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

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.

MainManager attends the annual European Facility Management Conference.

This year the conference’s emphasis was on business and practice and on the other hand research and education. Over 400 researchers and practitioners from all over Europe came together and shared their techniques and research findings from case studies.

Gunnlaugur B. Hjartarson, director and founder of MainManager was invited to speak at the conference.  He gave a lecture on “Urban Innovation – Public FM and citizens involvement”  where he presented MainManager’s award winning concept of City Direct to the delegates in Berlin.

 

City Direct provides cities and local authorities with new options to promote local democracy, engaging residents and giving them a say in the municipal decision making process.

View Gunnlaugur’s presentation of City Direct:

 

See what City Direct is all about,  Ready, steady, Reykjavik:

The MainManager app

On the 29th of May, ICEconsult launched it‘s first mobile application.

The app was registered in the Google play store and is on it‘s way into the Mac App Store.

The mobile app allows users to use the mobile app to perform different business functions on site, such as inspecting properties, submitting incidents, finishing workorders, registering time spent on a job, registering energy readings etc.

The app serves as an added feature to the MainManager program and does therefore not work as a stand-alone. To use the mobile app, users need to have access to the MainManager program.

Look the app up at the Google play store

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.

Release 10.8.1

MainManager, edition 10.8.1 was released on the 6th of May 2013.

Release additions and changes have been sorted into 4 categories in the Release Document.

1. General alterations which apply to all users.
2. Add-ons to features and modules, available to all customers who have access to these modules, subject to service fee only.
3. New features obtainable upon payment/licence fee and service fee.
4. Special solutions to meet the needs of certain customers which can be developed further for other customers subject to payment.

Statsbygg Energy module

As some readers may know, the Norwegian state facility operator, Statsbygg, awarded ICEconsult with a multiyear contract for the implementation of the facility management system MainManager.

Shortly after the contract had been signed, Statsbygg‘s energy department requested a meeting and a presentation to see if MainManager could be used for registering, monitoring and analysing it‘s energy expenditures. The data for the energy usage would also need to be presented in an accessible and user-friendly interface (as lists, graphs or reports).

Because Statsbygg is a very eco friendly company, it monitors it’s energy expenditures carefully and is also adamant about reducing energy usage and waste whenever possible. For this reason Statsbygg chose to launch a pilot where the energy consumption of 50 facilities will be monitored, registered and analysed through graphs, lists and reports in the MainManager. The next step will then be to monitor the energy consumption for the rest of Statsbygg‘s facilities portfolio.

Statsbygg required some additional features which have now been implemented in the energy module. The changes made will benefit our current customers and simplify the energy module as well as adding to it. One example of this is the new energy consumption analysis interface where the user can analyse energy usage any way he chooses.

City Direct is a Living Labs Global Awards winner

City Direct is a first price winner in 2012 Living Labs Global Awards in the „Public Project Portal“ group. Winner solutions will be implemented as a showcase project in the city with the respective group, in this case Kristiansand in Norway. City Direct is a solution for city´s and municipalities to enable their citisens to directly influence the budget spending. City Direct is driven by MainManager, so by design, the system has a powerful set of tools available for general operational tasks such as shceduling and project management.

Further information can be found here:
http://livinglabs-global.com
http://llga.org/2012/awarded
http://llga.org/project.php?idP=444