During the month of October, I cannot help but think wistfully of what used to be one of the best days of the year for a kid – Halloween of course!  It was really the one day of the year where everything was all about you and only you.  Most of us in the Maximo ecosystem can remember real “trick or treating” – not the watered-down version of today (trunk or treating), but the one that you actually had to work to get your candy.  Do you remember progressing through the trick or treat life cycle? First going with your parents as a little tot dressed in your clown outfit, then going “sans parents” with a group of your friends, and finally being borderline too old and cool to really go, but going anyway – running from house to house with your pillowcase in hand.  Oh, those were the days!

You may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with MAS 8?  Well, I’ll tell you.  Regardless of what age you were, what was the first thing you did when you got home?  You poured out the bag and took inventory of that candy stash.  As a tiny tot, your parents did it for you – sure, they tell you that it was a safety check to remove the apples with razor blades, but really it was to take their favorites before you noticed.  As you got older, I imagine you quickly divided your stash into various categories and sub-catagories – prioritizing which to eat first, which to save for later, to trade etc.  Maybe it was Chocolates, Hard Candy (Jolly Ranchers), soft candy (tootsie rolls, candy corn), or gum. There was also the “throw-away” category – popcorn balls, orange circus peanuts, toothbrushes, and anything handmade.  From there, you could plan your trades and consumption cycles.

Maximo Application Suite (MAS) Catalog

Well, when looking at MAS, it is the same kind of thing.  Let’s pour out the MAS candy sack and see what’s what.  We won’t go too deep here, as there is really a lot to review – I will provide a link to learn more about each component.

First thing to know is that Maximo, as we know it today, is a component of the Maximo Application Suite –  known as Manage.  For now, the functionality and operation is relatively unchanged from 7.6.1.2.  The newest enhancements in 8.6 provide some nifty things like maintenance cost roll up from within the application and some navigational changes.

When you start sorting through the candy bag – what you will find is six other applications available alongside Manage: 1) Monitor, 2) Health, 3) Predict, 4) Visual Inspection, 5) Assist and 6) Safety. Each of those 6 applications have a host of capabilities that can actually be run whether you use Maximo (Manage) or not.  Under Manage, you have the usual Industry solutions (like Transportation, Oil and Gas, Utilities, etc.).  In addition, you won’t see Maximo Mobile in the chart because it is included as part of Manage.  Manage also includes add-ons like Anywhere, Spatial and Linear.  These solutions and add-ons you can access within the suite – all in the same “candy” bag that you can choose to use or not.  Then you can get some additional add-ons that are separate parts, but work with the suite like Parts Identifier and Inventory Optimization.  Consider them candy from your sibling’s bag that you can choose to trade for or take if you want to.  The MAS Catalog helps to give a clearer picture.

Maximo Application Suite

MAS LICENSING

It is a little confusing until you take a look at the new licensing model that IBM is providing.  IBM is encouraging a subscription model, where software and support is basically wrapped into an annual fee.  This should lower a customer’s initial investment on software – though perpetual licenses will still be available.  Also, IBM is offering a concurrent usage model.  This model assigns a point value to a type of user and an application or add-on solution you access.  As a user logs in, they consume points, reducing the number of points for other users to use.  But when they log out, those points return to the pool for someone else to use.  You eat your Snickers bar, but when you go to bed, magically a new one is put back in your bag!  IBM’s point server will manage all of this for you.

But wait, there is more!  Maybe there are some users that you want to make sure always have access – the more familiar named user model – and IBM is making sure that is still available by offering it in MAS 8.6.  Good news is that you can mix and match.

Each of the new MAS applications offer something that can add value to the right user – the good news here is that you don’t have to use or deploy any of them.  But if you want to, they will be available to you on a common platform – hence the new naming to Maximo Application Suite.

IBM OPEN SHIFT

And that brings us to the platform underpinning all of these offerings – IBM’s Open Shift.  The platform has great potential to make the management and deployment of these different offerings much easier.  You will hear the word “container.” We don’t have time to go into detail about containers, but think of it as your “pillowcase” – making it easier to manage and carry all that candy, aka applications and solutions within the suite.

There is a lot to learn about MAS 8, and we encourage you to talk to your IBM rep and/or your trusted advisor, like Aquitas.  Overall, we definitely put it in the “treat” category, with no “popcorn balls” to be found.  Not everyone will necessarily like everything in the bag, but that’s the beauty in the suite. You have access to all of your favorites – Maximo, will be in there, but so will some other treats previously only available to the kids in the neighborhood across town.

More information on MAS:

https://www.ibm.com/products/maximo

If you want more detail, here is the Upgrade Playbook:

https://ibm-mas-manage.github.io/playbook/upgrade/manageoverview

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