Posted by Jay W. Curry

Wolter Last, President and CEO of Hint Americas Inc. joins us to talk about upstream consulting and software integration.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Jay Curry: We’re back. Hello, Texas. Welcome back to Texas Business Radio. We’re talking big data. We’re talking all kinds of technology. We’ve got some interesting things going today and this segment is going to be a dandy. I have in the studio with me George Weldon, partner, stepping in as one of the hosts. George, thanks for joining us.

George Walden: I’m looking forward to this. We’re going to hear something today about information life cycle management. The energy industry has seriously bought into small instrumentation. Means they’re measuring everything. The problem is there’s a lot of data being collected out there and the systems are simply not being integrated. We’re going to be talking to a gentleman today who will talk about how those systems become integrated.

Jay Curry: It’s going to be a dandy. Big data again, we love that. Everybody needs to find out more about it. Before we get started, let me remind everybody that you go to texasbusinessradio.com and everything is there. I don’t need to say anything more. Texasbusinessradio.com. It’s all in color. Everything is there. That’s what you want to do. Put your down pens, put down your pads, and just relax. Now, if you just got us in a tweet. We monitor #TBR. We love to hear from you. If you want to call in with a question, we have our famous 24 hour hotline. That’s right. Anytime, 3:00 in the morning. Matt has that red phone right by his bed. He’s waiting for your call. We’re going to get you the answer. We’ll get it online for you and we’ll get it into the program. That number is 844-814-8144. You don’t need to remember it because you can go to texasbusinessradio.com. All right. Let’s get started. This is going to be fun. We have Wolter Last, who is the CEO of Hint, an oil and gas data collection. Wolter, thank you for joining us.

Wolter Last: Yeah. Great being here. Thank you.

Jay Curry: Tell us what is Hint? What’s this all about?
Wolter Last: Yeah. Hint is a consulting company and software integration company active in oil and gas and petrochemical, mid, down, and upstream. We are connecting the dots actually from the measurement instruments in the field up to the location system in the business layer and from the business layer back to the reservoir and the shareholders. That’s what we do.

Jay Curry: Okay. It’s really measurement specials. Collecting data on equipment?

Wolter Last: Yeah. Correct.

Jay Curry: Did I get that right?

Wolter Last: Yeah. If you look into equipment, most of the data is precious data which is going to process control systems. We are buying for decades smart instruments, but nobody is using the intelligence in the instruments. That’s what we picking up together with the validation of equipment, which has to be executed on a regular basis to prove that your equipment is performing within the limits. With that data, we can put a quality flag back on process data, which is going into data streams, which make more sense because everybody is using data, but it is invalidated data right now.

Jay Curry: Yeah. In a sense, it’s kind of like the internet of things applied in the oil and gas and heavy equipment industry.

Wolter Last: That’s correct. That’s correct.

Jay Curry: You’re collecting all this data and making sense of it, but you also have to be flexible because there’s different systems out there, say on a well and you’re downstream, upstream. You’re everywhere. If we looked at a well, there’s different equipment that have their own systems but they’re not integrated. That’s where you come in. You call them silos. Explain that to us.

Wolter Last: Correct. What you have is different silos in the industry, which are not integrated with each other. For instance, what we can do is we can compare well test data with real time measurement data, with data which is stored in data stream was maintenance data. Then, we can say listen, why are spending so much money on a well which is at the end of the life cycle or why are you spending so much maintenance cost or your problem is not the analyzer in the field but it’s your sampling handling system or something else. It gives you more insight.

Jay Curry: This is provided a software as a service? Is that right?
Wolter Last: Yeah. We can do both. We can apply a license or we can supply software as a service. The industry is meeting right now different budgets, so we have CapEX and OpEX and sometimes it’s difficult to justify a software system in an initial phase, so we can move that cost to the operational expenditure part and then we can deliver it as a service.

Jay Curry: You talked about we have smart equipment out there, but we don’t have smart data. You bring this diverse information, might be coming from four or five different systems …

Wolter Last: Correct.

Jay Curry: … In a plant, for example, processing plant and you add a layer, you make it smart, you filter it, right? Is quality a big issue?

Wolter Last: Yeah. Quality is a big issue because everybody wants to use the data. But, if you have no sense if the data you’re picking is reliable because everybody is using the data for calculations, for instance, or modeling or simulation. If you pick data, which has uncertainty, then the outcome will even be worse.

Jay Curry: If it’s worldwide, then it’s all over the world. Right? If it’s on the internet, it’s all over the world.

Wolter Last: Correct.

Jay Curry: You know how you go grocery stores and you can go to, say, a restaurant and they’ve got a little iPad and everything is right there, is that the type thing you’re doing …

Wolter Last: Yes.

Jay Curry: … You’re providing if they have a phone even?

Wolter Last: It’s web technology. That means that you are using a browser. That is what you need. On every computer or laptop or iPad or phone, you have an internet browser. That’s all that you need, so the beauty is also you don’t have to install any software because it’s already there.

Jay Curry: Wow. It’s already there because it’s sitting and all they have to do is get you connected to the silos and provide the data to you?

Wolter Last: Correct. Because we installed our software on a web server. What you’re doing with your iPad and iPhone and laptop is connecting via HTML to your web server and get the data. There’s no software installation required if you have other systems you have to install on your client PC or on some software. That’s not necessary in this case.

George Walden: Wolter, in our discussion earlier, you talked about how the industry itself is going through a life cycle of its knowledge base retiring.

Wolter Last: Correct.

George Walden: A lot of young people coming up. It seems to me that your type of technology would be very attractive to the young people coming into the system and would make them a whole lot smarter about what it is they’re trying to accomplish. Is that correct?

Wolter Last: That’s correct. Yeah. If you want to make this industry attractive for youngsters, yeah, you have to give them some modern tools, technology where they can work with. The old way of working having desk programs in your plans or doing your maintenance on a bike going into the plant itself. You can save more cost and time to do it remotely.

George Walden: Interesting.

Jay Curry: Wolter, if you are dealing with these big, big systems and integration and bringing it all together. Where are you selling into? Do you have to go to the top and get the big boys, the Exxons, or do you go down to the smaller companies? What’s your market there?

Wolter Last: We are an open system. We are flexible, so we can even for a small company or big company integrate a solution. It starts with selling your technology in the earlier stage of a project and that’s the reason why I’m here in Houston that most of the companies are here. Most of the projects are starting here and that’s why I have to be here to sell my technology in the early stage.

Jay Curry: You mentioned that, but your core company is in the Netherlands. You’re not bringing it as an American company into the US.

Wolter Last: Correct.

Jay Curry: This is not a startup. This a pretty well established worldwide. You just need to be in Texas.

Wolter Last: Absolutely.

Jay Curry: You got to be in the oil and gas business.

Wolter Last: Absolutely. Yeah.

Jay Curry: Where are you going to go from here?

Wolter Last: Yeah. We grow Hint the last 25 years organically and my strategy right now is to buy companies to grow by merger and acquisitions. That’s my goal right now looking to also companies who are complimentary to what we do, put them together, and bring the solution to the market.

Jay Curry: Software companies?

Wolter Last: Correct.

Jay Curry: Software based companies?

Wolter Last: Yeah.

Jay Curry: Very interesting.

Wolter Last: Or consulting companies.

Jay Curry: Right. Got it. All right, folks, we’ve been talking to Wolter Last, CEO of Hint. Wolter, very interesting. Thank you for joining us.

Wolter Last: Okay. My pleasure

Jay Curry: If somebody wants to learn more, where do they go?

Wolter Last: Yeah. They can visit our website www.hint-global.com or they can shoot me an email, wlast@hint-global.com.

Jay Curry: Okay. That’s Hint, H-I-N-T, folks. Well, that wraps up this program. Thank you so much.
Wolter Last: Okay.

Jay Curry: Folks, we’re going to pay some bills and we’re going to bring another expert and have some interesting conversations, so don’t you go anywhere. We’ll be right back.

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About the Author
Jay W. Curry

Jay W. Curry

Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.

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