Polaris Solutions: The Pulse of Effective EAM

David Hartman, President We at Polaris Solutions, build real world solutions to meet real-world challenges,” pronounces David Hartman, President of Polaris Solutions. If there is one thing Hartman does not want to be a part of, it's a partnership that lacks an in-depth understanding of client’s challenges and objectives. Today, while many solutions fail to offer measurable outcome and justify the investments for their clients, Polaris Solutions leverages technology to deliver ‘practical solutions’ that identify the root-cause of the challenge and improve bottom-line results. The company helps clients streamline processes and maximize application capabilities through creative, innovative and efficient solutions and services on IBM Maximo, a powerful Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software.

"We at Polaris Solutions, build real world solutions to meet real-world challenges"

Today, EAM software has become an inevitable choice for companies across asset-intensive industries with its capability to provide a greater return on investment by controlling operating costs and maximizing results on both emergent and routine asset maintenance. However, effective implementation of EAM software often proves to be tricky for companies since EAM is an operational platform that impacts multiple systems and processes, and is not simply a standalone application. The challenge is to clearly define the processes such as moving, assigning, auditing and disposing, which comes after purchasing and distributing the asset. Equally important is to ensure that the individual applications that manage different processes of enterprise assets talk to each other. Polaris Solutions’ EAM implementation services and solutions solve these problems and prepare the client for any changes that the organization may undergo.

Polaris Solutions' scalable solutions not only meet today’s goals and strategic objectives of the client, but can evolve as process needs and technology mature. “We are not a ‘one-time partner’ to our clients, we maintain deep, long-standing relationships that ensure we stay aligned with client’s needs and goals as their organization changes over time,” states Hartman. The company’s services holistically support system implementation efforts, including both functional as well as technical aspects of a project. On the functional front, Polaris Solutions looks after business process analysis, requirements gathering, process improvement, integration planning and strategy, and training and support. The technical services include data modelling, cleanup and migration, quality assurance, application configuration and development, system integration, and report development.

Leveraging the Power of IBM Solutions

While there are many EAM software applications available in the market, IBM Maximo leads the pack by enabling organizations of all sizes across different industries to efficiently manage the lifecycle of their strategic and critical assets—from procurement through disposal. With Maximo, defining and describing asset capabilities, monitoring its specific details, and creating hierarchal relationships becomes easy. Additionally, it allows planning inventory to precisely meet maintenance demands. Maximo comes with many rich features that help clients leverage the power of Internet of Things (IoT) to migrate from schedule-based maintenance toward a truly condition-based maintenance model.
The software can extract insights from IoT to provide warning signals from assets that will increase operational efficiency and reduce unintended downtime. Companies seeking information-rich and adaptive asset management can greatly benefit from IBM Maximo as it offers near real-time visibility into asset usage across multiple sites, improves return on assets, and defers new purchases.

We maintain deep, long-standing relationships that ensure we stay aligned with client needs and goals as their organization changes over time

IBM continues to utilize cross-industry feedback to improve core Maximo features as well as offering tailored, industry-specific application modules. Some of these packages include solutions for the utility, transportation and facility management industries. Because of its market presence, strong technology roadmap and vision for changes in client architectural needs, IBM Maximo continues to be a top player in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, currently and regularly classified as an industry leader.

Scalable Solutions for Dynamic Industries

Polaris Solutions offers implementation and support solutions to the entire user community of IBM’s Maximo computerized maintenance management system, with a predominant focus on the utility/energy and oil and gas verticals. According to Hartman, the focus toward these industries is driven by their dynamic nature that continuously gives rise to new and less traditional challenges around the management of its lifeblood—assets. It is a common practice in today’s deregulated markets for energy companies to grow rapidly by acquiring different assets, often with incomplete asset and maintenance records. As Hartman explains, this information gap poses significant challenges in multiple areas. During acquisition and divestiture, an ideal asset valuation relies upon the available of hard operational data much as maintenance history, run characteristics, age and replacement cost. Assets that have undergone changes in ownership several times require companies to carefully judge the investment required to determine risk and focus areas for heavy asset and infrastructure renewal and replacement. Lack of data or loss of data makes some of this critical and often strategic decision-making difficult, if not impossible.

Polaris Solutions, with its extensive experience in the utility/energy verticals as well other asset-intensive industries, has established itself as an technical leader in the merger and acquisition space by facilitating cost-efficient, quick and easy software integration and separation actions to support the dynamic, and sometimes volatile, aspects of the merchant power industry. They have strategies for the rapid deployment of Maximo both on premise and in the cloud. In addition, they have extensive experience in converting data from multiple EAM systems such as MainSaver, DataStream, SAP and others.

Polaris Solutions has led a number of highly successful implementations that have consistently resulted in on-time and on- (or under-) budget deliveries. The company stands out from the competition for its customer-centric focus that gained them clients like Targa Resources, Dynegy, ENGIE North America, and Alliant Energy. In one instance, Calpine Corporation, the largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources in the U.S., approached Polaris Solutions to gain insights into their asset management practice.
Because Calpine internally oversees maintenance of its turbine maintenance fleet, various organizations supervise everything from routine maintenance to major overhaul work. This requires close coordination around all aspects of the asset lifecycle including maintenance planning/scheduling/ forecasting, materials sourcing/ purchasing, inventory control, contractor management and project oversight. Calpine also required a unified process that brought transparency and easy access to detailed and discrete operational and financial information from multiple complex systems. This data is crucial for the forecasting of maintenance intervals and performance of reliability and risk analysis against their asset base.

Polaris Solutions rolled out a solution in 18 months that allowed Calpine to track discrete pedigree data about its assets while reducing process overhead, gaining work efficiencies and eliminating redundant data entry. The software and process improvements were integrated with the client’s existing process maps and software technologies thereby extending the quality and scope of data captured. Calpine’s internal IT department was then challenged to serve up this data in a quick, flexible and informative way to support the user community across a broad range of roles. They delivered with innovative dashboarding and mobile solutions. The unique cooperative solution now allows Calpine to quickly respond to situations in the plant and often make critical and informed decisions within minutes, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Our solution enhanced every individual process, from the procurement of an asset all the way through the lifecycle, by converting unusable data into actionable data,” says Hartman.

The Next Big Leap

As IBM makes Maximo Asset Management more appealing by embracing the cloud, Polaris Solutions is all set to leverage the application and reach out to every company—big and small— across the industry. Hartman defines this step as inevitable as on-premises servers often cost a fortune, which is a challenge for organizations with scarce resources. As he explains, due to acquisitions and divestitures occurring so frequently, customers are also looking for ways to minimize capital hardware and software investment while maintaining scalability around licensing. With flexible and cost-effective Maximo offerings around SaaS, license subscriptions and IBM SoftLayer cloud architecture, organizations now have options that enable them to face such challenges. The cloud and subscription-based solutions should be particularly attractive to companies growing through acquisitions or that experience high variability in user count as it directly addresses cost savings through license scalability and access-based pricing.

Polaris Solutions began 14 years ago with a simple philosophy that any project or solution must be accepted and usable to be successful. In order to understand how to make any process or software work within an organization, you must know the organizational culture, appetite for change, roadmap for growth, systemic challenges and many other detailed characteristics that make a company unique. Numerous deep and long-standing client relationships have proven this formula to be successful. Having created a niche in the power industry with its results-driven implementation services and solutions, Polaris Solutions plans to continue building relationships based on partnership, quality, and value while fostering growth through functional and technical innovation.

Polaris Solutions

Baltimore, MD

David Hartman, President and David Glidewell, VP, Technical Services

Helping clients increase value, streamline processes and maximize application capabilities through creative, innovative and efficient Maximo implementation services and solutions

Polaris Solutions