The Importance of EAM Integration in Today’s Maintenance Organizations

By Ed O'Brien

Industry Trends

Expanding EAM Integration Capabilities to Better Share Organizational Data

With today’s maintenance management functions being increasingly sophisticated and complex, the need to collect, synchronize, and share EAM and operations data by EAM ntegration is critical to a successful cross-functional organization.  For many companies, the proliferation of systems needed to run a modern maintenance and repair operation means an ever-increasing need for integration between operations, financials, and other systems.     

Without a well-thought-out plan to enable data integration and sharing, there is often limited visibility into information created and stored in organizations, particularly those that have disparate, siloed systems.  This is often seen in organizations that include both best-of-breed systems and ERP systems, which is often the case in companies that have grown by acquisition. 

Also, without such a strategy, organizations run the risk of perpetuating a process where data silos are used and expanded.  Central to a unified data management approach is an ability to share relevant data (and more accurately, useful information) across departments and organizations.  Also needed is an ability to quickly and accurately collect, clean, synchronize, and convert this data into truly actionable information that can then be used by the various operations teams.

The timing is right, as many of today’s progressive organizations are moving beyond a basic, point-to-point legacy systems integration process that has been used for years.  They are now seeking more efficient and timely ways to share data across systems, including the use of integration layers, hubs, and native interoperability.    

In addition, most of the leading best-of-breed solutions providers offer suites of features that not only can be integrated with leading ERP systems, but can also be offered within integrated EAM platforms as well.  Too often, though, interoperability between systems is not seamless, if present at all.   Consequently, organizations that have a mix of different ERP and best- of-breed applications need to think carefully about their integration needs.

Crafting an Enterprise-Level EAM Integration Strategy

For many organizations, thee desired interoperability can be accomplished by considering the use of integration layers or integration hubs, and/or designing new or updated systems with native apps and native interoperability elements into the company’s IT stack. Such an effort is generally a major undertaking, however, so it’s important to evaluate data management needs thoroughly. 

A key reason to consider an enterprise-level integration strategy is the need to consider how and where data from various operations functions and systems are stored and accessed.  Examples can include local or remote databases, data warehouses, or the use of SaaS solutions offered via the cloud. 

Too often, such information cannot be accessed and disseminated across organizations.  To achieve this desired cross-functional visibility, the old way of cobbling-together discrete, point-to-point integration must be replaced with a more strategic plan.  This plan offers true interoperability and visibility into adjacent systems. 

The use of pre-built software connectors using APIs or generic integration platforms can make data sharing easier, more reliable, and more secure.  In addition, native interoperability that includes built-in connections for web-based apps are increasingly being used today.

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Source: IBM









 Data for EAM Integration is Critical to Enterprise Data Sharing


Evaluating Expanded Integration Opportunities

In a world where IT systems interoperability is top-of-mind, and open architecture and open APIs are being touted as being table stakes, integration and interoperability opportunities abound.  In many cases, such capabilities are now considered essential in maintenance organizations.

Looking ahead, maintenance and operations teams should work closely with IT partners to better understand the strategic direction of the underlying IT infrastructure. This means that they need to consider and plan integration and interoperability efforts as part of a strategic IT systems review.  Such an evaluation requires a thorough review of the way the company’s operations, financial, maintenance, and other systems work, to truly understand how to best make them work together more effectively.   

Such initiatives can be a catalyst for introducing new opportunities to share maintenance data, as well as to take advantage of the interoperability options inherent in many of newer available solutions.  Each upgrade also offers new opportunities to migrate from ad-hoc, point-to-point integration to interoperability via integration layers or hubs. And when a higher level of data sharing is achieved, the maintenance management team – in concert with others in the organization – can benefit from increased visibility into relevant and important performance data – and most importantly -- information.

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