The new technology makes it possible to ‘listen' to the abundance of information emitted from buildings

With energy conservation riding high on the minds of corporate companies and the business community, information technology giant IBM has joined hands with global diversified firm Ingersoll Rand to provide ‘remote energy and asset management' solutions in India. The idea is to create ‘smarter buildings' to cut down energy consumption and help companies save money as well.

The two companies are targeting organisations that are engaged in infrastructure creation or maintenance for high growth sectors like commercial, hospitality, health and pharma. The path-breaking solution leverages IBM's ‘Intelligent Building Management' (IIBM) system (a combination of monitoring, asset management and advanced analytics) along with Ingersoll Rand's energy optimisation technologies, to help trigger preventive and predictive maintenance to create ‘smarter buildings'.

Buildings in India account for 30 per cent of energy consumption. Of this, the major usage is due to HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) and lighting. As the Indian economy develops and commercial infrastructure gets built, it becomes essential to drive robust initiatives to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. In the current economic scenario, with rising energy costs, organisations are facing capital and operating budget challenges. Maximising capital productivity requires increasing asset utilisation, efficiency and uptime. Similarly, operating costs of energy and maintenance need to be optimised.

If worldwide energy use trends continue, buildings will become the largest consumer of global energy by 2025, more than the transportation and industrial sectors combined. ‘Smarter buildings' are highly instrumented and interconnected systems of systems - water, power, transportation.

Talking about the collaboration, Ingersoll Rand India Chairman and President Venkatesh Valluri said: “We have been at the forefront of driving ‘innovation and technology convergence' and to us this means bringing together organisations and technologies on a common platform and converging them to drive profitable sustainability practices. This partnership is a strategic initiative where IBM and Ingersoll Rand are combining their strengths in operations and management systems to bring end-to-end managed services to customers.”

Similarly, Nipun Mehrotra, Vice-President and General Manager (Sales & Business Development) IBM India, South Asia said: “Technology today can make it possible to ‘listen' to the abundance of information emitted from buildings. IBM is working towards building a ‘smarter planet'. This partnership with Ingersoll Rand reaffirms our commitment by using intelligent data to build ‘smarter buildings' that are accountable for energy and carbon resource use, helping create a sustainable environment.”

Since launching its ‘smarter buildings' initiative in February 2010, IBM has created a portfolio of smarter buildings solutions that integrate with building automation software from across the industry. On the other hand, Ingersoll Rand offers its customer's technology convergence solutions by which systems within a facility (such as HVAC, system controls, sophisticated security systems, building management systems, asset tracking etc) communicate with each other resulting in coordinated responses in various situations. With IBM's data analytic tools, end users will be able to remotely monitor, analyse and record various energy and performance related parameters.

The availability of such analytical data will enable greater efficiencies through global benchmarking metrics. With remote management solutions, the end result would be a ‘Network Operations Nerve Centre' that will monitor distributed assets, analyse large amounts of data for actionable information and optimisation, and orchestrate operational processes. This would effectively manage customer assets that drive energy consumption, from a single shared services platform.

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