Alas, we have reached the third and final part of our series. And here’s the big question: how do I make it all come together?

Well, here’s where we come in! My team and I have spent years working with customers, driving Smart Buildings Transformation. As a result, we have developed a 360° end-to-end approach structured around: understanding the full spectrum of expectations, developing a customized Service Catalogue & designing the solutions, and implementing & operating the smart building. Let’s break it down!

Service Catalogue and solutions for smart buildings

1°- 90°: Understanding the full spectrum of expectations

Google ‘What is a smart building’; you will get 1.5 billion results. That simple exercise is the perfect indicator of the spectrum of expectations you will have to deal with.

And this is where we start, the end-user needs, not the technology! We know our customers don’t care about the tech itself, they care about what it can do for their business, and they have their own definition of ‘Smart’.

The occupants expect comfort, health & well-being, safety, and convenience. The facility managers focus on optimizing energy usage and operational efficiency. The business executives prioritize cost-effectiveness, brand equity, corporate sustainability, and overall business performance. Recognizing and addressing these diverse needs is crucial to achieving a successful transformation. It’s our responsibility – in collaboration with our customers and ecosystem of partners – to blend cutting-edge innovation with seamless user experiences; this is how we create transformative, experience-centric, and sustainable buildings.

value drivers for transformative, experience-centric, and sustainable buildings

90° – 180°: Developing a customized Service Catalogue and designing the solutions

The next step is translating those needs into a Services Catalogue. Most offer a standardized laundry list of digital solutions – we don’t! We believe there is no such thing as a ‘standard solution’ that fits both a bank in Saudi and a hotel in the UK.

Central to our approach is what we call User Journeys. Simply put, all interactions a user has with the digital solutions we design, their end-to-end experience of our technology. We first explore this through a series of immersive design-thinking workshops with the customer, structured to harmonize their aspirations with our technology expertise. Our job is to convert our clients’ digital strategies – often developed with us – into transformative and seamless user experiences. Then, technology brings them to life through the infrastructure and solutions design. This synergy between user-centric design and robust technical foundations enhances the immediate usability of the solutions and makes them future-proof.

180° – 360°: Implementing & Operating the smart building

Finally, the experience-centric Smart building we aspire to design comes to life through a meticulously crafted digital technology stack. We get there following a different approach; The conventional point-solution method, where different vendors offer fragmented solutions for specific building infrastructure aspects is an operational nightmare. So, we favor an integrated approach.

By intertwining various technology components into a unified and converged architecture with validated designs, we create a robust foundation that enables smart buildings to deliver a variety of use cases, while being sustainable. From enhanced security measures and automated processes to seamless scalability and intelligent analytics, the ICT-powered smart building becomes a convergence point for innovation and efficiency.

What does that mean for your Smart Building?

  • The right level of security: Having a comprehensive ICT framework allows us to put in place a sophisticated security infrastructure that encompasses physical, digital, and network security measures. This ensures that the entire building ecosystem is safeguarded against potential threats, making it safe and secure for occupants and data alike, and at the same time seamless to operate.
  • Simplification and Automation: From smart lighting and HVAC systems to occupancy-based energy management, the seamless integration of ICT components allows for optimized resource utilization and enhanced energy efficiency.
  • Ensured Scalability: Smart Building Technologies is a rapidly evolving field. Cisco’s ICT approach lays the groundwork for flexibility and adaptability, making it easier to integrate new technologies and expand capabilities without disrupting existing operations and at the same time avoid vendor lock-in for our customers.
  • Leveraging the power of data: Through advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, customers gain valuable insights into occupancy patterns, energy consumption trends, and predictive maintenance requirements, ultimately enhancing decision-making processes and optimizing building performance.
  • Utilizing the full ecosystem of our partners to deliver end-to-end smart building solutions. This collaboration ensures a comprehensive and well-rounded approach, covering all aspects of building digitization.
  • Continuous value realization: The adoption of all implemented smart solutions is key and shall not only allow end-users to experience the differentiated value of the smart building but also enable building operators to increase energy efficiency and lower costs, thereby supporting sustainability goals.

As we wrap up this blog series, I want to leave you with this thought: Smart Buildings are not only a transformative necessity but also a huge opportunity, not only to deliver an exceptional experience to the end users but also to preserve our planet! However, in order to make your investment work, you need an end-to-end, 360° approach that takes into account your users’ needs, the journey of their interactions with the technology, AND an intelligent infrastructure. You can’t have one without the other!

Get yourself a technology partner who understands that! Better yet, get the best one in the industry: Cisco!

Take a look at what we have made possible for our customers and drop me a message if you want to explore what’s possible for your business.

You need an end-to-end, 360° approach that considers your users’ needs, the journey of their interactions with the technology, AND an intelligent infrastructure. You can’t have one without the other!

Get up-to-speed with part #1 and part #2 of the series.


Dany Sammour

Sr. Director, Growth and Advisory

Customer Experience