Cloud intelligence for efficient workplaces: connecting business centers into a global Smart Hub
With a 30-year track record delivering real estate and office solutions for businesses, International Workplace Group currently operates in more than 120 countries and 3,340 locations, and over 2,5 million professionals are using their workspaces in a flexible and/or shared manner. IWG is thus leading the change towards the new hybrid working model that companies and employees are demanding.
“Thanks to the development of our Smart Hub, we have not only made our facilities smarter… we are also able to effectively monitor the occupation of the reserved workspaces, using the information collected by all the sensors. Therefore, we can assure a more precise and automated billing, which has had a tangible impact in the operations efficiency.”
Ricard Moreno Global Director – Head of Centre Technology and Ops at IWG PLC
Such a project called for the data ingestion from dozens of thousands of IoT devices, all along hundreds of offices and buildings, in order to achieve a real-time availability for the information and events generated across this extensive network of sensors.
The Smart Hub creation was split into three distinct phases: collecting, storing and analizing all the IoT information. Azure cloud services allowed this connectivity to be executed in an agile and secure way, while using a centralized Data Lake as the main repository.
During the analysis phase we harnessed cloud processing services (DataBricks, Streaming and Analytices) that enabled us to combine external data and integrate workflows to generate key information, alerts and reports: both in real-time and as weekly digests.
What is next for the Smart Hub? IWH’s bet for a centralized platform such as this one has an enormous potential and might easily open the door for many other use cases: monitoring energy-efficiency metrics, deploying Machine Learning to optimize and even predict occupation scenarios or being the groundwork for creating Digital Twins.
Making virtual representations of the facilities and their operation, based on information and enhanced by AI algorithms, can be very valuable from a business standpoint: it can help to cope with different scenarios, improve efficiency and resources management, provide valuable insights that contribute to optimal decision-making and predictively plan services or anticipate scenarios.