FM:Systems: IWMS market leader in 2017 Green Quadrant report

FM:Systems was recognized as a leader by Verdantix in their 2017 Green Quadrant Analysis for IWMS. As a leading provider of Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) and Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) software, FM:Systems differentiates its comprehensive solution with best-in-class capabilities for space optimization. FM:Systems garnered high remarks in its breadth of functionality in addition to its best-in-class capabilities for space optimization…

Verdantix awarded FM:Systems multiple perfect scores of 3.0/3.0 for the Scenario Planning module, Move Management module, and for space utilization data collection and analysis. FM:Systems is positioned as a leader in the industry, integrating scenario planning and real-time monitoring of space utilization with various sensors, such as heat and 3D people sensing cameras. These capabilities address the most urgent challenges in optimizing facility and real-estate resources.

“Our placement in the 2017 Green Quadrant for IWMS is a strong confirmation that we’re growing in the right direction,” says FM:Systems President Kurt von Koch. “Our customers’ success has always been the driving force behind FM:Interact, and we’re pleased to know that our commitment to our customers is being recognized and reflected by the industry, particularly in an industry that is so rapidly changing.”

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the FM:Systems tag or Verdantix tag.]

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Verdantix: Can predictive analytics work in commercial real estate?

Improving maintenance procedures through predictive analytics has recently seen many notable developments. Siemens is integrating IBM Watson Analytics into its MindSphere platform to help implement predictive maintenance schemes. Rockwell Automation recently launched its predictive analytics capability for factories and machinery. And PTC and Deloitte Digital announced that they are jointly developing predictive maintenance solutions for factory operations.

These developments are hardly surprising. Predictive analytics enables users to detect if, and when, machinery is likely to breakdown. For example, predictive analytics enabled Duke Energy to identify a slight increase in the turbine vibration of a steam turbine – after maintenance was performed. The subsequent repairs resulted in $4.1 million of potential power generation loss being prevented. Facility managers at plants and factories are therefore likely to be looking for such solutions to keep things running.

But is predictive analytics a natural sell in the world of commercial real estate? There is certainly some evidence of this. Since 2009, UK-based retailer Sainsbury’s has used software provider Verisae’s (now part of Accruent) predictive maintenance solution to reduce product loss from refrigeration failures. Since 2016, engineering firm KONE has partnered with IBM Watson to embed intelligent analytics in its elevators and escalators to improve their performance and reduce instances of unplanned maintenance.

Nevertheless, such examples are not necessarily the norm. According to our 2016 Global Energy Leaders Survey, 46% of the 250 facility managers surveyed said improving the collection, analysis and reporting of energy data from their electrical assets is a very important priority. In contrast, more granular asset-level energy management was only considered very important by 22%. And in our 2015 Green Quadrant for Building Energy Management Software, only 18% of the customer panel we interviewed considered maintenance scheduling and predictive maintenance to be a very important asset management functionality.

The average facility manager is therefore more likely to be concerned with basic data capture than advanced solutions like predictive analytics…

[Admin: This post is related to the 07.13.17 post and 03.16.17 post about IBM Watson Analytics, and 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: Solution providers step up IT security in smart buildings

One of the biggest barriers to growth in remotely accessing building management systems (BMS) – one of the key features of a smart building – is IT security.

The IT industry has established a sophisticated process for monitoring and protecting IT networks, but these concepts are not as well developed in building systems and many of the equipment that make up the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, there is often lack of communication and collaboration between the IT department and the facilities department. There is also increasing pressure on service providers to provide an out-of-the-box security solution.

Smart buildings are particularly vulnerable as every added connected device is another potential door into the building’s wider network. Even one of the most high-tech companies in the world, Google, was hit by a cyberattack in 2013 through a building management system. Retailer, Target was hacked through the HVAC system in 2014. This year, we have seen severe ransomware cyberattacks, such as the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected computers in over 150 countries.

This type of attack now feels very regular with a similar one occurring as we write. Individual buildings such as hotels have also been targeted and hacked through building automation systems (BAS) – witness the attack on a luxury hotel in the Austrian Alps in February, where the card system got breached, shut down, and a ransom demanded to restore the system to enable guests back into their rooms…

To learn more about the market for remote monitoring solutions see our recent report – Now Is The Time To Implement Remote Monitoring Solutions.

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Smart Buildings tag or Vulnerability tag.]

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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: Who are benefiting from the changes in lease accounting?

In early 2016, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Financial Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued new lease standards, which require companies to include lease obligations in their balance sheets. The new standards take affect 1 January 2019 and will impact all companies that have leases for real estate or equipment and file financial statements…

For many years, IWMS software providers have provided real estate, leasing, and portfolio capabilities, which include modules that integrate details of leases and contracts with existing financial and accounting systems to provide a central database for real estate financial planning and analysis and to create the correct entries for the accounting system. The new FASB/IASB accounting standards bring the spotlight on the role of software in managing leases.

A review of the deals in the public domain shows that providers such as Accruent, Lucernex, and Qube are already swooping in on opportunities to help companies mitigate risk by ensuring compliance to these new leasing standards. In the last few months, Lucernex has announced several new contracts with retailers such as Bouclair, DXL, Bashas’ Family of Stores and Suburban Propane. Accruent has been selected by CTIL, Tillys and Sephora in just the last few weeks. We are also witnessing other IWMS vendors improving their capabilities for accurate lease calculations in accordance with the new lease accounting standards. For example, in April, Planon software received validation from a Big Four accounting firm that its leasing calculations engine was in accordance with the IASB/FASB requirements…

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

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Verdantix: Is your workplace strategy costing you millions?

Recently, Verdantix reviewed a range of data on real estate operating costs for both renters and owner-occupiers. Data was pulled from our global annual decision-maker surveys, BOMA surveys and ASHRAE HVAC maintenance surveys to determine a typical baseline operating cost for commercial buildings in the US. An analysis of this average cost data with potential savings from various strategies finds the following.

Over 50% of operational cost savings can be achieved through improved space utilisation. This should come as no surprise for two reasons. First, better use of existing space can reduce the amount of space required for operations leading to reduced costs across all real estate OPEX categories (fixed expenses, utilities, maintenance, and rent costs). More can be accomplished in an existing workplace without incurring the extra cost of acquiring more space for business expansion.

Secondly, the nature of the workplace environment is changing. Work forces are becoming increasingly mobile as the nature of work becomes more collaborative. A Gensler survey found that 32% of employee time is spent in a mix of focused, social and learning environments. Combine this with various teleworking schemes and its no wonder firms like space management vendor Rifiniti finds that, on average, only 45% of workstations are used on any given day, instead of the hoped for 80%. With workstations costing an average of $5,000 to $20,000 apiece, poor space utilisation is like throwing money out of the window…

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag.]

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