Asset Management: Maximizing your return on facilities assets
Wes Simonds 120000EFD6 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  facilities smarter contest value buildings capability video software capabilities gorczynski maximize ibm 2012 management mary asset pulse tririga
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One thing I like about asset management, or in this case integrated workplace management, is that I get to talk about it in heroic language: ’You get more control over both space and time.’
Maybe that sounds a little dramatic to you? If so, here's my justification: Asset management solutions aren't just about assets per se. They're also about how assets generate value over extended periods -- their complete lifecycles.
I'm not just talking about the things that you’re familiar with like IT assets. I’m talking about physical and capital assets that are part of a smarter physical infrastructure for manufacturing plants and facilities. I mean the whole kit and kaboodle: IT assets, facilities assets, mobile assets, field assets -- any sort of asset you can imagine. Using asset management tools, you can continually collect information about all of those asset groups, then maintain, configure and enhance all of them as needed over time.
If you do, they will last longer, perform better and contribute more to everything you're trying to use them to do. Thus, you have the capability to obtain more power over both space (all assets, however distributed they may be) and time (years or decades).
Drive up the business value of entire buildings, campuses and geographic sites
In recent years, the case for asset management solutions has only gotten stronger. Partly, this is because all of these ideas are now being applied to entire categories of assets that haven't really been managed very well at all before. Take buildings, for instance. Here we have a sort of mega-asset incorporating many subclasses of assets.
It's one thing to talk about optimizing a server; it's quite another thing to talk about optimizing an entire data center full of 5,000 servers, as well as HVAC units, lighting, electricity and plumbing infrastructures, etc., for total business value. This is an area where enterprise-class asset management solutions can really deliver unique value.
Furthermore, you can scale up that argument even further to encompass whole campuses of buildings or geographic sites altogether. Even if you focus strictly on one little slice of asset management functionality, such as energy efficiency, it's plain that most organizations with multiple buildings, or multiple sites, don't really have the visibility, control, and automation they need to optimize the return from facility assets, one of the top four expenses for most organizations.
So when I read in April of this year that IBM had purchased TRIRIGA, a provider of software solutions for Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), I wasn't the least bit surprised. It seemed like IBM was rounding out the Maximo asset management capabilities of IBM Software with new solutions designed to increase the business value generated by buildings and campuses in new ways.
When I recently talked to Mary Gorczynski, Marketing Manager for IBM Asset Management, she confirmed this basic interpretation.
‘TRIRIGA helps organizations reduce operational costs of facilities, increase return on real estate assets, and mitigate environmental regulatory risks,’ she said. ‘Key functionality includes space and facilities management, energy and environment sustainability, capital project management and real estate portfolio management.’
Of course, there are other solution providers out there in this space, and IBM is well known to have deep pockets. Meaning, IBM could have bought any of several players -- so why TRIRIGA, instead of them?
TRIRIGA: Excellence in both vision and execution
A little digging gave me a pretty good answer to that. Turns out that Gartner, the independent research organization, has positioned TRIRIGA as a leader within its coveted Magic Quadrant for Integrated Workplace Management Systems this year -- the spot on its evaluation chart characterized by excellence in both vision and execution.
Well, that tells me TRIRIGA's solution delivers not just all the key capabilities IBM would be looking for, but also the depth of features in each capability group.
According to Rob Schafer, Gartner's Research Director focusing on Integrated Workplace Management Systems: ‘TRIRIGA Real Estate Environmental Sustainability (TREES) and its early promotion of FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) accounting changes that will have a profound effect on the real estate industry are two examples of why it is the leading vendor on the ”Completeness of Vision” X axis in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Workplace Management Systems’.
Environmental sustainability is definitely on the minds of business leaders today. And TRIRIGA, according to Gartner, delivers the goods: ‘Designed to collect energy consumption and emissions data for buildings, [TRIRIGA TREES] provides a single, comprehensive repository of environmental data for workplace assets and operations.’
That tidbit about FASB capabilities is also timely. This is all about pending changes to lease accounting rules, changes that are anticipated to put a major strain on financial reporting for public companies. Just collecting all the relevant data is no easy task. Actually analyzing and acting on it to generate the best possible outcome may seem like a Herculean labor.
Fortunately, says Gorczynski, ‘TRIRIGA provides advanced lease accounting capabilities to manage the vast amounts of data required to comply with these new rules.’ Gartner's report, similarly, opines that ‘TRIRIGA has had an early and valuable focus on the impending FASB accounting change that will likely eliminate the operating lease and have a material impact on the real estate function within most large organizations.’
Of course, as strong as the TRIRIGA portfolio may seem, it's important to bear in mind that it's only one part of the IBM Maximo asset management suite < http://www.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/maximo-asset-mgmt/ >, which is so full-featured you may sometimes find yourself wishing it applied to everything in your life.
If you check out a recent blog entry from Gorczynski, for instance, you'll learn how she wished it applied to her lawn (which, though green, is not perfectly maintained at all times). You can also watch a closely related video -- and if you'd like to make one of your own, you can submit one. If it attracts enough praise, IBM will then cheerfully promote it, and you, next March at Pulse 2012, its service management event, to be held in Las Vegas.
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About the author
Guest blogger Wes Simonds worked in IT for seven years before becoming a technology writer on topics including virtualization, cloud computing and service management. He lives in sunny Austin, Texas and believes Mexican food should always be served with queso.