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IBM Cloud Fuels Smart Building Innovation

By Ken Briodagh
June 13, 2018

In a recent release, IBM announced several new clients deploying Smart Building solutions built on the IBM Cloud, affirming the company's commitment to transforming buildings into connected spaces, using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. New contracts signed with Sodexo, Karantis, R +V Versicherung and HUF Haus, and existing relationships with KONE and Chameleon Technologies, are examples of IBM's work fueling smart building innovation in connected work and home environments.


Today's smart buildings generate massive amounts of data. The IBM Cloud is designed to provide the foundation to capitalize on this data by offering a powerful service delivery and consumption model that organizations can use to drive operational efficiency, innovation and improved quality of life through smarter buildings.

“Buildings have long mimicked living organisms – plumbing circulates through the walls, wires innervate every room, and concrete and beams provide skeletal support – but until recently, buildings lacked the most critical body part: a brain,” said Bret Greenstein, Global VP, Watson Internet of Things (IoT), IBM. “The IBM Cloud is the cognitive centre that enables buildings we live and work in to serve our needs in new and unprecedented ways.”

IBM's cloud-based Watson IoT platform gathers and analyses exponential data volumes, IBM TRIRIGA helps to increase the operational, financial and environmental performance of a facility, and IBM Maximo provides asset management for real-time visibility of things within buildings. In the home, IoT analytics coupled with AI capabilities in Watson Assistant enable home and in-home manufacturers, insurers and home care providers alike to cater for individual needs in innovative ways.

Sodexo Turns to IBM Maximo to Manage Connected Workplaces
Sodexo is a Quality of Life services company that provides its customers with an integrated offering including food and facilities management services. Sodexo has selected IBM Maximo to transform its worldwide asset management function, and to meet the diverse needs of a wide array of client facilities and demographics, spanning offices, hospitals, research centers, schools and factories. IBM Maximo provides Sodexo with real time data analysis and optimization across 2.5 million assets, making it easier to streamline global operations. Building an asset management program around Maximo will layer further agility and flexibility into Sodexo's existing IBM Maximo asset management as-a-service solution.

“At Sodexo, we are highly focused on the consumer journey, ensuring an optimal environment for consumers at all service touchpoints, and always looking for new ways to improve upon their quality of life through our facilities management capabilities,” said Keith Hamer, VP, asset management and engineering, Sodexo. “Through IBM Maximo, we are now able to deliver a better, connected workplace, which links these advanced technologies to the everyday consumer experience, from walking in the building to going to lunch to when they leave the facility.”

IBM Elevates KONE's People Flow Innovation with IoT
KONE is an elevator and escalator company, and moves around one billion people each day. By connecting elevators to the IBM Cloud-based Watson IoT platform, the company helps its customers increase the flow of people throughout buildings in many of the world's busiest cities. KONE is also using IBM Watson IoT to bring the same experience to escalators.

“Elevators and escalators are responsible for moving the equivalent of the population of the earth every week and of course they need to perform safely and smoothly,” said Hugues Delval, EVP, Service Business, KONE. “We are already working with IBM to analyze vast amounts of data from sensors embedded in elevators to identify and predict maintenance issues. At CeBIT we are showing how IoT, analytics and insights can take maintenance from the ordinary to the extraordinary.”

HUF Haus and IBM Team to Present 'Learning House'
German pre-fabricated home manufacturer, HUF Haus, and IBM have partnered to create a house that learns from its occupants. Based in the HUF Haus model house park in Hartenfels, Germany, the smart bungalow named "Ausblick", understands its residents through their interactions. Thanks to a network of sensors, data is collected in the IBM Cloud, analyzed by the Watson IoT platform and transformed into insights about residents' behavioural patterns. HUF Haus uses Watson Assistant, IBM's digital assistant to ensure the home and its occupants can interact together in a natural way. Through voice commands, facial recognition and understanding residents' behavioural patterns, the HUF Haus learns how to optimise comfort for the occupants and adapts to changing living or working situations. For example, the light in a home office can be switched on at a certain time or a PC can automatically be booted up based on the occupants' daily work schedule. Residents always have control over the commands, which can be overwritten or reset at any time, for example via a touch display or by voice command.

“We are a family-owned company with a 105-year old home-building pedigree, but we recognize that the learning house is the future,” said Georg Huf, managing partner, HUF Haus. “With IBM we have found a renowned partner who accompanies us on our journey into the new age of living. Homes are getting smarter, and our customers take it for granted that the Internet of Things plays a large part in that transformation. With our self-learning show house "Ausblick" we are setting a new megatrend in the entire construction industry.”


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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