Having recently joined the team as a Developer at BPD Zenith, based out of our offices in Carlisle, the past few months have seen plenty of change in my life! Along with the usual fun and games around moving to a new house from one end of the country to the other, I’ve also had the challenges of completing my IBM qualifications (only fully certified Engineers work on client projects at BPD) and getting used to the new systems and processes. Luckily the new house isn’t too far from the office!
IBM Maximo Certified!
Exam revision hasn’t been the most exciting project (I think I now have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Maximo System Property names!) but I’m very happy to say that I have now passed all of my IBM certifications within a month and feel excited to move onto the more interesting and challenging client work. Required for all new starters at BPD Zenith, getting my certification up-to-date was a really useful exercise in improving and refreshing my Maximo knowledge and has given me a more general and thorough understanding of the full Maximo suite of Enterprise Asset Management tools. BPD have been really supportive throughout, investing in my career and allowing me the time to study, with a wealth of documentation and experienced Engineers around me to fill in any gaps.
In the life of a BPD Developer, change is what we do. With our clients providing a constant stream of improvement work from a variety of sectors, the past few weeks I’ve been working on changes around workflows, automation scripts and screen layouts to improve the systemisation of business processes into Maximo. In addition to these internal changes, I’ve also being scoping and developing interface improvements between Maximo and client’s financial systems.
Changes in Maximo Reporting and Upgrades
As well as the small changes that we deal with every day at BPD, we are currently undergoing significantly bigger changes for our clients too, assisting with Maximo upgrades to the latest 7.6.1 version. With 7.5 now out of IBM support, we are starting to see more and more clients do the same and expect to be busy with several more major upgrades over the coming months. We are currently seeing a lot of our clients dovetailing their upgrade process with the move to new Cloud hosted platforms – look out for a blog from Gordon Harwood around the change from an On-Premise system to a Cloud hosted BPD environment.
We’re also noticing a change in how our clients want to see their data, with increasing demand for integration of products such as Microsoft Power BI to their Maximo systems that supplement the inbuilt BIRT reports and enhanced reporting from Maximo. I’ve been looking at project budget tracking and time-sheet management in particular. This has allowed us to leverage the power of Maximo modules such as Service Provider, Work Order Tracking (Plans & Actuals) to produce amazingly detailed and enhanced reports. This enables us to drill down further into data through to individual pieces of work, while continuously tracking budgets (Work Order Plans) against the Actuals – using plenty of Gauge visualisations!
AI, IoT and Worker Insights on the Horizon
With AI now able to generate requests/work orders in Maximo, allowing for mobility and freeing up resource, this will lead to even more data and challenges. One of the major changes I expect to see over the next couple of years is the increase in clients adopting more IoT devices and functionality. Our Product Development department have been busy behind the scenes working on some clever IoT stuff, looking at sensors and wearables to gather real-time worker insights, offering more protection by minimising risk and improving compliance, with advanced analytics helping to identify and eliminate hazards before they become a problem – Worker Safety through technology!