Prabhu Ramachandran, founder and CEO, Facilio Inc
Emerging from the long shadow of a global pandemic, the facilities management industry is undergoing an accelerated technology-led transformation. Progressive FM operatives are leading this transition as change agents, differentiating themselves from inflexible competitors using a data-driven and IoT enabled approach. CRE businesses are also critically assessing their FM service providers, in terms of ability to respond to enhanced tenant expectations, and unlocking operational efficiency, to improve bottom lines.
A connected operational environment gives CRE businesses the ability to turn IoT data into operational insights and workflows to optimize building performance and comfort in real-time. Agile, data-driven models allow FM companies and managers to optimize asset performance, achieve optimal energy and resource efficiencies, and deliver delightful, personalized occupant experiences, to end users.
This shift in operating models is reflected in a strategic collaboration that has recently been announced between Facilio, an AI-driven O&M platform for real estate portfolios, and Belimo, a global giant in the development, production, and sales of HVAC devices. The coming together marks a distinct evolution, in terms of a leading commercial real estate hardware provider adapting to the changing expectations of real estate stakeholders to enable a connected, efficient, and sustainable built environment.
Harnessing IoT to stay nimble in property operations
So, what is driving this shift to connected operational environments? Simply put, by turning IoT data into real-time operational insights and workflows, CRE operations can optimize asset performance and occupant comfort, like never before. Real estate businesses are able to unlock enhanced operational capabilities, by unifying disparate building systems onto a single cloud platform to orchestrate operations remotely across the portfolio. Given these positives, a trend is taking root, with hardware-centric industry players increasingly announcing strategic tech-partnerships and software-led offerings.
At the same time, the real estate industry is also shifting to open protocol software, as businesses look to harness existing building data to nimbly operate systems and processes. From driving efficiencies to meeting regulatory stipulations and consumer expectations of health & safety, software technology is helping FMs and building managers meet today’s fast changing market needs. The advantages of this IoT-led approach include:
- Managing and Optimizing Assets Remotely: CRE businesses can now implement remote monitoring and control of all assets in their entire portfolio, using a “single-pane-of-glass” view, which can optimize the performance and energy consumption of hardware such HVAC systems, in real time.
- Achieving Optimal Sustainability: Real-time consumption analytics, measurement and verification, performance benchmarking, and other agile capabilities allow CRE businesses to run their portfolios at peak sustainability.
- Predictive and Automated Maintenance: Workflows that are automatically contextualized in real-time; Machine Leaning and AI are able to implement preventive, condition-based, and predictive maintenance of all assets.
- Seamless User Experiences:Tenants can be empowered with accessible and powerful apps, while Owners and FM operatives can work remotely, access data, initiate or respond to service requests, and enhance their visitor and vendor management.
Sustainability and the experience economy
Progressive and future-ready FM operators can now wear many different hats, unlocking multifaceted value, for the industry. They can be occupant experience managers, sustainability agents, brand ambassadors, a frontline defense against the pandemic, and much more. From reactive firefighting and band-aid solutions, FM service providers are taking on a holistic and big-picture approach to value addition, at portfolio-scale.
Tech innovators, such as Facilio are playing a key role in enabling this evolution in property operations and FM. The company’s several significant partnerships, with leading real estate players in the region, are at the forefront of the expansion of data-led building operations in the Middle East, which is laying the template for the global adoption of this IoT led model.
(The author Prabhu Ramachandran is the founder and CEO of Facilio Inc)