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October 25, 2010

IBM Software Puts Critical Information into Maintenance Staff's Hands

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

IBM has expanded its enterprise mobile computing offerings with new software that puts critical information about buildings and equipment into the hands of maintenance staff in the field. 

In addition to replacing paper reports, the new software also helps organizations better manage and maintain their campuses, cities, water systems, rail lines, roadways and other infrastructure, said company officials.

Company officials said that through new enhancements to its Maximo Web-based software, IBM’s enterprise asset management software is available to run natively on the browsers of the Apple (News - Alert) iPhone and iPad, and Android-based phones.

Traditionally, the maintenance staff has worked from paper copies of work orders, but the new software provides real-time information at their fingertips across the expansive territory they need to maintain.

IBM (News - Alert) Maximo Everyplace software displays job plans, location of assets, maintenance history, work-order tracking, and service requests. Company officials said that all these can help companies deliver better preventative maintenance, speed repairs quickly before impacting operations and optimize the usage of parts to ensure greater efficiency.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston uses IBM Maximo software to maintain its 84-acre campus of more than 160 buildings to identify assets in need of maintenance as well as address maintenance issues and expedite and streamline reporting.

“This service enables us to log and respond to requests throughout the campus and provides us more visibility into the lifecycle of our most important assets, in turn improving the work environment and quality of care at our facilities,” said David Reynolds, director for Fixed Assets and Reliability Systems at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

The benefits that enterprises currently gain from using IBM Maximo software are enhanced via use of Maximo Everyplace on mobile devices, said company officials.

Bill Cheng, vice president for Asset Management at IBM Software, said that by managing assets more intelligently, companies can gain operational efficiency and reduce reoccurring costs.

“Adding mobile capabilities helps empower staff with critical information in real-time when they need it most -- while they are on the road or in the field -- to deliver overall better service,” Cheng said.

The new software provides mobile access via WiFi (News - Alert), cellular or satellite, eliminating the need to carry a separate mobile device. Moreover, since it is Web-based, no additional software needs to be downloaded to the device. Company officials said that administrators have the flexibility to select which capabilities are displayed on screen to fit individual preferences.

Earlier this month, IBM approved the signing of the formal contract between EnergyAustralia and the Australian government to develop Australia’s first smart grid network. 

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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