Whether you are upgrading an existing Maximo 188.8.131.52+ to MAS 8.5+, or are implementing MAS as a blank slate, there are several things you need to line up before you get started. Let’s talk through the major points of your implementation so you can have a clear picture of the process to then begin planning.
It is said that no one likes change. But in my experience, people do actually like change if they are involved in it. Even a simple thing such as upgrading a software tool that people use everyday can cause angst amongst the troops. Be sure to include all levels of the user community in the evaluation and decision process. If you are going from a non-Maximo system to MAS, there will be significantly more new functions and perhaps different ways for staff to do their work. If this is “just” an upgrade from Maximo to MAS, the functionality may be the same, but the user interface is rather different, so that needs to be accounted for when it comes to training and business process improvement.
Do not discount the impact of what may seem like a small change on the user community. Bring them in early in the process to ensure the result brings smiles to everyone.
Get AppPoints and MAS entitlements
As you know, MAS uses a different licensing approach than Maximo did. You will need to gain your entitlements for MAS via the purchase of AppPoints. There are many programs available to make the move to AppPoints, so be sure to work with your IBM Business Partner for their insight (and offerings) into how to structure your approach to suit your needs.
Establish a Red Hat OpenShift environment
No matter if you are upgrading or starting fresh, you will need to have an OpenShift environment established to implement MAS. This environment could be on-premises, administered by your IT staff, or a contracted environment out in the cloud. It does not matter what the OpenShift environment is running on or where. It will be important to know, especially if the environment is out in the cloud, the degree of access your staff has, or needs, to the environment. This will be based upon the contract you have with your cloud host.
Note that Red Hat OpenShift licenses are included with your MAS entitlement from IBM, so consider that when looking for a cloud host. You may have to coordinate multiple contractual vehicles as part of your MAS implementation, so do your homework well ahead of time. Engage your software suppliers and integrators early.
Get your current system ready
Nothing worse than trying to stuff 20 years of historical data into a new system. Do yourself a favor and take a hard look at your current Maximo (or other system) data for consistency and general usefulness. You might consider archiving all that historical data into an external system and put a business intelligence tool set on top of it for data retrieval as needed for research.
Certainly any “in-process” records will need to be moved into the new system at the right moment. Knowing the volume and timing for these records will be critical. This becomes especially true if your current system is interfaced with external systems, providing some if not all these transactions. During the final cut-over to the new system, this aspect of the project will require coordination and testing to ensure transactional integrity.
How “customized” is your current Maximo? We are not talking about screen changes, automation scripts, or other tweaks you have made to base Maximo. Rather, we are looking for changes to underlying Maximo class files and the like. As part of the MAS upgrade process, these customizations must be considered. Otherwise, the function they provide to the Users will not be present in the MAS instance. Here’s to hoping you have good documentation for your customizations!
Getting the party started – Copy, Download, Customize, Deploy, Activate, Test
Given you have taken care of the previously mentioned items, now its time to make a copy of your production Maximo database. Be prepared to move this database into the OpenShift environment as per the MAS upgrade instructions.
Next you will download your MAS entitlements from IBM then install them into the OpenShift environment. This process can take many hours and careful attention to the prompts and detailed information about the system to be entered. When completed, you will have an administrative user for MAS to perform the rest of the tasks.
Remember the mention of customizations? Here is where they become important. The next step in the upgrade process is to establish the Customization Archive per the upgrade instructions. Again, if a customization file is missed, that function will not be present in your final MAS implementation.
Now within the MAS user interface you begin the deployment process for each element of MAS you are interested in. Examples would be Manage and any Industry Solutions that suit your business needs. The deployment process too can take many hours and will require you to know detailed information about your systems.
Then you activate the elements you deployed. This process not only upgrades the underlying database you provided in the beginning, but it creates the workloads for the OpenShift containers (UI, MEA, Cron, etc.). When the deployment process is complete, the system is ready for testing.
When this initial “test” system is proven to be functional, including any interfaces, you can move on to deploying into your Production environment.
The silver lining to all of this is that you are not upgrading in place. Rather, you are starting with a fresh environment that can be established, tested, and proven out long before you go to production. In fact, standing up a MAS environment based upon a snapshot of your Production data as a proof of concept is an excellent idea. You can get users in the system, making them more comfortable with the changes ahead, and your IT/support staff will have time to work with a real system. Taking this approach spreads out the effort and costs to making this move. Be sure to contact TRM to see how we can help you each step of the way.
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.