The Denmark-headquartered facility service provider (FSP) ISS Group, and IBM jointly announced their collaboration to implement IBM’s Watson IoT platform to transform and optimize its facility management (FM) business. In the announcement, ISS GROUP claimed it would integrate and analyze data from devices and sensors embedded in more than 25,000 buildings it manages globally. This insight examines the partnership and highlights some of the findings from our recently published report The Role Of Facilities Management in Smart Buildings.
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ISS Group of Denmark Collaborates with IBM to Deliver Intelligent FM Services
The Denmark-headquartered facility service provider (FSP) ISS Group, and IBM jointly announced their collaboration to implement IBM’s Watson IoT platform to transform and optimize its facility management (FM) business. In the announcement, ISS Group claimed it would integrate and analyze data from devices and sensors embedded in more than 25,000 buildings it manages globally. This insight examines the partnership and highlights some of the findings from our recently published report The Role Of Facilities Management in Smart Buildings.
An Important Distribution Channel for Smart Building Technologies
ISS Group is a global provider of facility services (FS), headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2015, ISS Group reported consolidated revenue of 20.5 DKK or US$3 billion. The Western Europe region accounts for more than half of the company’s revenues, with a growing presence in Asia, North America, and Latin American. ISS Group started in 1901, initially focused on building cleaning and security services. ISS Group diversified in 2002, expanding its service offerings to include delivering end-to-end building FS. As of 2015, its integrated FS accounted for 35% of its global revenue, and it experienced 11% growth from 2014. ISS Group employs approximately 500,000 employees in 75 countries across the world.
This partnership is perhaps the biggest initiative started by an FS provider with broad plans to implement an IoT platform across its portfolio of managed buildings. ISS Group plans to implement a spectrum of FM technologies by integrating the Watson IoT platform with millions of devices and sensors deployed in client buildings contracted to receive facility services. The IBM platform currently supports hundreds of sensors implemented in the ISS Group’s HQ building that is integrated with its TRIGAGA facilities management software. The IoT implementation in its HQ building is used as a test-case to pilot IoT applications in hard services such asset monitoring and maintenance as well as soft services such as catering and cleaning. In the coming years, ISS Group plans to implement its solutions across selected customer sites. This is a significant development for the smart buildings industry because existing buildings and the retrofit market account for over 94% of the total marketplace. This partnership reiterates the influential position FSPs hold to drive the mass adoption of smart building technologies.
Logical Step to Improve Operational Efficiencies and Add Value in FS
With the emergence of IoT and the decreasing cost of sensors and processors, value has shifted from hardware to software, and from services to experiences, this has led to diminishing interest in pursuing product-centric approaches. Device OEMs have started to focus on not just the product and service, but the overall experience. Creating the device experience begins from the initial implementation and extends through periodic software updates and the maintenance of assets to deliver optimal efficiency with minimal disruption or downtime. That said, even with the benefits clear, the cost of implementing the type of solution is capital-intensive. Commercial building FM is a cost-sensitive market, and FSPs compete fiercely.
With the facilities services market shifting towards integrated FM or total FM and the adoption of smart building technologies provide significant opportunities for FSPs to deliver an integrated solution. Considering the scalability of smart building platforms, enabling small- and medium-sized commercial buildings to leverage the technology to automate functions and significantly improve operational efficiencies.