Dubai, UAE, 23 September 2018: The opening of the FM Expo, being held from September 23 to 25, at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) showcased the growing influence of technology in the built-environment, as seen by the expanding portfolio of FM providers as they seek to address the growing demand for such solutions. Mahmood Hussain Rasheed, COO, Imdaad, highlighted the company’s concerted efforts to expand its range of services, in the move to be an integrated value-added FM provider. “Technology, Internet of Things and Blockchain – this is becoming the future,” Rasheed said, “so even we try, as much as we can, to be automated.”
Dilip Kumar Sharma, General Manager, Universal Voltas, seconded this, as he shared his thoughts on the profile of participants. “We are seeing more technology and digital orientation for Facility Management and [towards] energy efficiency. Exhibitors are not only the FM companies but also service providers, providing the digital platforms as well.” The turn-out, he added, has also improved, compared to the previous year.
Rasheed said, with the advent of technology, collaboration is even more vital to ensure transparency among stakeholders, be it the client, the consultant or the technician, and ensure cost-savings and efficiency. He added that BMS, and other similar technologies, are tools, and tools are determined by how they are used. As such, Rasheed said, he recommends that clients that have BMS connect to Imdaad’s control room so they are able to remotely address the AC, pumps and other energy-intensive operations, as it allows FM providers to assess operations and respond accordingly to add value to the customers.
Sharma weighed in, saying that the massive amount of data being collected from these digital gateways still needs to be optimised. “It’s about what we do with the data that is important,” he said. “I actually feel now we are in a disconnected digital [world]. We have our own digital platform and the client has their own digital platform, but they are not talking to each other. The protocols are locked because each is availing services from a different service provider.” Sharma said this underpins the importance of exhibitions such as FM Expo, which provides a platform to discuss existing challenges. “This is important for the overall efficiency of the industry and to enhance the asset life for the client,” he said.
Sharma also stressed that the value of the data gathered can only be determined following a proper assessment, based on technical expertise and knowledge. “We know the electromechanical part of it and then there is the digital provider who can understand us and the client pains and connects it all,” he said. “So, basically the data and sensors on chillers or any equipment is being utilised by a platform to provide an output for the service provider to use it efficiently – this seamless connectivity is what we are aiming for in the near future.” Sharma emphasised that “there is no one complete solution available in the market that can address all the points. You have to customise it and deliver the efficiency with regard to your own value proposition.”
Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at email@example.com