IBM has acquired Denver based Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) Inventory Optimization specialist Oniqua. The move sees IBM expand into the Internet of Things (IoT) market for asset intensive industries.
Acquiring Oniqua will particularly boost IBM’s IoT enterprise offering within the oil and gas industries, as well as industrial mining, which were key focuses of Oniqua, whose clients include major industry players like Rio Tinto.
The acquisition comes as industrial equipment providers like Siemens and GE pivot to a digital focus, with a growing emphasis on the opportunities afforded by predictive maintenance and remote servicing.
Commenting in a released statement, IBM’s GM for cognitive process transformation Jay Bellissimo said: “Clients are moving from legacy, on premise offerings to new cloud-based predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance offerings. But without instant access to the right data, they are still susceptible to critical equipment breakdowns that can cripple their businesses.”
A leading cost in the oil, gas and mining industries is the maintenance of systems and mechanical assets. Yet a more severe cost to industrial earnings is unplanned asset downtime.
Oniqua focused on providing information and feedback from critical parts via internet connected smart devices which can measure an array of systems and mechanical components, providing real time diagnostics on crucial equipment.
Speaking in the announcement of the acquisition by IBM, Oniqua CEO Joe Berti commented that: “CEOs and CFOs of leading asset-intensive companies are paying more attention than ever to growing spare parts inventory balances, oftentimes totalling billions of dollars.”
These early diagnostics systems can help a company schedule maintenance repairs and asset downtime with minimum disruption to critical work time lines. It can also reduce the need to maintain storage space for replacement parts. Storing replacement parts for machinery associated with heavy infrastructure industries like gas and oil can come with significant costs.
IBM’s Maximo is an enterprise asset management software solution, that aims to simplify enterprise workloads by compressing asset and management solutions into a single database and platform.
“By combining the world’s leading asset optimisation solution Maximo with the leading MRO Inventory Optimization solution from Oniqua, we will offer a next-generation ‘solutions as-a-service’ that let businesses easily connect with the data they need so they can forecast equipment failures, optimise spare parts, reduce unplanned downtime and optimise asset maintenance,” commented Bellissimo.
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