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The word, “ready,” infers that planning has occurred. After gathering all the details needed, you have made sure whatever it is you are preparing for will be successful. Making the move to Maximo Application Suite (MAS) does require planning and forethought as would the implementation of any other enterprise software system.

 

MAS applications…

At this point, most everyone knows that Maximo is now Manage under MAS. All the functions you use in Maximo are present in Manage, plus a few other things that were add-ons, such as Calibration and Linear.

But there is much more to MAS beyond just Manage. Monitor, Health, Mobile, Predict, etc. are application sets unto themselves that will need exploration. Your initial step into MAS may only be for Manage, but all this other functionality is present and available in the system for deployment as you wish. It would be to your benefit to fully review what is in MAS and determine how your organization could benefit from these new elements. Perhaps they will point to a consolidation effort, reducing the number of similar-function systems.

MAS Mobile, which is available for Maximo 7.6.1.2+ (if you move to AppPoints), brings mobile technology that makes it easier to deploy mobile apps across platforms and User situations. The base application can be downloaded from an app store, pointed to the MAS URL, then the User can login with their MAS credentials. Once in the app, what they see is based upon the security settings on their MAS and Manage profile. The functions (applications) can also be launched from Manage that simply open a tab in a browser on whatever device the User is on. Mobile is a simple deployment and part of your MAS entitlements.

 

AppPoints…

MAS is using a completely different licensing methodology. Rather than purchasing several different license levels, you are purchasing points to fill a pool. As Users access the various elements of MAS, they remove points from the pool and return them when they log out. AppPoint management is performed at the MAS level, not down in the individual elements such as Manage.

This is a critical first step to learn about your options to move from your current license scheme for Maximo and make the move to AppPoints. You can move to AppPoints before making the move to MAS.

 

Your current Maximo…

If you are upgrading from a current Maximo to MAS, the current Maximo will need to be at 7.6.1.2 (or higher). This is a critical aspect of the upgrade. When your database is upgraded as part of the process, this level of Maximo is expected by the upgrade scripts/operators.

If your Maximo environment is interfacing with external systems, such as Active Directory, Accounting, Inventory, or Telemetry as examples, you will need to review the methods currently used with those in MAS. MAS is focused on API/RESTful connections which presents an opportunity to upgrade the interface methods you currently use. Yet, all the methods, except for external RMI (Remote Method Invocation) remain available for use.

Now look at your data. Making a move to a new/different system is a good opportunity to consider if you really need all that history, aka, “junk,” in your new system. Since you are upgrading like-to-like systems (Maximo to Manage), there is no mapping to perform, but the process will go smoother if the database is, “clean.” Perhaps it is time for an archival process or system? Is there really a need to drag over 20 years of history into your production system?

Customizations fall into this, “should review,” category as well. If your Maximo is highly customized… in that the underlying class files and such have been changed… then you need to account for all these customizations for the upgrade process. Hopefully these changes have been well documented. It is a good time to review each and judge its real need. Does it really need to go into your new system? Or is there a different way to implement the function, easing any risk to future upgrades?

 

Your current User base…

The underlying infrastructure and Red Hat OpenShift environment must have the compute-ability to support the expected workloads. There is a capacity planning worksheet that should be populated and, more importantly, the results be well understood. These results set the stage for the initial system configurations and hosting contracts. It is best that only small changes in the compute are needed over time vs. large additions to the infrastructure and resulting costs.

User training is the next consideration. If you are just moving Maximo to Manage, then the functionality is largely the same. What Users know how to do in Maximo they will immediately know how to do in Manage… but with a new user interface. If, however you are implementing other elements of MAS, such as Monitor, Health, Mobile, then you will need to provide training to them.

 

Containerized applications in Red Hat OpenShift…

Of course, you need to have a plan as to how you are going to attain an OpenShift environment to run MAS within. Perhaps you will build this on-premises or contract it out to a hosting provider in the cloud. No matter the approach you take, this is a significant element of the upgrade to MAS. Physically where the OpenShift environment is running does not matter too much. However, if you are taking a hybrid-cloud approach where the elements of your environment are hosted in different places, you need to plan for and mitigate any latency and security concerns as the systems talk to each other.

 

Finally…

If this endeavor was just upgrading to the next version of Maximo, then most likely you have the skillset readily available. But, with the introduction of OpenShift, this demands a new/different skill set that you might not have in-house. The Maximo to MAS upgrade process is well documented by IBM, but the nuances of OpenShift and the result of managing a suite like MAS will require assistance at least initially. Reach out and let TRM help you start the planning process, getting you ahead of the game.

 

Article by John Q. Todd, Sr. Business Consultant at TRM. Reach out to us at AskTRM@trmnet.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss deploying MAS 8 or Maximo AAM for condition based maintenance / monitoring.

 

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