Analytics, mobility and enhanced user experience are all part of the new IBM Maximo Asset Management 7.6 release. In today’s Maximo Mary’s Microphone interview I sat down with Pete Karns, IBM Director of Product Management and Strategy for Smarter Infrastructure. Pete’s at the center of the action and shared the inside scoop of how the market drove the enhancements in the new release.
Here’s my interview:
Question: What market challenges are driving the needs for the new features in Maximo 7.6?
Pete: Our goal with this release was to address four challenges and opportunities;
- increasing end user experience and speed thru user interface and design enhancements
- enabling the many personas that utilize Maximo to increase timely visibility to information and insights
- further simplifying and easing the IT admin management of Maximo
- enabling SaaS and hosting providers to increase efficiency of management, enabling a better client experience
Question: What are the key new features in Maximo 7.6?
Pete: The primary enhancements and additions in Maximo 7.6 relate directly to the four outcomes outlined above, as well as several key client driven functional enhancements. We recently recorded a webcast, our most popular ever by downloads, and I’d encourage you to take a listen. Link to replay.
Here are a few highlights…
- New (optional) user interface look / feel across the applications, including: navigation capabilities enable easier access to frequently used functions, a hover dialog capability for field (imagine placing your mouse over a laborcode field to display the persons full name, title, phone number and email), and allowing multiple objects in a result set – today a list of results are limited to a single object (such as a Work Order)… Now you can include data that might be part of a ‘child’ record to that WO, like materials, tasks or assets.
- In the area of analytics, we’ve expanded our recent ‘business intelligence pack’ and incorporated them in 7.6 including entitling required elements of Cognos.
- There are also numerous enhancements in core reporting and KPI areas. Let me give you an example; we’ve heard end users need more access to the logic behind the KPI’s as well as to trending data and aren’t authorized to the admin app – so we introduced a new KPI Viewer application where end users can see details about the KPI, see the trending and collaborate – share ideas and history of the KPI. The last one here – and it’s a big one – maybe our number one request in this area, was the ability to support simple calculations within ad-hoc reports. This allows end users to do simple sums, averages, min/max….without having to use a BIRT report.
- Regarding Multi-Tenancy, we introduced true separation of all tenant data, where tenants have their own business processes, reports, Workflows, screens, and extended data models.
- Now, there is a benefit here for all clients, including those not utilizing Multi-Tenancy. Multiple performance improvements were made to support the number of users that the system should now be able to accommodate.
- We also included several key client requests, including: the addition of crews and crew types for more flexibility in assigning work, utilizing ‘Service addresses’ captured as part of assets and locations can then be used to display those records on a Map, Public Map API support – if you have a subscription to a mapping service you can now display that within the Maximo frame (in several apps) for better visual indications of Assets/Locations and work.
- We’ve also incorporated our Everyplace mobile capability, which is a huge value add for our clients who have ‘always connected’ mobility requirements. This solution enables a simple reskin of a Maximo app to fit within the form factor of phones or tablets. It complements our Anywhere solution, which supports the sophistication of occasionally or always ‘disconnected’ scenarios.
Question: Maximo 7.6 is really bringing User Experience to the forefront, can you tell me more about this?
Pete: Well, it starts with changing expectations of our clients and their work force, and it is made further disruptive thru the dramatic increase in mobile technology and the generational shift that is underway in most of the industries we serve. Simply put – the way people engage with technology is changing. Maximo 7.6 is a step in our journey – where we’ve introduced significant changes to the existing user experience.
We’ve also shifted our development process to what we call Design Thinking. We utilize personas, who embody typical users of Maximo – from maintenance technicians to work planners to supervisors. Those personas are used to enable a higher degree of focus, and client engagement, in how we develop software – both the functionality, as well as the user interface and the business process.
Question: Can you summarize how you see Maximo 7.6 helping clients become smarter and the key benefits they can expect?
Pete: Good question, because that is our mission. At the end of the day, our solutions are designed to enable clients to reduce cost and risk, improve reliability and performance of their infrastructure, and at the same time permit a level of business agility to adapt and or react to changing requirements. The four focus areas of Maximo 7.6 align to these goals.
I hope that you enjoyed this interview with Pete Karns. Whether you’re looking to upgrade or a new client looking for a solution that includes analytic functionality, built-in mobility, multi-tenancy functionality and an enhanced user experience, Maximo 7,.6 is worth a look. Tell us which feature you are most excited about by using #CountDownToNewMaximo.
There are a number of additional resources that you can refer to for more information on Maximo 7.6:
- An article published by Plant Services: IBM Maximo Asset Management 7.6 enhances user experience and analytic capabilities.
- 12/12/14 Webcast sponsored by Cohesive: Register here
- 12/16/14 Webcast sponsored by OnTracks: Register here
And as always, comment on this blog if you can’t find what you are looking for.