BlueWorx from Zag, part of Accenture, is a mobile solution for SAP Plant Maintenance, which removes complexity and empowers users with its innovative functionality and geospatial capabilities. BlueWorx works online and offline to provide a reliable two-way flow of rich work and asset information.

BlueWorx vs traditional apps

Maintaining assets is business-critical and calls for modern, mobile capabilities on and offline

Asset maintenance is more than a cost or efficiency issue for enterprises – it’s the difference between being able to run the business or go out of business. That’s especially true when you consider the compliance costs related to a growing set of standards and regulations facing many industries today, however, the cost of non-compliance is even greater.

“Being able to create, access, and share maintenance records to not only understand where improvements can be made but to also evidence compliance, is more than an administrative process, it’s an existential issue for companies today,” says Carl McGowan, Head of Architecture at Zag. “The ability to easily gather data, identify faults and review asset trends in order to mitigate failures, before they become critical issues, is imperative. This asset information needs to be available to view and input by field workers charged with managing and maintaining assets.”

Carl adds, “The business case for mobile asset management is about more than the cost.  In industries where things can go wrong very quickly, sometimes from relatively minor issues, companies don’t just need to do the right thing, they need to be able to prove that they did the right thing, or they will be shut down.”

A scalable mobile asset management solution with an intuitive user interface powered by Neptune Software.

BlueWorx, developed by Zag, is an innovative mobile asset management solution, that not only allows businesses to get the most out of their SAP investment by taking SAP Plant Maintenance into the field, but it works where they do, online and offline, with ease and has a great looking intuitive user interface.

Developed using SAP-certified Neptune Software, BlueWorx is a cost-effective solution that requires no middleware and is extensible to customers’ requirements. It works from mobile and just as easily from a desktop, to provide users with a simple consistent view.

Users can report faults, create orders, issue parts, and complete work. They can gather inspection data including notes, photos, geographical location, attributes and readings.

BlueWorx allows users to see their assets and work geographically, along with integration to Google Maps and Esri. Users simply connect their mobile device with SAP and then they’re ready to work.

“Once you start digitising, it becomes easier to gather and verify information and understand how your assets are performing and therefore, which assets are available and compliant at any given time, and which are not,” says Carl. “Understanding the now is imperative, so reliable, timely data is key. Mobile makes that even more efficient. Organizations can quickly make more intelligent decisions about what maintenance to do and what not to do.”

“One of the key benefits of Neptune Software and BlueWorx is that we do offline better than anyone else. In environments with no connectivity, this offers a huge advantage,” said Carl.

Better capabilities make work easier in the field

Providing the right tools for the job improves workforce engagement and BlueWorx is designed to work the way that field workers do. BlueWorx’s innovative functionality doesn’t just remove the complexity of standard SAP Plant Maintenance, it provides a two-way interface that empowers users to enter data and retrieve information that makes their job simpler.

BlueWorx contains more of the functions modern asset management organisations need out of the box and provides a simple method for extension if required. This allows our customers to deliver a complete solution ready to use much faster than alternative solutions, at a lower cost with more of the functions demanded by users.

Workers can work the way they want to, whether they’re conducting inspections plotted on a map for high volumes of distributed assets or completing detailed work order lists for major capital works, for example.

Additionally, BlueWorx is built on a robust technical base which means it works all the time and every time. BlueWorx is delivered on a simple platform with very few points of failure or friction to ensure consistent and fast performance. The solution solves many of the common issues with other systems, including handling very large data volumes, error management during synchronisation and managing slow or intermittent connections.

Rapid App Development makes plant maintenance easy to own, maintain, upgrade and use

With BlueWorx, organisations using SAP for asset management and those who understand the value of mobility can find a concrete evolutionary path to providing a better user experience and streamlined processes for their workforce.

“Sometimes mobile products don’t scale well, and experience performance problems as more users are added to the system, especially when there are concentrated activities in short periods of time,” says Carl. “We’ve worked hard to solve that scalability challenge. Users can experience a 5-10 factor reduction in load during that peak, which makes everyone happier.”

“Tailoring the system to unique business requirements is also easy using Neptune Software’s rapid application development platform. Over a year, we can add three times more features than if we had picked another product, which accelerates our innovation process and leaves competitors in the dust,” says Carl. “Upgrades too, are more efficient and significantly less costly. Combined, this can result in the system being magnitudes cheaper – to own, maintain, upgrade, and use.”

This ability to rapidly innovate with BlueWorx is just part of the reason Zag, with its award-winning SAP transformation projects and successful customer relationship track record, caught the attention of Accenture, which acquired the company in October 2020. The global backing from Accenture brings heightened opportunity for more SAP-installed asset-intensive businesses around the world to deploy an effective mobile EAM solution ahead of others in the industry.