Market Guide for Asset Performance Management
CIOs in utilities and other asset-intensive organizations can use this research to support the development of enterprise APM strategies. APM is a key element of the foundational technology that can help their organizations achieve higher levels of operational reliability, safety and efficiency.
- Asset performance management (APM) solutions are widening in scope and decreasing in deployment cost due to market acceptance, increasing competition and maturation of enabling technologies such as advanced analytics, algorithms, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).
- As APM solutions mature and cloud deployment increases, asset management will become a more collaborative process. Activities will be shared among asset owners, operators, service providers and OEMs.
- Asset management strategies are beginning to shift from preventive to predictive — driven by innovation in enabling technologies and streamlined access to consistent operational technology (OT) data resulting from IT and OT alignment and integration.
- As the market becomes more defined, vendors seek product differentiation by offering domain expertise and the alternative delivery option of APM as a service.
CIOs in asset-intensive industries who are optimizing foundational technologies should:
- Develop and expand expertise in critical APM technology building blocks by adopting a bimodal approach and leveraging advanced analytics, IoT, algorithms and cloud computing.
- Use third-party APM services to collect and analyze equipment data and support performance improvements, if internal IT resources are constrained or third-party collaboration is a goal.
- Identify possible data sources to support a predictive strategy and determine what data analysis software can maximize your investment in multiple situations by collaborating with your operations team.
- Determine the pros and cons of outsourcing data analysis core competencies by examining how much of product or domain expertise is unique and, therefore, should be a core competency.
- Decrease unplanned work, mean time between failures and mean time to repair metrics by working closely with your maintenance and reliability departments.
Asset performance management is a market of software tools and applications designed for optimizing operational assets (such as plant, equipment and infrastructure) essential to the operation of an enterprise. Organizations invest in APM tools and technologies to reduce unplanned repair work, increase asset availability, minimize maintenance costs and reduce the risk of failure for critical assets. These products can also improve an organization’s ability to comply with regulations that prescribe how assets are inspected and maintained. APM uses data capture, integration, visualization and analytics to improve operations, maintenance timing, and which maintenance and inspection activities to perform on mission-critical assets.
There are two other related, but separate, asset management systems — enterprise asset management (EAM) and asset investment planning (AIP) — which are not assessed in this research, but it is important to understand the relationship (see Figure 1 for the relationship flow).
- APM should not be confused with EAM, although integration between the two is common for triggering work orders in all levels of functional capabilities listed above and some EAM vendors have invested in APM. APM is designed for decision support; EAM is designed for maintenance execution. For more information on EAM, please see Note 1 or “Magic Quadrant for Energy and Utilities Enterprise Asset Management Software.” Some EAM vendors have an APM product strategy; most rely on partnerships with APM vendors. Sourcing an APM solution that is compatible with your EAM solution provides more ready-to-use integration.
- APM also should not be confused with asset investment planning (AIP). APM is designed to support safe, reliable, and efficient operation of equipment and infrastructure. AIP is designed to support long-term capital investment decisions, most often used by local governments and regulated utilities. AIP takes data on asset condition, maintenance costs, criticality, budgets and risks, then analyzes it to produce capital investment plans over extended time horizons (see “Technology Overview for Utility Asset Investment Planning” ). The two solution types often use the same data and similar analytical techniques, but for different purposes. There is no overlap between APM and AIP solution providers.
Source: Gartner (March 2017)
APM includes specific functional capabilities (organized by APM category) that require data collection and aggregation from data historians and other operational data stores for the purposes of analysis (see Table 1).
Source: Gartner (March 2017)
Gartner surveyed vendors for the types of APM customer deployments organized by APM category. Figure 2 summarizes responses from 10 leading APM vendors.
The figure represents the number of customer use cases added up across all reported vendors.
Vendors may indicate multiple use cases per customer.
Source: Gartner (March 2017)
APM is a critical investment area for asset-intensive industries, including manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, transportation, and utilities (see “Asset Performance Management Transforms How Operational Assets Are Managed and Maintained” ). Successful APM deployments can deliver measurable improvements in availability, as well as reduce maintenance and inventory carrying costs. Some aspects of APM have been practiced for more than 10 years, mostly by the largest companies in a handful of industries. Its broader adoption has been stalled until recently by a combination of internal and external factors, including cost/budget, skills, delegation of responsibilities and maturity of technology. In prior years, there was a need to build your own or apply complex mathematical tools to the problem.
Recently, APM has become more productized and is maturing into a more normal part of business. This is, in part, due to rapid innovation in enabling technologies such as IoT, advanced analytics and algorithms in asset-intensive industries. These are widening the scope and decreasing the deployment cost, aiding more widespread awareness and use of APM. The promise of reduced maintenance cost and downtime, coupled with higher levels of operational reliability, is attracting other industries. APM adoption is progressing at a varied pace among industries. Those that depend on the success of their assets such as manufacturing, utilities and natural resources industries tend to be further along in their asset management strategy, and usually invest more heavily in APM (see Figure 3). Other industries that rely on physical assets to some degree, such as retail and public sector, are beginning to embark on this journey, but may not invest as heavily in APM solutions (see “Differentiation in Asset-Centric Companies” ).
Source: Gartner (March 2017)
Not all organizations are mature enough to invest in APM. In some instances, there may be immature asset management processes and a standard EAM system of record. In that situation, the better investment may be to upgrade the existing EAM system and/or invest in a data-cleansing project. APM is not an execution system and, therefore, depends on EAM to execute its recommendations and provide feedback on the results (as portrayed in Figure 4, which illustrates the maintenance and reliability flows between the two systems). Before investing in APM, organizations need to assess the maturity of their EAM system and have a sustainable integration plan between the two.
Source: Gartner (March 2017)
APM offers the potential for new business models, and this will, ultimately, change the dynamic between owner/operators of assets and OEMs in a number of industries. This is a long-term trend that will depend on a number of factors:
- The rate of OEMs investing in APM themselves, with the goal of using APM to deliver new service offerings.
- The capability and agreement of owners/operators to share maintenance history and condition data with their OEMs, directly or via a cloud service through a digital twin (see “Predicts 2017: IT and OT Convergence Will Create New Challenges and Opportunities” ). This could lead to a shift from operator-as-maintainer to manufacturer being maintainer. Manufacturers could evaluate equipment field performance, which enables conditioned-based maintenance, diagnostics and preventive maintenance, while supporting future design improvements.
- The emergence of third-party data aggregators, taking data off sensors and offering data as a service to OEMs and owner/operators. This is evident in adjacent markets such as retail and finance, and is expected in the equipment domain, which may accelerate the process and address data ownership issues.
- The complexity of an owner/operator’s portfolio of assets and the diversity of its OEM relationships. A large portfolio of diverse assets might make some forms of OEM collaboration impractical, or the operator could also revert to building its own in-house equivalent analytics service instead of going to multiple vendors. The changing relationship between owner/operators and OEMs will play out over 10 or more years. In the meantime, we may see a parallel development in the future, where OEMs, vendors offering APM as a service and APM vendors supply their own capability .
Recent advances in core technologies, such as IoT (see “The Internet of Things Revolution: Impact on Operational Technology Ecosystems” ) and advanced analytics (see “Using Advanced Analytics to Predict Equipment Failure” ), have spurred concurrent advances in the APM market. For example, IoT-driven innovation is rapidly increasing the volume and variety of data available to assess asset condition, enabling broad expansion of APM use cases (see “The Internet of Things Is Accelerating Asset Performance Management Innovation and Adoption” ). Advanced analytics capability is becoming a competitive differentiator in the market, which is aiding the maturity of asset maintenance strategies from preventive to predictive (see “Asset Management and Reliability: A Strategic Roadmap” ). In addition, because of cost, complexity and time, more APM vendors are now providing APM-as-a-service offerings. This addresses the needs of organizations that do not have the data capabilities already in-house. Cloud is also having an impact by lowering the barriers to the use of APM itself and aiding the emergence of APM-as-a-service offering.
The rising interest in APM is creating a diverse set of market participants, including independent software vendors (ISVs) and OEMs. Many of these vendors have invested substantially to create and deliver new APM solutions.
APM acquisition activity is reflective of growing interest, and is expected to continue. Recent acquisitions include:
- AspenTech acquired Mtell
- Bentley Systems acquired C3global (to add to its acquisition of Ivara in 2012)
- GE Digital acquired Meridium (to combine with SmartSignal as part of Predix)
- Schneider Electric bought InStep Software in 2014
Other large OEMs are also making investments in APM to support their service businesses, and expand their existing APM software businesses.
Vendors such as SAP, Infor, GE and others have begun investing heavily in domain expertise. They are hiring talent with relevant industry experience, as well as bringing in technical expertise and creating internal data science/analytic groups, as another product differentiator. However, these efforts are just taking root, and their long-term impact on the market is yet to be determined.
We fully expect to see similar activity continue. The next few years will bring a significant amount of new activity and consolidation in the market. Vendors of all types recognize that delivering a comprehensive APM platform will expand their market opportunities.
Not all buyers are looking for a comprehensive APM platform. For them, there is still a growing market of vendors that deliver APM solutions to address a specific application. For example:
- ABB’s Asset Health Center (based on its acquisition of Obvient Strategies in 2011) is primarily focused on monitoring the health of critical power transformers, and related substation equipment, for the electrical transmission and distribution industry.
- Detechtion Technologies is an established provider of APM software and services for monitoring and managing gas compressors in the upstream oil and gas industry.
- DNV GL has the product Cascade, which is focused on predictive analytics for the power sector.
These, and other targeted solutions, continue to serve specific APM constituencies.
The APM market is composed of two distinct, but overlapping, submarkets. One is a market of APM platform vendors. The other is a market of asset analysis solutions used to support specific analytical approaches or, in some instances, specific classes of assets.
Platform vendors deliver comprehensive APM platforms for:
- Aggregating asset data
- Analyzing the data
- Creating an asset management strategy based on risk factors, criticality and predicted outcomes
APM platform vendors support a comprehensive range of risk assessment and management methodologies (as described in the Market Definition section). They also provide integration with EAM systems and operational data stores, such as data historians. If deployed as an enterprise system, an APM platform becomes the focal point for an organization’s asset management strategy and, where applicable, its adherence to the ISO 55000 standard for physical asset management.
An organization should not automatically select a platform vendor because it has a comprehensive platform. These offerings should be considered only if your organization is in the market for an integrated product set based on the needs of your organization.
Asset analysis vendors typically provide a suite of capabilities for predicting equipment failure that includes:
- Aggregation of data from various operational data sources
- Application of advanced analytics to discern patterns from the data
- Visualization to identify potential failure patterns
These vendors may also include creation of alerts and workflow to support decision process.
These capabilities can be applied to a broad spectrum of different types of equipment. Most asset analysis tools are general in nature, while a few target a specific class of asset. They can be used strategically or tactically as part of a more comprehensive asset management strategy.
The market is also supported by vendor products that aren’t widely used as APM solutions per se, but serve an essential role in the APM ecosystem. Some, such as Asset Performance Technologies, primarily provide APM content to other solution providers. Others, such as the data historian OSIsoft, primarily provide the operational data necessary to support APM. The historian’s data infrastructure also has been used by customers as a platform to build unique CBM solutions. (Note: Given the large number of existing and potential CBM solutions in the market, we have chosen not to highlight vendors that do only CBM. However, a number of the vendors represented in this Market Guide also can support a CBM project.)
The decision on which APM solutions and techniques to use is driven by the types of assets an organization needs to manage, as well as available solutions. No APM vendor currently provides all of the capabilities required to support all APM strategies and manage all classes of assets across all industries. Figure 5 illustrates the field-proven capabilities of vendors represented in this Market Guide. It is not a complete list of existing solutions, but does include the major APM vendors.
Green — Comprehensive, cross-industry capabilities
Yellow — Limited or unproven capabilities
* Capabilities listed are provided by multiple products of different origin (see the Representative Vendors section).
Source: Gartner (March 2017)
The vendors listed in this Market Guide do not imply an exhaustive list. This section is intended to provide more understanding of the market and its offerings.
Bentley is an ISV based in Exton, Pennsylvania. Bentley offers its AssetWise suite of APM products, including the acquisitions Ivara and C3global. Most AssetWise customers are in North America and Western Europe, and span a range of industries.
AssetWise Asset Lifecycle Information Management (ALIM) provides structured control of asset information and managed change throughout the asset life cycle beyond just APM. AssetWise Asset Reliability supports core APM functions with a map-based mobile offering for inspections. AssetWise Operational Analytics is an operational intelligence/predictive analytics product that serves three primary functions — operational data capture, data analysis and visualization/reporting. It is complementary to AssetWise Asset Reliability with limited overlap. AssetWise Enterprise Interoperability facilitates the interoperation of multiple data sources and includes predefined connectors for many third-party systems, such as EAMs, as well as supports a number of exchange standards.
Meridium (acquired by GE Digital in September 2016) is an APM ISV based in Roanoke, Virginia. Founded in 1993, it initially focused on the oil and gas, and chemical industries, but has since expanded into manufacturing, mining, transportation and utilities.
Meridium offers a suite of APM products to include machinery and equipment health, reliability management, asset strategy optimization, and compliance and integrity management. Key capabilities include data integration to common EAM and condition monitoring systems, risk and criticality analysis, failure analytics and simulations, asset strategy optimization, and industry APM benchmarking through Asset Answers. Integration with the GE Bently Nevada System 1/SmartSignal products existed prior to the Meridium’s acquisition by GE, and full integration of the combined APM portfolio began immediately after the acquisition in September 2016 (see the GE Digital profile).
ABB is a global power and industrial automation company based in Zurich, Switzerland. Its Enterprise Software product group provides a suite of software products, including two independent EAM products. It has two APM products — Equipment Reliability (ER) and Asset Health Center (the latter is based on the FocalPoint analytical toolkit that came with its acquisition of Obvient Strategies).
Asset Health Center has been sold to utilities primarily for management of transmission assets, specifically the health and risk (of failure) assessment of critical bulk power transformers, circuit breakers and energy storage batteries. The solution can be deployed on-site, hosted or managed and in the Microsoft Azure cloud. ER was designed as a solution to help enforce standards related to equipment reliability and work management, specifically to support INPO AP-913 compliance in the nuclear power industry and has been folded under the Asset Health Center banner. Most Asset Health Center and ER Suite customers are in North America.
Detechtion Technologies is an APM software and service provider based in Houston, Texas, with offices in Calgary, Canada, and Brisbane, Australia. It offers its Enalysis product for gas compression fleet monitoring, alerting and optimization as a cloud-based service only. The product was built over many years of gas compressor troubleshooting service engagements, and has few direct competitors. Its customers are mostly in the upstream and midstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. The majority of its business is in North America, but it also has clients in Australia.
The vendor’s APM offering uses proprietary algorithms to determine the exact operating status of compressors from both a production and maintenance viewpoint. This can be delivered through multiple platforms, including computers, tablets and phones. It also offers its remote workers (with no access to the internet) a comprehensive set of PDF reports delivered by email for review as they travel through their oil and gas routes.
In October 2016, Detechtion acquired Enbase, which provides SCADA, mobile applications and predictive analytics for the oil and gas industry. Enbase will be integrated under the Detechtion brand and extend the capabilities for wellhead chemical injection and compression assets.
GE Digital , in 2016, acquired Meridium (APM; see the Meridium profile), Bit Stew Systems (data management and integration), ServiceMax (field service management solutions) and Wise.io (machine learning). GE offers a number of APM-focused solutions acquired over a number of years, including SmartSignal, Bently Nevada System 1 and GE Digital Historian, as well as new Predix APM applications.
GE has streamlined APM to be a horizontal solution built on the Predix platform, which can be contextualized for industry verticals. GE also offers a number of vertical-specific APM products, many of which it delivers as part of its OEM service businesses, including GE Power and GE Oil & Gas. The APM horizontal solutions are deployed across a range of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, chemicals, transportation, mining, and utilities. In addition, GE provides an APM service offering based on the SmartSignal product with its Industrial Performance & Reliability Center (IPRC), which is an asset performance monitoring service delivered via the web.
Previously GE Oil & Gas formed a partnership with Meridium in 2014 to develop a joint APM product — Production Asset Reliability. Some components of the GE Digital and Meridium APM software have already been integrated and brought to market by combining legacy functionality from both systems by integrating through a common user interface and platform data synchronization. The full integration for GE Digital’s and Meridium’s APM software across the entire breadth of product functionality is expected to continue in 2017. For information on the complete set of APM solutions and capabilities, now available from GE Digital, see the Meridium profile.
Mtell (recently acquired by AspenTech) is an APM ISV based in San Diego, California. Although it has been in existence for much longer, its focus on APM as a product category began in 2006. Mtell’s primary APM offering is Previse, a predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance asset management solution that can be applied to a broad range of assets. Using machine learning, Previse automatically analyzes large volumes of operational and maintenance data to discover patterns that indicate impending failure and sends notifications. Previse has been deployed in a number of asset-intensive industries, including oil and gas, transportation, chemicals, water, mining and pharmaceuticals.
SAP , founded in 1972, is a global enterprise application software vendor based in Walldorf, Germany. SAP’s Predictive Maintenance and Service and SAP Asset Intelligence Network are integrated with SAP EAM. In November 2014, it launched “SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service, cloud edition,” which allows reliability engineers and data scientists to leverage a set of prediction models and machine learning algorithms in Hana. It offers integration with OSIsoft’s PI System product, which is used to load asset data collected via sensors to be stored in SAP Hana, and has certified interfaces with OSI data historian. SAP services a variety of industries, including oil and gas, utilities, and manufacturing. SAP’s Condition-Based Maintenance capability is provided through the SAP Plant Maintenance (PM) module (EAM solution), which has been available for many years.
SAS is a business intelligence, analytics and data science ISV. It is based in Cary, North Carolina, with offices worldwide. SAS was founded in 1976, and can claim a long history of helping businesses apply advanced analytics to discover patterns in large data and complex sets. It offers an APM solution — SAS Asset Performance Analytics (first released under the name SAS Predictive Asset Maintenance, which is now a part of the SAS Quality Analytics Suite). Asset Performance Analytics uses a variety of analytical approaches, including time series regression and neural networks to model failure modes for specific assets. SAS’s APM business is distributed across the energy, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. It also is broadly distributed across various regions of the world. In addition to SAS’s own Professional Services Division, it partners with Wipro, Accenture, CT Global Solutions and Pro Technology for implementations.
Schneider Electric is a global energy management and automation company, with headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison, France. Its software line of business offers the Avantis family of asset management products and services. These include an EAM product and a few APM products. The APM products it offers include Avantis PRO EAM, Avantis Condition Manager (CM) and Avantis PRiSM (which came with the 2014 acquisition of InStep Software). Avantis Condition Manager is a CBM product that integrates with Avantis PRO EAM and other EAM products. PRiSM is a predictive asset management solution that has been primarily deployed in the utility industry for predicting the failure of power generation, transmission and distribution equipment through use of models and machine learning. Other customer deployments exist in the oil and gas, food and beverage, metals, mining, and mineral industries.
Asset Performance Technologies is a small provider of APM content and software based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its content offering is Asset Strategy Library (ASL), consisting of an extensive library of failure modes and asset strategies for industrial equipment. It primarily sells ASL through APM vendors such as Bentley and Meridium (recently acquired by GE Digital). In addition, it offers an APM software product — Preventance — that leverages the ASL library. Although not as comprehensive, or as well-established, as similar APM products, it is has been successfully utilized by small to midsize asset-intensive businesses with an interest in utilizing the recommendations in ASL in lieu of a major RCM project. The majority of customers are in the Power Generation sector.
DNV GL , headquartered in Norway, is a provider of classification, technical assurance, software and advisory services. Its utility-oriented product, known as Cascade software, for technical asset management and predictive maintenance consolidates equipment diagnostics, nameplate and real-time data, providing equipment statuses. It can be integrated with most leading enterprise resource planning (ERP and EAM) systems. The utility-specific software interfaces with a wide variety of test equipment, as well as real-time and asset repository data, and allows SCADA and online-monitoring data to be automatically evaluated and captured as equipment reads.
MaxGrip is an APM ISV and service provider based in Utrecht, Netherlands, with offices in the U.S. and Asia/Pacific. Founded in 1997 as a maintenance and reliability service organization, it later expanded into a software business in 2000. The company offers three APM software products: Optimizer+, which interfaces with SAP, Infor, IBM and Ultimo EAM systems; strEAM+, which embeds APM functionality in IBM Maximo; and APMSmartApps, which are mobile, light apps to simplify APM. The APMSmartApps are built to work on all versions of SAP. In February 2015 — based on a partnership with Lloyd’s Register Energy — MaxGrip released a new risk-based inspection module to add to the MaxGrip APM portfolio called strEAM+ RBI. MaxGrip’s APM customers span a broad cross-section of industries, with a concentration in oil and gas, chemical, utilities, and food and beverage. It has customers in all regions of the world, but is particularly well-established in Western Europe. (MaxGrip did not participate in the vendor survey to be placed in the above APM submarket categories.)
OSIsoft is a large privately held, process data infrastructure vendor based in San Leandro, California. Its PI System is widely used by asset-intensive organizations to aggregate and manage their process data. As such, many of the vendors in this Market Guide rely on PI System for the operational data required for APM. PI System has also been used to develop custom CBM solutions in agriculture, chemicals, oil and gas, and utilities. These custom CBM applications typically use PI System’s Asset Framework (AF), which can be used to define hierarchies of assets and process flows between assets for process data, event-framed data, performing calculations on assets, and integration with EAM systems to trigger maintenance work orders based on predefined conditions. The PI System can also be linked to off-the-shelf CBM solutions. In 2015, OSIsoft released the PI Integrator for Business Analytics, a software integration product, which enables sensor-based data captured within the PI System with existing advanced analytics and visualization tools within the industry. That was followed by release of PI Integrator for Microsoft Azure in 2016. In January 2016, OSIsoft announced a global reseller agreement with SAP. SAP will resell the OSIsoft solution as the SAP Hana IoT Connector by OSIsoft through its global network of affiliated customers and business partners.
While a comprehensive APM platform solution would deliver value for almost any organization, all the components of these types of solutions may not be needed for most organizations, and the value should be weighed against the investment and total cost of ownership. More specifically, when evaluating APM options, consider:
- The importance of good quality data in your EAM systems. Assess your data quality, and if there are deficiencies, then invest in upgrading your EAM systems and/or an asset data-cleansing project before investing in APM.
- The importance of integration with EAM. Ensure there is an interface to your EAM to be able to execute APM recommendations directly in the transactional EAM system.
- The importance of sufficient, secure, sustainable and relevant operational technology data. If the data doesn’t exist or is not accessible, then invest in deploying sensors and process data management infrastructure before embarking on an APM project. Additionally, look at the underlying governance of the OT systems to ensure you have a documented, secure and stable basis for OT data architecture. If you are considering APM-as-a-service options, determine if outsourcing the core competency of data analysis is beneficial in your long-term plan, or, alternatively, if you should build competencies in-house.
- The APM vendor’s experience with your specific use case. Does it have customers already using the product to manage the performance of similar assets? Most APM vendors serve a variety of industries and asset types, but some are quite specific and are developing “domain expertise” offerings. Pick a solution that fits your scope and budget.
- The alignment between the vendor’s APM product roadmap and your own long-term equipment reliability strategy (assuming you have one). Not all APM vendors have an expansive product strategy. If your long-term plan includes expanding the scope of the solution to encompass different assets, and different approaches to managing their performance, then invest in an APM platform vendor solution. If your organization only needs to support specific analytical approaches or specific classes of assets, then an APM asset analysis vendor may be more suitable.
- The ability of the solution to support collaboration across the organization, as well as with external business partners, such as OEMs. Cloud technology is changing asset management collaboration dynamics and opening the door to new asset management business models. If you are considering a more collaborative asset management model, invest in APM solutions that support, or will support, the necessary collaboration.
Gartner received vendor briefings and associated material from 10 APM vendors (most have global reach, but some are only regional) from July through October 2016. Gartner also surveyed secondary research sources for information on market trends and vendor activity.
Enterprise asset management includes planning and scheduling, work order creation, maintenance history, and inventory and procurement, as well as equipment, component and asset tracking for assemblies of equipment. In some instances, the functionality is extended by addition of basic financial management modules, such as accounts payable, cost recording in ledgers and HR functions, such as a maintenance skills database (see “Magic Quadrant for Energy and Utilities Enterprise Asset Management Software” ). While some EAM vendors have an APM product strategy, most rely on partnerships.
ISO 55000 is an international standard covering management of physical assets. Initially a Publicly Available Specification (PAS 55) published by the British Standards Institution in 2004, the ISO 55000 series of asset management standards was launched in January 2014.