Transportation insights from Gatwick and TubeLines

Travel is top of mind as many people are heading home from the IBM InterConnect conference today or tomorrow.  Things are far from business as usual for many travelers who are impacted from the recent snow storms reaching as far south in America as Texas and in the southeast.  However this blog is not about the technologies behind weather and weather forecasting…although I’m thinking this would be a great Internet of Things topic for a future event for sure…….comment on this blog if you know of a good presenter!

Instead my topic today is on transportation insights from Gatwick and TubeLines.  Not on the “usual” reliability and availability focus of the planes and rail cars that I provide for on time arrivals, but rather on the linear assets of the supporting infrastructures.  For Gatwick I will focus on the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Building Information Modeling (BIM……is the recognized term in the industry, but we will take this to the “Business Information Management” level) and for TubeLines we will focus on the metro railway linear asset management.

First up I gave the microphone to James Foley from EAMS Group to tell the story of managing a complex metro railway using linear asset management and business intelligence (Maximo and Cognos).

vegas 2015 gatwick microphone

Jim told us that he is committed to “taking railways to the 21st century”.  You knew that he was passionate about rail because he started his presentation with a picture of a railway that he has built in his backyard for his daughter!  This session highlighted the complexities of managing the linear assets of London’s TubeLines.  Using Maximo Linear Asset Manager and Business Analytics has enabled London Underground to use predictive analytics to cut costs, plan more effectively and schedule more accurately.

The railway corridor of London Underground has 7 asset classes and 1800 assets.  They needed to move away from managing in an isolated view of the different asset classes to having all of them working, viewable and managed together.

vegas 2015 017

The approach discussed was received well by the large audience that was comprised of not only railway clients but also utility industry clients who were looking for insights on managing linear assets.

Next up Simon Richardson and Julian Jameson from Gatwick Airport took us through a presentation on SAFE (Service Avoidance Field Environment) at Gatwick that addressed the use of GIS and BIM for managing the linear assets at the airport.  The need for an accurate system became even more critical as they began to plan for a second runway & encountered this:

Gatwick the scenario

Even a CT scan couldn’t have helped here!  Gatwick needed a 3D view of what was underground……they ran into telecoms, drainage, legacy water that was poorly installed, the works.  We learned that by using this 3D modeling approach they are able to manage multiple asset classes together to make coordinated, comprehensive business decisions. Gatwick is taking a cutting edge approach to managing linear assets for an airport for improved business management of their assets.  Once the results of the proof of concept are in, other airports will no doubt want to replicate this approach.

Did I hit the mark on the topic you were interested in learning more about from IBM InterConnect?  Are you interested in learning more about the innovative approaches discussed?  Comment on this blog.


IBM Interconnect was green screen from cattle management to manufacturing

Day 2 at IBM Interconnect was green screen from cattle management to manufacturing for me.  The common theme for all clients I interviewed today was that they see the value of the internet of things.  Some of them have been on the maturity path to reap the benefits of a connected business focused on better decision making based on predictive analytics for years, while others are just starting the path.

I think this picture from the GrowSafe Systems Ltd  website says it all:

growsafe website

For Alison Sunstrum from GrowSafe Systems Ltd, she has been focused on big data and analytics since the 1990’s and is ready for the internet of things technologies to help drive better business decision making for the agriculture industry.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog disruptive innovation for cattle management is fertile ground for IoT if we are going to double food production by 2050 to feed a projected world population of 9B.  You will have to wait for the final video to learn more about the fun we had today with Alison.

interconnect day 2 021

Next up I learned about the importance of focusing on predictive analytics to take enterprise asset management solutions to the next level.  Whether it was for Procurement operations integration for Nick DiRocco from TimkenSteel or maintenance operations for Mattias Werme from Swedish Match, this was a consistent theme.

Lights, camera, action, green screen for Nick

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and Mattias

interconnect day 2 017 A big #IBMThanks to Alison, Nick, Mattias and everyone who shared their visions and success stories.

Stay tuned for the finished products coming soon!

IBM Analytics pulled out all the stops with a Tesla and Fabio Viviani

What a day at IBM InterConnect!  I started with the Asset Management and Internet of Things stream kickoff, enjoyed hosting great clients for success story videos and ended the day with a tour of the expo center.  Could the night have gotten any better……..IBM Analytics pulled out all the stops with a Tesla and Fabio Viviani on the expo center.

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As mentioned in my last blog, Retired Major General Lester Eisner from the University of South Carolina discussed condition-based maintenance research that is being done at the University of South Carolina in the stream kickoff.  I was so excited about his presentation that I had to visit the demo of IBM Predictive Maintenance and Quality and the Apache helicopter gear box.  Alex Cao a Research Engineer at the University of South Carolina gave me a great overview of how his team built this gear box…..WOW what a great example of the internet of things!  Meet the team and learn more about their research here.

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Hosting clients for success story videos is always my favorite part of IBM events and this year was no different.  Today I hosted Marcus Stenstrand from Fingrid and Ed Nickolite from DTE Energy.  I will keep you in suspense regarding the details of their stories, but I will tell you about a consumer product featuring the internet of things technology that Marcus would love to see in the near future.  How about an internet of things washer and dryer that has built in analytics to determine the best time to run them based on the fluctuating price of electricity.  In Finland the price of utilities varies based on consumption and the market, so this would save consumers.  Potentially the analytical algorithm could determine that the most cost efficient time to run the appliances would be 3am……no one is going to get up and turn them on then……but if they turned on and ran automatically based on the built in algorithm, perfect.

This of course could be applied to all appliances (lower the temperature of your refrigerator an hour before you are scheduled to arrive home from a hard day at work to ensure your favorite beverage is at the optimum temperature).  What do you think?  Comment on this blog to let me know what you’d like to see!

Thanks again to all the clients who are participating in success story videos!  You are all #IBMSuperHeroes!

Internet of Things main tent activities you won’t want to miss

In addition to the IBM InterConnect teasers that I shared last week, here are Asset Management and Internet of Things main tent activities you won’t want to miss:

  • Day 1:  Key 6633 Track Keynote
  • Day 2:  CGS 6098 General Session:  A new way to work

In the Asset Management and Internet of Things Keynote (#6633) you will hear how organizations across all industries recognize the value opportunity embedded within the Internet of Things. Many remain unclear about its potential within their own business and about how best to evolve existing physical and information infrastructures to take advantage of the immense opportunity offered by connected devices. Kevin Massey from Cummins, Retired Major General Lester Eisner from the University of South Carolina and Chris O’Connor General Manager of IBM’s Internet of Things will attempt to demystify the opportunity and inspire you to disrupt the status quo to your advantage with the Internet of Things.

Or put another way, disrupt your “highway of noise” by learning how you can bring clarity to the things that matter to you:

On Day 2:  the General Session (CGS 6098):  A new way to work will look at roles across the organization that can be empowered to:  act with speed, use context as an advantage, and continuously deliver innovation. Join us to learn how data-rich mobile experiences and new cloud services allow business leaders, developers, and IT leaders to work in new, faster, and more impactful ways.

As is customary at these events, you are sure to be wowed by the on-stage demos and vignettes.  Day 1 will feature the Internet of Things “taking off” at Airbus and then on Day 2 speed, speed, speed for Revolutionizing an Industry in 3 weeks at Silverhook.  So hold on to your hats and prepare for take off!

Overview silverhook

Wondering what will be drawing the biggest crowd on the expo hall??  It will no doubt be the Asset Management and Internet of Things solution center!  You will be able to see connected vehicles from both Porsche AND Tesla and experience a connected home with an IoT oven by Miele DualChef Watson can “cook” for me any day of the week!

Hope to see you there!

InterConnect teasers: from cattle to ice cream to connected trucks to ELVIS

By now you have registered for IBM InterConnect and are putting together your schedule.  Having trouble selecting which sessions in the Asset Management and Internet of Things stream you will find as the best of the best?  Today I’ll give you some InterConnect teasers:  from cattle to ice cream to connected trucks to ELVIS.  Hold on to your hat, here we go!

As a refresher, start with my earlier blog highlighting tips for Maximo and TRIRIGA enthusiasts attending InterConnect:  link.

Now into the teasers……..first up, Session 1412:  The Internet of Livestock Things:  Disruptive Innovation to Feed the World on Wednesday at 3:30.  In this session GrowSafe Systems Ltd will discuss what feeding a world population of 9B by 2050 will mean for food production on the same or less land.  Their graphic says it best…..this is definitely “fertile ground for the Internet of Things”!

Interconnect 1412 cattle

Next up……..bringing us ice cream……..and other tasty treats……..Session 2141:  Case Study: Sonic Drive-In, also on Wednesday at 3:30.  You had me at ice cream, but in this session you will learn how Sonic Drive-In has implemented TRIRIGA for lifecycle management.


Next up connected trucks in Session 5975:  Scania brings mobile engagement to the trucking industry on Tuesday at 3:30.  As part of the “Creating Internet of Things applications for Business” track, this session is sure to WOW the audience when they discuss the connected truck!


With most InterConnect attendees flying in from somewhere, I would be remiss if I didn’t cover an airport session recommendation.  Session 1623:  Making Gatwick SAFE on Wednesday at 2:00, will be about more than just a safe airport.  It will be about Service Avoidance Field Environment and they will also dive into Building Information Modeling (BIM).  BIM and the integration with Maximo is very exciting and a hot topic.

1623_INTERCONNECT Making Gatwick SAFE slide

Did someone say shopping?  Session 2854:  Strategic partnerships, create new business opportunities on Tuesday at 2:00 will feature BTC and cover real estate asset management of a variety of properties including shopping malls, entertainment and sports venue real estate. Take a look at this overview as a teaser:

Has ELVIS left the building?  Not yet, because this session at 5:30 on Tuesday is well worth the wait.  Session 4728:  ELVIS – Helping power an entire country will be hosted by Fingrid.  If their session is anything like this video, we will all be on the floor laughing!  I don’t know how many socks I own!  A question for Q&A should be, can ELVIS help me with my socks!

Take a look……..but remember I warned you that you will laugh!

And finally, reference my earlier blog on Session 5993 Take Action Today for the Challenges of Tomorrow—Take Your Asset from Zero to Predictive in 90 Days link.

Have I covered the sessions you are attending?  Comment on this blog & let me know!



Predictive Insights can take a Maximo solution to the next level

The vision of the Internet of Things is helping enterprise asset managers reach for more comprehensive solutions that will drive predictive insights and ultimately lead to better decision making.  To discuss how IBM Predictive Insights can take a Maximo solution to the next level, I sat down with Blaine McGillivray, a Director of Business Development at Technology Concepts Group, a Maximo business partner.

Below are his answers to the 5 questions I asked him.

 1.     Can you tell me about what a Maximo + Predictive Insights comprehensive solution delivers?
a.     Predictive Insights delivers Predictive Maintenance (PdM). Essentially advance notification of minor equipment issues before they become catastrophic failures causing millions $$ in lost plant time, production and revenue.
2.     What are the market challenges that are driving the need for a Maximo + Predictive Insights solution?

a.     Competition across all industries is fierce. All companies are trying to achieve tight production schedules to meet customer demands. A Maximo / Predictive Insights solution will increase plant uptime so that all customer orders will be fulfilled and delivered on time. This will, in turn, increase customer satisfaction and market share.
3.     Can you contrast & compare Predictive Insights for Cloud IT clients vs for Maximo Asset Management clients?

a.     Predictive Insights / Maximo focuses on industries like oil and gas with critical plant assets such as compressors, pumps and turbines while Predictive Insights / IT focuses on assets such as servers and network infrastructure. The failure of either type could have catastrophic effects on revenue, regulatory compliance and customer service levels. The integration to Maximo provides more options for earlier notification of the problem and a faster resolution to the situation.
4.     What are the challenges that operations faces that can be solved with a comprehensive solution that includes Maximo and Predictive Insights?

a.     The early warning of an asset problem will give Operations the Time to evaluate and research the history of the situation. This extra time will let them provide the best advice and strategy to remedy the situation in the shortest amount of time and least disruption to the business.
5.     What is the main quantifiable benefit that you foresee coming to clients implementing a comprehensive solution that includes Maximo and Predictive Insights?

a.     Increased Revenue.

To learn more, join Blaine and Justin Brisco from IBM at Session #5993 Take Action Today for the Challenges of Tomorrow—Take Your Asset from Zero to Predictive in 90 Days in the Cloud Infrastructure & IT Optimization Stream, on Tuesday at 9:30am – Mandalay Bay – Islander Ballroom at IBM InterConnect.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Key asset management benefits for public transit

Over the last several months we have focused on public transportation and the various challenges that transit operators face.  Reference the last 3 blogs:  Moving to usage-based preventive maintenance has enabled WMATA to save $1.2M, Is urban transportation a hot topic for millennials and How bright is the future of our transportation systems.  We heard over and over that system reliability matters for transit operations.

In addition to system reliability, transit operators need a software solution that can deliver the following key asset management benefits for public transit:

  • Centralized management:  the ability to manage multiple asset classes within a single enterprise asset management solution.
  • Interconnected technology:  an enterprise asset management solution that easily incorporates solutions focused on facilities management, mobility, and analytics.
  • Industry specific experience:  a solution provider that has transportation industry experience and understand the complexities of providing reliable public transportation.

IBM understands the complexities of delivering effective public transportation, helping more than 17B rail travelers reach their destinations each year.  Over 160 clients managing transit, metro and rail operations leverage the IBM Maximo for Transportation industry solution and experience to successfully run their transit operations.

Reliability matters and improving public transit is job number one for public transit operators.  Inter_Cities-012815

To view the infographic on a separate page here is the link

To learn more, visit the IBM Enterprise Asset Management fpr Public Transportation site and join us at the Asset Management and Internet of Things stream at IBM InterConnect, to hear from clients like Amtrak, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Tube Lines London Underground and Haramain High Speed Rail just to name a few, who are achieving success with IBM Enterprise Asset Management solutions.



Analytics, mobility and enhanced user experience

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.

pete karns headshot

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;

  1. increasing end user experience and speed thru user interface and design enhancements
  2. enabling the many personas that utilize Maximo to increase timely visibility to information and insights
  3. further simplifying and easing the IT admin management of Maximo
  4. 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:

And as always, comment on this blog if you can’t find what you are looking for.


How bright is the future of our transportation systems?

We have had a lot of focus on public transportation over the last year with key posts on Millennials, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and Enterprise Asset Management Challenges to name a few.  Recently we took this subject to the next level with 2 IBM sponsored surveys to answer the question “How bright is the future of our transportation systems?”

The first survey was a global survey of asset management executives and professionals, including transportation executives, with, to understand their views of asset management and how they are planning to focus their initiatives in the short term.

The second survey was done by IBM at the recent 2014 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Expo as part of a fun and interactive Lite-Brite® survey display.  Yes, you heard right, Lite-Brite!  This is the Lite-Brite image of the results of the survey:

The 3 questions that were asked in both surveys focusing on how bright the future of our transportation systems are included:

  • Why do you have an interest in asset management?
  • Are you planning to develop a strategic asset management plan?
  • What investments do you plan to make over the next 5 years?

Question 1:  Increasing system reliability was a top reason for an interest in asset management

It’s clear that a focus on system reliability matters and is a direct link to the profitability of the organizations providing public transportation.  Increasing reliability was in the top 2 answers for both surveys.  It ranked 1st for the transit asset management strategists in the survey with 76% of the respondents and it ranked 2nd with 58% of the respondents at APTA, 2nd only to improving financial results.

* Survey (n=61 transit asset management strategists)

**APTA Survey (n=36)

Question 2:  Strategic asset management plans already in place for close to 45% of respondents

For asset intensive industries, like transit organizations, asset cost is a major factor for capital and operational expenses.  Having strategic asset management plans in place makes sense to address this.  Close to 45% of respondents for both surveys already have strategic asset management plans in place.   The majority of respondents that didn’t have a plan in place already stated that they plan to implement one within 12 months (49% of survey and 36% from APTA).

Question 3:  Performance metrics and reliability improvements are top investment strategies

Asset managers in transit organizations focus on the bottom-line profitability of their businesses and influence investment decisions.  Knowing this it was no surprise that performance metrics were listed as the top investment planned over the next 5 years for both survey groups. Knowing that reliability can translate to more passengers, which in turn can translate to greater profits, we saw that investments in reliability improvements was in the top 3 responses for both groups.

Our conclusion:  The future of our transportation systems is bright with transit asset managers focused on reliability and strategic asset management plans, which will drive improved financial results.

Download a copy of How bright is the future of our transportation systems report to share with your peers.

To dive deeper into this topic of reliability for transportation systems, I recommend you:

Looking for IBM Pulse 2015……it’s now IBM InterConnect 2015

Attention Maximo and TRIRIGA enthusiasts!  If you are looking for IBM Pulse 2015……it’s now IBM InterConnect 2015!  As the website says….”By Incorporating three dynamic IBM conferences —Impact, Innovate and Pulse —into one, InterConnect has become the most comprehensive and collaborative event ever, providing an even richer experience to you and your colleagues. Join the largest community embodying the full life-cycle of IT, assets and infrastructure — from Development to Architecture to Operations.”

Interconnect 2015 at a glance updated 9-3

So it will be bigger than ever, but never fear I’m here to help you navigate the 20K attendees; 1500 technical sessions; 42 tracks; 8 streams and 3 general sessions to find the content that will be pertinent to our enterprise asset management, facilities management and internet of things enthusiasts.

5 tips to keep you in the know:

  • Tip #1:  the stream for Maximo and TRIRIGA content will be “Asset Management and the Internet of Things”
  • Tip #2:  you will want to stay at Mandalay Bay, this will save you a lot of miles walking as this is where our stream will be held
  • Tip #3:  the popular Maximo industry user groups will still be held on Sunday
  • Tip #4:  there will be 100+ sessions on the agenda focused on Maximo and TRIRIGA
  • Tip #5:  there will be 30 hands-on labs and 15 IBMer led “Lunch and Learn” sessions

A snapshot of the tracks:

  • Analytics: Make Data Your Most Valuable Resource
  • Asset and Facilities Management Best Practices
  • Asset and Facilities Management Technologies
  • Better Decision Making from Real Time Data
  • Creating IoT Applications for Business
  • Developing the Next Generation of Smarter Connected Products
  • Internet of Things Innovation

You will want to bookmark the website for our track and refer to it for updates to the stream:  link

I hope to to see you there!  Register today:  link

Be sure to follow @MaximoMary for a drum beat of “Did you know” factoids from now until the event………as well as to learn who & when the entertainment will be (clue, you will want to stay until Thursday) and of course to learn more about receptions for Maximo and TRIRIGA participants!