Smart building platforms are software-based solutions that help real estate owners improve operational efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions. The key to making this happen is the collection of data from various endpoints (connected devices), leading to improved lighting control, occupancy sensing, and Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC). Not only do smart building platforms collect droves of essential data about energy usage and operational flows, but they can automate many aspects of building management. The top six companies providing smart building platforms allow organizations to meet sustainability goals and reduce their energy costs.
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Doing business in more than 150 countries, Ireland-based company Johnson Controls is one of the premier smart building platform providers in the market. In 2022, the company generated US$25.5 billion in revenue. OpenBlue is Johnson Controls’ flagship smart building software solution that helps enterprises bolster building sustainability, asset performance, maintenance operations, occupant comfort, and safety/security. The OpenBlue platform consists of the following seven offerings:
- OpenBlue Smart Building Platform
- OpenBlue Enterprise Manager
- OpenBlue Central Utility Plant
- OpenBlue Connected Equipment Platform
- OpenBlue Companion (mobile app supporting check-in/access)
- OpenBlue Bridge
- OpenBlue Cybersecurity Monitoring
Out of all the smart commercial building software suppliers ABI Research evaluated, Johnson Controls is one of the most well-prepared to help organizations meet their carbon emissions reduction targets and cost savings goals.
Schneider Electric is a multi-billion dollar giant in the smart building market, always adapting its offerings to meet new energy demands. Traditionally a hardware-centric company, Schneider Electric has expanded to software and services, as evidenced by its EcoStruxure smart building platform.
The French company has the resources to provide smart energy management solutions for many building types and sizes. Schneider Electric targets a wide range of real estate owners, encompassing real estate/offices, retail, healthcare, life sciences, hotels, data centers, and industrial buildings.
Some notable deployments of Schneider Electric’s smart building platform include the Aspiria campus in Kansas, the Edge building in Amsterdam, the HSBC Place in Edmonton, and the Sofia Hotel in Israel, among others.
Envision Digital is headquartered in Singapore and supports over 500 smart building customers and partners worldwide. Envision Digital’s EnOS™ operating system facilitates the connecting and managing of more than 220 million smart devices worldwide, many of which are used for smart building use cases.
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) smart building solution offered by Envision Digital targets specific industries, notably retail, manufacturing, transportation, and, above all, energy suppliers. Customers of the company are provided with industry-specific templates for smart building applications, including the following:
- HVAC Energy Efficiency Manager
- Lighting Control
- Energy Storage Management
- Environmental Monitoring
- Carbon Management
- Energy Management
- Energy Monitoring
- Comfort Management
- Elevator and Escalator Control
- Waste Management
Switch Automation is a U.S.-based startup using its cloud-based software roots to deliver reduced operating costs, improved energy efficiency, and increased occupant satisfaction to the commercial real estate market. As a standout feature, the Switch Automation platform allows customers to integrate with third-party and even rival vendor software. This is an alluring benefit for smart building managers that require multi-vendor configurations. Moreover, Switch Automation’s smart building management platform functions well with traditional Internet of Things (IoT) technologies so that users can analyze, automate, and control legacy assets in real time.
German conglomerate Siemens offers smart building solutions through its Building X platform. If you have equipment placed in multiple connected sites, Building X lets building managers remotely monitor and manage them in real time. Users gain connectivity via a Siemens gateway, cloud-supported intelligent devices, or directly through the company’s Building Management System (BMS)/security systems (see the potential savings from advanced BMS software depicted by this chart).
Siemens provides additional asset and maintenance management solutions, such as Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), strategic asset management, IoT remote monitoring, sustainability, and community engagement. This is done via the Brightly platform, which Siemens acquired in 2022.
Another Siemens integration with the Building X platform, Enlighted, allows building owners to monitor occupancy, temperature, energy, and reservation data. These data can be used to optimize heating and cooling systems, lighting, and employee space utilization. Finally, Siemens’ smart building software brings robust security features. The company has or is developing the following use cases:
- Access management
- Alarm and incident management
- Security dashboards
- Security rules
- Smart lock management
- Fire & safety
Based out of Concord, California, Buildings IOT’s cloud-based smart building platform accounts for analytics, automation, and management. With just roughly 70 employees, Buildings IOT is a story of David versus Goliath, as the company is a fierce competitor against software providers that dwarf its size. The company serves customers primarily in the United States, but has a global footprint extending to the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Australia. Buildings IOT does most of its business in education, campuses, offices, and major retail locations.
Customers can track energy data that can be transmitted to third-party analysis and reporting tools. Further, managers can track building occupancy and space utilization via data sensors. On the downside, Buildings IOT does not offer low/any code tools and services like larger building platforms do.
Your property likely uses hardware and software from various providers. Therefore, your smart building platform selection must be interoperable with many vendors to ease the process of data exchange and network management.
Data are at the heart of a robust smart building offering. Ultimately, energy savings and operational efficiency will arise from data-driven insights within the property. Real estate properties typically have a diverse assortment of building systems, making it imperative that building managers seek out software solutions that can bring them all under the umbrella of a single building-wide/portfolio-wide application layer. Under this unification, the platform must support data connection for all connected nodes within the system, data management in the form of a data lake, and data utilization across industries.
If you’re managing a property or providing the technology to revolutionize properties, check out ABI Research’s Smart Buildings Platforms and Software Research Spotlight to gain access to all of our latest deliverables that will bring your organization to the next level.