Infor EAM—Asset Management in the 21st Century

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Enterprise asset management (EAM) and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) have long been a critical software component to many enterprises, particularly those in asset intensive industries and large manufacturing organizations. As we move further into the 21st century a number of different factors are making asset management even more important for organizations of all sizes and across virtually every industry. Among these factors are the increasing automation of manufacturing operations; the need to manage, monitor, and report on the sustainability of all assets; and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is making the real-time management of assets possible in ways never before possible. The right EAM/CMMS system can turn asset management into more than a tool that simply increases asset availability and labor productivity—it can be a competitive advantage for organizations.

Infor, a leading provider of business application software serving more than 70,000 customers, saw the importance of EAM/CMMS software in 2006 when it acquired Datastream. Datastream 7i, renamed Infor EAM, founded 20 years previous to the acquisition, was and is recognized as one of the leading providers of EAM/CMMS software. Infor continues to make significant investments in Infor EAM, and the latest release, version 11, maintains Infor EAM’s leading position in the marketplace. Infor places the EAM product as a pillar of its enterprise software product offerings such as ERP and CRM, and today more than 10,000 organizations worldwide use Infor EAM to better manage, maintain, and track assets.

Infor EAM is a complete product offering that manages all asset management challenges—not just the management of assets, but also asset strategies, sustainability, and the business processes needed to support these challenges (Figure 1). The expanding EAM ecosystem, including Infor’s own 10x platforms Infor Ming.le, ION (Intelligent Open Network) and Infor’s partners, extend the value proposition of Infor EAM.

Figure 1: Infor EAM Product Footprint (click for larger images)

Infor EAM v11 brings many improvements to the venerable product. Among the most exciting is a re-engineered user experience developed in HTML5. Using HTML5 is significant because now the product can be run on all modern browsers—Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and IE. The ability to be run on any browser means it can be run on any computer and any form factor. The Infor EAM user experience, like all Infor products, is guided by the new SoHo user experience, driven out of Infor’s Hook & Loop internal creative group. The Hook & Loop team was formed with a single mandate—“to create experiences people love.” The new user experience is compelling from the start with the redesigned “start center” (shown in Figure 2).

Figure 2: Infor EAM Start Center – Technician’s View

This start center view is a customized view for a field technician. A new analytics display shows, in real-time, drillable graphs showing work orders in one web part; another web part shows detailed KPIs of the technician’s work orders; and the other web part is an inbox including all the work orders. The color coding of these interface elements is customizable to meet the individual organization’s requirements.

Other Infor EAM version 11 highlights include:
  • Tight integration with Infor’s enterprise social collaboration tool—Infor Ming.le—which enables a company to take action and communicate in a modern social environment.
  • A new “split view” of transactions within EAM, allowing a user to view the running list of items being worked on beside a detailed view of the selected item. The user can also easily flip between the split view, the Excel-like list view, and the full transaction view.
  • Zero downtime upgrade, which, like the name implies, makes it possible to switch over to a new version of Infor EAM with zip, zilch, nadda downtime.
  • Equipment configuration—Infor EAM acts like a mini product configurator geared to asset configuration. Equipment configuration allows the creation of complex, hierarchal equipment templates including supporting documentation and spare parts.
  • Checklists on tasks—these allow simple data entry on a work order. Checklists are particularly useful to field technicians working on mobile devices (Figure 3).
  • New safety module to promote the safe operation of equipment, components, and labor. The module uses the three maxims of equipment safety: 1) safety tabs, 2) lock out/tag out (LOTO), and permitting.

Figure 3: Checklist on EAM Mobile

Infor’s EAM solution is on top of the key technology trends driving change in the new millennium—social, mobile, and analytics, and can be delivered in the cloud. Infor EAM’s extensive product footprint, the new HTML5 user experience, and the years of experience supporting organizations of all sizes across the globe position the product as a major player in the EAM/CMMS software market now and further into the 21st century. In a TEC product note published earlier this year, TEC Principal Analyst P.J. Jakovljevic states simply that “Infor EAM appears to be one of the most impressive product offerings in Infor’s vast portfolio.”

To get an in-depth look at Infor EAM, TEC put the product through its paces during our certification process. The Infor EAM team completed the TEC research questionnaire for EAM/CMMS solutions which includes more than 3,000 evaluation criteria covering core asset and maintenance management and also back office capabilities like financials, purchasing, and human resources operations that are required as part of a complete EAM solution. Additionally, Infor presented an in-depth demo of the product to TEC analysts following a detailed, custom developed product demonstration script.

I am currently writing a full certification report on Infor EAM, including detailed coverage of Infor EAM’s product features, highlights, and competitive strengths and weaknesses. The report will be available in a few weeks on the TEC Certification Reports page.
If you’re looking for a EAM/CMMS solution, see how TEC certified EAM products compare in greater detail now using TEC’s proprietary TEC Advisor tool.
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