What to do with MP2
By Peter PhillipsOperations CMMS programs enterprise asset management maintenance software
For the second time in its history, MP2 is on the chopping block.
Earlier, Hexagon purchased Infor for $2.7 billion. Included in the purchase was Infor’s flagship enterprise asset management (EAM) and their CMMS, MP2. This past spring Hexagon announced they would no longer sell the MP2 software and invited MP2 customers to upgrade to EAM.
MP2 along with other maintenance software, have been the industry standard for CMMS programs for the past 30 years. As the pioneers of maintenance software, they determined what companies required and provided the industry with a simple, easy to use CMMS software to track their equipment maintenance and spare parts inventory.
Since the 1990s, MP2 has been a long-time favourite of industries ranging from universities, hospitals, public works, and the manufacturing sector; with approximately 15,000 worldwide installations with 800 in Canada.
This is the second time in its history that MP2 has been on the chopping block. Datastream, the creator of MP2 announced they would be stopping the sale of MP2 in favour of their new EAM, called 7i. Shortly after that announcement, Datastream was purchased by Infor in 2006. Infor reversed the decision to shelf MP2 and assured users and prospective purchasers that they had no intention of discontinuing MP2. To show their commitment, Infor updated MP2 with new features and add-ons and again MP2 became one of the industry favourites.
With Hexagon’s latest decision this is the end of the road for anyone wanting to purchase MP2. To Hexagons’ credit, they are continuing to support MP2 customers for the immediate future. The 2020 MP2 program release provides support for 2019 SQL Server and Windows 10 platforms. The new MP2 build will support the program on these platforms for the near future.
The question MP2 users are asking is where do all these changes leave them in the future when Hexagon decides to stop supporting MP2 with software updates? Let’s look at some options.
MP2 clients wanting a more sophisticated version of a CMMS may opt for Hexagon’s offer to upgrade to EAM. However, EAMs in general are more complicated when compared to programs like MP2. If you are a medium to large facility, an upgrade to EAM could be the best route. An EAM has a more rigorous maintenance system to meet the needs of larger maintenance departments. They have advanced features, built in KPIs and dashboards to provide the user with key information on maintenance performance and costs. They also offer cloud-based solutions and work order mobility. For smaller companies that have fewer assets and maintenance activities, an EAM may be more than required, and the cost of the EAM may not fit the budget. In this case a better solution could be option two.
Move to another brand of CMMS that is like programs like MP2. These latest programs offer the basic maintenance elements but also offer advanced features that MP2 did not offer. New systems are cloud-based to allow access from nearly anywhere without the need of having the CMMS application loaded on your computer. They offer mobility solutions, so technicians can carry and process their workorders on tablets and cell phones. There are hundreds of CMMS systems to choose from, it is a matter of matching the needs of the maintenance department and the features they require.
There is one more option, keep MP2. Although new software patches may not be available in the future, MP2 has proved itself as a reliable and stable product. Companies that choose this option can talk to their IT department about keeping MP2 on a separate server with Windows and SQL server operating systems MP2 requires, effectively keeping MP2 alive indefinitely. Most facilities already have MP2 configured in this fashion. It has been a standard practice to keep the MP2 database separate from other corporate processing and financial data.
MP2 has been a work horse for maintenance departments for a long time, and it is sad to see it go; however, new CMMS and EAM programs are exciting and offer the functionality that MP2 lacked. Certainly, there will be adjustments to be made and new software to learn.
The whole implementation process of new software is a challenge. However, proper planning that includes data cleansing and organizing of master data during the software implementation will give maintenance departments a clean slate to build a new maintenance system that will last another 30 years.
Peter Phillips is the owner of Trailwalk Holdings Ltd., a Nova Scotia-based maintenance consulting and training company. Peter has over 40 years of industrial maintenance experience. He travels throughout North America working with maintenance departments and speaking at conferences. Reach him at 902-798-3601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.