Warner upgrades IT to keep action flowing

Entertainment operators Warner Village Theme Parks Group like to make sure there is plenty of action at their theme parks like Wet 'n'Wild Water World on the Gold Coast but not during IT upgrades.

The group's asset management system from MRO Software, used at both Wet 'n' Wild and Movie World, will be upgraded to Maximo 5.2 when the product is available later this month and will eventually be extended to Sea World.

Anomi Bruynius, managing director of Brisbane-based St Leger Systems, who consulted on the Warner project, said the Web-based system maintains the park's entertainment infrastructure and updates information to maintain the rides and amusements.

The company invested less than $20,000 in the system as it was already using Maximo version 4.1.1, moving to Maximo 5 after replacing an in-house-developed spreadsheet system.

Bruynius said the move to Maximo has drastically improved search and reporting capabilities but conceded the implementation was a bumpy ride.

Patches for the system, she said, were released "frequently" so they had to be consistently applied and tested.

"While MRO addressed any issues as quickly as possible, it would have been good if we were aware when new patches were available by e-mail. But instead we had to check their Web site each day to see if there was a new patch," Bruynius said.

However, the benefits have outweighed the minor hiccups, enabling the company to manage multi-sites across all three theme parks.

Despite minor hiccups, Bruynius said the system is delivering a range of benefits, including multi-site monitoring, where all three theme parks are managed on a single database.

This allows Warner Village to meet legal requirements, with the park's asset information and equipment history on site for future reference.

"Maximo allows us to keep an audit trail and keeps note of changes made to information in the system. As an example, equipment repair information entered will show who entered it, what time and what date. If that information is changed, it will store the previous information, as well as who entered the new information and when," she said.

MRO Software is set to release Maximo 5.2 later this month, according to the company's product and technology vice president Jack Young.

He said the company invested $70 million over five years in the latest version of its J2EE-based product, which supports IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic.

Young said version 6 will be available around mid-2004 and enhancements will include service management and improved helpdesk functionality.

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