When Esri introduced the Utility Network (UN) in 2017, it sent shockwaves through the Utility industry. Chock full of enhancements, including new feature class management functionality and updated modeling for domains, the UN was engineered in a completely different structure than the previous Geometric Network (GN). Understandably given this giant shift, many Utility organizations are still working to transition to the Utility Network while ensuring their existing enterprise ecosystem stays updated and functional for the foreseeable future.
Every migration project presents its share of challenges, and moving from the GN to the UN is no exception, especially considering that edge systems, such as Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems, and their integrations were built to conform to the GN. Integrating between Esri and an EAM, like IBM Maximo, is a practice that continues to gain traction as more and more Utility organizations work towards digital transformation and the unification of key processes across systems. Through our years of partnership with customers, Geonexus has developed deep understanding of the challenges associated with the move to the UN when integrating between GIS and your EAM. This blog focuses on the specific challenges of making the move to the UN when your Esri to Maximo integration runs through Maximo Spatial.
Read on to dive deeper into three items to consider when making the move to the UN when your Esri/Maximo integration involves Maximo Spatial.
Having a roadmap before beginning your integration journey between the Esri UN and Maximo using Maximo Spatial will lead to a far less bumpy trip. To start, let’s look at how Maximo Spatial interacts with the UN.
• Data Model: Spatial was engineered to work with the GN’s layering system. When Esri moved to the UN, they drastically reduced the number of possible layers. For example, in the GN a water utility user might make individual layers for a system valve, a curb stop, and a hydrant. In the UN, all of those assets exist in one layer. Spatial expects the GN layering system and has trouble communicating with the new UN layering system.
• Versioning Communication: Maximo Spatial does not support GIS branch versioning, a main feature of ESRI’s Utility Network. This lack of support ultimately hinders Spatial from effectively communicating changes back to GIS, causing data integrity issues.
In sum, the new data model structure and versioning system in the UN is not aligned with how the Maximo Spatial data synchronization functionality is designed. But, that does not mean you should throw out the entire system. Maximo Spatial’s data visualization and mapping window can be configured to work with the UN layer structure and still prove advantageous for many organizations.
Utilities organizations know that Maximo Spatial is not a cheap or short-term investment. In addition to paying the subscription fee, system users spend serious time and energy configuring the Spatial mapping to aid in their organization’s goals. Because of this investment, we know it is tempting to wonder if staying on the GN and utilizing Spatial is a better solution than transitioning to the UN…While this is a viable short-term solution, Esri’s Utility Network is the future of geospatial analysis and mapping, and we feel fairly certain your GIS team would agree.
The only solution, then—move forward together.
There are a couple ways to protect your Maximo Spatial investment and system while also prioritizing clean, trustworthy data in your transition to the UN. Organizations can always go the custom route. Data integration experts can build custom integrations between your Maximo Spatial and your GIS system to enable functional data sharing in addition to the mapping function. The problem? Custom integrations are resource and time intensive and create the possibility of knowledge loss.
With an off-the-shelf, fully supported solution, like the Geonexus Integration Platform (GIP), you can protect your investment in Spatial by utilizing the mapping function while leaving the data synchronization and integration to GIP. With a productized approach, your integration will be up and running in weeks not months, and will take the pressure off your organization’s internal resources.
With over a decade of experience in the data and system integration space, our Geonexus integration experts want to help your organization succeed. Schedule a 15-minute demo with us today.