I’m sure that some of you read the title of this blog and feared that someone missed spell check when titling it CONNtext; however the unusual spelling is quite intentional. CONNtext, a play on the words connector and context, is an Armedia developed solution that acts as a connector allowing for Maximo integration with FileNet. Armedia’s mission has always been to aid our clients in their maximization of the value of their content. ECM systems rarely represent stand-alone business process software and are typically the repository of output documents from multiple business process software systems.
CONNtext provides a seamless bi-directional “connector” between Maximo and FileNet making content information available within the correct “context” for use with maintenance management activities. CONNtext is the first Armedia developed solution created with our new ECM software partner, IBM.
To understand the value and purpose of CONNtext, let’s take a moment to better understand Maximo and FileNet. Maximo provides a comprehensive asset life cycle and operations & maintenance management platform. Typical deployments of Maximo serve the following functions:
- Work orders: Scheduling jobs, assigning personnel, reserving materials, and recording costs
- Preventive maintenance (PM): Keeping track of PM inspections and jobs, including step-by-step instructions or check-lists, lists of materials required, and other pertinent details.
- Asset management: Recording data about equipment and property including specifications, warranty information, service contracts, spare parts, purchase date
- Inventory control: Recording where materials are stored, determining when more materials should be purchased, tracking shipment receipts, and taking inventory.
The accessibility of properly reviewed, approved and released documents is essential for easy use of asset management systems such as Maximo. FileNet, on the other hand, helps users to manage the gathering, storage, security, revision control, retrieval, distribution, preservation and destruction of documents. These documents are related to specific business operations, such as: engineering and design, operation and maintenance, inventory and purchasing activities.
A key feature of CONNtext is its ability to profile specific characteristics of documents and apply them to asset management activities. A FileNet repository is likely to include millions of documents, many of which may not be applicable to the activities managed within the Maximo application. When completing the library of data that populates the equipment information profiles it is critical that only the correct source information approved by the appropriate design authority is used. In other words, when creating business documents such as work orders and job plans, it is important to provide traceability to the versioned documents containing the configured design requirements. Sound configuration control practices means controlled maintenance activities using controlled documents.
CONNtext enables clients to deploy the best enterprise solutions from IBM, helping them establish a sustainable configuration management environment. CONNtext applies a configurable set of business rules to filter the FileNet repository, thus identifying the content of interest and then transforming applicable content meta-data for inclusion or update within the Maximo document library. The result of this filtering process allows the Maximo user to see documents classified in terms relevant to their job profile and the Maximo application.
A CONNtext design goal of the Armedia team was to minimize the impact on the host applications by relying more on configuration and available application interfaces such as web services. CONNtext deploys within the FileNet Workplace client interface, accessed directly from the document’s Actions menu. Within Maximo, CONNtext operates completely within the standard user interface, making no additional user training required. CONNtext runs completely inside of the Attached Documents module of Maximo. This functionality is controlled entirely by a Maximo administrator. Maximo users will have the capability to view and print document content in FileNet, based on their FileNet security permissions, and will be able to manage and create links from documents to any document control enabled application inside of Maximo. The off-the-shelf functionality of Maximo is not altered and Maximo users will be able to perform all of the same functions inside of Maximo that were previously available to them, based on their user permissions.
So, how will CONNtext help users maximize the value of their content? By helping ensure the correct version of a document is referenced in work managed by Maximo, providing a seamless bi-directional integration between Maximo asset management and FileNet content management software and by providing a real time integration that allows Maximo applications to access and link to the desired version of a document managed by the FileNet repository. CONNtext helps connect the right document in the right asset management context.