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Of all the benefits that the IBM Cognitive Equipment Advisor has demonstrated for defense customers, one stands out: It can cut the dockyard-maintenance turnaround time for a naval vessel such as a frigate or a destroyer by half. Often, that amounts to a full year’s time savings, says Yann Boehly, a senior managing consultant with the IBM Center for Global Competency. That’s a full year of a ship being on the water and in the active service of national security rather than in drydock for maintenance, repairs, and operations.  

That’s not the last striking statistic IBM Cognitive Equipment Advisor on SAP Industry Cloud delivers. Boehly cites a 25% improvement in overall fleet readiness, a 37% boost in stockage effectiveness rate, and a 33% reduction in costly unscheduled repairs. 

Seeing as the MRO of naval fleets has been paddled about the Mediterranean, all this begs the question: How are such leaps in efficiency and productivity possible? 

Artificial intelligence-driven predictive maintenance is a big part of it. Before the ship even pulls into dock, it spots what would otherwise turn into costly and time-consuming unplanned and unforeseen events, Boehly says. 

“If you start the analysis before the ship enters the dockyard, it’s too late,” Boehly says. 

Laboni Bhowmik, an IBM SAP application architect, says there’s much more to IBM Cognitive Equipment Advisor than AI. IBM has invested heavily in understanding aerospace and defense industry pain points and has developed prebuilt, intelligent workflows so, as she puts it, “the client doesn’t need to start the digital transformation from scratch.” Low-code/no-code mechanisms that enable efficient customization and configuration various analytical views of the entire MRO process, from the details to the big-picture. Through the SAP Business Technology Platform, IBM Cognitive Equipment Advisor also leverages SAP Product Lifecycle Management, SAP Asset Intelligence Network, and SAP Integrated Business Planning, adds Boehly. 

IBM Cognitive Equipment Advisor harnesses the IBM-SAP partnership to enable improved maintenance planning, remote monitoring of mission-critical assets, optimized supply chains, and real-time KPI monitoring, Bhowmik says. 

“All this brings huge cost savings,” Bhowmik says. 

For enhanced security, IBM Cognitive Equipment Advisor can operate on private or hybrid clouds, which is important in the defense ecosystem, Boehly says. The solution is also tailored to the aerospace and defense sector’s unique budget cycles and capable of supporting emerging equipment-as-a-service business models innovative OEMs are embracing.  

“Taken together, with this breakthrough solution, we can enhance national security in the big picture, and, at the same time, save taxpayers money,” Boehly says. 
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