To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we’ll be spending some time over the next few weeks with Starboard’s founders, Karen Buck and Amy Tatum. Join us this week as we dive into Starboard’s product offerings.
Karen Buck, Executive Director for Starboard, has over 25 years of experience providing Maximo implementation services to the Utilities industry, including Electric, Water, Wastewater, and Gas. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s in Accounting.
Amy Tatum, P.E., Vice President of Technology and Solution Director for Starboard, has over 20 years of experience providing Maximo implementation services to the Utilities and Airport industries. She also has extensive knowledge of the Utilities, Transportation, and Spatial industry/add-on solutions and leads Starboard’s project delivery teams. Amy holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. In 2022, Amy was named an IBM Champion for her commitment to the Maximo community.
How did the idea of StarMax develop?
We had been doing implementations throughout the utility industry for many years, and instead of starting from scratch for each and every utility, we thought we would use our knowledge of Maximo and best practices from implementations and expand that into a prebuilt solution. That would be the best way to get somebody up and running quickly so they get that ROI faster, and then they could use the system and make changes over time as needed.
And the idea of StarMax Mobile developed out of that?
For mobility, the landscape was changing so fast and there was a lot of unhappiness in the Maximo user community around people not getting what they needed from mobile, so we saw that as an opportunity. However, we didn’t want to build something just to say we built something – the thought was that whatever we did, it should be unique and fill a gap in the marketplace, and most importantly be something our clients actually needed. The thinking was we would build a mobile platform that would have access to enterprise asset solutions any utility or really any company would have, even if they had more than one asset management system or no asset management system, or more than one enterprise system. Our vision for mobility of the future is that it would be a platform solution focused on not just mobilizing an application, like Maximo in the field, but really about what field staff need to do their job with ease, regardless of which backend system the required data may come from.
How did Starboard Managed Services evolve?
Similar to StarMax Mobile, we’re seeing a shift in the marketplace with the great resignation, with a lot of transition for our clients and for the technology stacks we’re deploying. Oftentimes our clients can’t find the right resources to hire or can’t keep up with hiring needs, so they don’t always have staff who really understand the technology. We thought managed services would be an extension of the work we already do: We’ve already been on long-term engagements supporting our clients, and this is just taking our services and formalizing it to where we’re an outsource provider to our clients.
Offering various levels of managed services and being able to really support the use of our clients’ Maximo application helps them have a centralized resource, so they can call us instead of hiring three or four employees who may not have the skill set needed, or who would need lengthy training.
The other nice thing is it’s scalable, so clients can use as little or as much as they need. Maybe they need to have us on retainer for a short time while an employee is out for a medical procedure, and since they don’t want to go through the whole recruiting process, they can come to us, and we can support them for as little or as long as they’d like. We can also permanently fill that role moving forward so they don’t have to take that on, or we can help train their staff if they decide they want to take that back in house.
We view our managed services as part of our client roadmap to MAS to ease from on-premise to the MAS cloud environment. There’s going to be a window where people need to bridge the gap between the latest version of Maximo 7.6x and MAS/MAS in the cloud, so we can help our clients cross that bridge.