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Enterprise asset management (EAM) has grown in complexity; so have the technologies that support it. Yet EAM continues to be crucial for an organization to meet its goals. Boston, MA-based JFC & Associates was founded with the vision to help enterprises overcome these barriers of complexity in EAM, enabling them to align with their core business needs. The company delivers professional asset management services, which are cost-effective and ensure the increase in the return on assets (ROA). As an IBM partner for 20 years now, JFC & Associates specializes in providing high-quality and reliable IBM Maximo services. John Connell, President and CEO of the company brings over 35 years of experience in the industry and leverages his knowledge to lead JFC & Associates, making the organization stand out in the EAM space. In this interview with CIO Applications, Connell talks about their unique strategies and strengths that keep them ahead in the IBM solutions arena.
Give us an overview of JFC & Associates’ journey since its inception in 2001.
Having a long history of delivering IBM’s EAM solution, Maximo, we have engaged several large enterprises for many years. JFC & Associates’ partnership with IBM dates back to the days when IBM was yet to acquire Maximo; we have gained an in-depth knowledge of the IBM tools over the years, and have been using it in our client engagements. We have been able to influence companies from around the world with IBM tools. Our clientele spreads across industries including transportation, government, and education, and we continue to acquire new and larger customers every year. The strategy we follow is in line with the business of our customers more than anybody else, as our consultants come from diverse business verticals.
We have grown to be an efficient IBM solutions company that can offer solutions and services at a lower cost and faster. Our current projects include one with the State of California on a massive Maximo SaaS project with over 600 users from the West Coast. Having implemented solutions at the JFK airport and universities like Harvard, we can be called a facility management solutions organization specialized in Enterprise Asset Management.
Our focus has been on sharing the responsibility across a specific software project of a client and building a long-term partnership with them. While we are an IBM accredited business, most of our engineers are certified in Maximo implementation. Having IBM Maximo as the backbone of our value proposition, we strive to evolve continuously and maintain our accreditation with IBM.
Building on our success stories, we envision providing companies not only with implementations of new EAM solutions but also improving the ones they already have
JFC & Associates has played a consistent role in delivering IBM Maximo that has grown throughout the years. How would you define your company’s evolution with the changes in the industry?
We continuously innovate and try to stay ahead of the existing tool capabilities. With our internal R&D, we anticipate IBM’s directions, and when they make changes, we input our recommendations. An instance was our ability to recognize the advantages of cloud computing years before IBM leveraged the technology. We recommended them to use cloud computing. The same goes for leveraging IoT platforms as well. We aim to ensure that we prepare our customers, not just for today’s requirements, but also for the future needs.
We intend to leverage IBM Maximo, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and cognitive coding to take advantage of the data that we procure. Each time IBM brings in new solutions, we are aware of its uses and are sure of whether we would onboard or take a different direction: a testament to our ability as a future-proofed enterprise. However, IBM is a powerhouse of significant insights about different technologies and has been a right partner in every aspect. We currently host the applications of the State of California on the IBM platform. Although we have used other platforms, IBM’s platforms have been more advantageous.
Could you, along with examples, talk about your approach/methodology to ensure that your clients have the right solution that meets their specific requirements?
With a keen customer understanding, we use an agile methodology and implement the solutions for our clients quickly. We had integrated The Weather Company’s tools with Maximo, five years after which IBM acquired The Weather Company and subsequently integrated the weather tools with Maximo.
A solution we developed for the largest airport in the Northeast United States is now being configured at the largest multi-modal transportation and business hub in lower Manhattan. We have supplemented the paper logs with a new type of operational shift logs. Enabled with Maximo work management and service management capabilities, these logs can track elevator and escalator downtime within the application. While it quickly eliminates paper log works, it also provides better transparency.
What is the next big step for JFC & Associates in terms of your offerings?
JFC & Associates is positioned to add more value to existing capabilities of Maximo with IoT solutions, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Building on our success stories, we envision providing companies not only with implementations of new EAM solutions but also improving the ones they already have.
As we grow and expand into new areas including IoT and AI, we are spreading our wings to other disciplines and many different technologies. IoT is helping us connect the real world to the digital. As we recognize IoT’s importance in today’s digital world, we are enhancing our infrastructure with an additional department for IoT, alongside our functional and technical service departments. The intent is to help clients achieve their goals, something that wasn’t possible before with their previous service providers.