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Insights from the SAP-Centric EAM 2013 Event – Huntington Beach March 2013 (Part 5 of 12) : This is part of a twelve part blog series brought to you by Norm Poynter and Paul Kurchina, designed to inspire and educate by sharing experiences with the SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Community. For the past nine years, the Eventful Group’s SAP-Centric EAM North American Event ( Supported by SAP and ASUG ) has brought together the EAM community to network, share ideas and experiences, and explore solutions for Enterprise Asset Management.

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This post is based on the keynote presentation by Dr. Achim Krüger, ” SAP Enterprise Asset Management – Enabling Asset Managers and Maintenance Professionals”.

SAP’s Plant Maintenance module has been around for a long time—we’re going to go out on a limb and say since the late 1970s. Because it evolved from other modules within (at that time) SAP’s accounting packages, it had certain quirks. Let’s be honest; it still does today! Consequently, most of us now in the space known as Enterprise Asset Management come from an environment in which plant maintenance itself was an island, a single module, with integration points. Those integration points include, for example, production planning, project systems (PS), finance and controlling (FICO), human resources (HR), materials management (MM) and more. There is no need to be exhaustive in this list but to be descriptive enough to understand why SAP software is successful, and that is because it uses integration.

The challenge for SAP over the years has been where to focus development. SAP Plant Maintenance never really was the major revenue producer. Most companies would implement SAP to deliver consolidated financials, streamlined procurement, and perhaps standard HR processes, but the maintenance component was typically a lesser driver for implementing SAP. As a result, the SAP Plant Maintenance module was a laggard when it came to functionality and new development.

That is why it was exciting to witness Achim Krüger’s keynote presentation at SAP-Centric EAM 2013. SAP is making a major push in the EAM space. The company is saying it’s now all about EAM and not just plant maintenance. In his keynote, Krüger gave a snapshot of the SAP EAM user experience, including new mobile and 3D visualization features as well as enhancements such as linear asset management, worker safety, asset analytics, and management of change.

Krüger noted that many things influence the way asset management is done, including the Internet of Things, big data, mobilization, social networks, and more.

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He also spoke of the value that a strong EAM system can bring to an organization, answering such key questions as: 

·       How do I balance CAPEX and OPEX and develop an asset replacement strategy?

·       How do I improve asset performance and control maintenance costs?

·       How do I manage asset-related risks and support corporate sustainability goals?

·       How do I reduce energy costs and control emissions?

·       How do I improve asset and worker safety and avoid critical incidents?

For years, the infamous SAP GUI has been harshly criticized, but SAP has been busy working on ways to supplement the traditional R/3 look and feel. Now it features on-screen personas, balanced scorecards with predefined KPIs, a comprehensive yet easy to read dashboard, 3D visualization of assets, and work orders accessed through mobile devices.

SAP’s overall strategy for EAM, said Krüger, is to combine the visual enterprise with high-speed analytics and mobility. In our view, Achim has singlehandedly led SAP’s drive forward to support the EAM community with functionality, modern user interfaces, communication, and openness while at the same time aligning its products with the PAS 55 and ISO 55000 movements. He has embraced the needs of the users of SAP Plant Maintenance, which for quite some time have been neglected.

Achim also talked at this event about some great sources of SAP EAM information.

“Of course you can use your SAP system to support maintenance execution, but imagine how life could be if you used it for linking asset management to your business objectives,” said Krüger in the presentation. Indeed, SAP EAM has come a long way since 1979.

To learn more, watch the video of Krüger’s talk, and view the presentation slides.

For more information, here’s a post with all of the links to the published blogs in this series.

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