Take a moment to think about all the sources of information you and your field teams need to have access to all day, every day. Add to this all the processes and procedures that make up your company’s ecosystem that you need to function alongside. While you may have software tools that facilitate each of your business processes, those tools can vary widely in sophistication and customization to your context.
A CMMS system is just one player in your organization, and knowing where, when, and how it fits into EVERYTHING you do upstream and downstream can be a daunting task. How do you manage all this required knowledge to keep up with your ever-changing organization? How do you lessen the burden of people having to search or provide these sets of critical information?
These concerns are exactly why TRM developed the OMNI Maximo Assistant. Our goal is to provide a framework for you to deliver useful (and often, critical) information directly to your Maximo user communities. No longer do they have to “jump out of Maximo,” to find guidance. Ask OMNI a question and you get answers back immediately.
Really? How does it know so much?
Users are granted access to OMNI’s conversational UI based on their security permissions. Given that the User is logged into Maximo, and that they have been granted access (just like any other Maximo application) they access OMNI via a floating icon. As you would expect, a familiar looking chat window opens. Let the Q&A session begin!
Behind the scenes, OMNI integrates to your content, learning and building context about your organization. TRM has primed the pump with basic Maximo training materials, as well as user and administration guides on many topics. Additionally, OMNI contains hundreds of FAQs on high-level Maximo topics that are based upon our interactions with Maximo users over decades. As an additional layer of support to users, OMNI is integrated with MaxAssist, which are step by step guides to support user ‘How to’ questions. (MaxAssist is a component of the TRM RulesManager Studio product)
While all that is a good starting point, the real value comes from content integration, having your specific business content in the ONMI learning pool. You have significant and relevant information for your users to do their jobs, often spread throughout the organization, on network drives, user computers, in file folders and sometimes in a Subject Matter Expert’s mind. Drop these gems of knowledge into the OMNI repository, teach it about the context, and you are all set. Let OMNI organize the information for you!
Ok, I get all that, but how is it used for real?
To be honest, all the different ways this tool can be used is still being uncovered. Here at TRM we believe that we have only just begun to expose how it can benefit our clients and their users. However, check out the following scenarios to see some of the use cases we have focused on:
- Reduce IT Help desk calls/tickets – User self-service
OMNI appears on the login page of a cloud-hosted Maximo, available to answer basic questions like login/password issues. Depending on your business rules, OMNI can begin the password reset process for a user. Our research shows that this single issue absorbs significant amounts of IT support time.
- Typical Maximo, “How do I…” questions
Maximo is certainly a vast set of applications and functions. The User Manual itself is over 1300 pages! ONMI is primed with TRM specific administrator guides, references, and training materials along with Q/A pairs to help with frequently asked user questions.
Certainly, the user can leverage the built-in IBM Help pages (if installed) and other sources of “how to” knowledge, but it often is not in terms that are clear and present definitions more than the context of the information within a process. Having the foundation, training, and user guides, to explain the context of each field in a larger process, delivers the immediate need for people to make progress with the task at hand.
If your industry experiences high turnover, you know the cost of retraining is significant. OMNI content delivery framework augments your training efforts and, in some cases, reduces the associated effort and costs. A Forrester economic impact report on OMNI’s, IBM Watson Assistant source technology, found that for every contained conversation, an organization saves $5.50*, and millions in benefits over multiple years.
- Your business process and collective wisdom readily available
The most significant value of OMNI is content integration, the ability for you to teach OMNI about your own “stuff” is the most significant value to the system. No matter what the info is; SOPs, Drawings, Master Data, Maintenance Manuals, Company Directories, etc. once OMNI has learned about it and its context, your users can easily make use of it all from the conversational UI within Maximo.
“One-quarter of the U.S. labor force is expected to be 55 years of age or older by 2030, presenting new challenges for employers … exiting the workforce and taking the knowledge, skills, and experience built up over decades with them.”
The list of potential OMNI content is long, but consider big sets of information like:
- Process and procedure documentation
- Equipment information in the form of documents, videos, pictures, etc.
- Subject Matter Expert (SME) expertise
- Preservation of organizational wisdom
TRM is convinced that the OMNI framework and technology can replace multiple current methods of content delivery that you may currently be using. Many minutes of search time can be saved, increasing general efficiency of the folks in the field.
- Natural integration to TRM MaxAssist pages
It goes without saying… but we will say it anyway… that having a built-in integration with MaxAssist is valuable to clients as well. The ease and simplicity of providing users quick checklists in the context of where they are working within Maximo has been of great benefit for many years. Now, with OMNI also being aware of any MaxAssist pages on your instance of Maximo, it can deliver that content as well based upon the users’ questions.
All sounds good in the end, but I am suspicious of, “AI.”
OMNI learns and presents information based on the documents you provide. When corporate information is too sensitive for general consumption, then OMNI may not be the place for it. The power of OMNI is to delivery key information your staff requires to get their job done, especially when it is a function that they don’t do every day.
Ok, I want to see OMNI in action!
Can do! Contact TRM and we can do that very thing. Our hope is that you see the value of the OMNI framework and the starting points we have established. We also want to hear about how you envision the use of OMNI in the context of your organization.
John Q. Todd, Sr. Business Consultant / Product Researcher at TRM. and Tina McCuen, Director, TRM Project Management Office. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss deploying MAS 8 or Maximo AAM for condition-based maintenance/monitoring.