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!

Is urban transportation a hot topic for millennials?

Is urban transportation a hot topic for millennials?  Do an internet search on “Millennials driving urban transportation” and you will get over 175K hits!  So I would say “yes”!  But urban transportation is becoming popular with more just millennials, it’s popular with anyone who has decided to take public transportation to avoid traffic congestion, especially in the world’s largest cities.

In addition, in a study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and referenced in this “Millennial Generation Desires Multi-Modal Transportation System” article, 70% of millennials are taking mulitple modes of transportation several times or more a week.  Having a transit infrastructure with multiple modes of transportation enables inner-city businesses to employ a workforce and drive city revenues to keep pace with the population growth.

Transit organizations are tasked with delivering transportation to their passengers who are focused on reducing carbon footprints as well as traffic congestion.  Major cities across the world are planning for and implementing enterprise asset management solutions to  deliver safe, affordable and reliable multi-modal transportation systems to stay competitive.

I’ve referenced this topic in previous blogs:

To show the diversity of the needs of cities, as well as the versatility of the IBM solution, today’s Inner City Transportation Journey will encompass trams and ferries.  In this scenario you will see unique challenges solved with:

Watch the video now:


Moving to usage-based preventive maintenance has enabled WMATA to save $1.2M annually

How do you manage your rail assets?  Time-based maintenance or usage-based maintenance?  After 38 years with a time-based maintenance approach for their rail car fleet, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is moving to usage-based preventive maintenance.  Moving to usage-based preventive maintenance has enabled WMATA to save $1.2M annually on the road to $3.1M in savings projected in the future.  WMATA will also virtually increase the size of their fleet by 2 rail cars every day, by decreasing the amount of cars removed from service for maintenance.

As the second largest transit system in the United States, reliability of transit service matters for the local population of 3.5M.  With over 1.5 million trips per year across 106 miles of track using 86 stations, ensuring rail asset availability through effective preventive maintenance helps WMATA optimize it’s business model.

Many of the passengers on WMATA metro have daily commutes similar to George, who shows us just why reliability matters to both transit operators and passengers alike……..

The move to a mileage-based preventive maintenance schedule driven by actual mileage values will enable WMATA to achieve a higher availability of these assets and reduce the overall parts inventory and associated maintenance costs, while proactively improving safety.  How do they do it?

In a September 11th webcast, Tara Soesbee, Program Manager at WMATA and Doug Stevenson, Associate Partner at IBM  will touch on the end to end solution and projected benefits, including required rail car modifications, maintenance analytical techniques, and automation.  All actions that show how WMATA is increasing availability and reliability while reducing costs.

As your moderator for the webcast I will keep things lively and give you teasers on what else is coming up for our activities around enterprise asset management for urban transit.  Register today to attend a webcast on September 11 (or to listen on-demand afterwards) here.

John Holland Group improved asset utilization by 20% with Maximo

With over $250M in owned assets, knowing where your assets are, their condition, and if they are in compliance are just a few of the challenges that you face.   These tasks become even more daunting when you are a construction company with over 160 projects underway across Australia, India, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand.  As part of this mission, today we will hear how the John Holland Group improved asset utilization by 20% with Maximo.

The John Holland Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leighton
Holdings Limited, with 7 major plant facilities and 4500 mobile plant assets.  One of their strategic objectives of an enterprise asset management solution was to standardize asset maintenance and safety compliance for a large variety of asset types.  The program value needed to support diversification and their growth as a service provider, as well as help improve internal asset management capabilities and controls.

Jason Rogers, Enterprise Asset Systems Program Manager, tells us that the John Holland Group has moved from reactive to preventive equipment maintenance and improved asset tracking and condition, across their light equipment fleet with a comprehensive Maximo Asset Management solution (Maximo Asset Management, Maximo for Transportation, Maximo for Service Providers, Maximo Linear Asset Manager and Maximo Asset Management Scheduler).

Looking towards the future they see their strategic opportunities with Maximo to be:

  • strategic asset management
  • centralized fleet management

Watch the entire video:

For a summary, refer to the case study:  link.

To learn more about Maximo for Transportation visit the industry demo launch pad here.


Enterprise asset management challenge for urban transit organizations

What is the biggest enterprise asset management challenge for urban transit organizations?  Reliability!  From the passenger to the transit operator, to the CFO, asset and schedule reliability are the biggest challenges.

We’ve learned about the success that Yarra Trams, the Downer Group and Tur-Bus have achieved with a Maximo Asset Management solution…….just to name a few of our recent featured videos.  What do they all have in common?  They are successful transportation companies delivering reliability to their passengers, with ease of use software tools helping transit operators to maintain asset lifecycles to deliver overall profitability.

This is great, as a transit operator or CIO or CFO you get it…..increase profitability.  But how do you know where to start?  How can you determine if there is software out there that can better address your growing challenges?  If it’s not broken why should you investigate other options?  With the current trend of exponential population growth in urban communities, reliable, safe transit options will happen…..the question is, will you be the one delivering them?  In this whitepaper:  Overcoming the Challenges of Inner-City Transportation you will discover an integrated approach to delivering safe, reliable and affordable transit options for the next generation.

Once you understand your challenges, you will then need help with the evaluation process.  This brochure Select the right solution for inner-city transportation management can help you.

Whether you manage the infrastructure, rolling stock, bus fleet or ferry fleet for your city, IBM has the experience to help you solve your inner-city transportation challenges.  To demonstrate, let’s look at 2 journeys:  a journey across a city with trolleys and monorails and a journey across a city with buses and a metro.

First the journey across a city with trolleys and monorails:

Next a journey across a city with buses and a metro:

This is a hot topic and over the next several months we will be rolling out incremental demos as well as new customer testimonials.  So that you don’t miss a step, bookmark our new Enterprise Asset Management for Urban Transit website & refer to it often.

Tur-Bus reduced inventory costs by $1.5M with Maximo

Continuing with our focus on enterprise asset management in the transportation industry, today we’re going to talk about buses, specifically Tur-Bus.  Tur-Bus is the largest Chilean provider of intercity bus transportation serving more than 170 destinations along Chile, and transporting 17M passengers per year.  Today we will dive into how Tur-Bus reduced inventory costs by $1.5M with Maximo.

3 years ago Tur-Bus turned to IBM to find a solution that would provide visibility into the maintenance costs for their 2300 assets (buses and trucks).  They were focused on solving 4 business drivers:

  • safety
  • security
  • compliance
  • cost

Focusing on cost, one example of their use of Maximo for Transportation highlights how they import fuel data and make decisions like initiating early inspections when fuel economy is declining.  We’ve heard about fuel management being top of mind for fleet managers before and how solutions that integrate telematics data are key.  Reference prior blog on fleet management here.

In this video Carlos Belmar, Logistics Manager at Tur-Bus highlights the following benefits from the Maximo solution:

  • improved fleet security and configuration
  • reduction in inventory costs by $1.5M
  • reduction in warranty costs by $0.5M/year
  • movement from a corrective maintenance focus to a preventive maintenance focus
  • overall reduction in costs and improved availability of transportation assets


Watch the video now

Buses were also a focus in a recent demo about an inner-city journey from buses to the metro.  Take a look

Register here for a buyer’s guide on transportation solutions including buses.

Facilities managers using mobile applications are gaining more credibility

Facilities managers are an essential resource on college campuses and are are often taken for granted.  When parents take their children to visit a college campus or drop their children off to begin their school year it is almost a “given” that the buildings and facilities are in good condition and running smoothly, as they focus more on the curriculum and education aspects.  In today’s blog we will focus on how facilities managers using mobile applications are gaining more credibility in the community at the University of Hartford.

We learn from Jason Farrell from the University of Hartford that Maximo Asset Management is their enterprise asset management solution and is helping them to manage workflows and perform preventive maintenance.  Recently with the implementation of Maximo Mobile solutions, Jason tells us that having an integrated mobile solution increases productivity by capturing data and translating it into actions in real time.  This has gained the facilities management department credibility with the staff, the department and community members.  It is a smart efficient way of managing their buildings, facilities and assets across the campus.

With 7K life safety devices across the campus, including sprinklers and alarms, Jason points out the importance of having a solution that can deliver regulatory compliance and ensure safety across the campus in addition to helping the community feel comfortable about the campus.

With regards to quantifiable benefits from the Maximo solution, Jason shares that the University of Hartford has gone from a ratio of 20% preventive maintenance and 80% corrective maintenance to 50/50 in just four years.  This is quite the accomplishment and is ensuring operational efficiencies to control the bottom line total cost of ownership for the facilities and assets.  And in the end this helps to control tuition costs.

Take a look at the video interview:

Reference a similar story at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA):   link to blog.




Inner City Transit meets Stadiums

If you got my out-of-the-office email response last week I bet you were wondering “where in the world is @MaximoMary”!  Never fear, similar to my European vacation coverage, I’ve got blog coverage to share as inner city transit meets stadiums.  You will want to stay on board until the very end because this blog has twists and turns that you won’t see coming!  So hop on……

First up, public transportation.  In most big cities you will at least have buses and a metro, and residents as well as tourists rely on services to be on-time.  Whether they are traveling to work or in my case to a “fan meet and greet” at a baseball game, you can’t afford to be late……reliability matters!

As I boarded the metro on my vacation I captured observations of the assets……..the facilities, the turnstiles, the carriages, the doors, the wheels, the audio speakers…..and then the linear assets……the rails, the tunnels, the signals…….so many assets!  As a passenger you really do take things for granted… may check on-line records for safety and on-time arrivals, but once you board the train you are pretty much trusting that your journey will be successful,  Likely you are only thinking of the behind the scenes operations if you are a transit operator yourself or somehow connected to the public transportation business.  And of course if you are @MaximoMary where you know the importance of a good enterprise asset management solution!

For me this was top of mind because we had just completed our first demo in our “Inner City Transportation” series……An Inner City Transportation Journey:  From Buses to the Metro,  Take a look to learn how reliability matters for both transit operators and passengers:

To learn more about how IBM Maximo Asset Management is helping the Long Island Rail Road follow this link to the case study.

Back to my story……next up stadiums!  Maximo is used in many stadiums….from baseball to football to basketball to hockey, you name it stadiums look to IBM for a comprehensive solution to keep their stadiums operating efficiently.  The value is not only important for the stadium owners but also to ensure a favorable fan experience to keep fans coming back!

For me the ultimate stadium is the “new” Yankee stadium and I was finally there!  Even if you are not a Yankees fan (not sure how that can be!) you can surely appreciate the majestic value of the $1.6B stadium and the assets that need to be managed!  Everything from the facilities to the machines for the concessions to the seating to the flag poles to the fleet of vehicles to the heavy equipment to the lighting to the press booths …….. and not to mention the assets in Monument Park and the Museum!  WOW!  As I walked in awe I continued to think of the operators behind the scenes keeping the stadium operating flawlessly and the operational efficiencies being achieved.

Yankees2014 192_work_stadium_vehicle

Did someone mention “fan experience”?  I never thought that I could beat the fan experience I previously had at a stadium (reference my blog with Dan Marino) ………….until I managed to meet one of my Yankee favorites………..Tino Martinez, the week he was being honored with a plaque at Monument Park.  Yes you heard right, @MaximoMary met Tino Martinez!

Yankees2014 165_Tino

This will be hard for me to top, but @MaximoMary is at the ready to bring you more public transit and stadium stories!  Stay tuned and as always comment here if you have someone for me to interview!