By Sphera’s Editorial Team | May 7, 2020

For the past eight years, Tom Cave, a Sphera international account executive, has been “moonlighting,” yet his line managers at sparesFinder and then Sphera were fine with his second gig. The reason for this was because the job in question was as a volunteer for the Petroleum Industry Data eXchange.

PIDX is a not-for-profit organization providing a global forum for promoting efficient, digital business within the Oil & Gas industry and its trading community. Cave runs the Catalogue & Classification standards workgroup and it’s here that his two roles overlap.  “Cat ’n’ Class,” as it is known, manages the open standard Petroleum Industry Data Dictionary, and the promotion of a common data standard across all parts of the industry and standardizing data are at the core of Master Data Management software.

Cave was introduced to PIDX more than 15 years ago, and he initially used its events as a way of networking and understanding the issues facing the industry, from operators to oil field services, supplier companies and more.  Initially asked to set up and run biannual events for PIDX in London, Cave has become the face of PIDX globally, and he’s the moderator for their conferences, which routinely attract 100 to 150 senior managers from all parts of the industry, upstream, midstream and downstream.

The most recent of these conferences took place in April and, in response to COVID-19, it was the first time one of PIDX’s events was held virtually.

The theme of the virtual spring meeting was “Intelligent Automation,” and Sphera was selected to fill a speaking slot to talk about overcoming the issue suppliers and operators have with price-books onboarding and catalog automation. Three of our colleagues from the MDM team, Sphera’s Neal Rosen, Peter Hardy and Matt Ludbrook, took part, but it took a lot of planning. Having Spherions, including the people from the MDM team and Michele Lavoie, Sphera’s event manager, pull off a presentation from five different locations that span a six-hour time difference required a lot of preparation and coordination, so, just like our mission to create a more sustainable world, we went “green,” as you can see from the picture.

PIDX Forum Takeaways: Moonlighting, Master Data Management and Movie Magic for Virtual Conferences

The participants enjoyed the new format and, as the recent cover story in Spark magazine recently explained, technology can bring us together and help us do the things we do best, even when we can’t be there face to face and even when we’re moonlighting.  PIDX’s next scheduled event will be in the fall, visit to learn more. Here’s hoping we’ll be able to meet face to face then under a beautiful autumn moon.