What You Need to Know About Implementing Maximo Anywhere in Your Business
IBM's Maximo Anywhere gives enterprises the ability to get the functionality of the core Maximo Asset Management system anywhere in their businesses.
Over the last few years, mobile apps have gone from a consumer curiosity to a technology that has transformed the way we live and work. These apps have crossed over into the business world and are now widely recognized as a critical component in end-to-end operations. In fact, a report from Business News Daily found that 92 percent of organizations believe that mobility will unlock considerable competitive advantages, while going without it could lead to major strategic shortcomings.
While nearly every area of a business can benefit from mobility, asset and facility management may stand to gain the most from it. To that end, IBM's Maximo Anywhere gives enterprises the ability to get the functionality of the core Maximo Asset Management system anywhere in their businesses.
How mobile makes maintenance easier
Enterprises today are carving out their competitive advantages by making better use of the data they have to drive decision making. When it comes to maintenance, managers and staffs are using the data generated from both Internet-connected apps that automatically transmit data to a central system through Wi-Fi, as well as physical observations on asset performance logged by maintenance workers and operators. This data is essential for modern maintenance programs that use predictive analysis for scheduling repairs, ordering spare parts and putting in work orders to ensure maintenance happens at the right place and time.
With a mobile app that facilitates maintenance and management, those on the front lines of these processes will be able to reduce the need for redundant data entry. They can record and enter data right into the app through a mobile device, which will automatically store it in the system and allow other users to access it. One-step data entry and storage is a major boost to efficiency, as well as limiting the human error that comes with handling data in multiple steps.
Additionally, Maximo Anywhere doesn't rely on Internet connectivity for users to access key parts of the workflow. Wi-Fi doesn't always reach into every corner of a facility, and for assets situated far away from a stable Internet connection – like a transformer station that's miles away from a power plant – it's important to have a data entry system that doesn't need an Internet connection to work. Maximo Anywhere allows you to seamlessly move through every part of your business and gather the data you need.
Letting the business define the application, not the other way around
Of course, it's not as simple as building out the software infrastructure and reaping the benefits right away. Every business and industry has its own unique assets and maintenance needs, which means that the Maximo system must be customized to the organization's individual needs. The partner who helps implement your system is just as important as the system itself.
GenesisSolutions is a trusted partner for Maximo implementations because in addition to having a complete knowledge of the Maximo software, our teams have a wealth of experience with enterprise maintenance strategies. We know what a world-class maintenance program looks like in practice and we can fine-tune the capabilities that Maximo Anywhere offers to match up with users' needs.
"A lot of partners can implement mobile. But to really do a good job, you need to understand the core process that you're integrating the mobile within. Not only do we understand Maximo, but we understand the business-side of things too. And we extend that into mobile," says Trey Brown, manager of Technical Support and Integration Services at GenesisSolutions. "We understand the whole maintenance continuum. That helps us see the whole picture."
This business focus is apparent in the approach Trey and his team take when implementing Maximo Anywhere. It starts by going into a business and building out the software infrastructure for the application. Next is establishing proof of concept: Once the software is in place, we gather user requirements and talk to maintenance managers to make sure we're moving in the right direction. This saves a lot of time and expense over other implementers who go for a massive launch right off the bat without finding out what exactly the organization really needs for its maintenance programs.
"We try to steer people to simple solutions upfront. We say 'Let's structure this to be one week of design and requirements.' Then we walk away and let the customer test it and get their maintenance teams to use it before we go into production. We let them talk about it and sit on it awhile. Then once we come back, there's usually just a few tweaks that need to be made," Trey explained.
As Trey alluded to, the people using the mobile solutions need to understand the value of the application. For that, he argues that when you install Maximo, you need to consider how your employees will use it to make their jobs easier and more efficient.
Mobility and simplicity
Failure to keep the end users in mind is a big reason why mobile implementations can fail. If the people on the front lines who are actually using the app don't see why it's important, or if it makes their jobs harder, they'll be likely to forget about the app and find their own way to do it.
According to Trey, the most important aspect of a mobile app is simplicity. You have to understand that these users are taking their devices into places that may be loud, dirty and in some cases, dangerous. They don't want to have to fumble around with a mobile that's hindered with bad UX while they're trying to concentrate on the tasks at hand. The mobile app should focus solely on what's essential for the tasks at hand and make them as intuitive as possible.
"I think of it like a banking app. You just want to get in, do what you have to do, then move onto the next thing. A true mobile app is designed to be simple and intuitive. If it's overly complex, people will get frustrated. When you get into a maintenance environment – and this is what IT people tend to forget – is that you're in an environment where you have to put a protective case on your device. When you add complexity, a task that could take three clicks ends up taking twenty. They get frustrated and they find another way to do it," Trey says. "It all comes back to actors and use cases."
Maximo Anywhere and the mobility it offers can be a major competitive advantage in your organization, but only if it's implemented in a way that keeps your processes and end users in mind. Thus, an implementation team that not only understands the ins and outs of the software but also your maintenance department will be a valuable partner in helping you develop world-class maintenance strategies.