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Siemens Moves To Double Down On IoT With Acquisitions Of Enlighted And J2 Innovations

On 17 May, Siemens Building Technology group announced its acquisition of Los Angeles based J2 Innovations, a software framework provider for building automation and IoT technologies. J2 Innovations’ FIN (Fluid INtegration) framework is deployed in over 20 countries in sectors such as commercial real estate, healthcare and data centers. The software (used as either an embedded solution, on-premise or in the cloud) provides a solution for operating, monitoring and controlling equipment and automation systems for small to large facilities.

On 23 May, less than a week later, Siemens Building Technology group also announced the acquisition of Sunnyvale, California based Enlighted, an IoT-enabled smart building solution provider. Originally a smart lighting provider, Enlighted has expanded its smart building solution set to include HVAC and space management for commercial office, education, healthcare, industrial and retail clients as well.

Both recent acquisitions will be managed as independent legal entities that are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Siemens. With the companies remaining somewhat autonomous, what can the market potentially expect from Siemens in the future?

A strengthened product portfolio of facility optimization solutions. Facility optimization is an emerging building industry trend aimed at utilizing IoT-based technologies to continuously improve the performance of building processes to meet requirements for the management of energy, maintenance and tenant comfort objectives. Facility optimization solutions enable building operators and facility managers to reduce facility operational and maintenance costs, improve energy efficiency and meet evolving tenant needs for factors like flexible working space. The combination of Siemens’ MindSphere platform and the J2 Innovations solution will make it easier for Siemens and third parties (with access to MindSphere) to build hardware agnostic IoT-solutions that use the Haystack tagging protocol to standardize equipment metadata and speed up deployment and access to savings for clients.

Development of additional As-a-Service value propositions. The J2 Innovations solution enables equipment providers such as Siemens to design, test and produce equipment with embedded analytics. This will provide Siemens with the opportunity to advance remote monitoring and control of facility assets for predictive maintenance and maintenance of optimum facility performance. Remote equipment management, while not new, has gained significant momentum lately with the advent of vendors bringing solutions to market for remote management of systems such as building HVAC.

An increase in smart building solutions. Enlighted’s smart building solution uses a network of IoT-enabled sensors to capture data for analysis and visualization to enable better interactions between people and facilities and to reduce operating costs and improve employee productivity. The potential combination of Enlighted’s smart building solution and Siemens MindSphere platform will open up the possibility for development of solutions that will meet the evolving needs of tenants for flexible workspaces they actually want to be in. The past five years have seen a rekindling of renewed interest in smart buildings. The success of Deloitte and OVG Real Estate’s Edge building in Amsterdam has shown that smart building technology is poised to help building owners meet the demand for more user-centric buildings.

These acquisitions show Siemens push to meet smart buildings head-on as they continue to evolve an industry leading strategy for helping clients optimize facility performance for improved building experiences and investment returns.

To learn about other ways building owners are tackling facility optimization, sign up for the upcoming Verdantix webinar Selecting an Innovative Fault Detection, Diagnostics and Predictive Maintenance Solution to Boost Equipment Uptime which is scheduled for 28 June 2018.