Asia-Pacific Oil and Gas Pros Lead Industry in Workplace Adoption of Social Media, Reports Microsoft-Accenture Poll

Findings reveal Europe, Middle East and Africa on board mostly for finding resources; the Americas value knowledge transfer capabilities

HOUSTON; March 10, 2010 – Oil and gas industry professionals in Asia Pacific lead the industry in the use of social media and collaboration tools at work, reports a recent Microsoft Corp. and Accenture survey, with three out of four respondents from that region saying social media tools improve their work performance. 
The Microsoft and Accenture “Oil & Gas Collaboration Survey 2010” – that polled 275 professionals from the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific – found that industry workers in Asia-Pacific significantly led other regions in the business use of social media tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, social networking sites, mobile phone text messaging, video or photo sharing and the use of blogs and micro-blogs, sometimes surpassing their peers in other regions by margins of 10 to one. In fact, 37 percent of Asia-Pacific respondents stated social media is “very valuable” for work collaboration.
“Asia-Pacific, with its rapidly growing demand for energy, will set the oil agenda of the future, so driving increased productivity, enhanced collaboration and more efficient operations is of top importance in this region,” said Dr. Ali Ferling, Microsoft manager of worldwide oil and gas industries. “Oil and gas professionals in Asia-Pacific clearly have their sights set on adopting the newest technologies to help them keep up with the growing demand for energy.”
Drive to locate information in EMEA
Over one-third of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) respondents reported they spend more time in collaboration this year than last. Sixty-two percent of them, however, said that collaboration was often hindered by the inability to find exact resources, including people and information. Three out of four EMEA professionals said social media was valuable for business, and over half reported using social media primarily as a search tool, with many more in EMEA choosing to use wikis for business purposes than any other region.
Americas adjust to changing workforce
When asked where they see the most value in social media for collaboration, the top answer of workers in the Americas was “documenting and transferring knowledge.” This response tracks with the 61 percent of all respondents who said that “scarcity of skills/talent due to shrinking or aging workforce” is the global industry trend most often driving their need to collaborate. However, 40 percent of respondents from the Americas said they are not currently using any public or company social media tools in the workplace. While half of respondents from all regions said their companies were on board but not widely implementing social media at this time, one in four from the Americas said their companies were not open to the adoption and implementation of these tools, a higher response than from Asia-Pacific (14 percent) and EMEA (17 percent).
James Arnott, Accenture senior executive in Energy industry group’s consulting practice, said, “Companies slow to embrace collaboration technologies are missing strategic opportunities to leverage tools to drive workforce utilization and improved business and operational performance. The high rate of usage in emerging markets reflects those companies’ rapid adoption of new technologies to provide differentiated levels of workforce, operations and business performance – this is creating new levels of competitiveness. The key finding that individuals, work groups and teams around the world are driving the use of collaboration tools within their company is indicative of the widespread need for knowledge-sharing and improved productivity through collaboration. It also highlights the increasing use of technology to support a critical shortage of skills and experience within the oil and gas industry.”
Three out of four professionals in all regions cited complex projects as the largest workplace factor driving collaboration, with 21 percent from the Americas saying they use social media to manage capital projects. Beyond that, geographic responses varied: Americas felt strong pressure to push for innovation to stay competitive (35 percent), while Asia-Pacific (43 percent) and EMEA (34 percent) said the new tools help them meet the demand for frequent or detailed reporting to management.
Overall survey results reveal that nearly 75 percent of oil and gas professionals worldwide see value in using social media and collaboration tools at work – an 83 percent jump from responses one year ago.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 176,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009.  Its home page is
About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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