What we THINK about: facilities management & smart buildings

With the new year in full swing, I have been getting many questions about our upcoming event, Think. Questions such as: Will there be a focus on facilities management and smarter buildings? Will there be real use cases around how IoT & AI make buildings smarter? Are there certification opportunities? Will the entertainment be magnificent? The answer to all of the above is, of course, yes.

Specifically, I have had several opportunities to speak with clients who are building the business case to head to IBM THINK for a week of networking, learning and sharing. I’ll share with you what I have shared with them.

40,000 new friends await you at Think

We are expecting 40,000 of the world’s most inspiring innovators, leaders, and thinkers in one place.  That’s a lot of brilliance under one roof. On top of that, Ginni Rometty and our newest IoT General Manager, Kareem Yusuf, will share their thoughts about the huge changes happening in facilities, factories and other asset-intensive businesses. 

A redesigned campus setting to help teach and inspire you

Buildings, asset management and industrial industries will take the center stage in the “Reimagine your Business” Campus. There will be 90+ campus theater sessions, 61 Watson IoT client & tech sessions and the Watson IoT keynote. There will also be 18+ Hands-on labs and Watson IoT certifications. So much to learn, so little time.    

A robust facilities management track to go deep

As track chair for IoT/ Facilities management, I have had the distinct honor of helping to curate a track that is intended to create deep insights into some innovative approaches to managing facilities.  Just a few of the great facilities management topics that our clients will spotlight during the event are:

Smart buildings 101: How to use your buildings data to help you unlock value for your organization. This session, with the worldwide facilities leader for E&Y,  will be a good level-set for existing and prospective facilities management leaders.  Most importantly, we will be showcasing some of the newest investments made in Tririga. 

· Driving operational excellence through smarter buildings: This session expands on the strategy that asset-intensive industries and facilities leaders are employing to create and extract value from their investments.

· What CFOs and Financial Managers Don’t Know about Their Property, Plants and Equipment with Tony Bailey from Umpqua Bank will be a great session on how organizations are dealing with the FASB and IASB lease accounting changes, and how they are working to automate and analyze their way to compliance.

· Don’t Fear the Dark: Using Dark Data to Make Enlightened Facilities Management Decisions with UMass Amherst and their integration of IoT data as well as GIS and other data elements to “shine a light” on new insights about the way they manage their campus of buildings.

· The Future of Work and Its Impact on Workplace Management will showcase how next-generation technology is being put to work in the office today, and is featuring an update from ISS, as they continue to transform 25,000 buildings globally as they continue the journey to bring AI into play in their facilities, and predict and pre-empt technical issues, as well as create more engaging journeys for their occupants.

· In Buildings 2050: The Cognitive Building and Digital Twins. We will hear from Dr. Claire Penny on the use cases that are emerging today for digital twin. The groundwork for the buildings of tomorrow is being created today. If you don’t know about digital twin and how it relates to buildings, check out this webcast

· Lastly, Competing in retail with the “Connected Store” will showcase how the IoT is being used to improve the experiential, as well as operational environment in fast-moving retail environments, and what it might mean to the workplaces of the future as well.  

If you want to go deeper on facilities management or one of our other exciting tracks, click here and IBM Watson can help you build the perfect curriculum. 

Nobody gets bored in Vegas

I would be remiss if I did not mention the receptions and networking opportunities that run continuously through the event, and an entertainment line-up that continues to grow. There will be three (!) concerts featuring Train, the Bare Naked Ladies (BNL) and the Chainsmokers. Definitely something for everyone. There is more than enough excitement to leave everyone exhausted.

Register now

I hope that helps put some of the huge investment IBM is making for you into perspective. You should now have all the ammo you need to make the case to your leadership to attend Think. I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas with me and 39,999 friends.

Register today: https://www.ibm.com/events/think/register/

The post What we THINK about: facilities management & smart buildings appeared first on Internet of Things blog.

Internet of Things blog

Microshare and Senet Partner to Bring Vertical IoT Data and Networking Solutions to Facilities Management and Logistics Markets

Microshare and Senet Partner to Bring Vertical IoT Data and Networking Solutions to Facilities Management and Logistics Markets

Microshare and Senet Partner to Bring Vertical IoT Data and Networking Solutions to Facilities Management and Logistics Markets

Senet today announced a partnership with the IoT data sharing and governance firm Microshare to deliver IoT data-centric solutions to the facilities management and logistics markets.

This partnership extends Microshare’s Smart Facilities Management (SFM) and Logistics Management Solutions (LM) to Senet customers, allowing for IoT sensor data to be broken out of silos and enriched with more context to create new efficiencies and revenue opportunities. Through the combination of Senet’s cost-effective LoRaWAN™ network and Microshare’s approach to data storage, governance, and micro-contracts, customers can optimize operations at facilities and across logistical networks by controlling the flow of information and creating new business models based on actionable granular data.

Microshare, based in Philadelphia, provides Smart Facilities Management and Logistics Management solutions that give logistics professionals, property owners, managers, facilities management providers, tenants and supply chain coordinators a turnkey solution to controlling costs and issues across a portfolio of properties or assets. These solutions are quick to deploy, inexpensive to maintain, and constantly able to adapt to changing needs.

The Microshare facilities suite enables managers to leverage data to better manage staff and subcontractors in ways that control costs, avoid liabilities, improve relations with vendors and tenants, and help shape future lease and contract terms. Microshare’s logistics solution enables granular tracking, maintenance, depreciation, and other leveraging of transportation vehicles, physical plant, infrastructure and other elements of your supply chain, transforming inert assets into networked sources of intelligence and revenue.

“This is the kind of partnership that is helping move IoT from the drawing board to reality in many companies,” said Ron Rock, CEO of Microshare.

“Our goal is to help companies go beyond merely saving a bit of operational budget and to unleash the revenue potential of the data they can generate internally. That means partnering with leaders like Senet to help define the data standards of the emerging IoT economy.”

“To identify the strongest insights and make IoT data truly actionable, the right technologies and processes must be in place to collect, store, enrich and share it,” said Senet CEO, Bruce Chatterley. “We are excited to partner with Microshare to help customers unlock new IoT revenue streams and contribute to ensuring IoT realizes its full potential of delivering economic, environmental, and social improvements.”

The post Microshare and Senet Partner to Bring Vertical IoT Data and Networking Solutions to Facilities Management and Logistics Markets appeared first on IoT Business News.

IoT Business News

Survey: Facilities managers look to IoT for building performance boost

Survey facilities managers IoT building performance

A growing number of facilities managers are investing in IoT technology to improve the performance of the buildings they manage, according to a recent survey.

The study, commissioned by energy management and automation company Schneider Electric, claims that building managers are actively exploring technologies such as intelligent analytics to transform maintenance decisions and operations.

Almost nine out of ten (89 percent) of respondents expect to see a return on their connected technology investments over the next three years, and 70 percent said this technology will shape new policies within the year. In total, some 300 US-based facilities managers were polled. 

Confident managers

The vast majority (90 percent) of facility managers questioned said they expect to see connected systems improving smart, productive and profitable operations while delivering better value and sustainability.

However, they are still split between taking a proactive versus a reactive approach to building maintenance. Only 15 percent of respondents reported that they fully utilize predictive maintenance tools and only 35 percent indicated they are proactive in their approach to maintaining building systems by conducting regular preventative maintenance on equipment. The other half of facility managers categorized themselves as reactive.

That said, 42 percent said they are interested in implementing analytics to gain a better insight into their buildings and make better decisions.

Read more: Honeywell launches analytics hub to ‘listen’ to smart buildings

Building maintenance goals

Unfortunately, though, it appears that many managers still aren’t aiming to get the full potential out of connected technologies. Only 32 percent of respondents currently use analytics, and just 17 percent of reactive users have this tech in place.

While more facilities managers are implementing these technologies, there are still many barriers on the way to achieving building maintenance goals. Nearly half (43 percent) said tight budgets can affect adoption, and 23 percent cited a lack of resources available to interpret data and translate it into actionable goals as being a problem. Eighteen percent said the buildings that they manage aren’t suitable for connected technology, while 14 percent aren’t confident of getting a return on investment from smart building technologies. 

Read more: Honeywell launches analytics hub to ‘listen’ to smart buildings

The future of building management

Brian Ratcliff, US EcoBuildings services director at Schneider Electric, said: “To make the most of building systems, forward-thinking facility managers are making a shift toward predictive thinking and taking proactive approaches to maintenance that enhance both operations and energy efficiency.

“As the adoption of analytics and IoT becomes more regular, the use of digital technologies for predictive building maintenance will continue to expand, with steadily increasing ROI [return on investment] through the coming years.”

Ian Hughes, an IoT analyst at 451 Research, told Internet of Business that connected sensors are bringing a range of benefits to modern buildings.

“Building systems such as HVAC tend to respond to local information such as a thermostat, with IoT installations they can be directed to respond in a more planned way such as when integrated with a weather forecast,” he said.

“This means a building can slowly come get to a suitable temperature rather than having to blast the heating or aircon, this saves energy and increases occupant comfort.

“Additional benefits of a sensor enabled building is ensure lighting is appropriate and comfortable, potentially tuned to the preferences of the occupants as they use different parts of the building.”

Read more: Finnish elevator company Kone lifts profits with IoT

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Internet of Business

A leading facilities management company brings 24,000 buildings and 1.2 million assets to the Cloud

With an expanding footprint across five continents, a leading facilities management client moved their enterprise asset management (EAM) solution to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model to cut costs and improve the client experience.

The decision to move to a SaaS model can be driven by a variety of motivations, such as:

  • “I need to reduce fixed costs”
  • “I need to meet client needs for data localization requirements”
  • “I need a scalable solution that grows with my business”
  • “I need a licensing structure that matches my usage patterns”
  • “I need to be able to rapidly deploy new functionalities”

When an organization is serving 75 million customers and 425,000 employees daily across eighty countries, the volume of services required to maintain operations is massive.

To put this into context, within one building their services could range from the basement (maintenance and technical services of heavy equipment and elevators) to the front desk/reception area to grounds keeping to employee childcare to the cafeteria, all the way up through the building floors, including cleaning & maintenance services.

How to manage 1.2 million assets in a simpler, more cost-efficient way?

With over 24,000 buildings to manage and an incredible disparity in client facilities (offices, hospitals, research centers, schools, factories, etc), it became a cumbersome task to manage over 1.2 million assets, 7,000 technical users, and 100,000 self-service portals for clients to request services.  These services require an extensive asset management solution to improve visibility into operations to help manage costs and resources.

Enterprise asset management in the cloud

To support the extensive service requirements, the organization had already deployed a single instance of Maximo Asset Management (Maximo) on-premise in North America – creating one of the largest footprints of Maximo in the world. A core benefit of Maximo was that it provided strong data restrictions based on service provider, customer, and site, ensuring effective data protection. However, with the growth of their business across five continents, issues around scalability and localization began to arise.

Why move to SaaS?

The organization identified their critical pain points and evaluated how these challenge areas could be addressed by moving the existing asset management solution to the cloud – for example:

  1. With their on-prem solution hosted in North America, they could not meet increasing client needs for data localization requirements, in particular from clients in the European Union (EU) facing new standards presented in the European Legal Data Framework.
  2. Their current on-prem solution was incurring large fixed costs and provided limited flexibility/agility
  3. They wanted to move to a “concurrent licensing” usage pattern as their current “named user” license was proving to be an ineffective use of resources.
  4. Managing growth on five continents required increased flexibility and scalability.

Ultimately, the organization wanted to maintain the integrity of the core solution while solving for regional data localization, optimizing their licensing structure, and cutting costs.

The largest Maximo SaaS Implementation Ever

With these challenges in mind, IBM worked with the facilities management team to migrate 1.2 million assets to the cloud. Using the SaaS Flex solution, two production instances were implemented on IBM Cloud, one in the United States and one in the EU, with the opportunity to have additional production instances anywhere in the world. Having instances in multiple IBM Cloud locations across the globe addressed clients’ data localization issues.

The organization was also able to take advantage of their low concurrency usage pattern (~10%) with the SaaS Concurrent User licensing model, enabling them to optimize their licensing structure based on their global workforce.

The icing on the cake

As a result of using an on-prem hosting scenario, the facilities management company gained a level of agility and flexibility that was previously impossible to achieve. The organization benefited from faster upgrades, rapid deployment of new functionalities, scalability, and simplified governance.

The icing on the cake was a whopping 20% reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO), in addition to an increased cost predictability across their buildings.

Is SaaS  right for you?

If your business is facing similar challenges, and you’re not sure what SaaS option is right for you, compare your options in the SaaS Buyer’s Guide.

Learn more at: https://www.ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/maximo

Already a Maximo user? Learn about the Bridge to Cloud plan in this webinar.

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Internet of Things blog

Telensa moves IoT manufacturing to UK after review of world facilities – a vote of confidence as Brexit is triggered

Telensa is moving its manufacturing of IoT products to the UK from Asia after a ‘strategic review’ of world facilities – offering a vote of confidence on the day the country notifies the EU of its decision to leave the bloc.

Operations will move to the Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed, Wales. Telensa currently has a global footprint of over one million devices across the world, including wireless controls for one in ten of the UK’s street lights. Last year, the company raised over £14 million and the company has grown its revenues by more than 50 percent in each of the last two years, 45 percent of which from exports.

Secretary of State for Business and Energy Greg Clark, said:

“Telensa’s strategic decision to transfer manufacturing from Asia back to the UK further strengthens our position as a world leader in innovation and underlines our role as a global technology hub. Its new base at Sony’s Technology Centre in Wales will boost our advanced manufacturing sector, creating the type of new high-skilled, well-paying jobs we are supporting through our Industrial Strategy.”

“As we prepare to leave the EU, this Government is committed through the Industrial Strategy to ensuring the UK remains one of the best places in the world to do business and this announcement is another significant vote of confidence in the UK economy, sending a clear signal that companies are continuing to invest in Britain’s future.”

Telensa’s decision to move production to the UK is a testament of local talent and will bring more jobs to the country, in particular to Wales.

“The fact that Telensa, a global leader in this highly specialised field, has decided to move its manufacturing back to the UK and chose Sony’s Technology Centre in Pencoed is a powerful endorsement of the expertise we have in Wales,” said Welsh Government Economy Secretary, Ken Skates. “It sends out a strong message internationally that Wales is the location of choice for electronics manufacturing. It’s great news for Sony UK TEC, great news for Wales, and I am delighted it will result in new jobs for skilled workers.”

Sony UK’s technology centre in Wales currently produces thousands of professional camera systems along with manufacturing products for external businesses. One of the most notable devices produced at the centre is the UK’s best-selling computer of all time, the Raspberry Pi.

The facility in Pencoed has built a reputation for quality and innovation which has attracted Telensa when carrying out their facility review and continues a trend of a significant increase in UK-based manufacturing – now at its highest point since June 2014 according to the Purchasing Managers Index (PDF).

What are your thoughts on Telensa’s decision? Let us know in the comments.

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