LCRA Is Using IBM Asset Management Software

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is using IBM software to reduce the complexity and costs of managing the utility’s resources and services, which span across more than 36,800 square miles and 58 counties in Central and South Texas, serving more than 2.2 million residents.

The IBM Maximo Asset Management™ software along with IBM Business Partner Syclo’s SMART Mobile Suite™ software gives LCRA’s maintenance and operations staff a bird’s-eye view of the assets across the utility so they can address issues before outages occur, and the software helps to accurately predict resource needs as the utility continues to grow and gain new customers.

LCRA supplies low-cost electricity for Central Texas, develops water and wastewater utilities, provides public parks, and supports community and economic development in 58 Texas counties. LCRA sells wholesale electricity to more than 40 retail utilities, including cities and electric cooperatives that serve more than one million people in 55 counties. LCRA also regulates water discharges to manage floods – in one of the nation’s highest flood risk regions – and releases water for sale to municipal, agricultural and industrial users.

The authority was spending a substantial percentage of its maintenance resources on costly reactive repairs. LCRA managers could see the overall operating costs, but they couldn’t track them over time, which ultimately hindered cost projections and predictive inventory analyses. If someone needed a specific report, that person had to request the report from management, who directed IT staff to produce the report. This process could take a couple of days, by which time the data could already be out of date.

“IBM Maximo software has helped us redefine how we do business, giving us insight across our infrastructure that we didn’t have before,” said Brian Urbanek, business systems analyst for the Lower Colorado River Authority. “This has enabled our managers to better plan for equipment failure and schedule preventive maintenance to reduce equipment breakdowns.”

IBM has developed a number of smarter water and energy management offerings under its 'Big Green Innovations' initiative, part of a $100 million investment in 10 new businesses based on ideas generated during Innovation Jam, an IBM-led effort to gather ideas from thousands of clients, employees and thought leaders around the world. The Big Green Innovations team at IBM has concentrated its efforts on water management, alternative energy and carbon management.

LCRA – a public, nonprofit utility provider – plays a variety of roles in Central and South Texas: delivering electricity, managing the water supply and environment of the lower Colorado River basin, developing water and wastewater utilities, providing public recreation areas, and supporting community and economic development.

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