Buildings made smart by data provided by IoT sensors

Building and Property Management for the most part have not yet seen the productivity improvements, energy savings and product innovation seen in other industries. This is because it was up to now difficult to measure accurately and consistently everything going on in buildings and act upon the information in a timely fashion.

Just as we’ve adopted the Internet and Apps in all parts of our lives to get better faster information at our fingertips, the Internet of Things (IoT) is now a reality which can connect “things” such as buildings with systems and provide consistent measurement of all aspects of the property to systems and people at an affordable cost.

Imagine being able to know at any time what is happening in your building:

  • how many people are at their desks or in their apartment?
  • what the temperature is in every single room?
  • what the water pressure on each level or each bathroom?
  • which doors are open and which ones are closed?
  • what is the quality of the air in the shopping area?

and use the insight from that data to drive the behaviours or processes you’ve defined:

  • reduce lighting in meeting rooms or public spaces when no one is around
  • save energy by adjusting the temperature to fit real usage patterns
  • avoid costly repairs and tenant frustration by fixing leaks before they cause flooding
  • improve security and circulation by stopping unauthorised access
  • generate more sales by venting areas to provide the best air conditions

We have worked with many leading Property Management & Facilities Management to create Smart Buildings which achieve these goals. We can help you transform your Property too. For a no engagement discussion and demonstration, please contact us.

VLog: Top 10 Challenges with Situational Apps (Part 1)

In 2014, management consultant, Ian Tomlin, laid-out the case for and against Situational Applications in the businesses from a strategic perspective. It is a great read that makes plain the long history of situational applications in enterprise use with warts and all.
Best of all, he highlights the Top 10 challenges that businesses face when adopting a Situational Application approach. In practice, Situational Applications are rarely planned. They grow organically, inspired by need. And so thinking of them strategically may seem futile. But with the right tools and governance, grass-roots solutions can evolve to satisfy enterprise-level requirements even if only in hindsight. At Point.io, we have set our mission to satisfy these top ten challenge so that app owners can trust the future to us while getting business done today.
Here’s the 10 Challenges and how we address them:
1) Master data management and ‘enterprise-grade IT’
Situational apps owned from A-Z by line of business, end-users may lack the sophistication necessary to ensure the integrity, security, and scalability of data and process expected of enterprise-grade tools.
Point.io: Our platform decomposes the anatomy of a situational app into elemental parts: flows, facts, and forms. Each element has unique concerns. The Fact components for instance deal with enterprise and cloud data. By separating the elements allows professional developers to build well designed components and worry about the details like security and traceability. These enterprise-grade Facts can then be  mixed-in by business owners to powerful content mashups without needing to worry about the details.
2) Clarity over role definitions
When business users get involved in building technological solutions, the roles and lines of accountability are blurred between IT, shadow-IT, and business owners. Who is responsible?
Point.io: The elemental decomposition aligns with roles and responsibilities naturally. Fact components are the purview of the IT leadership whose mandates to ensure data integrity and scale are clear. Flows are the primary concern of business owners who understand how business gets done optimally. And the apps that combine the elements together are the unique product of grass-roots insight within the lines of business. Each owns their portion with visibility to the activity of the other participants.
3) De-skilling database and applications design know-how
Complexity of building solid applications requires significant skills. Business users lack the time to acquire the skills for traditional application development.
Point.io: The decomposition of concerns is only the first principle in our solutions. Each component type: Apps, Facts, Flows, and Forms presents a user-interface that allows for simple configuration. Most offer drag-and-drop design capability AND an advanced code-based toolset to create answers for all tiers of sophistication. Business Users can jump into creating Situational Apps after viewing a 5-minute tutorial video using prebuilt components from their toolbox.
4) Richness of data integration and ETL tools
Availability of data sourced from multiple IT systems is usually limited due to the cost and complexity of data management tools and capabilities. Without them, situational apps will have limited utility.
Point.io: Facts drive data integration to 1) existing enterprise systems, 2) cloud-based tools, and 3) novel data repositories. The building of the Fact component requires some sophistication and infrastructure to ensure enterprise-grade integrity BUT mixing them together to create the situational app is easy AND compliant.
5) Adherence to platform compatibility standards
Going rogue with platforms and tools chosen specifically to support an individual situational need creates a complexity of management, redundancy of costs, and a failure to achieve economies of scale.
Point.io: By offering our platform in a variety of deployment forms, we make it possible for businesses to consolidate efforts for everything from the simplest one-screen situational app to the sexiest of native IOS apps. Initiatives can move from public cloud pilots to private managed services without interrupting the service to end-users. The platform supports many standards natively: BPMN workflow notation, HTML5, and JSON/XML data formats for instance.
Next Post Challenges 6 -10!

VLog: Overcoming The Packaged App Gap

Problem.

Enterprise systems (CRM and ERP among others) do not always fulfill their potential. They are bloated. They have fixed functionality. They are not easily modified for specific needs. Or are too expensive to modify and maintain. This is what we call “The Packaged App Gap”.

Solution. 

  1. For teams in the field, remote workers, mobile managers or frequent travelers, Point.io builds apps that are BOTH browser-based & mobile to manage and complete business processes.
  2. We deploy simply, quickly, and at a cost that encourages the deployment of situational apps. Solve every-day problems with your every-day budget.
  3. Apps built with Point.io can be deployed quickly because they plug-into existing IT architecture without disrupting them. That is, we meet IT’s existing requirements for ease of adoption, hosting, connectivity, and security.
  4. We have learned that app are even easier to adopt and afford when they are planned with simplicity in mind.
  5. In the case of situational apps, your philosophy can be that apps are deployed with a singular purpose or that they can be assembled in suites to tackle more complex problems RATHER than building a single, complex application.

Every business experiences the Packaged App Gap. Every business finds it’s own way over that Gap. By choosing a solution that encourages reuse, you can avoid filling your gap with garbage.

An App story: Alice the CIO

Mobile apps for business are either cookie-cutter consumer or crazy expensive, right? Maybe not.

If you are trying to deliver high-quality business solutions with an ever tightening budget, this story will be familiar.