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In a co-innovation project, Siemens and SAP have developed a prototype solution, which enables real estate managers and other users to analyze the efficiency of buildings in real-time. The solution brings together commercial data, energy related data and technical infrastructure data. Moreover, it displays the data in an easy-to-understand way for buildings at a glance and in real time, identifies deviations, and links the calculated values with business and technical data.

Buildings, particularly large office blocks and public building complexes, use enormous amounts of electricity, water, and gas – and they need regular maintenance. The challenge of managing buildings across multiple locations, some of which may be in other countries, is therefore immense. Moreover, it is a costly matter. When looking at a building’s life cycle, only 20% of the costs are spent during construction time. The remaining 80% of the costs incur while operating the building. For instance, 40% out of those 80% are energy costs and around 30-40% are taken up by technical maintenance and replacements.

Siemens and SAP, both big corporations with large property portfolios spread around the globe, mutually agreed that much had to be done to more efficiently manage buildings’ lifecycles and thereby safe costs and other valuable resources. Consequently, the idea was to join forces. Siemens Building Technologies, as an expert for automating buildings, connecting the technical systems, generating metering and technical data and collecting these, had the necessary domain expertise. SAP on the other hand could provide its in-memory platform SAP HANA and its overall expertise in Enterprise Resource Planning, including Human Resource systems. A new co-innovation project was born with the goal to bring together commercial data, energy related data and technical infrastructure data into one data set to be able to holistically analyze and to eventually improve buildings’ performances.

WorkshopThe Co-Innovation Process

The project kicked off with a Design Thinking workshop which was centered on the question of how to enable facility and real estate manager to easily analyze the efficiency of their buildings.

As a first step, the workshop participants from Siemens, the SAP Innovation Center, the SAP Design and Co-Innovation Center (DCC) and the Global Facility Management team identified and prioritized different functional roles. Based on these, they built paper prototypes as a first iteration which represented the most important needs of facility and real estate managers.

After analyzing the results of the workshop and some further research, the SAP DCC came up with a framework of a generic management cockpit that can be adjusted to the needs of different types of users. They designed preliminary versions (Click Dummy) of the cockpit and tested these with users and other stakeholders from SAP Global Facility Management and Siemens Building Technologies.

In a third iteration, they refined the cockpit concept and the visual design language while developing a functional and technical prototype solution. This prototype provides pre-defined profiles for all relevant users: from facility managers and project managers to energy managers and chief financial officers. The customizable dashboard enables the users to quickly obtain data of buildings as well as business facts to evaluate the building’s overall efficiency. Moreover, for each role, the respective Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are displayed in a clear, easy to use fashion.

Outcome first iteration: Paper Prototype

Outcome second iteration: Click Dummy

Outcome third iteration: Visual Design Explorations

By breaking down existing information barriers and data siloes, the Real Estate Cockpit creates transparency on buildings’ performances across multiple dimensions. In consequence, all responsible managers can instantly take decisions based on the most up-to-date data from (formerly disparate and now integrated) sources – and bythat minimize costs, save energy and enhance sustainability.

The Real Estate Cockpit

core markets

“Before we started the project we talked to real estate managers who were skeptical due to the massive amount of information and the underlying complexity. But if you extract meaningful data from underlying systems, you get a picture of what you actually need to manage buildings. Real estate managers now have all the information they need in a much faster way, and many KPIs can be combined for easy access to all the relevant data”, says Peter Marburger, Head of Sales Energy Efficiency, Siemens Building Technologies.

“The co-innovation project is a successful example of how co-innovation supports stakeholder alignment and incorporates user needs”, reflects Marion Fröhlich, Senior Strategic Design Consultant at SAP. “Working as one team made us bridge the gap between design, engineering, and business, and to be faster”, adds Alessandro Sposato, Strategic Design Consultant at SAP.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback, the solution is now being productized to become a SAP standard solution. SAP Global Facility Management as well as Siemens Real Estate are going to be early adopters and are currently planning the implementation of the solution.

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