Reaching the next digital frontier is critical for asset-intensive industries. Yet, one issue keeps blocking them from it—the IT and operations divide. To bridge the gap, companies need to reimagine how they connect assets, people and processes. They will need to rethink how they interact across enterprise and business networks. Intelligent asset management (IAM) can deliver that bridge with little disruption. Codeveloped by Accenture and SAP, it optimizes asset strategy and health and helps businesses be intelligent and efficient.  

By John Holmes

The race to digitize operations is on. Asset-intensive companies, however, are limited by their legacy IT. They tend to focus more on enterprise functions such as HR and finance. To keep up and leap ahead, the need IAM. It provides greater control and a better sense of how assets perform. Intelligent enterprises can increase efficiency and create more value. More importantly, they are safe and sustainable.

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SAP Intelligent Asset Management enabled by Accenture

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In our previous blog post, we discussed the vital concept of a “single pane of glass.” It bridges the long-standing divide between enterprise IT and operations. In essence, the single view gives a systemic approach that identifies the root causes of challenges. It also offers smarter ways to address them. The single view gives a clear perspective across the asset landscape. It provides the full picture to solve underlying problems—rather than treating symptoms. It also offers actionable insights through analytics. When users have the right digital tools, they can act on these recommendations in a snap.

These features and benefits have come to life thanks to Accenture and SAP. Working together, we’ve achieved new levels of control. Two powerhouses are in your corner. On one end, SAP brings the IAM strategy. On the other, Accenture brings industry knowledge, prebuilt accelerators, templates, and libraries. In concert, we speed processes during the blueprint and implementation phases. Together, we enable businesses to reach value quickly. This partnership promises to unleash a new generation of IAM tools. In the process, we extend the SAP’s asset management business and grow Accenture’s industry solutions.

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Adding intelligence, maximizing performance

This initiative aims to design, develop and deliver cloud-based tools. We lean on existing SAP IAM solutions for proven blueprints. With Accenture’s know-how, companies in asset-intensive industries (e.g., utilities) can maximize asset performance. Maintenance strategies, for example, are an important paradigm shift. We can drive maintenance strategies from reactive to proactive. This new approach helps them improve safety. In doing so, it reduces environmental impact and maintenance costs.

How exactly do these new capabilities work? Full integration of enterprise asset management (EAM) and asset performance management (APM) in a closed loop (see Figure 1). This prevents challenges created by the IT and operations divide, such as:

  • Multiple data silos
  • Inconsistent data models across applications
  • Out-of-the-box integration disconnects

The closed loop model has digital enablers that enhance EAM and APM processes. It streamlines workflows and delivers more resilient operations. These solutions make you more reliable, available and productive. They provide asset risk and maintenance strategies. There is advice management to execute the right policies. Plus, this system offers IoT-enabled (Internet of Things). It can have rule-based condition monitoring. You can apply predictive analysis using machine learning. All these companies optimize asset performance. At the same time, it makes physical assets and equipment more reliable and available.

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Intelligent Asset Management diagram

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Asset strategy and asset health in sync

Before setting dynamic rules and maintenance plans, we first define the right maintenance strategy. Once that is set, we deploy IoT-powered, real-time monitoring. It includes automated and rule-based generation of maintenance demands. This streamlined process integrates regular maintenance calls. Moreover, it plans and executes asset management tasks and activities.

After we gather data across systems, we can set the strategy for asset monitoring and maintenance. Advanced analytics can step in to guide the next action steps. Our analysis will determine if and where strategies are needed. This data-driven analysis provides insights you can act on. It speeds up the decision-making process for situations such as:

  • Handling equipment that is potentially over-maintained
  • Balancing equipment availability
  • Managing maintenance costs and risks

Transforming asset management and operations

Many benefits await those that decide to leverage the combined power of Accenture and SAP. For one, they gain a strong operational base. You can quickly enhance end-to-end business processes across the asset lifecycle. Strategy and execution converge. We provide a true intelligent asset and a service that manages it. It is easy to integrate APM capabilities—like condition-based predictive maintenance—with maintenance and service planning.

Aligned data models across the asset landscape give a unified view on asset performance. It enables faster and better decision making. Continuous review of asset performance ensures high reliability at lower risks and costs.

Businesses improve productivity with precise and consistent information on asset performance. Firms using SAP S/4HANA ERP systems can adopt these improved APM capabilities. Companies enjoy reduced deployment complexities. They can also reduce initial set-up time and enhance the user experience.

Intelligence in action

Clients can now tap into the power of IAM to reimagine what they do and how they do it. It will lead them to the next digital frontier and reach fully digital operations. Companies who have trusted the joint talents of Accenture and SAP have seen significant boosts in efficiency.

We’ve helped our clients improve maintenance productivity by up to 25% with standardized processes. By increasing execution efficiency, we’ve reduced planning time by 10%-25%. The use of digital accelerators has also sped up workflow execution by up to 30%. Optimized work processes for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) reduce costs by 5%- 20%.

Plenty of obstacles remain in the journey towards bridging the IT and operations divide. But count on intelligent and standardized processes to clear those hurdles. And count on Accenture and SAP to constantly strengthen IAM solutions. We will reinvent what’s possible for asset-intensive industries. Together, we can shape the future to be smarter, safer and sustainable.

About the author

 John Holmes

John is Managing Director and leads the North America Intelligent Asset Management for the Industry X practice in Digital Manufacturing and Operations at Accenture. He has a background of 15+ years in maintenance and asset management across multiple industries. His specialties are maintenance reliability, CMMS/EAM implementation and optimization, asset lifecycle planning, predictive analytics, condition monitoring and business process engineering. Reach out to John via LinkedIn.

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