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Aker Oilfield Services - Document Control with Alfresco

Aker Oilfield Services, a subsidiary of Aker solutions, was established in 2006 to meet the growing demand for value-added services for offshore fields worldwide. The company offers services ranging from underwater installations and commissioning to advanced intervention operations in wells as deep as 3,000 meters.

The challenge

Delivering specialized services to offshore oilfields involves a huge amount of paperwork and documentation ranging from common office formats to CAD drawings. Aker Oilfield Services realized it required an ECM solution to manage its documents, provide better controls and establish best practices for document lifecycle management.

Since a long implementation process would result in a backlog of documents, a solution was needed that could be quickly implemented and customized to support the specific requirements of this highly regulated industry. In addition to automating the company’s document management processes, the new system had to provide stronger document tracking between the company, suppliers and partners.

Better than SharePoint

Aker Oilfield Services used a subcontractor to research the market and make recommendations on appropriate solutions. Alfresco was recommended over other products because it is based on open source and open standard and would be easier to customize. The other solutions on the market are still mostly database oriented. While this is not a problem if most of the users are on the same network, Aker Oilfield Services are working extensively with subcontractors as well as vessels operating worldwide. This required a net based solution where documents could be reached as easily inside as outside the firewall. Aker selected Redpill Linpro, an approved Alfresco Partner, to implement the solution. Two months after the project began, users were able to start managing their content in Alfresco.

Control of process

Aker Oilfield Services works with a large number of subcontractors who require access to specific documentation in order to manage projects successfully. The subcontractors not only need access to final documentation but are involved in the early stages of developing materials. For example, staff, subcontractors and suppliers need access to review and comment on engineering documents including CAD drawings. Previously, the sharing of documents was recorded and managed manually by the ‘owner’. As a result there was no way to confirm that recipients received documents and were using the correct document version.

Today, this process is completely automated using Alfresco’s built-in workflow and can be accessed outside the company’s firewall with Alfresco’s Internet-based client. Alfresco’s document control functionality provides complete control over when a version of a document is sent, and to whom. Document owners are now certain that everyone is using the latest version of their documents.

Aker Oilfield Services also uses Alfresco’s workflow to route completed documents through the review and approval process. Each person receives a copy of the document and a specific version to review and approved. The copies are then collected and used in the final completion of a document. This process allows for all types of documents to be reviewed by incorporating more than just text boxes. Users can easily make changes or highlight CAD drawings, images or other formats using a standard feature in the Alfresco application.


With Alfresco and Redpill Linpro, Aker Oilfield Services is in full control of the documents that are shared both internally and with subcontractors. This means fewer errors and improved workflow. Processes are automated and projects/documents can be appropriately tracked. The Alfresco solution saves the company time, resources and money. Employees now have a better tool for controlling content in large complex projects.

In addition, the solution was implemented quickly and provided easy management of documents shared between multiple parts of the business. An automated process eliminates mistakes and gives the company complete control of a document’s lifecycle. Approval processes are made easier and smoother with opportunities for comments and changes to the documents clearly marked in each reviewer’s approval copy.