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Streamlining Success: The Key to Effective System Integration in Asset and Infrastructure Management

Introduction

Asset and infrastructure management complexities often lead organizations into a cycle of constant software switching, with each system operating as a silo. Teams might manage assets using one system, coordinate operational workflows with another, and integrate geographic information with a third. Beyond inconvenience, isolated software systems can introduce significant risks to efficiency, accuracy, and inter-departmental communication, undermining organizational agility and performance.

A strategic approach to system integration is therefore crucial for modern organizations. It creates a seamless and efficient operational environment where data flows smoothly, enhancing decision-making and operational efficiency. Intelligent integration, especially between your Engineering Drawing Management System (EDMS) and other key systems, effectively minimizes the inefficiencies that disconnected systems breed. Whether through internal linkages or the adoption of third-party solutions, a comprehensive system integration strategy is integral to bolstering operational capacity.

What is an integration?

Integration within software systems refers to the process of merging distinct datasets from diverse sources into a cohesive solution. In today's context, where many systems operate independently, this is essential, as it mitigates bottlenecks and miscommunication. Effective integration aims to remove these separations, enabling seamless data flow among various applications, encompassing asset management, operational workflows, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

The objective goes beyond just technical linkages. It's about creating a unified system that facilitates data sharing and eradicates the data silos often impeding organizational progress. Breaking down these barriers, integration cultivates a collaborative, efficient, and transparent environment. It empowers organizations to fully leverage their digital resources, leading to better risk management, enhanced operational efficiency, and a more agile response to evolving business demands.

Why integrate your systems?

System integration is vital to reduce the challenges and costs associated with isolated operations. Organizations often grapple with siloed systems, which bring about communication breakdowns, onboarding complexities, and inefficiencies. These standalone systems typically force users to toggle between applications, creating a time-intensive and error-prone environment for repetitive data entry. Such inaccuracies can trigger substantial safety concerns and incorrect work execution, putting staff at risk and negatively impacting both costs and organizational effectiveness.

The core objective of digital transformation within organizations is to boost efficiency across pivotal business processes. Here, the integration of applications plays a key role. It not only enhances user experience but also ensures the effective use of systems. By enabling smooth data movement and visibility across applications, integration streamlines data handling and entry. This approach not only cuts down the time spent switching between systems but also guarantees the availability of accurate and uniform information throughout the organization.

Beyond mere technological convenience, system integration markedly elevates business operations. It promotes the adoption of business solutions by making them more approachable and user-friendly. This process not only simplifies operations and reduces the chance of errors but also bolsters efficiency and safety, which are vital for enduring success in a competitive business environment.

The benefits of integrating

Integrating RedEye into your organisation's technological framework offers significant operational and data management improvements.

  • Access to current data
    Seamless integration ensures all departments have the latest engineering drawings and documents at their fingertips. This eliminates problems brought about by switching between different software and missing crucial updates.

  • Optimized workflows
    Centralizing essential tools and data within a unified ecosystem streamlines processes. This reduces time wastage and error likelihood. For instance, synchronized data updates between EAM systems and RedEye enhance operational procedures with minimal manual intervention.

  • Enhanced data usability and sharing
    Integrating RedEye significantly improves the accessibility and usability of engineering data. This facilitates more efficient project planning and execution. Easy access to information fosters productive communication and collaboration across various organizational tiers.

  • Operational vigour
    Having consistent data enables clearer visualizations and better-informed decision-making. Overlaying RedEye data with GIS, for example, provides a more detailed view of assets, leading to smarter management and control of operations.

  • User training and adoption
    A more integrated ecosystem simplifies internal documentation and user training, easing the burden on teams. This ease of adaptation to new platforms leads to higher adoption rates and more effective technology use.

Incorporating RedEye with other key systems creates an environment where engineering information is managed more effectively. This contributes directly to enhanced data accuracy, operational efficiency, and a richer user experience.

Types of integrations

Implementing an integration project is a strategic method to break down information silos within your organization's technology stack. It involves tailoring the scope to fit your specific needs and resources, ranging from basic essential connections to a broad, all-encompassing solution.

RedEye offers a variety of integration methods:

  • Manual linking 
    This method suits systems like IBM Maximo, Hitachi Ellipse EAM, and SAP. It requires users to manually set up connections between applications. Ideal for cases where data transfer is occasional and accuracy is paramount, a user links a URL from RedEye to their application, directly accessing the needed engineering drawing or document. Although effective for certain tasks, such as linking work orders to RedEye records, this method can be laborious for large data sets.

  • Dynamic deep linking
    An enhancement over manual linking, this approach allows faster, more frequent information access. It enables the direct opening of specific functions in RedEye's EDMS from other enterprise applications. Users establish a URL to connect directly to a function or dataset in RedEye, ensuring seamless screen transitions. This method benefits teams needing rapid access to current data, streamlining the use of multiple interfaces. Learn more in our Deep Linking guide.

  • RedEye public API
    The most comprehensive of RedEye’s integration tools, the Public API is a RESTful API that facilitates data exchange between your applications and RedEye using HTTP requests. Ideal for intricate data interactions, it supports extensive backend integration and synchronized data transfers. The API's event-based webhook feature allows prompt responses to changes in RedEye, making it suitable for organizations seeking dynamic, automated integration across their digital platforms.

Prebuilt integration solutions

RedEye's suite of prebuilt solutions ensures smooth and effective integration with popular systems:

  • Hitachi Ellipse integration
    Connecting Hitachi Ellipse EAM and RedEye is a streamlined process with Dynamic Deep Linking. This functionality allows setting up the core URL component in Ellipse, and the system automatically appends necessary details to enable a seamless, automated lookup for relevant data in RedEye. This method streamlines searches and provides up-to-date information, supported by secure access through RedEye's standard security protocols and single sign-on (SSO) options.

  • IBM Maximo integration
    This solution enhances the IBM Maximo EAM experience by integrating it with RedEye. This solution provides users with a comprehensive preview of assets directly within the Maximo interface and streamlines the opening, editing, or uploading of engineering documents. The integration is configurable to suit different entities using the attachment window, enhancing maintenance and asset data handling.

  • ESRI ArcGIS integration
    The integration for ESRI ArcGIS effectively merges geographic data with engineering document management. This integration makes engineering information from RedEye an integral part of the ArcGIS workflow. Users can select an asset and immediately access its related information from RedEye, displaying previews of artifacts and integrating changes made in RedEye. It deepens the GIS experience by enhancing data-layered views, thereby improving data insights and usability.

Each integration is designed with ease of use and operational efficiency in mind, enabling secure, immediate access to your engineering drawings.

Key considerations for success

When integrating RedEye with other applications, understanding your business processes and identifying potential deficiencies is crucial. An in-depth review of your current systems, including applications, security protocols, architecture, operations, data, and integration opportunities, is essential. It's vital to pinpoint the sources of inefficiencies or issues to tailor effective solutions that address operational needs.

The success of integration hinges on several critical actions:

  • System evaluation
    Carefully assess your existing systems to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This evaluation is key to understanding the scope of potential improvements.

  • Strategic planning
    Develop a detailed strategy that outlines your goals, timelines, and the resources at your disposal. This plan should serve as a roadmap for the integration process.

  • Workshop requirements
    Involve stakeholders in defining the business' needs, risks, and challenges. These workshops are instrumental in ensuring that the integration aligns with the actual needs of your organization.

  • Solution design
    Create a tailored solution that addresses the identified requirements. This design phase is crucial in ensuring that the integration will effectively meet your business objectives.

  • Robust testing
    Conduct thorough testing of the integration to confirm that it meets your objectives without adversely affecting current workflows. This step is critical to ensure smooth implementation and operation.

  • Effective training
    Roll out a comprehensive training program to enable users to fully and comfortably utilize the new integrated system. Proper training is essential for maximizing the benefits of the integration.

By following these systematic steps, you can make informed decisions to ensure that the integration not only aligns with your organization’s needs but is also executed for optimal results.

Getting started

Integrating your EDMS with key organisational tools can significantly enhance data processes, communication, and operational effectiveness, thereby reducing both cost and safety risks associated with siloed systems. By choosing the right mix of manual, API-based, or prebuilt integration solutions, organisations can customise these integrations to meet their unique needs.

Creating synergies between your EDMS and systems like Hitachi Ellipse, IBM Maximo, or ESRI ArcGIS can transform the management of engineering information. The practical benefits of this are substantial, leading to increased efficiency, more transparent data handling, and fostering an environment conducive to timely information exchange – all essential elements for an efficient and safe operation.

These improvements are not just theoretical; they offer real, measurable enhancements to daily operations, empowering teams to address the challenges posed by disconnected systems effectively. The journey towards a more integrated technological ecosystem begins with a thorough analysis of existing systems and processes, identifying potential areas for improvement.

For organisations ready to align their engineering information systems with their strategic goals, RedEye is here to offer expert advice. We are committed to helping you identify the most effective integration strategy tailored to your specific needs.