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Mobile application for Maximo operations is the gateway to IoT and Advanced Analytics by capturing the right data at the point of performance and data which is not captured when using desktop version of Maximo. As assets become smarter and as existing business need more efficiency it’s natural to lean towards mobile platforms for better asset management.

Maximo mobility initiative can succeed or can turn into a failed project, with time and money lost, and solutions rejected by users. How can one ensure that the Maximo mobility initiative is successful which delivers ROI and make users happy? Read through these pointers to learn how your Maximo mobile initiative can justify the ROI…

1.Mobility Strategy – Preparation is half victory:

Start off with a sound business case. The mobility strategy adopted should provide a compelling business & cost driven reason for embracing the mobile journey. Cost benefit analysis, time study etc. in specific business streams (e.g. Work management, Inventory Management), would give a clear picture of what can be achieved in this journey. This will in-turn help assessing which work stream takes priority over others. A phase wise approach will ensure successful implementation. The strategy should include

  1. Device Strategy –BYOD, lease or purchase
  2. App selection procedure
  3. Mobile Device Management (MDM)
  4. Pilot and Implementation Approach

2.Assessment / Evaluation:

There are many Maximo mobile apps in the market, choosing a right one could be a challenge. Here are a few tips to drive your evaluation through a structured approach. Based on your functional & technical requirements, prepare a detailed questionnaire and send it to all potential vendors. A score card will provide you an objective result.

Here is what most organizations fail to notice – “Hands on Evaluation” – Your vendor should be able to provide a test site where your END USERS can play around with their product. If it fits their bill, your product selection is most likely to be successful.

Not all products would provide all the features you are looking for. A confirmed product road-map is also to be considered. If not today, if the feature can be made available in a reasonable time, consider that in your evaluation. You could save a lot by this consideration.

3.Pseudo Piloting:

Pick the top 3 vendors. Pick the module(s) / functionalities that one wants to implement. Deploy the app in your environment. Load test data & now allow your key end users to play around for 4-6 weeks. Pseudo piloting will identify problems related to the environment, functionality behavior, user experiences etc.

Evaluate your objectives based on the pilot implementation. Now if one goes back to the drawing board he would exactly know what to modify and how much. Monumental changes do not reflect a good design. Cosmetic changes are critical because it is a mobile app, they can make or break your actual implementation.

4.Devices:

A critical piece in the Mobility journey. Select the device based on the functionality or user. For example if one plans to implement the mobile solution for field technicians for collecting the data, the data collection forms would be more usable on a tablet device than on a mobile. Though rich in features, your app could be easily disregarded, if the device is not good enough.

When it comes to devices, organizations either provide company owned devices to users or adopt an employee owned ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policy.

Company owned vs BYOD is one decision that one need to take and will depend on the extent of standardization thats looked for.

The following holds good for any kind of devices

  • Environment: The device needs to be sufficiently rugged or must have an external protection if the usage is outdoor or in harsh climate.
  • Battery life: Devices with longer battery life, add-on batteries would be beneficial for field technicians who don’t have regular access to charging points.
  • Features such as cameras, GPS etc: These are decided by your functionalities and features.
  • System resources (RAM, Memory, Processor): The device system resources should be sufficient so that it will work reasonably fast and perform well with your apps loaded, else users will get annoyed and may even reject the solution completely.

5.Usability:

 A study reveals that 78% of enterprise mobile apps are abandoned after the first use. The biggest contributor to this is usability. No matter how good the features and functionality of the app, it won’t succeed unless users actually start using it.

The important objective of the Maximo mobile implementation is to provide the users with the simple user interface that results in productivity gains through greater flexibility and convenient. The mobile UI should align with native design of the device. This ensures minimal learning curve.

Most of the complex features/workflows that are available on a Maximo desktop application including the number of clicks has to be minimal on mobile app and has to offer a seamless user experience without affecting the productivity of users.

6.Integration with Maximo:

There are multiple ways to integrate the mobile solutions with IBM Maximo. Some requires middleware & DB to run mobile apps which means you may have to procure additional infrastructure to run the mobile app. Some use the existing infrastructure but you might have to increase the capacity of existing servers (additional JVM/Cluster), if it doesn’t have the bandwidth to support the additional users.

In future, if there are additional business rules or changes in the MBO of your Maximo application, the integration with the mobile should support the changes in Maximo and there should not be duplication of coding.

Users access rights defined in Maximo should be synchronized in the Mobile app. The integrity of data has to be maintained and it should allow cloned/customized Applications, business logics, workflow and provide as much security as desktop version.

7.Flexibility & Scalability:

Customization must be done easily. It should be able to support any external devices that is used in your organization. For example integrating with RFID scanners for scanning the asset tags.

If the devices are used by multiple users in different shifts, the mobile solution should retain the data of the users who used the same device with different login. Eg. If the devices are used by multiple users and while transferring the device, if the data of the previous user is not synchronized with Maximo then there would be data loss. Multi user support is very much required.

A scalable Maximo Mobile app should consider various parameters like support to maximum number of users, Maximo version changes, device diversity, new operating systems and infrastructural changes.

8.Security:

The mobile application should support the authentication mechanism that has been followed by your organization as well as authentication mechanism in the road map. This would mitigate the risk of moving from on-premise to cloud.

Having a two or three layer security is preferable, however, the security controls should be more user friendly and non-intrusive – users should not be asked to retype passwords repeatedly. A single-sign or multi factor authentication most preferred user-friendly security system.

If the Maximo is on Cloud with SoS authentication, check if the authentication mechanism of the cloud is supported by the mobile solution.

Also, it is best to have the mobile solution which has the encrypted DB on the devices, it protects data intrusions.

9.Licensing:

The mobile solution should comply with the IBM’s Maximo licensing model. Maximo 7.6 supports concurrent license model, hence the mobile solution which supports concurrent user model would save your bill. Also check if the Mobile solution provider supports OPEX licensing model which is subscription based, implying pay on the go and is dependent on the number of users the app can support and the specific time period of access.

10.Partners:

Join hands with a partner who shares the same vision and energy. Partners will have a game changing effect in this journey. Your implementation partner could be sound in Maximo implementations or upgrades but could fall flat on mobile app development. They need not be experts or experienced in EAM mobile apps, but someone who understands the user’s pulse and purpose. Their depth of domain knowledge, technical know how and passion plays vital role in your mobile journey. Use a similar evaluation criteria that was used for mobile app to select your partner as well.

Giving importance to domain expert will help to increase the success rate.

In terms of corporate existence Thiran is a Start-up, but in terms of EAM experience, Maximo knowledge and passion to delivery, Thiran is very-very experienced. We are the underdogs, but we have adequately equipped ourselves to deliver THE BEST. We share the same passion & focus with every single client to deliver as though it is our first project.

Let us meet…lets talk…let us deliver.

 

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