Roger Vasquez, Director of Engineering of Transwestern, shares his perspective on the Internet of Everything
In order to compete in the commercial real estate market, we at Transwestern knew we had to differentiate ourselves with innovative new services to attract clients. We turned to Cisco and the Internet of Everything to make it happen. We knew there had to be a better way. When our consultant, Stephen Lurie with Zones, mentioned converged networks, we had our answer.
At Transwestern and with the support of our building owner Metropolis Investment Holdings, we started with a vision to transform property management by automating processes from temperature control to work-order management, which could help to increase tenant satisfaction, lower energy costs and make more efficient use of staff time by speeding up response time to tenant requests. When you install different systems, each of those systems relies on its own communication system. We actually integrated all of those systems through the same infrastructure, making it easier to monitor and manage. Most of the equipment that you see in our central plant is tied to our Cisco network.
As an example, our air conditioning units operate to reach the desired temperature by the time a tenant’s office opens. Starting those units even a few minutes later saves a significant amount of money over hundreds of pieces of equipment. To achieve all this, we began investing in the Internet of Everything (IoE), to connect all of our networks and give our tenants a better experience.
With the connections provided by IoE, building engineers can monitor and manage building systems remotely from tablets or laptops, adjusting building schedules for maximum energy efficiency anywhere in the world. Tenants can now receive network services in days, instead of weeks, for a fraction of the price with unified communications and whole-building wireless. They also experience better physical security from strategically placed, connected security cameras.
Implementing these changes, we were able to decrease energy costs by 21 percent from 2011 to 2012, and by another 11 percent in the first eight months of 2013. Now, Transwestern is exploring new ways to capitalize on the potential of IoE. Efforts underway include hosting energy-saving competitions between tenants, increasing the efficiency of work-order management through digital orders and enabling tenants to advertise on unique digital signage that can simultaneously provide weather info and broadcast emergency instructions. Lower operating costs have allowed us to offer attractive leased space in a very competitive market.
Transwestern’s first IoE-enabled building, Pennzoil Place, exemplifies the potential of the Internet of Everything by connecting our people, process, data and things at an unprecedented scope and scale, and the company is already reaping the benefits.
Read more My #InternetofEverything Perspectives
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Tags: #IoE, communications, Internet of Everything, InternetofEverything, Metropolis Investment Holdings, Pennzoil PLace, Property Management, Roger Vasquez, Transwestern
If you are like many attendees visiting Cisco Live US 2014 this year, you’ve probably experienced at least one or more power failures that significantly impacted the quality of your life and work lasting for days or weeks. We frequently read about the impacts of power failures, but unless you work in the utility industry you probably have never heard in detail about why and how problems occur and what can be done to prevent them.
Thermal Pattern of Utility Substation indicating a problem, Photo courtesy of Brady Inspections, Inc.
According to industry subject matter expert, James Brady, Level III Certified Infrared Thermographer, Brady Infrared Inspections, Inc., the applications of infrared/thermography can help to easily identify and solve many problems in 1) power plants, 2) substations, and 3) transmission and distribution equipment that can prevent outages, improve safety, security and reliability of services while also helping to prevent injuries to utility workers and citizens.
While most utility companies have active maintenance programs to conduct inspections of transformers, switches, oil-filled tank equipment including breakers, voltage regulators, lightning arrestors, feeder lines, get-a-way poles and other equipment, they frequently do this only periodically, not continuously across all their operations since they do not have the resources, expertise or tools. Today this is changing even more rapidly as new technologies such as infrared are allowing for greater situational awareness. As James Brady points out in his article Infrared Inspection of Electric Utility Equipment: Documenting Common and Not-So-Common Thermal Exceptions, “the bottom line is infrared is a powerful tool that can identify problems quickly, accurately, and safely in the electrical utility industry.”
A Warm Utility Pole Lighting Resistor, Photo courtesy of Brady Inspections, Inc.
Using infrared is a great example of a technology that can be enabled in sensors such as thermal cameras, to help utilities more effectively identify, detect and prevent problems. Imagine if utilities could more easily harness the power of infrared technology across their operations. This is the opportunity of what is possible with the Internet of Things (IoT) and why so many IT and operational technology industries are excited about the benefits that are available.
So, today, what do you think most detracts utilities, or any business with similar operational needs, from deploying new technologies such as infrared more pervasively to optimize the utilization of their assets?
A) Lack of expertise?
B) The cost of deploying the technology economically everywhere it is needed?
C) The shortage of and abilities of people to make decisions quickly enough?
D) All of the above?
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Tags: #CLUS, Cisco Live US 2014, internet of things, IoT
Glen Hiemstra, CEO of Futurist.com, shares his perspective on why the world needs the Internet of Everything. See the latest “My #InternetOfEverything Perspectives” blogs from Tom Touchet of City24/7 and Dave Barnes, CIO of UPS.
The role of a futurist was a little different in the pre-Internet world. During the 1980s, I had the chance to hear Willis Harmon, a futurist at Stanford Research, speak about computers and the global society. He discussed that everyone has this perception that the “computerization of everything” was making the world more complex. Rather than confining to everyone else’s opinion, he offered up a more unique perspective. He wanted people to consider that maybe the increasing complexity of global society was causing computerization. It’s a classic chicken before the egg debacle.
The same line of reasoning can be applied to the Internet of Everything (IoE). Rather than thinking of all the changes that IoE is bringing or enabling, it may be useful to think of all the global challenges that could be solved by connecting people, process, data and things. Cisco’s Chief Futurist Dave Evans recently discussed how the IoE is making the world a better place, and I want to expand on his ideas a bit and showcase how valuable, networked connections are enabling a more efficient future.
Here’s a look at just two ways IoE is changing how we address multifaceted issues on a global scale.
The Internet of Everything Enables Connected Environmentalism
Have you ever considered that the civilization we created in the last 100 years, and the Internet of Everything for that matter, depend heavily on our ability to locate new sources of long-dead plants and animals, dig them up, and light them on fire? I heard Bruce Sterling discuss this idea from his book “Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next 50 Years” once at an event. It’s true – we live an extremely primitive life when we sum up what Sterling refers to as the “human race’s primary industrial enterprise.”
We are well aware of the future problems that this life is creating.
By the end of the next decade or so we will either have figured out how to use smart technology to reduce the carbon and other green-house gas impacts of our insatiable global energy generation needs, or make significant cut-backs in life-style will be on the horizon. Evidence for the global climate crisis is likely to continue to accumulate, and thus we will see greater social and political pressure for major change in the energy picture, including more efficiency and cleaner energy.
None of that happens without a highly connected data network, which enables both smart people inventing new things, and smart devices and infrastructure and vehicles making leaps in efficiency (and safety too!). This social movement is likely to become more powerful if the ice in the Arctic fully melts out one summer in coming decades, as many experts suspect that it will.
The Internet of Everything Drives the Future of Transportation
Our everyday transportation has its benefits, like getting us to and from work. However, as more car crashes continue to claim lives, the rise of smart transportation, connected workers and changing attitudes about driving could help improve safety and positively impact the environment.
In addition, recent surveys prove that younger generations are less likely to obtain their driver’s license. Does this mean that we are over the thrill of driving? Seems like it. Surveys show that if given the option between having a car or having a smart device, people increasingly choose the smart device. In fact, our main reason for driving since the car was invented was to commute to and from work. According to some recent Tweets, people today desire four major things during their commute:
1) Get from point A to B
2) Get work done
3) Improve or not damage the environment
4) Enjoy their personal interests
What if we could experience all four of these things without driving? A smart infrastructure combined with smart private and transit vehicles capable of autonomous driving could make this happen. But we have a long way to go if that kind of future transportation is to be made available, including the need for smart roads that provide extensive information and smart vehicles that talk to the infrastructure and each other.
Being a futurist has definitely changed in the last 30 years, and I am sure it will be much different in the next 30 years. But one thing is for sure: if we still want to even have a future, we need to solve today’s global problems, starting with the environment and transportation. And the IoE is just the way to make it happen.
Do you know of any other global challenges that IoE can solve? Share them with us in the comments section below or join the conversation, #InternetOfEverything. And be sure to listen to the new Future of Mobility Podcast I recently participated in with Dave Evans, Cisco Chief Futurist. A summary of the podcast can found on SlideShare.
Tags: Cisco, Dave Evans, environment, future, futurist, Futurist.com, Glen Hiemstra, Internet of Everything, InternetofEverything, IoE, mobility, Smart infrastructure, smart technology, Transportation
Eight weeks ago, Cisco launched the Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge, an industry-wide initiative to bring the global security community together to secure the IoT. Despite its overwhelming business benefits, IoT adoption also significantly increases security risks. So this Challenge is really just a blatant attempt to bring the best and brightest security minds to the table to help us find innovative IoT security solutions. Thus far, it’s worked – we have some fantastic submissions. But we know there are more out there and we’d love to see what you can do!
If you’re interested in learning more about the Challenge, please plan to attend a free one hour webinar on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 12:00pm EDT. Dave Evans, Cisco’s Chief Futurist, and Dr. Tao Zhang, Cisco’s Chief Scientist for Smart Connected Vehicles, will talk about why the Challenge is so important to the future of IoT, and answer any questions you may have. This is a live, interactive webinar, so bring your specific questions. I’ll see you there!
Tags: Cisco Security Grand Challenge, Dave Evans, Dave the Futurist, Internet of Everything, IoT, webinar
A key advantage of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the ability to “see” the world around us in unprecedented ways.
One way to do this is through the millions of cheap, tiny digital sensors generating data from shoes, tires, shopping carts, jet-engine parts, medical equipment, and just about anything else you can imagine.
But another type of sensor promises even deeper visibility and insight: video. Connected video — when deployed in the right situations and combined with other IoE components, such as analytics and mobility — can truly transform the ways in which we sense the world. And for organizations, video will provide rich, real-time insights that will drive hyper-aware decision-making and predictive strategies.
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Tags: Big Data, Cisco, Cisco Consulting Services, employee productivity, innovation, Internet of Everything, internet of things, IoE, IoE Value Index, IoT, retail, sensor fusion, sensors, value at stake, video