ITWeb September 2020
IoT in actual action: Take 01
Brainstorm digs into a solution developed by IoT.nxt for Vodacom South Africa’s headquarters in Midrand.
IoT.nxt worked with Vodacom South Africa to transform the telco’s headquarters from bricks and mortar into intelligent infrastructure. The goal was to develop a cohesive platform from which to manage multiple systems and utilities, which would provide visibility into different areas of the building and any potential issues. The threads that the solution pulled together spanned water and electricity meters, power, fuel, generators and general consumption of utilities and systems across the building and handed the company deeper control over its spend, usage and management.
“Raptor, our IoT framework, provides the intelligence on site and connects all the different facilities and utilities, collecting the data and controlling the systems,” says Andre Strauss, chief commercial officer at IoT.nxt. “It’s an intelligent gateway that let’s us connect different brands and systems to provide the company with a single view over multiple touchpoints. It provides an interface that enables the company to instantly react to security concerns, cleaning requirements, alarms, utility failures, fuel shortages and to use automatic insights to improve control over all these elements.”
“The team can look at utility usage, carbon footprint, system behaviour and so many other nuanced insights as a result of the IoT platform.”
The solution is designed to tap into the modern idea of the smart building, one that has changed significantly over the past few years. Now, the intelligent building has to do more than just manage its assets, it needs to be capable of creating spaces for employees and customers that are safe within the constraints of the pandemic. This, for Vodacom, was a key differentiator.
“Smart buildings have to extend beyond the physical and so for Vodacom, we developed a solution that could allow for them to benefit from different operational efficiencies,” adds Strauss. “We digitised the base stations and created digital twins of assets to optimise IoT. The solution has delivered a 20% saving to the company’s bottom line – a real cost benefit for Vodacom – and, on top of that, the company can respond and react a lot faster, resulting in a better experience for the customer.”
The digitisation of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and the use of the digital twin concept allowed for Vodacom to drive real-time efficiencies and cost savings within the building. The company can now adjust conditions to suit the number of people in the building and adapt usage and monitoring accordingly. The IoT platform provides a single view into multiple systems, with all the context and controls required to measure and assess these different systems appropriately.
“The team can look at utility usage, carbon footprint, system behaviour and so many other nuanced insights as a result of the IoT platform,” says Strauss. “It brings context to the building – it shows costs based on real-time data, it reports on relevant insights, it shows you systems in trouble and makes maintenance activities far quicker and more efficient.”
In an era when most organisations are rethinking office space and how to manage it in order to provide safer environments for customers, this type of intelligent oversight has become immensely valuable. It transforms a building into a living organism that adds value to the property and what the company can bring to its people, its customers and its bottom line.
Read the full article via ITWeb.