Command Control Centre: Progressive FM’s digital solution of choice
Sanjeevv Bhatia is the CEO of Netix Global BV
Cloud-based connected building portfolios, with remote monitoring and real time automation control, have been at the heart of cutting edge FM for some time now.
As the industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, the already robust interest in this approach has spiked even higher.
It would be an understatement to say that real estate is undergoing a shake-up. FM service providers are suddenly operating with much leaner workforces, while juggling far more specific budget constraints.
Experts are of the opinion that the sector will thrive again, but most don’t expect a like-for-like return to pre-pandemic conditions. Fundamental shifts are underway, and FM operations of the future need to prioritize enhanced agility, as well as being much more resilient to disruption from future crisis.
A centralized control centre, with real-time transparency and responsiveness, is coming to the fore, as the solution of choice for building owners and facility managers responding to the new normal.
Unified control as the default mode
The obvious question to ask is what exactly a command control centre delivers, in the FM context? Essentially the idea is to implement a centralized platform for data-driven asset management and monitoring.
A command control centre evaluates performance, monitors energy usage and optimizes system efficiencies, in real time. It provides a unified view of electro-mechanical operations and assets, at portfolio scale.
So how does the post COVID-19 scenario make such a solution even more compelling? The answer lies in considering the shift in strategies, which has become inevitable.
Pre-pandemic FM had relatively rigidly defined roles, executed by specific teams using standalone BMS systems. In contrast, the new normal requires the industry to reconcile energy conservation, leaner onsite teams, optimal ROI and space management, at the same time.
For all of these parameters to be concurrently optimized, FM operations need to be predictive and proactive. They need to anticipate issues and inefficiencies, something that a system with disjointed siloed operations cannot deliver.
Traditional BMS and legacy systems are best suited to addressing specific tasks and automation. The limited operational visibility that such infrastructure delivers makes sub-par efficiencies and eventual breakdowns inevitable. In contrast, unified systems lead to consolidated and interoperable functionality.
Through access to granular data, across assets and processes, such a system gives FM operatives access to nuanced and value-added insights, in real-time.
A one-stop-shop solution for portfolio-wide optimization
Proptech has been enthusiastically received in the Middle East real estate industry. The region has already seen the implementation of vendor-agnostic asset and automation integration, in support of several high profile portfolios.
The model rests on Cloud enabled edge data collation and AI based analytics, to derive actionable insights. The combination of these state of the art digital capabilities leads to consistently optimized business outcomes with minimal room for error.
Remotely accessible and intuitive dashboards are the final piece of the puzzle, giving all stakeholders contextualized information and the ability to make data-driven decisions.
Beyond simply enabling better business practices, these open protocol solutions can easily be recruited to deliver outcomes such as enhanced security and exceptional end-user experiences as well.
Progressive facility managers are already using Machine Learning algorithms for continuous commissioning and predictively diagnosing faults. The model is further enhanced by automated operation of time-sensitive processes and the automation of repetitive tasks such as billing, reporting and communications.
Addressing the challenges of the post-COVID-19 scenario
Command control centres present an especially effective means to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In principle, an operator at the helm of these digital resources can monitor, optimize and rectify assets across an entire portfolio.
Such an individual can also add value to the contributions of other stakeholders, updating them through highly detailed insights and notifications. The combination of IoT sensors, analytics and automation, favoured by this approach, is particularly suited to the post COVID-19 pandemic scenario.
The Middle East real estate industry, which had already turned to digital transformation to enhance efficiency, sustainability and profitability, is now proactively deploying the technology to deal with the virus outbreak.
For instance, the collaboration between Dubai's COVID-19 Command and Control Centre (CCC) and Smart Dubai, has been crucial in developing and implementing the city’s response to the pandemic.
Not long ago, such digital tools were the exception, but the COVID-19 crisis has created a context in which they are now an indispensable must-have.