BP is one of the largest energy companies in the world with 2003 revenues of $233 billion. In this paper, we analyse its use of an innovative 'multi-enterprise asset management system' that supports and enables the asset management strategy of BP's exploration and production division on the UK continental shelf (UKCS). The analysis focuses on how BP connects its business processes with over 1500 suppliers to co-ordinate the maintenance, operation and repair of specialised exploration and production equipment. The systems strategy is novel because it takes the enterprise computing concept and implements it across organisational boundaries - hence the term 'multi-enterprise system'. This use of a shared system with all of its suppliers is distinctive from the most common way of connecting with economic partners which is to use shared data systems based on common data standards and communication technologies such as EDI and more recently XML-based systems within vertical industries such as RosettaNet. The design of the multi-enterprise system is based on a sophisticated business process management system called Maximo and this is used to illustrate the systems design aspect of the overall information system in the broader contexts of business strategy and information technology infrastructure. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.