New interface for the MainManager system

My name is Hilmar Steinthorsson and I started working with MainManager in 2001. I know I’m a dinosaur : )

In this blogpost I’m going to recap a little bit the history of the MainManager solution. I will also tell you about the exciting work that is going on at the moment. We are working on a brand new interface for the MainManager system. For the past 18 years I’ve taken part in many redesigns and changes to the MainManager system. I have to say though, that the current design we are working on, is the most exciting yet!

MainManager version 10

When I started working at MainManager, the solution was only available as a Windows program. It was accessible through something called terminal server.  The web technology was on the rise and the goal for MainManager was to design a 100% web-based solution.  That goal was first accomplished in 2010, with the release of version 10. This allowed our customers to work with all their processes on the web for the first time, without the use of a windows program on the side.

MainManager version 11

In 2012 we released version 11 of the MainManager solution.  That version contained a newly designed interface implemented with the latest web technologies available at that time.  We introduced a new process layout that guided the users through a specific process within MainManager. For the past 7 years we have made small adjustments and additions to this interface. Today our customers are using version 11.14 of the MainManager solution. Version 11 has served our customers well for this time, but is starting to show it’s wear and tear, especially with all the exciting new web technology that has emerged over the past few years. Also, the demands of our customers have changed with new devices available, such as powerful smartphones and tablets.  As a result of that we have been working on a complete redesign of the MainManager interface, using all the new technologies available.

 

MainManager version 11 – Setup of sites process

 

Facility Management is a big field that contains a lot of complex processes. The challenge when designing a FM solution is to be able to work with all these processes, while keeping it simple and intuitive for the user of the solution. Through the years we have listened to our customers while also comming up with new ideas internally.  Therefore, when we started working on the redesign of the MainManager interface, we wrote down some design goals that we would try to accomplish throughout the whole process.

Simplify as much as possible

Even though the subject of Facility Management can be a complex subject, it doesn’t mean that the FM system has to be.  In the design of the new interface we have asked the question constantly: “How can we make this as simple as possible for the end user?”. To start with we have broken down the subjects that MainManager offers into independent processes that are predefined and require minimal setup. Each process provides extensive help and guidelines and all relevant settings are readily available.  We have kept all the things that make MainManager great, such as extensive filtering possibilities, grouping of data and accessability. In the new interface though, they are presented in a more non intrusive way.  If you are not using the feature it does not interfere, but access to it is only one click away.

Responsive design

Responsive design is an approach to web design that makes web pages render well on any device and screen size.  In the new design we have used all the latest technologies available, to make every process within the solution usable no matter the device used.

 

The same module on a big screen and a small screen

The same module on a big screen and a small screen

Performance

In today’s world users are used to have access to information within microseconds.  That can be difficult to achieve when dealing with large amounts of data as the MainManager solution does.  We have completely redesigned how we present and work with data within the solution using all the latest client side technologies available.  All unnecessary refreshes have been removed and in those places that need updating of data asynchronous web service calls are used to enhance the user experience as much as possible.

Graphics

For the past years it has been possible to use what we call the 3 graphical worlds in MainManager.  Those worlds are GIS maps, interactive drawings (2D) and BIM models (3D).  It gives the user of a FM system a big advantage to be able to use these graphical worlds within his daily work for viewing information and creating it.  The problem within the current solution is that these possibilities are not as visible as they should be and therefore are not used to their full capabilities.  In the new interface, we have worked on adding these graphical capabilities to every process, by making them readily available no matter where the user is and no matter what he is doing.

 

GIS map used to show buildings

GIS map used to show buildings.

 

Possible to open up a BIM model directly from the map

You have the possibility to open up a BIM model directly from the map.

One click setup

Our goal with the new design is to be able to offer a solution that can be up and running within minutes.  The biggest hurdle in that is to populate the system with the customers relevant data such as their sites and buildings.  Therefore, we have added integrations to the public data services such as Matrikkel in Norway and BBR in Denmark.  With just one click the customer can then populate the solution with the data available in these services.  All import of data has also been redesigned in a way that the user should always have a way to populate the solution with needed data no matter the data source.

User defined

An addition to our new interface, is the possibility for our users to create their own property windows, lists, filters and new fields.  This greatly reduces the cost for our customers since these things don‘t have to be programmed any more.

When

We estimate releasing the new interface for the MainManager system to our customers later this year. We are so looking forward to allowing them to experience a completely new MainManager. Hopefully it will give them the feel of all the hard work and joy that we have poured into it. Until that time I can give you a sneak preview of the new design through this video that shows the Helpdesk process within MainManager.

 

Stay in touch

If you want further information about us, and how the new interface could work for you, please contact us, and subscribe to our newsletter!

 

Until next time I bid you farewell.

Hilmar

Case story: University of Copenhagen

Implementation at KU – University of Copenhagen

In august 2016, Mainmanager and University of Copenhagen (Københavns Universitet) made a contract on implementing MainManager as a Facility Management solution for the University. One faculty from the University had already been a customer for a few years. At this point they decided to expand the usage to the other faculties, so employees at the University could use the same system to manage their buildings. The University build mass counts around 970.000 square meters floor area.

When a project like this starts, time schedules and milestones are set down for the coming work. The first part – setup of the building structure and a space management module – was successfully launched in fall 2017. In this cooperation we developed new things in our Space management module regarding how the University manages the use and lease of their building spaces. KU, like so many of our Danish customers use 2D drawings a lot in this work. It was very exciting to be a part of developing new things to extend this usage further.

Furthermore, after launch of the first part and an integration to IdM, which manages the organization and employee structure of KU, we planned to launch helpdesk, operation planning and management with work orders and Navision integration for finance at the end of 2018. This was the biggest part of the project. Since the processes are going to be widely used inside the organization, we saw it was necessary to keep all parts involved and allow each project owner to have a saying for the final solution. Therefore we have used a lot of time defining, designing, describing and decisioning to make sure that everyone gets a system they can use in their daily work. When I am writing these lines we have nearly reached the finish point, modules are being accepted and “Go live” is just ahead.

Getting together in Iceland

In august 2018 a group of people from the implementation team at KU came to visit MainManager head office in Iceland. The main focus of this trip was to synchronize our minds before going into the final phase of the implementation, but also to get to know each other and the two companies better.

In the week before, all participants of this gathering found a picture that represented the culture of their nation. They also wrote a note on difference in the culture between the two companies. The interesting part is that most everyone agreed on the cultural difference between these companies. KU is a big organisation with many various employees and aspects. Decision making is a long process and things are not implemented without careful consideration from a wide range. MainManager is quite the opposite. We are a small unit and decisions on all kinds of matters are made by few persons quite quickly. We are flexible and execute right away after a decision has been made.

After this great work session I think all of us are more aware of this cultural difference. I am pretty sure it has helped me to understand the project and the participants of the implementation better. We at MainManager need to learn to be patient and allow good things to grow slowly. I have been so lucky to get the chance to be involved and see how the KU team works closely together and how they value each others opinion. Communication is the key in this cooperation. I find that participants in this implementation are positive and enthusiastic to make this project a success.

Almost there

In January 2019 most of KU employees will be using MainManager in their daily work. Students of the University will also use it to register incidents. We surely hope that the MainManager will simplify internal processes at the University and give an excellent facility management overview in the coming future.

 

If you want to hear more about our solutions, please contact us, and subscribe to our newsletter!

EPD and BIM – MainManager shows the way

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has initiated an international project with the goal to make Environmental Product Declaration(EPD) data available through Building Information Modeling (BIM).

The project will be based on a joint case study conducted by MainManager in close co-operation with Standard Norway, Standard Danmark, Catenda (Norway), Framkvæmdasýslan (Iceland) and Statsbygg (Norway).

At the ISO commitee meeting for constuction (ISO/TC 59) on October 9th, the decision was made to launch a new international standardization project to make EPD data available in BIM.

An EPD is a concise document which summarizes the environmental profile of a component, a finished product or a service in a standardized manner.

The case study work was made possible by a grant from the Nordic Innovation fund. The group worked diligently for two years on theoretical proposals on how future standards can comply to the digital world within the building industry.

A particular standard was used as a pilot and our findings are now being used as a foundation for the new ISO standard by the ISO commitee.

We are really looking forward participating in the project ahead. Watch the video and learn more about the project.

 

N1 upgrades and increases it‘s usage of MainManager

Work has begun on updating N1‘s MainManager  to version 11(the newest version). Parallel to the update N1 also decided to start using more of MainManager‘s modules.

On February 25th the new agreement between N1 and MainManager was signed. The update and the implementation of the new modules is sceduled to be completed by the end of May.

N1 wil be using MainManager for:

  • Energy monitoring
  • System monitoring (HVAC systems)
  • Task planning (5 year maintenance scedule for all service stations)
  • Managing service- and lease contracts
  • Complaint and deviation registration
  • Issuing and managing requests
  • A Helpdesk handling all complaints and deviations created on all of it´s service stations

On N1

In April 2007, the oil-company Esso and Bílanaust merged into N1, becoming one of the largest service- and service company in Iceland. With a service network of close to 100 service points, the company provides people and companies with car-related services along with fuel and supplies.

SEM (Organization for people who have suffered spine injuries)

ICEconsult is proud to be supporting a small organization called SEM, people who have suffered spine injuries. SEM owns an apartment building specially designed for members, with easier access and each apartment is tailor-made for wheelchair use. ICEconsult is contributing to the cause by setting up energy- and system surveillance for that building, allowing SEM to monitor energy consumption in MainManager for free and as long as they want to. This also includes access to our consultants.

Facts: SEM owns property around 2.000 m2 in total.