Maximo offers out-of-the-box integration with Oracle Field Service (OFS) but does not provide real-time data sharing. In this blog, we take a look at why implementing a near real-time system can offer outstanding value for utilities by improving operational awareness and customer experience.
Simply stated, integrating Maximo and OFS helps aggregate field service and asset management data into a single repository i.e., Maximo. This streamlined approach is valuable due to the inherently interrelated nature of asset management and field service work.
For example, consider a prototypical utility’s process when an asset fails or encounters a maintenance issue. A ticket is opened, and a work order is created in Maximo. A work crew may be assigned and scheduled within Maximo, based on the required skills and crew availability.
Once a crew has received the work order within OFS, it takes over as the central system of record for tracking all field service work performed. All crew-related activities, such as Initial travel to the work site, any breaks, delays along the way, and crew movement are tracked within OFS. The crew updates OFS as the issue is diagnosed and maintenance work is completed, maintaining a record of all maintenance actions and repairs executed Once the issue is resolved, or the crew encounters an issue such as a missing part or equipment requiring rescheduling, OFS is updated accordingly. Typically, OFS data is pushed back to Maximo at some prescheduled interval, such as overnight or once every two days. Once a given work order status is back in Maximo, the ticket may be resolved or rescheduled depending on the part and crew availability.
As explained above, out-of-the-box integration capabilities provide a sound framework for exchanging operational data between OFS and Maximo. Inefficiencies are introduced, specifically for crew rescheduling, due to a lack of real-time integration. How so? You may ask Because scheduling work must continue in Maximo before work order updates have been received from OFS. Without waiting one or two days for a data push from OFS, schedulers will either not know the specific status of work orders or be forced to resort to manual phone calls. For example, if a customer reports new or different issues directly to the crew, there will be a substantial lag before this data is accurately reflected in Maximo.
By making detailed crew location and work status data available in real-time, operational awareness is exponentially improved, eliminating lags in waiting for OFS updates to Maximo. HEXstream has successfully implemented OFS-Maximo integrations which also provide for deeper information sharing on specific work orders, such as the ability for Maximo to capture field workers' attachments such as photographed field notes and maintenance issues.
These additional capabilities allow for more efficient scheduling and can also play a direct role in supporting more prompt and informative customer communications. Consider a customer who submits a service request but isn’t at home when the field service team stops by their residence. Upon returning home, they call the utility to see if the issue has been resolved. Without near real-time integration of Maximo and OFS, customer service may not be able to provide accurate information, beyond the fact that a ticket was opened, until the following day. With real-time integration, customers can be easily kept informed on the current status of service requests.
Finally, more robust Maximo-OFS integration allows OFS to be kept up to date with the latest asset-level data from Maximo. In a typical out-of-the-box integration, assets are simply exported from Maximo to OFS and must be manually updated in the future as assets change. HEXstream has implemented a solution for one client which automatically checks Maximo for relevant changes each day, syncing OFS if necessary to ensure that field service personnel have access to up-to-date asset health data. The goal is to make this process near real-time, with data syncing to OFS in just 2.5 minutes. This will enable the utility to track its assets and make better-informed decisions more quickly and accurately.
HEXstream has delivered utility analytics solutions for some of the largest utilities in North America, including successful OFS-Maximo real-time integration projects. You can learn more about one real project in our case study here.
Or, if you are interested in a more detailed discussion on how real-time data integration can help improve efficiency and customer experience at your organization, we encourage you to reach out to our team.
How can real-time data integration improve operational awareness at our utility?