IBM InterConnect 2016 Day 3

Bringing location and asset data together

At Clarita, we’ve found that there’s a location aspect to nearly every asset management challenge, so we help build the location based connections between systems in order to help our clients attain location intelligence when it comes to their enterprise asset management. I was therefore in my element at IBM InterConnect today with a number of fantastic GIS oriented sessions to dive into.

Firstly, a combined presentation between IBM and Maximo customer Avista Utilities explored using GIS integration to manage transmission and distribution assets. Avista Utilities generates and transmits electricity and distributes natural gas to a population of 1.5M. Avista had developed a number of custom tools and struggled to keep them maintained and consolidated. Their GIS installation was good, and the quality of data was a reflection of the hard work put in by the team. To leverage the value of this data, a significant, and strategic investment was undertaken in which Maximo was configured with a new xRef application (now featuring in the latest version of Maximo Spatial) to define the synchronisation rules between GIS and Maximo. The process shares unique IDs between systems, GUIDs, to ensure integrity.

This project lead neatly into the opportunity for IBM to showcase the new release of Maximo Spatial. The new version is due mid to late March 2016 and will see a number of new enhancements including:

  • Support for ArcGIS feature services to provide true webservice integration;
  • No longer requires DBlink configuration, although it is still supported as well as a mixed environment with feature services;
  • Define the system of record being either ArcGIS or Maximo;
  • Support for Portal for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Online;
  • Single map tab with various usability improvements; and
  • Saving of a redline markup sketch in Maximo which can be workflowed.

Administrators will also appreciate that the processes required to configure Maximo Spatial relationships have now been simplified to the click of a button within Maximo …. no more batch scripts and XML documents! This represents a significant improvement to supportability.

There is also a new data synchronisation tool between Maximo and GIS. It provides:

  • BI directional updates;
  • New JSON mapping application called xRef;
  • Support for mixed database environments (Oracle / SQL Server / DB2);
  • Field updates can include JavaScript for formatting of text, for example, a description can be built from values in other fields;
  • Field updates can have conditions applied providing additional flexibility; and
  • Support for GIS domains.

Some really great work has been done and we look forward to installing a version within our data centre.

Another interesting GIS and Maximo project on today’s watch list was from American utility company The Laclede Group. There were some great slides showing how they used Maximo’s location and asset hierarchies. Some challenges were presented when the company undertook acquisitions and required consolidation of data and processes.


And if the sessions alone were not enough, today was certainly a day that made me appreciate the value of good location data….as I navigated my way between 23,000 delegates and a multitude of sessions. No matter where you look, there’s always something going on.


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