This Day in History (1989): Computer departments conclude systems consolidation project
Taking several years, the consolidation brought significant benefits to the company.
From the July 5, 1989, edition of The Arabian Sun
This past March, the Yanbu' IBM 4361 computer was shut down and all Yanbu' computer operations were networked into the Dhahran Commercial and Technical Center's IBM 3090 COMPUTER.
This action completed Computer, Communications and Office systems' (CC&OS) three-year worldwide computer consolidation program, transforming seven installations that used eight different computers into a single center.
To meet the dramatic growth that Aramco experienced in the late 1970s and early 1980s and the subsequent computer demands, the company looked to the best technology then available. The result was a proliferation of disparate installations.
"We were clearly faced with a situation that needed resolving as a matter of urgency," said Ali M. Seflan, CC&OS executive director.
Remarkable advances in computer and communications technology at the time, combined with the need to streamline operations to ensure maximum business flexibility, drove the decision.
"The challenge was to plan this so that customer service levels would not only be maintained but enhanced, with little or no interruption in systems availability," Seflan said.
The process started in 1983 with the combining of the Test Center with the Commercial and Technical Center, and continued into 1989.
Looking to the future, Seflan noted that computer-assisted systems engineering techniques for systems development, fully automated CC&OS computer operations, and an Executive Information System would all enhance Aramco's abilities.
Seflan pointed out that the early results of research into the use of computer graphics within an XIS system look hopeful.
"Throughout the computer industry, people are addressing the challenge and it could well be the most dramatic development we will experience in the early 1990s," he said.
Caption for top photo: Installed in June 1988, the IBM 3090-500E, located in the Commercial and Technical Center, now serves Aramco's computing needs throughout the Kingdom and worldwide. It has replaced seven computer systems.
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