Flexibility to adapt

If you were able to watch sessions at CiscoLive 2021, you would have heard much about the future of work and the return to a trusted work place. This is top of mind for nearly all of us. While the workplace will be for ever changed, it is not a matter of “if” but “when” and “how” we will return to “in-person” collaboration.

Returning trust to the workplace will take effort. The same office that was designed as a highly efficient high capacity collaborative workspace must now be re-imaged to prioritize indoor health and efficient operations during low occupancy. And while a trusted workplace can be instilled with thoughtful protocols and procedures, it can be tremendously enhanced and enforced by technology.

This is where the “smarts” of a smart building comes into play. In fact, this the moment when smart building technologies really becomes mainstream. This is because the same technology that has been successfully used to dramatically reduce energy usage can also help us return to the healthy office.

The same data used to reduce cost by reducing energy use can be further refined beyond just general occupancy to detect density allowing HVAC systems to adjust airflow, humidity, and temperature.

The same data can be used trigger escalating density thresholds, lighting color could change to indicate too many people in a conference room, workspace or building.

Touch-less entry with pre-entry wellness checks, voice-enabled controls, and autonomous cleaning can also be leveraged to alleviate safety concerns. It could also be used for automated scheduling, from parking spot allocation, to workspace assignment to conference room reservation, all the while providing real time directions to each location.

A number of our partners and customers have had started to make the leap into making their smart building projects a reality. As we look to the future, we have been talking these partners and customers to understand how you can use their experiences to guide you as you start your journey on the return to the office.

Larsen & Toubro, L&T

A shining example is Larsen & Toubro. L&T is India’s most respected real estate development brand. When it came time for them to re-imagine their own headquarters in Powai, Mumbai, they wanted lead by action, making the network the nerve center of their operations, often pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

“We wanted to lead the way in making the building intelligent in ways that was never thought possible, just like we did in construction technology several years ago.” said SN Subrahmanyan, MD & CEO, L&T Group.

But they had a greater vision. They wanted to create an environment where employees not only work but also create experiences. Awarded Gold LEED certification, L&T’s headquarters was designed to leave a long lasting positive impression for both visitors and occupants, building a brand showcasing their commitment to both best-in-class occupant experience and the environment.

The experience starts when you enter the parking area, with smart parking directing you to an empty spot. Next, after touch-less entry, you are directed to your conference room or workspace location. Once there, lighting and shades adjusts automatically for optimal comfort and energy efficiency.

At the network’s foundation is Catalyst 9000 90W UPOE+ switches and Wi-Fi access points. “We designed it for simplified IT operation by converging the IT & OT access switches. We use Cisco DNA center to automate control as well as enforce security using zero touch device on-boarding and policy-based segmentation using Cisco’s software defined access technology.“, noted Vinay Khargonkar, CIO, L&T Group, Corporate IT. ” My team wouldn’t be able to innovate so fast if they didn’t have a network that was simple to setup, manage and maintain.”

“In 2020 we have all learned a lesson. The buildings cannot be the same anymore. As organizations are struggling to determine how to return their workforce safely back to office , guests back to hotels, shoppers back to the malls, we know that technology is the answer to all of this.”

To that I can only wholeheartedly agree.

This is the year that smart building technology comes to the forefront.

Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches and access points have long provided the foundational technologies for higher bandwidth and higher-powered devices that are part of the Cisco Smart Building solutions ecosystem.

This foundation also allows you to take data coming from multiple sensors and devices throughout your building so that it can proactively adapt to changing conditions letting you take control, to power and empower a trusted workplace so you can thrive today and be prepared for the ever-evolving workplace of the future.

Learn more about Cisco Smart Building solutions

You may also be interested in these videos:

What are Smart Buildings?

Smart Buildings Workplace Health and Safety- a demo


Check out our Cisco Networking video channel

Subscribe to the Cisco Networking blog


Himanshu Mehra

Sr Director, Product Management

Enterprise Networking and Cloud