I often blog about the event and the committee asked me if I could do the honours again... Last week was my first foray into physical events since COVID and paternity leave so I was very excited to be heading to Belfast for the Maximo UK & Ireland User Group meeting. I was traveling with my colleague Johnny (who can't be taken anywhere!) Before we even crossed security, he realised he was travelling with his full-size bottle of aftershave, cue a dash back to the car.
(Photo taken for my 2 little boys who wanted to see mum on an airplane)
The flight was seamless, and we had a very scenic taxi ride with a driver who told us a lot about the Titanic's history. Perfect seeing as that was our destination! I could tell it was going to be a special venue, and I was looking forward to arriving for the networking event.
The business end of the event got started early in the drawing room the next morning and the committee introduced the day's agenda:
- Whitelink Ferries
- Full Circle Generation
- Scheduler Experiences
- IBM Maximo / MAS Roadmap
- Mayflower Autonomous Vessel
- Table Topics
The event was also to be streamed via Twitch for those who were unable to attend in person. How did any viewers find the platform?
Russ Mckay (IBM) took the first speaking slot to talk about some cool things going on at Whitelink – the ferries that take you over to the Isle of Wight. They use Maximo for just about everything including qualifications and training plans. If Maximo isn't working, then the ship can't leave. With financial penalties imposed on them for any late cargo, asset failures can be very expensive – and dangerous. They were experiencing some reliability concerns in the engine room, and they wanted to start routinely monitoring the condition of the engines. Russ being the very passionate IoT guy that he is helped Whitelink to build some toys (accelerometers) to monitor vibration which would feed into an alerting system in Maximo. Once they started melting, it was clear that temperature was also playing its part, so they had to monitor that as well. They used standard IoT architecture including an IoT Gateway, Node Red and Maximo Asset Monitor to gather data for analysis. They found lots of things affected the engine vibration including direction of travel, tide, weather etc. The second thing Russ showed us was a 3D navigation model of the ship. BIM & CAD were proving too expensive and time consuming, so Whitelink worked with Visualise Info to produce a photogrammetry scan to help locate assets visually onboard which is integrated with Maximo.
Next, Alan Cassells presented his recent Maximo 126.96.36.199 implementation project at Full Circle Generation. Alan was a real championer of Maximo having used it throughout his career but was left challenged after FCG lost their system as part of an O&M contract. Without Maximo, Alan couldn't control his plant data. Some important lessons learned here:
- Find a business partner with the right experience for your industry or project
- Get your Techs/Engineers to input
- Present priorities to the user
- Define your reports first to understand the front-end system and data required
The committee members then took on the topic of Scheduling with both Richard and Linda giving separate accounts of Drax and Bouygues experience in making their internal mobile engineering teams more efficient. Drax struggled to get Scheduler to work and eventually moved to an alternative solution, CiM. Linda faced a similar problem with Scheduler, but they returned to the latest version with Maximo being embedded into their business. During their pilot, they realised that their core processes were failing them with many data gaps. Richard put it simply, 'sh#t in, sh#t out'. The business was struggling to understand what they wanted vs. what they needed. Another key take away from both accounts was the importance of having good IBM contacts as well as using user groups like this one to drive development for Maximo.
We were joined virtually by the US IBM team for a Maximo / MAS roadmap session as we all assess the impact the Maximo Application Suite is going to have. Some key dates to note:
- Version 7.6 you have extended support until 2024
- Version 7.6.1x EOS is 30 September 2025 with extended support until 2028
- Version 188.8.131.52 will be out in Q3 2022
- MAS 8.7 is out now!
The introduction of the MAS brings best of class capabilities on a single licence entitlement. Some of the 2022/23 MAS enhancements discussed were the move away from BIRT to Cognos for reporting, continual improvement to the migration journey, and role-based applications to enhance Start Centres and user experience.
Doug Coombes presented on the Mayflower – an autonomous vessel which has IBM technologies onboard. We all logged into Mayflower Autonomous Ship (mas400.com) to look at it in real-time. Based in Plymouth, the ship makes its own decisions to navigate the ocean and is used for marine and oceanographic research e.g., measuring plastics in the ocean. I didn't truly understand the Maximo link until we picked it up again in the table topics (amongst other more interesting questions like do we trust it?!). The AI-powered ship has been trained using Maximo Visual Inspection to be able to recognise debris, land, other ships etc. using images related to maritime transportation.
After lunch, I took a walk as the room became a bit of a suntrap and I wanted to make sure I saw some of Belfast before leaving. It did not disappoint.
In the afternoon, the event became more interactive with 'Table Topics'. For me, this was a very successful and interesting part of the day. The format was that each presenter chaired a table and answered any burning questions you had about their presentation. It was also another good opportunity to sit with other users/vendors. The biggest surprise of this section was discovering that one user hadn't even heard of MAS before! This got me wondering. If you are unsure about what the changes are and what they will eventually mean for your business, please reach out to your business partner or IBM rep to understand the migration paths available to you and start planning your futures roadmap. You can have a chat with me.
Get involved in the next user group!
This is the most important part – the community is there to benefit you as users so make sure you take something away if you attend. Here are the topics you want more of. Can you speak to any of these? Let Rich, Kenny or Linda know!
The next event has been announced as 1st December in London at the IBM Innovation Centre. Finally, a big thanks to the committee and to the sponsors of the event for making the day possible.
You can also download all of the presentations from the day in the Library section.
Business Development Manager, BPD Zenith
Happy to be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org