BHP launches Shang­hai app hub

City widely rec­og­nized as a global cen­ter for mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion development

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - ByWUYIYAO in Shang­hai wuyiyao@chi­

BHP Bil­li­ton Ltd, one of world’s largest min­ing com­pa­nies by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion, has launched its new Mo­bile Ap­pli­ca­tions Hub in Shang­hai, in or­der to help its global op­er­a­tions en­hance their pro­duc­tiv­ity, in­crease ef­fi­ciency and re­duce costs.

Diane Jur­gens, BHP Bil­li­ton chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer, said the new hub is one ex­am­ple of the po­ten­tial for tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion to im­prove the­way the com­pany works and ben­e­fit peo­ple and the com­pany.

BHP Bil­li­ton’s mo­bile apps hub in Shang­hai will also sup­port the com­pany to work closely with its China part­ners, such as steel­mak­ers, to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity of the en­tire sup­ply chain.

“About70 per­cent ofBHPBil­li­ton’s iron ore is ex­ported to the Chi­nese mar­ket, so it is im­por­tant to stay con­nected with­Chi­nese clients, par­tic­u­larly the vis­i­bil­ity of sup­ply chain, from pit to rail­way, from ports to yard. Now we have tech­nol­ogy team in China and we can stay bet­ter­con­nect­ed­toour­mar­ket­ing team to meet clients’ Diane Jur­gens, de­mands,” said Jur­gens.

One of the key is­sues for enterprises that want to move up the value chain is to at­tract tal­ent to de­velop au­to­ma­tion and in­no­va­tion to im­prove pro­fi­ciency, she said.

The com­pany’s $5 mil­lion apps hub will ini­tially em­ploy 50 tech­nol­ogy ap­pli­ca­tions de­sign­ers. Shang­hai is an ideal lo­ca­tion for the hub as it is widely rec­og­nized as a global cen­ter for mo­bile apps development and has highly ex­pe­ri­enced, skilled work­ers and lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties of­fer­ing ex­cel­lent pro­grams in tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing, she said.

Mo­bile apps in the field have helped the com­pany re­duce its costs.

A so­lu­tion that al­lows files and data to be man­aged se­curely on a shared de­vice in mines lo­cated in South Amer­i­caandAus­tralia with­350users shar­ing 85 de­vices and an­other 1,000 de­vices de­ployed to 5,000 work­ers will help BHP Bil­li­ton save $6.5 mil­lion.

An­a­lysts said as prices of com­modi­ties such as iron ore and gaso­line have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing wild fluc­tu­a­tions in re­cent years, play­ers in the re­sources sec­tor have been mak­ing var­i­ous ef­forts to re­duce costs and im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity by us­ing bet­ter tech­nolo­gies, a key move for com­pa­nies to sur­vive dif­fi­cul­ties and grow.

“Many play­ers have sus­pended in­vest­ments to open new­field. In­stead, they seek to ex­ploit po­ten­tial by us­ing bet­ter ex­plo­ration tech­nolo­gies to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­i­ties, or op­ti­mize the sup­ply chain, man­u­fac­tur­ing flows, or hu­man re­sources de­ploy­ment to re­duce costs,” said a re­search note from Guo­lian Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd.

BHP Bil­li­ton has not ap­proved new in­vest­ment in iron ore since 2011, while re­sources will be de­ployed more ex­ten­sively in cop­per min­ing, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s dis­clo­sure ma­te­ri­als.

Jur­gens said tech­nolo­gies will not only help re­duce costs but also will sig­nif­i­cantly boost pro­duc­tiv­ity, such as by us­ing sen­sors to iden­tify cop­per from waste in mines. Big data emerg­ing from the process will help geo­sci­en­tists bet­ter an­a­lyze in­for­ma­tion and im­prove ex­plo­ration re­sults.

About 70 per­cent of BHP Bil­li­ton’s iron ore is ex­ported to the Chi­nese mar­ket.” BHP Bil­li­ton chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer

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