Verdantix: Employee-facing tech makes buzz at World Workplace


Verdantix attended IFMA’s World Workplace Europe conference on 31 May to 01 June. This major event for the facilities management sector had almost 400 attendees including facilities and workplace management professionals, service providers and technology companies.

So, what was the hot topic? One major theme of the event was how to connect people to the workplace using digital technologies. For example, we heard that facilities management firm ISS is piloting a digital concierge service which assists occupants in managing everyday tasks such as room booking or organizing catering. It is based on providing occupants self-service apps, as well as chatbots which simulate conversation to respond to worker requests.

Engaging occupants has become a hot theme across real estate, energy and facilities management software markets. For example, incorporating crowd-sourced insights on temperature preferences is gaining momentum in energy management applications, witness Energy Deck or Honeywell’s Vector Occupant App.

In the integrated workplace management system (IWMS) space, developing modules to engage everyday office workers has become a recent focus. For example, in May 2017, IWMS provider iOffice launched a set of employee experience solutions which can be layered on legacy IWMS solutions, to quickly make systems more employee-centric…

[Admin: This post is related to the 06.30.16 post about ISS and IBM transforming the management of 25,000 buildings. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag or iOffice tag.]

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Verdantix: 83% firms used energy management to optimize assets


According to the 2016 Verdantix annual survey of 250 energy and facility decision-makers, 17% of firms continue to separate energy and asset management processes, 58% use energy management to inform asset management, while the remaining 25% of firms have fully integrated energy and asset management…

The landscape of vendors providing solutions for improved asset management is broad and highly competitive. Firms range from integrated workplace management system (IWMS) providers such as Accruent, iOffice, Planon, Qube, and Trimble Manhattan; to computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) providers, such as Dude Solutions and eMaint; to building energy management software providers, such as Envizi, Schneider Electric, and Siemens; and smart building platforms, like Switch Automation. The next five years will see an increased emphasis on partnerships as vendors seek to provide additional value add capabilities including advanced analytics and enhanced data capture functionalities

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about the competitors of IBM TRIRIGA. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag.]

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Verdantix: Energy vendors expand to facilities or exit the market


Among traditional energy management software players, we are witnessing new roadmaps that include expanded value propositions.

For example, Panoramic Power has transitioned from energy management to using asset-level energy data for operational insight. And Powerhouse Dynamics has gained strong momentum in the restaurant, retail and convenience store markets, which is largely a result from providing added benefits beyond energy management including asset control and condition monitoring, and food safety audits.

In the future, we expect that vendors will continue the transition away from purely providing energy management solutions to broader offerings including operational optimization and asset maintenance. If not, they are likely to get acquired by players in the REEFIM market such as FM:Systems and Lucernex that are competing with other IWMS vendors to be the most comprehensive real estate platform.

To learn more about the Real Estate, Energy, and Facilities Information Management (REEFIM) ecosystem, see our recent report: IWMS Emerges As The Apex Platform In A Complex REEFIM Ecosystem.

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How are existing buildings moving toward net zero energy?


The U.S. Department of Energy defines a zero energy building (ZEB) as one that produces enough renewable energy (electricity, fuel combustion) to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements. The building terms “net zero energy” and “zero net energy” are synonymous and are broadly used in the industry.

Energy consumption is averaged over a one-year period. The measurement of energy consumed and energy exported is highly dependent on the site boundary, which could encompass a single building or a cluster of buildings. Not just a building, but a campus, a portfolio, or a community can be zero energy.

Title IV of the Energy Independence and Security Act draws a line in the sand, challenging the building industry — which accounts for 38 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, according to DOE — to build net-zero only buildings after 2025 and retrofit pre-2025 buildings to net-zero by 2050.

California, the world’s environmental leader, has set more aggressive goals, requiring all new residential buildings to be ZNE by 2020, new commercial buildings to be ZNE by 2030, and 50 percent of existing commercial buildings retrofit to ZNE by 2030. Both the federal government and California acknowledge that the zero-net energy goals are ambitious, pointing to the elimination of fossil fuel combustion for generation of heat and hot water as very difficult to implement…

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Verdantix: Siemens trains the next generation of facility managers


The real estate industry has the perception of being a slow-moving adopter of emerging technology – across its lifecycle. Once building systems are installed, they are generally not upgraded or replaced until absolutely necessary because of the cost intensive nature the renovation work required.

Recently, however… increased use of technologies such as smart equipment and sensors and cloud-based software for energy, maintenance and space utilization management begs the question – How is the facility management industry to stay up to date and relevant in the era of smart buildings? There are three routes the industry needs to pursue to stay on top of new technologies.

  • The first is to use FM training programs, such as those offered through industry associations like the British Institute of Facilities Management or the International Facility Management Association…
  • Secondly, aspiring facility managers need to be trained on the use of new technologies from the start. Siemens is assisting the Tallahassee Community College (TCC) to design and equip a “Living Lab”…
  • Finally, firms may find it too cost intensive to continuously provide training on new technologies to staff – it may be more beneficial to consider contracting with specialist services providers, such as Siemens…

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Verdantix: Take note of new efforts to standardise well-being data


On March 7, 2017, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched a programme to develop a set of global standards for sensors and systems that monitor the range of variables which impact worker well-being (e.g. air quality, light levels and humidity). The IWBI, with partners including the Green Building Council of Australia and RESET, aims to improve the quality of data collected on occupant well-being by providing standards for sensor performance, as well as guidance on how firms can analyse this data. This is a potentially interesting development for software vendors across the real estate, energy and facilities information management (REEFIM) market – it has the potential to improve the quality and consistency of well-being data.

Improving occupant well-being continues to be one of the hottest themes across the REEFIM market. Suppliers are positioning existing and new service offerings around occupant well-being, on the promise it can boost productivity and help to reduce absenteeism. For example, Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) vendor Planon collects and analyses data on lighting levels, thermal comfort and air quality, to provide recommendations to customers for improving occupant comfort. Honeywell has developed the Occupant Vector App to allow workers to provide feedback on thermal comfort levels. Mitie is piloting an Intelligent Buildings Solution which looks to boost worker productivity and concentration by optimising internal environments…

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ValuD: The year 2016 in review


As we close out 2016, it’s exciting to look back and see the tremendous growth we’ve had this past year. From launching MobilD, the latest in IBM TRIRIGA mobility, to expanding our offerings with Maximo and the Internet of Things, we have strengthened our presence across the industry. Each milestone has been a part of ValuD’s long-term vision to expand our offerings beyond IBM TRIRIGA as we continue our journey to become the premier IBM partner offering IWMS, EAM and IoT solutions…

As we enter into 2017, we share our highlights from the past year:

The investment in Motors@Work: We began the year by venturing into the Internet of Things (IoT) – one of the hottest areas in the industry today. ValuD invested in Motors@Work LLC, a pioneer in motor and pump-driven system energy optimization and has provided product development, marketing and sales services.  Motors@Work™ is a multi-tenant, SaaS solution that leverages Department of Energy best practices and patent-pending technology to optimize motors and pumps performance and helps customers save up to 30% in energy costs.  With our December release, we have greatly increased the capabilities of the solution, including pre-built integrations with Maximo and the IBM Bluemix / Watson IoT platform…

We launched MobilD (Mobility Delivered), which was designed exclusively for IBM TRIRIGA. Developed by our in-house engineers at ValuD, MobilD bridges the gap between field work and desktop use with features like Self-Service Requests, Approvals and Work Order Management. We have already successfully deployed our mobility solution and welcome the opportunity to set up demos for you or your clients…

The growth of our educational offerings: ValuD has had an exceptional year with our educational initiatives with clients taking advantage of our training breadth. Some notable training clients include Pfizer, Johns Hopkins University-Applied Physics Lab, Flextronics, and Microsoft. Our new Lease Accounting course is in high demand. The two-day course is geared towards Lease Administrators and Lease Accountants who want to better understand and use the system given the new FASB standards. ValuD is looking forward to continuing its reputation in 2017 as the IBM TRIRIGA Training Academy with exciting new offerings on the horizon…

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