Consolidating Sydney Water’s asset management system

by FM Media
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Fujitsu shares the insights of its Maximo Consolidation project for Sydney Water, providing an understanding of the way in which asset data is managed and reported to analyse how assets could be used – as distinct from how they are used.

The challenge: With over 7.5 million assets, Sydney Water was experiencing challenges in maintaining its asset infrastructure on two ageing Maximo systems (including their complex and multiple interfaces). System support costs were high and escalating with resource/expertise scarcity. The infrastructure limitations prevented the cost-efficient incorporation of current software versions and emerging developments.

The solution: Fujitsu consolidated the two old asset management instances into a single enterprise asset management implementation with real-time integration to key systems, providing Sydney Water with an IT platform that supports its strategic maintenance commitments.

The benefits: Sydney Water now has one integrated asset and work management system and related business processes to be used across the company to manage its asset data. The Maximo solution is actually an integration of core Sydney Water systems, such as Hydra, FMIS and FRM. Sydney Water now has an opportunity to further use the Maximo solution to better manage assets.

Sydney Water identified that a better solution for strategic asset management would be a single asset base with one set of process controls.

The Maximo Consolidation project is one of the largest and most complex IT projects to have been undertaken by Sydney Water. Fujitsu’s involvement as system integrator helped develop the corporation’s capability to leverage its Maximo investment.
Although this is an example of a large enterprise, it illustrates the importance of sound asset management for organisations of any size. Significant business benefits can be realised by looking at assets strategically, rather than focusing purely on the operational aspects of the asset. It is important to look at the impact of an asset on the business across its complete life cycle to maximise efficiency and maximise the asset’s return on investment (ROI).
The insights from a large asset management (AM) project are relevant to facility managers in understanding the way in which asset data is managed and reported to analyse how assets could be used – as distinct from how they are used.

Sydney Water, which is wholly owned by the New South Wales Government, is Australia’s largest urban water utility, with 3000 staff and an area of operations covering 12,700 square kilometres. It provides drinking water, recycled water, wastewater services and some stormwater services to more than four million people in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. And it is responsible for an asset infrastructure base with a value of over $20 billion that requires a maintenance program of approximately $130 million per year.
Sydney Water’s asset management system, Maximo, has a catalogue of over 7.5 million assets that are supported and maintained with over 200,000 work orders generated each year. The organisation conceptually categorises assets into network and facility assets. Network assets are the distribution and collection pipes and other related underground infrastructure, while facility assets are the above ground treatment plants and other machine related infrastructure. Some assets fall into both categories. Two Maximo Version 4 systems were implemented– one for each asset category.
Sydney Water was experiencing problems supporting these solutions and satisfying business requirements for enhancements. It identified that a better solution for strategic asset management would be the combination of these two instances, providing a single asset base with one set of process controls.
A project was initiated to consolidate the Maximo instances and their interfaces to other corporate systems and various ad hoc database solutions into one new Maximo (Version 7) solution based on a UNIX, JCAPS (Java Composite Application Platform Suite), WebSphere MQ and Oracle clustered environment.

Sydney Water chose Fujitsu as its integration partner for this project to consolidate and upgrade the two Maximo instances. Since the existing Maximo implementations were so old, it was decided not to do an upgrade, but to build a clean Version 7 instance and begin again. The project started with a review of the existing process, a definition of the new consolidated To-Be process and a detailed set of requirements that were the baseline for the project.
While Maximo Version 7 had a lot more functionality, there were still various critical Sydney Water processes that were not within Maximo’s capability. For these processes, Fujitsu built customisation within Maximo’s J2EE (Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition) framework that was approved by the project steering committee. The project involved complex integration.
The asset management solution at Sydney Water included many integrated systems and Maximo had to be integrated with them all, including:

  • HYDRA (GIS) for geospatial asset attributes
  • IICATS (SCADA) for work order creation and meter readings
  • FRM (field management) for mobile work management
  • FMIS (financials) for company, PO and invoices, and
  • eDeveloper for work order creation for development projects.

The solution was deployed on complex WebSphere Application Server clusters supporting multiple load balanced application instances on multiple Solaris servers providing system resilience with single sign-on.
The project involved over 50 Fujitsu resources, at peak, working closely with the Sydney Water team. The first release was implemented in Maximo for facility assets and involved customisations of Maximo, plus necessary data migration and integration components. This release went live in September 2010.
The second release went live in June 2011 for network assets. It consolidated the maintenance data onto the previously released Version 7 system with further Maximo functional enhancements, major further integration and an upgrade to Release In addition, a business support model was implemented, with resources appointed to support roles post implementation to continually develop and support the application and related processes.

A consolidated asset base and a single system from asset maintenance and work order management allow Sydney Water to:

  • renew vital system infrastructure, enabling it to continue to comply with licence requirements
  • consolidate and improve the existing processes for asset management
  • provide more accurate and relevant costing of asset maintenance to support better strategic planning decisions
  • provide a modern and stable integration environment around the enterprise service bus (ESB) that can easily provide new and modified interfaces
  • remove IT system interdependencies, so that future technical developments can be expedited without having to redevelop existing system linkages
  • build a robust support team comprising Sydney Water business and IT resources to better assist the business, and
  • provide smoother transitions to future Maximo upgrades and any extra functionality they may provide.

The Maximo implementation at Sydney Water is the biggest in Australia, with over 1500 users and 7.5 million assets. With its consolidated Maximo Version 7 system, Sydney Water now has an ideal platform to support its future asset management and maintenance initiatives.

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