IBM and facility services provider ISS have signed a deal to use IBM’s Watson Internet of things (IoT) cognitive platform to transform the management of over 25,000 buildings around the world.
ISS said that by working with IBM, it would integrate and analyse data from millions of devices and sensors embedded into buildings including doors, windows, chairs, meeting rooms, dispensers and air conditioning systems. This data will then be uploaded onto IBM’s Watson IoT cloud platform.
This cognitive computing technology, it said, would learn from the data to help ISS optimise its services as well as furthering its understanding of how people use buildings, and create new opportunities for innovation.
It said that, for example, sensors in doors and entrance areas could tell a real estate manager how many people were in a building at any one time and sensors on plate dispensers could inform kitchen staff of how many people were still likely to need to eat – helping staff to prepare the right amount of food and avoid wastage.
The company also said that sensors placed in meeting rooms and on chairs and tables could help building managers better manage room occupancy, cancel unwanted room bookings and also inform service staff when a room needed more refreshments or required cleaning.
“In today’s highly competitive market, managing and servicing buildings should no longer just be about cost,” said ISS chief executive Jeff Gravenhorst. “With a dashboard overview of key building metrics displayed on mobile devices, facility managers will benefit from an integrated, real-time view of the services and supplies within their buildings enabling them to adopt a more proactive, flexible and responsive approach to building management and customised service delivery.
“Putting real-time data into the hands of service staff will help to foster more attentive and service-minded employees, supporting our customers in achieving their priorities.”
ISS said that it had already retrofitted its Copenhagen headquarters with around 1,000 sensors and connected the building to the Watson IoT platform. This it said was helping to improve its room booking and catering services for its 250 employees.