This year's Microsoft Global Energy Forum was a great success, with approximately 800 oil and gas industry thought leaders converging in Houston on Tuesday, January 18, to learn about industry best practices and new technology trends.

Craig Hodges, Microsoft's general manager of U.S. Manufacturing and Resources, kicked-off the event with a morning keynote, introducing attendees to Jay Crotts, vice president of IT services at Shell. Jay spoke of Shell's hybrid approach to cloud computing, which allows for more choice when implementing these solutions. 

After Jay, Craig took the stage again, discussing the results of the third annual Microsoft and Accenture Oil & Gas Collaboration Survey, pointing to the oil and gas industry's uptick in social media and collaboration tools and ways that the cloud can enable better communication throughout an organization.

NFL All-Pro and College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning relayed an inspirational keynote about leadership during the luncheon, and the day closed with words from John Hofmeister, founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy and former president at Shell in the U.S. 

Attendees and energy enthusiasts were able to follow along with the keynote speeches, on the GEF live feed hosted here on the blog.

Additionally, attendees were able to visit the partner pavilion and sit in on several breakout sessions discussing key trends including business integration, supply chain optimization, proactive maintenance, workforce mobility, CRM and cloud computing.

Thank you again to all the sponsors, partners, customers and attendees for making this year's GEF a success! Check back again soon, as we'll post footage of the event in the coming weeks.