Now IBM Watson wants to look after your office, too

Building asset management, the Internet of Things and data analytics come together in a system that Siemens and IBM hope will help manage smart buildings.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

IBM's Watson is taking on yet another new job: helping to manage office space.

Siemens and IBM have announced they are working together to integrate software from IBM's Watson IoT Business Unit, including analytics and asset management, into Siemens cloud-based Navigator energy and sustainability management platform to make it easier to manage smart buildings.

The two companies describe this area of opportunity as 'building intelligence' combining cloud computing, data analytics, and intelligent field devices and "effectively merging the virtual and real worlds within the built environment."

Operating costs account for 71 percent of the total cost of owning a building and real estate is often the second largest expense for large enterprise organizations.

Siemens Navigator has a customisable set of services to monitor the systems performance in buildings and the energy demand and supply with the aim of merging them within a single building or campus or across an entire real estate portfolio, Siemens said.

IBM's IoT technologies will integrated into the Navigator platform so that customers can have a "user-friendly interface that will provide advanced analytics" the companies said.

The hope is that this will benefit corporate real estate customers in a variety of ways including:

  • Allowing them to bring together internal and external data on Siemens' Navigator platform in order to benchmark building performance and forecast operational budgets
  • Applying predictive analytics to fault detection and diagnosis so potential issues can be addressed before any problems emerge
  • Using text recognition and analytics for the validation of utility invoices to spot billing errors
  • The use or mobile applications for energy audits and the creation of audit reports "from anywhere".

Siemens and IBM's joint initiative: The aim is to combine the particular expertise of both companies into an IoT/cloud app for the construction industry.

Graphic: Siemens and IBM

Navigator will also integrate with other systems including the Siemens Desigo CC building management system and third party technologies. The new Navigator functions will be rolled out in packages over time, Siemens said, with the first being released in May and the second in October.

According to Harriet Green, IBM's general manager for Watson IoT Education & Commerce, the ain is to connect everything, "from hospital beds, train tracks, cars [and] buildings" and to "generate massive amounts of data that can be analysed to provide quick, actionable insights".

As part of the initiative Siemens said it is making further investments in digitalisation with the development of the Sinalytics platform for predictive data analytics across all its various businesses.

Further Reading:

A data disaster? How enterprise customers and data center operators are prepping for IoT

Top 10 IoT technologies in near term? Wherever you look, Google is all over them

Microsoft, Cisco, Intel and others form open IoT standards group

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