Total Facilities 2019: Data is the new Oil


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Total Facilities 2019: Data is the new Oil

Last month, I joined a panel at Total Facilities 2019 in Sydney where we discussed Improving Decision Making Through Integrating Smart Systems. The panel was formed by Richard Ham, from FM Clarity, who acted as moderator, Catherine Caruana-McManus, from Meshed IoT, Gerard Adams, from Ventia, Trevor Monaghan, from Automated Logic, and myself, representing BuildingIQ. The panel represented a really good mix of industry experts to cover most aspects of the building management space. The session was well-received by the audience of 100+ attendees.

Total Facilities has become one of the most important events in our industry, primarily because it provides the platform to showcase new technologies. This year, I got the sense the industry is becoming more mature as far as adopting/accepting new technologies. As Internet-based technologies, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming increasingly common, a quiet acceptance as the way things are being done now in facilities management seems to be developing. Building operators and facilities managers — the main audience at this show — were closely paying attention to what our panel had to say. They seemed to want to understand how exactly these technologies are meant to augment the day-to-day activities of a facilities team. It has been a common notion, a fear really, that artificial intelligence is going to completely disrupt the space and therefore put facilities personnel out of their jobs. Nothing can be further from the truth. I believe all members of the panel were able to put the audience at ease by clarifying that the role of the onsite facilities teams is crucial to the success of these technologies. The knowledge that facilities personnel have of their properties is as important as the new technologies being implemented.

The audience at Total Facilities was engaged, actively asking questions about what this disruption means for facilities management personnel. There were also many questions about cybersecurity. It is understandable after all the stories in the news about companies being hacked. I was pleased to share with the audience the advances BuildingIQ has made in ensuring that our client’s data is protected, and the steps we implement when we connect to a client’s BMS to give to them the level of control over sharing their data with our 5i cloud-based platform they desire.

Other questions we received were about data ownership. It’s not uncommon for some vendors to claim ownership of their clients’ data. That’s not the case for BuildingIQ. For many of our clients this is a very important issue. While we use client data for visualization, analysis, and optimization, at the end of the day, all the data remains the property of the client.

I was thrilled to also share some real examples of current projects we have working with various City Councils, hospitals, universities, and large corporations both in Australia and the US.  

The biggest take away for me from this event was that the industry still needs a lot of education regarding the value of data. It’s as if data is the new oil. Closing the knowledge gap is essential as the industry is moving forward, and we need to find a way to get the market on board with implementing these new technologies. Getting stuck in old ways will only make the process of catch up more difficult.


Roy Arindam is VP of Sales & Managing Director-Construction Services for the Asia-Pacific region at BuildingIQ. He’s responsible for expanding BuildingIQ’s 5i Services within the broader region of SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition to the above, he is also responsible for expanding the recently-acquired Sauter Controls Distributor, BuildingSense Pty Ltd, across the Australian region. Roy has extensive experience at over 250+ buildings with the deployment of energy optimization technologies; building automation systems; integrated extra low voltage systems (IELVS- OBSI); energy metering and reporting solutions; fire detection and lighting solutions; and security solutions within the new construction and existing buildings environment.