Less than a year after Infor released its EAM for the first time on cloud it has released its next version. This Infor EAM release includes several new features that will please its cloud customers and no doubt its channel including the two new partners it recently signed.
Infor EAM targets Case Management
Over the last year Infor has clearly been working hard on new features for its users. Some of these are enhancements on what was already within the Infor EAM solution but users will find many of the new features useful when they begin deploying the product.The main areas of improvement are:
Case Management: A new feature that allows businesses to track ad-hoc incidents which are not associated with specific works order. For example they may include health and safety incidents such as spills or accidents. In creating each case an audit trail is created and workflow tasks, even additional works orders can be created. Thus an operator can create shift notes that might generate a specific task or works order due to an observation or incident.
The benefit is that the issue is logged and has created the appropriate action that needs to be undertaken. Once entered the record is retained and cannot be deleted. An audit trail can easily be generated if required in the future, for actions against a specific case.
Key management: This allows all keys to be entered and tracked in the system. If a specific key ring is lost in the future it is easy to identify what keys it contained. Either for a security reason or to generate a replacement set.
Asset reservations: This function allows employees to reserve equipment for future use. These can include an asset within the system including vehicles, conference rooms or other asset equipment. For some companies, the ability to book rooms will not be required as there are other concierge solutions that do this already. For example Microsoft Outlook also has a feature that can be tied into one Exchange calendar. What Infor EAM does do is track the equipment by works order and job. For companies investigating issues after the fact, the audit trail that this creates could be very useful.
Contractor service portal: This allows third parties to access the solution, allowing them to send and receive updates on activities and works orders. For companies looking to distribute work based on geographic region Infor EAM also has the capability to assign works orders on that basis. It is not known whether there are any license implications for this element of the solution and details on exactly what access they have was not available.
Ditch the spreadsheet for your office move.
Does your company have a massive spreadsheet tracking desk locations for your next office move? Infor have provided functionality that will take the pain away for your office move. The Workspace Management capability allows users to define, assign and track employee workspaces and furniture. This feature is also integrated with call centre operations, key management as well as equipment and employee management. The inference being that when used appropriately HRM record can be updated automatically and information about what keys are required in which location will be as well.
There is also improved support for call centres especially around the work flow for works orders depending upon location and type of service request. Mike Stone, product manager, Infor EAM commented: “Infor EAM 11.2 provides needed functionality for all industries and enables faster, more effective maintenance services.
“Further, it provides capabilities to track and record incidents with workflow tasks and follow up work orders.”
There are other advantages and improvements as well. It is now possible to use up to 50 user defined fields and an unlimited number of custom fields. Personalization of screens is possible, so different job role can have completely different front screens to improve efficiency. While it is possible to create workflows within EAM, using Infor Ion it is now possible to extend those workflows to other software solutions. Infor Ion is also capable of supporting far more sophisticated workflows.
Within the Transportation management section it is now possible to define ”sets” of cars, engines and equipment that travel together. It therefore becomes possible to define trains and carriages that frequently travel together, amending them as required for each trip. Finally companies are now able to import data direct into all the database tables using a web services development language (WSDL) and access formatted Excel files for each table. For companies looking to migrate to the cloud, from on premise or Excel style solutions this will make life a lot easier for their implementation
This does not appear a small upgrade by Infor on their EAM solution. One question is why they limited it to a mere point release. It will be interesting to see what they manage over the next 12 months and what their next major release could contain. Having delivered a cloud-based EAM solution Infor appear to be accelerating their development rather than slowing it down which could be worrying for some of its competitors. It will be interesting to see how Gartner rates them on its EAM quadrants during 2016 and whether they can continue to move towards the leadership quadrant where they already are for Manufacturing EAM.