IBM's investment strategy for Maximo's development

Sept. 7, 2007

Significant developments to the flagship product of recently-acquired MRO Software were announced by IBM at Maximo World, July 22-25, in Orlando, Fla. This year’s event comes at an important time for IBM’s software business, following closely on the heels of the company’s strongest earnings since 2002. IBM Software was a key driver for this success, experiencing growth of 13% in the latest quarter. With acquisitions playing a major role in IBM’s software strategy, integrating MRO Software and the Maximo offering into IBM’s portfolio during the past year has helped fuel the surge.

IBM allayed concerns that it wouldn’t continue to develop Maximo. “This is not a hollow-out play, it’s an investment play. And it’s an invest-to-win play,” said Al Zollar, general manager, IBM Tivoli software. “Every year, $300 billion is spent on maintaining computers, and $30 billion on software. Saving 10% on maintenance frees up enough money to double the software market.”

He announced that IBM has increased the Maximo development budget by 50% to accelerate new and updated offerings. The strategy includes unifying asset and service management capabilities, and interlocking IBM software, services and partners for enterprise solutions. Combined with deep vertical expertise, the company plans to lead in complete asset and service management solutions.

“We now have solutions for all critical assets – production, facility/property, IT, transportation – with Maximo EAM, IBM Global Services and Tivoli IT asset and service management,” said Jack Young, vice president, Maximo development. “We can offer a consolidated service management platform for critical business assets.”

More than 1,600 users attended the event, at which IBM also announced Maximo for Oil and Gas, an upgrade designed to help companies meet reserve and production targets while reducing costs and maintaining safety and environmental standards.

“The added functionality incorporated into the new Oil and Gas release will help customers address health, safety, the aging workforce and regulatory compliance,” said Mike Heagney, research director for Energy Insights, an IDC Company. “Our industry-specific research has shown that IT spending in the industry is focused on increasing supply and refinery reliability, which is essential to sustain such high utilization rates. As the industry continues its pace of change, it becomes critical to maximize infrastructure life cycles and asset uptime.”

The software delivers asset management capabilities with an emphasis on safe and reliable operations and organizational learning and improvement. New modules help to record, track and investigate incidents and defects during plant operation and maintenance, evaluate the business benefits of new deployments, and document proven solutions and lessons learned by an organization while recording suggestions for improvements.

“The resources IBM has added since the acquisition less than a year ago, in the form of developers and industry experts, have greatly accelerated the delivery time frames for these industry updates,” said Young. “As a result of the work we've done with our many Oil and Gas customers and other experts, we've enhanced the deep functionality that these companies need to better manage the range of assets associated with the industry – from offshore rigs to refineries, pipelines, facilities, and transportation and IT assets.”

Maximo 7 is on track for release this fall. Next year’s Maximo World will be part of IBM Pulse, May 2008 in Orlando, Fla.