I'd be glad to give you my experience with Maximo and also why and what we moved to. We essentially went to Maximo to replace an in-house developed work order system with an off the shelf system. We reviewed the 3 top competitors at that time based on input from a consultant. We started with Maximo 4.11 using the work order, PM, and inventory modules in August 2001 and phased out Maximo at version 5.x system in August 2008. In this entire period I am the only dedicated staff person to support implementation, training, and day to day activities. Our IT group eventually took over responsibility for the servers and Oracle configuration. In that period of time we went from 10 to 30 users and did most of that training in-house. It did most of what we needed 'ok' and most of our non Helpdesk users complained about ease of use issues. Our Helpdesk users were ok with it but hated all the work that was needed to report labor, close out work orders, etc. We did not have any outside campus users. They instead submitted email form work orders, which we would then transfer. We used some helper applications that did things like 'email updates to the user' and generally those helper apps were essential to making the product really work for us. My opinion was the reports that came with Maximo up through those versions were almost useless to us. It was far easier and productive to generate basic reports using Oracle tools to do selections and reports against the work order tables directly rather than go through the customization of Maximo reporting, whether it was Crystal or other report tools. Add the learning curve to create those reports and you can see how much an issue it could become. We occasionally would have an outside consultant create reports but even then, one report might cost a few thousand dollars if I went through the Maximo reporting process. Customization of any major kind was cost prohibitive and probably not that good an idea anyway. Customization was possible at a lower level and allowed us use custom fields when needed. We could use them in the table and forms.
Upgrades to software were very stressful and often expensive. Again this was something that made more sense to farm out, but there was a cost.
My primary goal was to get an implemented mobile solution utilizing either Maximo mobile or an outside solution. We did identify a couple of web based mobile tools that we could glue together with Maximo to support a mobile applications of Maximo. We did not get there with this product. At the time management reviewed the CMMS we were also looking at another major upgrade to Maximo 6/7 whatever it was. A high level review of our FM department found that the customer's were disconnected from our department once they submitted a work order. Whatever solution was found would have to focus on the customer.
Management decided to go a different route and after arranging 3 different proposals, (I had a proposal for a Maximo upgrade and adding a mobile solution) decided to go with Schooldude utilizing the work order component, Inventory, mobile and the PM component. Management made this decision independently. I was certainly pulling for Maximo at that point and was probably too close to the software to make a good call. Our IT department recommended Schooldude and the hosting, hardware issues, updates, and web based software definitely was attractive to us.
I was given a go live date of mid-August which is the absolute worst time to implement anything if you are a traditional university. We had the inventory loaded by Schooldude but most of the setup we were able to do quickly and it all worked out fine. In the span of less than a month we were able to set up the buildings, crafts, users, etc., do the training, and roll it out. The hardest part for us was setting up the phones, which in retrospect should have been a piece of cake.
The big piece for us was rolling out the software to the university campus and there are now about 2000 users including, students, faculty and staff. Campus users apparently love the ease and the timely updates they receive through the software. Our Helpdesk phones which used to receive non-stop calls from 8am - 5pm are now almost quiet. In the initial August 2008 startup we also identified 50 of our maintenance staff who work primarily on work orders and set them up with i-265 phones which allowed them to receive work orders, report their labor, and then complete the work order. In this process we also reduced our staff by one in our help desk area, but were able to easily handle it due to the reduced phone load and work orders now being completed in the field. We probably are running about 25,000 work orders a year. We have written rules that route a call to the lead person of the particular work group based on the building and the craft selected. The lead person then assigns the work order to a technician and that whole process from customer submitting the work order to assignment may only take minutes.
A big plus for me is the improvement in reporting between Maximo and Schooldude. I am also able to extract all work order and labor information directly into Excel and from there create custom graphs and reports. The built in reports are very extensive and have an impressive number of options. One ding I do have is the lack of customization possible, a lack of configurable checking on user input and the somewhat tricky process to build PM work orders. If you want to edit work orders you have to do it one at a time and that can be pretty tedious. Other than that I'm sold.
I'd be glad to talk to you more in detail if you'd like and also tell you how we able to maximize our investment and return in both products. I was a Maximo user in a small installation so that brings its own challenges. However at the end the day a lot of the things that were tough to do in Maximo should not have been such a struggle. Report writing for one!
Sorry for the length!
(These are my own opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.)