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.