland of cloud specialist Implico also welcomes the new course: "Such a forum would give industry representatives the chance to discuss their requirements for future services directly with the providers.”

For more information on the IFLEXX standard and community, please visit www.iflexx.org.

About IFLEXX (International FiLe EXchange XML)

IFLEXX is a non-proprietary, open and free-of-charge standard for data exchange in the petroleum industry. The IFLEXX community now numbers 19 member companies. IFLEXX is the successor to MPKS (“Mineral oil Partner Communications System”), introduced over 30 years ago. Data exchange using IFLEXX offers the petroleum industry many advantages. Not only does XML permit the transfer of large volumes of standardized data, but IFLEXX also enables the bi-directional exchange of loading data: both to the tank truck’s onboard computer and to the petroleum company’s accounting system.

About Implico
The Implico Group optimizes logistics and business processes for oil and gas downstream companies. The international consulting and software company with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, has subsidiaries in Malaysia, Romania, the UAE and the USA. Founded in 1983, the company today employs around 200 staff.

Implico provides consulting services, data services and software solutions for the entire supply chain – from forecasting, order entry, dispatching and tour optimization to data collation and invoicing. Leading oil and gas companies all over the world trust in Implico’s industry expertise and high-performance IT solutions including OpenTAS, iGOS, and the SAP downstream solutions SAP S/4HANA SDM and SAP S/4HANA RFNO.  

OpenTAS automates the storage and transportation of hydrocarbons for refineries, tank farms, and service station networks. iGOS (Implico Global Operation Services) offers innovative downstream solutions out of the Cloud. SAP S/4HANA SDM (Secondary Distribution Management) steers and optimizes the complete order-to-cash process. SAP S/4HANA RFNO (Retail Fuel Network Operations) automates all payment and quantity flows of service station networks. 

Implico is a Microsoft Gold Partner, a Software Development Partner of SAP and a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork. In the field of Terminal Automation Systems, Implico is market leader in the EMEA region (ARC market study 2018). The company has been recognized for its products and services on numerous occasions. It was named, for example, “Best Oil & Gas Software Specialists” in 2017 and received the Tank Storage Award as “Best Terminal Supplier” in 2018.