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In January, Entrance hosted a lunch and learn, “Field Data Capture for Oil and Gas Service Companies.” I covered some of the key considerations that companies out in field should evaluate before implementation.

During the Q&A portion, one of the big topics of conversation was around toughbooks. Field work is characteristically rough, so choosing and maintaining the right devices can be difficult.

Generally, a basic laptop is not sufficient for handling fieldwork. In this situation, many organizations weigh the costs and benefits of tablet versus a Toughbook.

Both can be a good fit, but considerations like cost, computing power, and size can all make a big difference in the final evaluation. In particular, organizations should be careful not to let the popular appeal of devices like the iPad to sway their overall evaluation of available devices.

Disaster Recovery

Regardless of the device your company decides to go with, a disaster recovery plan is important for maintaining productivity in the field. No matter how well-made your Toughbook, devices go down and get lost. Particularly in the case of a tablet, damage is consideration because they are easily breakable.

Without a recovery plan, your people can end up without a device for several days or more. The cost in lost productivity alone is enough to make this an unacceptable outcome.

The solution? Simple as it may sound, have back-ups on-hand that can quickly be deployed to your team. Be sure to address how to accomplish this even when workers are in very remote areas.

Choosing the right devices and having a plan for managing them is important for companies across the value chain, from upstream all the way to service. For more, watch the field data capture presentation from SlideShare.


Nate Richards
Nate has over 18 years of software engineering and consulting experience. He founded Entrance in 2003. Nate is the past President of the Board of LifeHouse Houston, a Christ-centered maternity home ministry, and is past Executive committee member and Treasurer of Houston Achievement Place, a foster care and social skills training non-profit organization.
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