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1985 – the year when Live Aid raised £30 million for famine relief, when Route 66 was officially removed from the US Highway System, and when Garry Kasparov became the youngest World Chess Champion.

But in enterprise asset management, 1985 has resonance for a different reason. It was the year that gave us Maximo.

Today IBM’s Maximo is the world’s most widely used and advanced enterprise asset management software. It has more than 1 million end users in over 99 countries and spread across every asset intensive industry from water treatment facilities to manufacturing plants.

Its objective is simple: To help customers, including those with even the most complex assets, to keep their infrastructure and equipment running at peak performance, extend its lifecycle and reduce operational downtime and its vast costs.

Its popularity is such that there is an annual event dedicated to it – MaximoWorld.  The event – which will this year take place in Phoenix, Arizona – sees users from around the globe gather to exchange ideas, watch presentations, and share knowledge around how to optimise their use of the software to ensure their assets are performing at their best.

Topics on the MaximoWorld 2024 agenda include digital twins and generative AI as well as the transition from using ‘traditional’ Maximo (now referred to as Manage) to adopting the full suite of applications (Visual Inspection, Monitor, Health and Predict).

As pressure increases on the infrastructure sector to reduce its carbon footprint, another critical area this year will be sustainability and the best way to maintain productivity without causing irreversible damage to our planet.

The latest version of Maximo – Maximo Application Suite – is a single, integrated platform  that uses AI, IoT and analytics to optimize performance, extend asset lifecycles and reduce operational downtime and costs. But how and where did Maximo begin?

How the Maximo story started 

Maximo was the brainchild of Robert ‘Bob’ Daniels. A civil engineer and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he founded Project Software & Development Inc (PSDI), later known as MRO Software, in 1968.

PSDI developed, marketed, and supported what was the first distinguishable version of Maximo, released in 1985. Bob, an ardent polo fan, named the software after a polo pony.

Dick Chertow worked for PSDI. Writing on an IBM Community group, he reminisced about early Maximo customers, including a food industry organisation. “(They) would send us a package each year containing one each of all of the types of cookies and (baked goods) they made. That was a good day to be in the office.”

The original Maximo, he recalls – which was a stand-alone solution which ran on an IBM personal computer -was “green screen, IBM PC AT and required 4 MBs of RAM – but it was Maximo!”

By 2005 Maximo 6 was fully Java/Internet based. Then in August 3, 2006, came the next milestone – the company was acquired by IBM.

Maximo: User-focused

So what distinguishes Maximo from its rivals?  “Maximo has several unique differentiators,” explains Tony Turner, Cohesive EMEA’s Director of Pre-sales and Innovations. “One is the user friendliness of the application. Another is the ability to configure the system extensively to make Maximo work in the way your business works, rather than changing your business.”

This is achieved, he says, through extensive configuration tools that are supported through the upgrade process.  In contrast, many competing products require the user to customise the code to make changes and this causes problems when it comes to upgrade time.

In 2000, configured, industry-specific versions of Maximo were introduced to meet specific Industry requirements including for transportation, utilities and oil & gas.  These provide targeted functionality to specific organisations and enable them to get a rapid start to a solution that focuses on their specific requirements.

For example, the new visual inspection models that underpin Maximo for Civil Infrastructure, incorporate powerful new AI capable of detecting cracks and flaws in buildings and bridges.

Ensuring peak performance

Today Maximo continues to lead the market. This is in part down to the commitment by IBM to continually improve and enhance it, explains Tony Turner: “Maximo has not stood still over the decades. There have been continuous enhancements and Maximo has evolved from a point maintenance-based solution to an enterprise asset management solution (for the whole organisation), to now being an asset performance management solution.”

In 1996 Maximo was identified by Gartner as a leading EAM solution – it has held onto that position ever since.

Since acquiring Maximo, IBM has invested nearly $1B in on-going development of the Maximo portfolio.  A 400-strong team, working across IBM Global labs in Lowell, MA, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, London, Ontario, Canada, Sao Paolo, Brazil, China and Europe are dedicated to its development.

Cohesive: Asset management champions

We are the world’s largest implementer of IBM Maximo, with decades of industry experience. We employ the largest team of industry experts and certified Maximo professionals in the enterprise asset management marketplace.

Several of our global team have recently been named as Champions’ 2024 in recognition of their excellence in working with IBM technologies to innovate, educate and advance their profession and business market.

We can tailor solutions to an organisation’s specific Maximo needs, including upgrading to the latest Maximo Application Suite and hosting for clients on a Cohesive cloud.

We can also ensure data security and uninterrupted Maximo EAM operation during upgrades or remote work and maintain live data through migration, mitigating downtime and loss.

The business value of Maximo was underlined in an IBM sponsored report. It found that nine surveyed companies, each with an average of 8,500 employees, obtained these benefits  after adopting it.

Supplementing these statistics, our collection of client stories showcases the effectiveness and versatility of this powerful asset management solution.

Maximo has not stood still over the decades. There have been continuous enhancements"

These stories include that of Con Edison, the US provider of gas, electric and steam services. The company, which serves over 10 million customers, recently worked with us to upgrade its existing EAM system to the new Maximo Application Suite (MAS).  The new tools within MAS are enabling Con Edison to improve work management and enhance the safety, reliability and profitability of its operations.


The challenges that Maximo has helped to solve in its lifetime to date are many and varied. Its reach and impact was underlined last year, at MaximoWorld. We learnt, during one moving session, how Ukraine has been using Maximo to rebuild Kharkiv.  A proud milestone for Maximo, going from strength-to-strength as it moves into its next decade.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can leverage the power of MAS, please contact us here


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