“Smart office automation effortlessly guides the user to his place.”
The ideal occupancy rate, routing, cleaning schedule, ventilation… Real-time data will provide insight into all of it, on every type of device, to management, the facility department and your building’s users. And in a manageable manner. Which is both desirable and safe in this COVID19-era. Complete data integration also guarantees safety in the long run. A strategy for the future which every building manager must start taking into account. Together with data platform partner WinVision we developed Beyond Eyes into a basic platform for office automation.
What exactly does office automation entail? And what does a smart office offer your staff? Tech Evangelist Ton de Haan explains. “We help Beyond Eyes to evolve as a tech partner. And as an early adaptor, we would not want it any other way anymore for both our own people and customers.” When entering WinVision’s new office in Vianen, employees cannot miss the screen that shows the building’s occupancy. “Handy, isn’t it? This way, you can immediately see if your favourite workspace is still vacant,” De Haan says enthusiastically. “Though, this is just a small step in the development of office automation. It requires more linked data. A total of 150 Beyond Eyes sensors installed underneath desks and in meeting rooms measure the occupancy rate and usage. In the meeting rooms, we also use the comfort sensor to measure the temperature, humidity, CO2 level, sound level and light intensity.
“At the moment, the new office offers plenty of space. However, that luxury will be short-lived. That is because last year we became part of Odin, a large IT-group. The next few months, the number of colleagues will increase from 130 to about 300. Finding a workspace or free meeting room will become quite the struggle. Therefore, it is a good thing that we already have insight into the occupancy, usage and comfort of the building. These data are key to layout the building more efficiently in case of potential overstaffing and to develop specific services for employees. Insights help create awareness at a management level and enable us to take immediate action in case of facility issues.”
“Data on your building’s usage is valuable, but I would like to take it even further. As a (open) basic platform, Beyond Eyes could communicate with the climate, reservation, document and building management systems, as well as other external services. This way, you could start adding various services at employee level; fully automated. First of all, the personal assistant must recognise you. For instance, through facial recognition upon entry. This can then be linked to the employee’s agenda. Based on these data, the assistant can recommend a vacant workspace and can already adjust the temperature. At that level, data bring added value to the user.”
Good morning Ton, how are you doing? Your first appointment is at 9:30 o’clock in meeting room 10 on the first floor. Your guests have already been signed in. There is a vacant workspace in office area 3. It is 19.5 degrees in there. Have a nice day!’
A smart office where a virtual assistant helps employees from the moment they enter the building until the moment the leave. De Haan definitely sees opportunities. Beyond Eyes can be an interesting basic platform for this type of office automation, creating added value for the (end) user.
Will the receptionist be informing every employee about this upon arrival? “Oh no, if it is up to me, a virtual, personal assistant will be helping you from the moment you enter until the moment you leave”, Ton says. “Fully automated and proactive. Various services offer information on screens and on the employee’s personal device. The goal? To assist employees in the best possible way and to ensure a smooth workday. This will increase job satisfaction and, ultimately, result in better performances.”
“Technological developments are advancing rapidly. Sensors are becoming better and smarter. It is all available already. However, what is far more interesting is how you use it, how you combine it and what it can do for users. The ability to predict is such an added value. This is based on being able to recognise patterns. And to apply these patterns to a future situation. An example? As an organisation you can achieve considerable cost savings if data show that only 40% of the office building is used on certain days. You can decide to close off certain sections, which would result in considerable energy and cleaning cost savings. Should you incorporate this prediction into an intelligent solution, there will be no more need for human intervention. The building will learn which days are busy and which days are quiet. It will automatically close off wings or parts of the building, adjust the climate management system accordingly and will forward the customised cleaning routes. I see a great deal of added value in this. I am really proud that, together with Beyond Eyes, we will be inventing these types of intelligent solutions in the near future.”