|Headquarters||Tunis, Tunisia; Genova, Italy; Houston, Texas|
|Key people||Samy Achour, President and Founder |
|Products||systems integration, knowledge management platforms, OPC software products, connectivity consulting|
Integration Objects is a software development firm that was created in 2002. The company is a systems integrator and solutions provider for knowledge management, automation and plant process management and decision support applications.
They develop OPC software products and knowledge management platforms for manufacturers primarily in the oil and gas, refining and petrochemicals, chemical, food and beverage, steel and pharmaceutical industries. They also provide consulting services. Integration Objects is a member of the OPC Foundation, the International Society of Automation and MIMOSA.
Integration Objects has also collaborated and partnered with other IT companies such as Invensys, OSIsoft, Gensym  and ABB for large projects and its clients include ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco and Solvay Chemicals.
OPC technology follows a set of open standards specifications, created and managed by the OPC Foundation, to ensure interoperability between devices and systems in industrial automation and within other enterprise systems.
The origins of OPC are based on Microsoft's OLE, COM and DCOM technology and today's OPC set of standards allow field systems and other devices, automation and control applications and business applications to communicate acquired real-time and historical data and records to enterprise systems and between production devices from multiple vendors. The standards are evolving and are created or rewritten to account for emerging technologies and trends.
Relevance of system integration
Manufacturing companies invest large amounts of money in industrial automation infrastructures, but many have yet to realize the full value from their investment as many remain islands of automation - information silos disconnected from other systems, including business systems.
Enormous amounts of data may be available, but companies often lack the proper infrastructure that would allow them to adequately share data so they can use it to improve process efficiency and profitability. Integration between process control, plant-level and enterprise systems is no longer an option for manufacturing and energy companies if they want to remain competitive.
Convergence of the IT world with automation and process controls greatly helps in this effort by providing economically and technically competitive solutions. However, the sharing of process information within and between networks must be done in a way that aligns with the overall security policies of the enterprise. This is why system integrators must find customized solutions that fit the specific company's needs and goals.
Relevance of knowledge management
Many enterprises across various industries face the same issue - important resources such as data, information, and knowledge are embedded in computer systems, documentation, and in the minds of individuals across an organization but accessing it can be both extremely difficult and time-consuming. However, by using intelligent computer platforms to not only capture and integrate this knowledge, but analyze, organize and store it as well, users can monitor and manage operations and performances and effectively make safe and smart decisions rapidly to improve results.
Knowledge management allows an organization to benefit from the collective knowledge of its written resources and employees' experiences and know-how. Applications of knowledge management systems can be found in many fields. For example, in case of abnormal plant conditions, knowledge management platforms allow an operator to identify the root cause of the problem and the correct action that should be taken by automatically reviewing the stored and analyzed data found in the system.
Knowledge management can be a strategic asset necessary for an organization to remain competitive.
- Profile of Samy Achour in Internet Management magazine 8 January 2008
- "Samy Achour: Fondateur d’Integration Objects" Les Afriques: Le journal de la finance africaine, 11 October 2008
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- Digital Bond from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, "OPC Security White Paper #2: OPC Exposed", by Byres Research, 13 November 2007
- Automation.com, "OPC NetBrokerTM for Industrial Network Security and connectivity - Tunneling Process Data Securely Through Firewalls - A Solution To OPC - DCOM Connectivity", by Integration Objects, 2007
- DSSResources.com, "Knowledge Management: An Introduction", by M. Demarest, 17 February 2007
- United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration, "Knowledge Management: Everyone Benefits by Sharing Information", by Mike Burk, 9 November 2009
- PC AI Magazine, "Abnormal Condition Management with Real-Time Expert System and Object Technology", by Hamdy Noureldin and Fulvio Roveta, 2003
- Knowledge management, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 22 March 2010