IBM Maximo vs SAP

Why doesn’t asset management get any love in mainstream media? Yeah, we know, equipment maintenance and predictive modeling isn’t exactly a “sexy” topic for your average consumer. But for businesses with equipment to manage, asset management is a lifesaver. And how do they stay on top of it? With an enterprise asset management (EAM) solution.

Enterprise asset management solutions help you schedule preventive maintenance, and they discover issues long before you might discover them yourself. Because of this functionality, many businesses forego the question of “Do we need an EAM?” and skip straight to “Which EAM should we choose?”

Two of the most popular EAM solutions are IBM Maximo Asset Management and SAP Enterprise Asset Management. Both solutions are top-of-the-line choices, as each of them offers robust preventive maintenance. But there are other factors that make one or the other more suitable for a particular business.  As such, we put together a comparison of the two systems, to make your EAM search a little easier. Below is how we break down IBM Maximo vs SAP:


The obvious first step when comparing software is to look at the features. Both Maximo and SAP help you with asset management, with the biggest focus on preventive maintenance. The internet of things (IoT) plays a big role in both systems as well. Sensors placed on each piece of equipment connects them to the internet, sending equipment performance data to the EAM. The system then analyzes the data, which reveals performance issues as they happen and results in predictive maintenance capabilities.

The differences, then, lie in what additional features each EAM provides. IBM Maximo is more of an all-around management solution, while SAP is more of an analytics software. Maximo has features such as procurement/materials management, work management and contract management, which help you take control of your parts inventory, vendor contracts and work orders. SAP, on the other hand, uses machine learning and various operational analytics to create sophisticated data models on your equipment’s performance data.

Businesses that want to centralize all of their asset management business processes tend to gravitate towards Maximo, while those that want deep performance analysis prefer SAP.


The next thing businesses should look at when comparing IBM Maximo vs SAP is deployment. As per the norm for large software providers, both systems offer your standard deployment options: cloud and on-premise. But IBM Maximo has the advantage in this department, since it offers a third deployment option: hybrid deployment.

Hybrid deployments have more in common with cloud deployments than on-premise ones, since the pricing model for each is based on a subscription and the software is accessed online. However, the main difference is that instead of the vendor storing and backup up your data on their servers, you keep all of your data on your own internal servers. And differing from on-premise deployment, the software itself is still hosted by the provider.

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The main advantage of a hybrid deployment is that you save on IT costs while maintaining optimal data security. Owning your data is required for compliance in many industries, as it helps with cybersecurity. But doing so while the software provider hosts the software saves money when compared to on-premise solutions. This is because the IT infrastructure needed to support data storage is less than that of servers supporting a piece of enterprise software. In addition, hybrid deployments make software integration just as easy as it is with cloud deployment.

Businesses that want (or are required) to use on-premise software can use both Maximo and SAP equally, and the same goes for those that prefer cloud deployment. But businesses that want to try or have found previous success with hybrid deployments often choose Maximo.


The third consideration businesses should look at is the customer base of IBM Maximo vs SAP’s typical customer. Maximo caters to businesses of all sizes, whereas SAP’s EAM solution is geared towards mid-sized businesses and large enterprises. Based on the features offered by each system, this shouldn’t be that surprising. General management is more typical of software built for use by smaller businesses, whereas detailed analytics are generally meant for larger ones. After all, deep data analysis doesn’t come cheap, especially when it’s done in real time.

The Final Verdict

Using the information above, you should have a much clearer picture when comparing IBM Maximo vs SAP. If you’re a small business that needs centralized management processes, Maximo is your best option. But if you’re a large enterprise that uses top-of-the-line analytics, you should lean towards SAP. And if you’re any size business that wants (or is required) to keep data on-site, you should take a look at Maximo’s hybrid deployment. Ultimately, however, the decision is specific to your needs and current business processes, so use this comparison as a starting point for evaluating EAM vendors.

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