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Education's new lesson
Smart whiteboards and smart buildings. School buses that transport students using GPS-informed dispatch and routing. Facilities that adjust indoor temperature based on weather and school occupancy. Modern education practically rivals industry in the range and complexity of its assets—from buildings to vehicles to IT systems—but with lower budgets to handle the job. To continue the pursuit of excellent student development in the face of resource cutbacks and increasingly complex facilities and equipment, asset management in education has to get smarter.
Advancing into the 21st century
Consider how technology is benefiting education, and your first thoughts will be of classrooms and research. But behind the scenes, day-to-day operations involve mundane, but equally important, tangible assets that must be purchased, tracked or maintained. Technology is the key to managing it all with accuracy and efficiency.
Around an instrumented campus or physical plant, wired and wireless connections pick up signals from digital sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. They collect usage, temperatures, mileage and other input to feed into data acquisition and monitoring tools, digital sensors and global positioning systems.
With asset management for education from IBM, this cacophony of data is collected in a central repository, where it is analyzed and shared in a dashboard view of charts, graphs, building floor plans and geospatial maps. Automated business rules can trigger alerts and actions, quickly providing responses to complex, interconnected events. For example, inventory control receives an automatic e-mail alert that pinpoints the location of depleted supplies. It interconnects with financial systems to analyze and choose the best vendor to reorder from. Then it feeds the data to key personnel for renegotiations and budget adjustments.
Making assets talk back
IBM builds smarter asset management on proven processes to produce faster results, better visibility and more efficient use of resources. Asset management for education can:
- Improve the availability of collected data through dashboard displays in browsers and on handheld devices.
- Save on heating and cooling by adjusting HVAC and environmental systems automatically based on the school calendar, weather and occupancy.
- Enhance security through digital monitoring that sends an e-mail or text when a facility door lock is opened or motion is sensed in restricted areas.
- Optimize fuel usage and maintenance by tracking and analyzing bus routes to meet optimal student capacity and by dispatching motor pool vehicles to meet usage thresholds.
- Help preserve investments in assets and technologies through ubiquitous tracking of embedded inventory tags.
IBM Maximo for better asset management
The IBM® Maximo® Asset Management solution unifies comprehensive asset life cycle and maintenance management on a single platform. This software:
- Provides insight into all assets, their condition, effective life expectancy, extended value and workload management processes for better planning and control.
- Speeds the collection of data into a system using real-time network feeds, RFID tagging and bar coding.
- Enables long and short-term planning, preventive, reactive and condition-based maintenance, schedule management, resource optimization and key performance indicators.
- Manages vendor contracts with comprehensive support for purchase, lease, rental, warranty, rate, master, blanket and user-defined contracts.
For optimal efficiency and cost savings, educational institutions can integrate the Maximo Asset Management system with automated monitoring and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, which provide direct measurement and condition data feeds into the system for alerts and action.