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Connecting Communities Through Asset Lifecycle Management

Trimble’s recently created Owner & Public Sector brings together Trimble Solutions from across the company into one group that puts public stakeholders and project owners first and brings their vision of connected infrastructure management together. Chris Bell, Vice President of Industry Strategy and Portfolio Marketing, and Shelly Nooner, Vice President of Cloud and Platform, Mergers & Acquisitions, add their insight to the future vision for this sector.

As part of Trimble, Inc.’s plan to “Connect and Scale,” bringing the technology and software that drives our world together to create connected solutions, Cityworks has become a part of a newly created Owner & Public Sector (O&PS) group—forming a dedicated public works and project owners selection of companies with a common purpose of driving asset management innovation and integration across the public sector and Trimble as a whole.

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Joining Cityworks in Trimble’s Owner & Public Sector are AgileAssets, which specializes in providing pavement management solutions; e-Builder, creator of construction project management software that integrates with Cityworks’ asset management platform; and Trimble Utilities, focused specifically on utility asset management. By combining these various solutions, Trimble has developed a highly specialized division devoted to providing a connected lifecycle platform for the public sector, while also fostering a GIS-centric vision.

The Trimble Owner & Public Sector was created as part of a vision to empower owners to drive digital transformation throughout the public sector and construction industry via connected solutions.

Organized for customers who own and/or operate assets in the built environment and desire to maximize return on asset investment with a focus on transparency, safety, sustainability, resilience, and risk management—Trimble O&PS delivers a powerful asset lifecycle management (ALM) platform for digital project delivery and enterprise asset management (EAM). With solutions built on an open, modular, and extensible platform that captures, centralizes, and extends data via connected workflows in a common data environment (CDE), O&PS further extends Trimble’s goal to Connect and Scale by fostering an interconnected ecosystem of solutions to meet the wide array of modern industry needs.

The owner is foremost for Trimble and Cityworks as we work toward this vision of interconnected solutions. As Chris Bell, Vice President of Industry Strategy and Portfolio Marketing for Trimble’s O&PS, says, “An owner is the only organization who is responsible for every stage of the lifecycle of a built asset […]. They’re the people who have to figure out how to get it designed [and] built, how to operate and maintain [it] over its entire lifespan.”

Traditionally, owners have relied on their in-built knowledge of the asset to manage it and transfer that information to stakeholders to maintain and operate it, but the reality of that situation is far from ideal. Throughout the various phases of an asset’s lifecycle, critical data is frequently lost, held back, or otherwise not communicated effectively through no fault of the owner. The various tools provided through O&PS aim to solve that problem by creating a connected ALM solution.

“An owner is the only organization who is responsible for every stage of the lifecycle of a built asset […]. They’re the people who have to figure out how to get it designed [and] built, how to operate and maintain [it] over its entire lifespan.”

-Chris Bell, Vice President of Industry Strategy and Portfolio Marketing for Trimble’s O&PS

By bringing Cityworks together with e-Builder, AgileAssets, and Trimble Utilities, Trimble is ensuring that its goal to connect the world through technology proceeds into the public sector.

Owner & Public Sector: Connected Platform Solutions

e-Builder integrates directly with Cityworks to bridge the gap between the build phase and the operate and maintain phase. With a focus on capital improvement and project management, e-Builder works with Cityworks to ensure that no data is lost along the way.

AgileAssets, and their primary product for local governments and municipalities—Pavement Express— brings asset management to pavement management. With 43% of roads in the United States currently deemed in poor or mediocre condition, managing pavements takes on new significance in ensuring that communities aren’t put at risk by poor conditions and budgetary constraints. Pavement Express facilitates roadway and sidewalk asset management while supporting budgetary management.

Trimble Utilities offers targeted digital and infrastructure lifecycle management solutions and hardware for electric, gas, water, wastewater and storm water, and local government, including technical management integrations to keep municipal utilities functioning and maintain constituent trust. Cityworks integrates with Trimble Utilities on the Trimble Unity Mobile app. This app provides end-to-end services and optimizes asset management for water and wastewater utilities, including streamlined access to valve-exercising data.

Fostering Efficient Asset Lifecycle Management Through Digital Transformation

The bipartisan infrastructure law created a cash surplus for the public sector that is unlikely to be repeated in the near future. However, that funding was still not enough to shore up all of the aging infrastructure that state and local governments are saddled with. And when the funding runs out, the same problems of managing aging infrastructure on tight budgets will once again present itself.

According to Shelly Nooner, Vice President of Cloud and Platform, Mergers & Acquisitions for Trimble O&PS, “There is a […] two trillion dollar deficit between building and maintaining assets, and the only way you’re going to close that gap when [the bipartisan infrastructure] funding runs out for the rebuild is to better maintain the cost of labor, material, and equipment…You’re going to get there if you understand what that cost is from construction, and/or you can get more predictive in your assessment of your existing infrastructure, and if you can curb costs on human capital, autonomy, and real-time data. The only way to close that gap, when you’re not getting more money to rebuild, is to do maintenance more efficiently. So investing in a digital maintenance solution gives you a leg up on starting to be able to catalog your data, to analyze your data, and to start decreasing those costs over time.”

Every single asset has a life of its own with a corresponding lifecycle—from initial design to ongoing operation.

The digital transformation is in full swing, and it is imperative that organizations modernize their technology and workflows to maintain constituent trust in a constrained labor market that must compete against the private sector. Hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs in engineering and construction go unfilled, meaning the qualified resources to preserve and build infrastructure are scarce. Digital transformation is the only solution to maintain both capital projects and public trust.

One of the biggest challenges of this digital transformation is the sharing of data across multiple departments and organizations that all work in different softwares. Not having a way to easily share that information results in data silos that can prove costly and prevent the innovation and maintenance that is essential to maintaining infrastructure. With Trimble, as Bell observes, “[…] you have a platform-based approach that creates breakout level productivity because you democratize access to [a] file in one, central place.”

And as Nooner explains, the platform-based approach goes even further than sharing a file in a central place. It enables people “…working in different solutions that are compiling that information to that asset, […] we’re working in our native applications that are all federated against an asset, a project, a location, […] that means you don’t have to change the program you’re working in.”

As part of Trimble’s vision, the development of a robust platform of software that can communicate across different interfaces, Cityworks customers can look toward a future in which all aspects of EAM will be free from the data silos that cost organizations time and money. Trimble’s Owner & Public Sector is another step in the vision of complete digital transformation.

What is Trimble O&PS?

Trimble is the global leader in positioning, modeling, connectivity, and data asset analytics, delivering a broad portfolio of connected solutions for asset lifecycle management, connecting the digital and physical worlds. Trimble O&PS empowers and connects asset owners and stakeholders at every stage of the design, build, maintenance, and operations lifecycle. Trimble’s purpose-built asset lifecycle management platform empowers GIS location intelligence across infrastructure for public works, utilities, construction, transportation, and community development—allowing asset owners to connect teams from the office to the field, improving productivity, safety, transparency, and sustainability.