AKWIRE for Maximo User Group

The Solufy Journey Continues: Consolidating Leadership in Planning and Scheduling Software Innovation

by Mario Boileau on December 22, 2017

“Wow” doesn’t even begin to sum up 2017, and it’s all thanks to you.

2017 was a blue-ribbon year for Solufy. As we enjoy the holiday season, I find myself reflecting on the astounding growth and amazing opportunities we have enjoyed individually and collectively this year.

Here’s a look at what’s been going on, and what it means for you.

We have doubled up on our efforts and our staffing

To say that Solufy is scaling is an understatement. Just as we predicted at the end of 2016, 2017 was a year of tremendous growth. This year, we more than doubled our number of employees, gaining teammates from far and wide including Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Illinois. We are proud to welcome 16 new staff to help us meet the ever-rising demand for the AKWIRE Visual Suite for Maximo.

Likewise, we were glad to welcome plenty of new clients who were ready to embrace the power and simplicity of AKWIRE. With implementations across the United States and Canada, we have to give a special shout out to our furthest new clients, who are based in Vietnam. Keith Schramm, who joined the team in March, had a great time helping our customers in Vietnam get up to speed. It bodes well for our goal of bringing faster, more efficient Planning and Scheduling to Enterprise Maintenance teams around the globe.

Every day, we get up and do what we do because we know our software tools help real people spend less time trying to make their software work which means they can get on a path to sustainable, continuous Planning and Scheduling improvements.

The Planners and Schedulers using our products gain back thousands of hours in saved time, and contribute to making their enterprises more profitable by increasing wrench-time and cutting back inefficiency and waste. In fact, many of our clients report reducing their Planning and Scheduling time by as much as 50%. 

Continued innovations in the AKWIRE Visual Suite for Maximo

This year, we enhanced and expanded AKWIRE to be even more robust, flexible, and useful for Planners and Schedulers. We continue to provide our clients with industry-leading innovations, new features, and enhancements, such as:

  • AutoScheduler
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Enhanced Support for Long-Term Planning and Scheduling
  • Full-blown Crew Functionality
  • Enhanced Reporting for Excel
  • Many more

I’ll turn it over to Gerry Lamarche, Solufy’s Vice President and Co-Founder, to explain these exciting developments:

“On our path of continuous scheduling innovation, we continue to listen to our clients and upgrade our products to help Planners and Schedulers work more efficiently and effectively. The AutoScheduler ( Play Video 00:00:20 ) is a hugely popular new feature. I like to call it the “Easy Button” of Planning and Scheduling. You set the methodology as to how the AutoScheduler builds the schedule, and then let the tool do the heavy lifting.

“We have you, our clients, to thank for inspiring many of these upgrades, such as Salt River Project in Arizona, or the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Before the end of the year, we hope to release a few more upgrades to the vCalendar module. It has evolved so much due to customer feedback. Most recently, Oglethorpe Power Corporation required a few enhancements, and we’re making those part of core so that everyone can enjoy them.

“We continue to see time and again that the range of options and abilities AKWIRE provides astounds new users. Our customers know that we listen to their feedback to make AKWIRE the best possible tool for Planners and Schedulers. And this is just the beginning.”

“AKWIRE had every feature we wanted, and some we hadn’t even thought of yet.” - Jim Martin, Project Manager, Maintenance Improvement.

AKWIRE user group conference grows in 2017

2017’s AKWIRE User Group in Denver, Colorado was our best one to date. We had such a fantastic turnout and got tons of great feedback from users. With a keynote from maintenance and reliability expert Jeff Shiver, training sessions hosted by one of our Senior System Analyst and Implementer Tracy Huynh, and a “SQL for Beginners” session to boot, it was a jam-packed few days.

And it wasn’t just the sessions, it was also the setting. Gerry explains: “I didn’t think we could top the 2016 venue we had in San Antonio. A big thank you to our Director of Client Services, Richard Almendarez and his wife Cindy, who planned the event, and chose a venue that blew everyone away. The historic Colorado National Bank was converted into the Renaissance Denver Hotel – it was such an energizing place to be. One of the rooms where we hosted a few of the sessions was previously a vault – it was definitely a unique space for a User Group.”

AKWIRE for IBM Maximo: user group 2017 venue

The vault at the Renaissance Denver Downtown hotel where the AKWIRE User Group 2017 was held.

Looking back, what sticks out to me most were the comments from a couple of attendees who had skipped last year’s AKWIRE User Group. They said we just evolve too fast – attending every second year just isn’t enough and that they’d come every year from now on.

Certainly, the best part about our User Group gatherings for me is watching our clients interact. Everyone shares their knowledge and tips, asking tons of questions and learning from one another. Everyone is curious about how other companies manage their data, create their schedules, how they use certain aspects of Maximo. And that collaboration is a beautiful thing.

Says Gerry, “I second that. This year was also the first year we opened up the User Group to prospective clients as well, and it was fantastic. What better way for them to see the software and the community first-hand than to mingle with real users, collaborate, ask questions, and meet our team?”

“For me,” Gerry recalls, “One of the highlights was an attendee saying to me how it was obvious that we have a great relationship with our employees and a tremendous synergy among the team. I think he hit the nail on the head. For us, it’s not just about the product, it’s also about the support, the services, and the people. We know we’ve built and are continuing to build a strong team and I’m glad it shows.”

Making a splash at MUGs and MUWG – as usual!

If you were out and about at MUGs or MUWGs in 2017, you likely ran into us. We were fortunate enough to send teams across the country to learn about the latest topics in our industry and shake hands with many of you fine folks at CHIMUG, CANMUG, GoMaximo, and Maximo World 2017 – to name a few.

If you didn’t get a chance to see us, never fear. We’ll be attending many industry events in the New Year. If you’re curious about how exactly AKWIRE can help your Planning and Scheduling team do more with less effort, you can see it in action there.

Scheduling for IBM Maximo: Solufy team at Maximo World 2017

L-R: Matt, Melanie, Shannon and Richard from the  Solufy team at Maximo World 2017.

Consolidating our leadership position

With so many new customers who can’t wait to get started with AKWIRE Visual Suite for Maximo, we’re continuing to hire in many roles across the company. So, if you know anyone, encourage them to apply!

We’re also thrilled about the steps we’re taking with new products, new product lines, and entering new markets. 2018 is going to be another hugely exciting year for us, so stay tuned for more news.

Gerry agrees. “2017 was a blockbuster year for new clients and for clients expanding their use of AKWIRE. We were so pleased to implement AKWIRE so DCP Midstream who, after ages battling with expensive and ineffective scheduling solutions, are now enjoying the simplicity and robust capabilities of AKWIRE.

“Many of our other clients too, like Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and DTE Energy are expanding AKWIRE to new business units and different departments. Plus,” Gerry adds, “Solufy expanded too. This year, in addition to all the hiring, we also opened a US office in Wilmington.”

Thanks for a fantastic 2017, and see you in 2018

Before I head off, I want to leave you with these thoughts from a client who implemented AKWIRE in 2017. Just before it went live, Cindy sent us this message about how excited her team was to get started with it:

"One of the Planners … Said he couldn’t wait for AKWIRE. He felt like a kid before Christmas. Seeing a present, but not being able to open it yet." - Cindy Belcher, midstream oil & gas

We strive to spark that kind of enthusiasm with every client, every partner, and every teammate with whom we work. So, Gerry and I would like to say thanks. Thank you to all our clients for your unwavering support and helpful feedback.

And thank the Solufy team. Gerry put it best: “We’d like to give a huge thank you to our team. Everyone is so dedicated and keen. We’ve known so much growth over the course of the year and experienced a few growing pains along the way. We’re immensely proud of the talent we have, and grateful for the efforts of our staff. It’s truly phenomenal to work with such a team.

Thanks to all of you, clients, partners, and staff alike, we’ve accomplished so much, and with you, we’ll accomplish even more.

So, here’s to looking back on a year making magic happen for our clients, and even more importantly, looking ahead to the future. We can’t wait to share with you all that’s in store.

Wishing you and your families a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.

Cheers.

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Mario Boileau

Mario is the President, CEO and founder of Solufy

Mario’s extensive experience in software engineering and IBM Maximo CMMS development has directly contributed to the design and development of the AKWIRE Visual Suite, the most comprehensive set of planning and scheduling tools for Maximo. His

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