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Jacob: committed to promoting knowledge transfer in the Gulf region

Jacob: committed to promoting knowledge transfer in the Gulf region



Perception of cloud has changed

Honeywell’s connected offering is focused on merging hardware and software using cloud based solutions, says Philipose Jacob, regional general manager, Honeywell Building Solutions in an interview with Pummy Kaul

August 2017

The perception of cloud technologies has changed significantly and this is due to the growth of sophisticated data centre builds in the Middle East that provide organisations with the promise of safe and secure data.

In recent years, the adoption of these technologies across the region have sky rocketed. According to recent research, by 2020, 95 per cent of all workloads in the Middle East and Africa will be processed in the cloud, compared to 78 per cent in 2015, said Philipose Jacob, regional general manager, Honeywell Building Solutions in an interview with Gulf Industry.

Honeywell, a global technology and manufacturing leader, recently introduced Outcome Based Service, a new cloud-enabled building management service (BMS) aimed at making the region’s facilities greener, safer and more productive.

Outcome Based Service is the latest addition to Honeywell’s Connected Services portfolio of technologies that draw on Honeywell Building Solutions’ domain knowledge and experience and use building connectivity effectively to improve facility performance, including overall comfort and energy usage.

Excerpts from the interview:

 

How do you think the perception of the market is changing towards cloud services/technology? What are your thoughts on the Middle East market as there are a lot of reservations on cloud since the data does not safely lie on premise?

The perception of cloud technologies has changed significantly and this is due to the growth of sophisticated data centre builds in the Middle East that provide organisations with the promise of safe and secure data. In addition, these new data centres bring added benefits which enable organisations to scale up quickly and efficiently to be able to support more workloads than traditional data centres.

In recent years, the adoption of these technologies across the region have sky rocketed. According to recent research by Cisco Global Cloud Index, by 2020, 95 per cent of all workloads in the Middle East and Africa will be processed in the cloud, compared to 78 per cent in 2015.

Honeywell’s connected offering is focused on merging hardware and software using cloud based solutions. As such, our customers are increasingly seeing the positive impact that cloud technology can have on business operations in terms of efficiency and productivity.

 

How do you think Internet of Things (IoT) is going to drive your portfolio in your space?

The Internet of Things (IoT) plays a significant role across our entire product portfolio. At the core of our latest connected offerings is Honeywell Sentience, an IoT platform that delivers robust and secure big data capabilities for all of Honeywell’s connected solutions, demonstrating Honeywell’s vision for its overarching software platform and ecosystem.

If you take the commercial real estate industry, building operators in the Middle East are under increasing pressure to make their facilities safer, more comfortable and more efficient, all while reducing operating costs. In order to achieve this, building and facility managers in the country are turning to the IoT to help deliver these results.

As an example, our Connected Services portfolio leverages the connectivity of buildings in the Middle East to improve how they operate and the experiences they offer for those who visit and work within them. To achieve this, it draws from the collective power of IoT technologies, cloud applications and the deep domain experience of Honeywell’s service engineers.

The portfolio includes a number of industry leading solutions such as Outcome Based Service, which is a new cloud-enabled building management service aimed at making the region’s facilities greener, safer and more productive.

Other offerings within the Connected Services portfolio include the Honeywell Vector Occupant app, which improves occupant experiences, and Honeywell Pulse for Connected Buildings, an app that forges a real-time link between facility and engineering staff and their buildings to help boost productivity and performance.

 

Following the oil price decline, cost reduction is a key issue for companies in this sector. How will you address the cost-sensitive market in the Middle East?

Having a strong focus on generating efficiencies for our customers is a priority for us in every market, and the Middle East is no exception. As such, we continue to partner with our customers and leverage our technologies to deliver efficiencies and cost savings even before our customers see it as a concern.

For example, our Outcome Based Service solution enables efficiencies through a predictive maintenance approach that empowers building managers to address potential issues before they occur, enabling our customers to save time and money.

 

How can Honeywell’s solutions make a difference? Please provide examples of any firms already using Outcome Based Service in the Middle East.

Honeywell’s solutions integrate building systems and connect them with the people that use them to create data. This data allows us to understand what’s happening right now, rather than when a building is experiencing downtime – a preventable scenario. The digital revolution is having a positive impact in making buildings greener and more productive. It is also helping to deliver lower operating costs, and happier occupants.

One example of this is through Outcome Based Service which helps prioritise building maintenance activities where they can have the most impact on overall building performance. Combining advanced automation and data analytics, the service enables Honeywell service engineers to assess and scrutinise building assets around the clock, promoting the identification of anomalies and misconfigurations earlier than traditional maintenance and helping save time and money.

We are currently running a number of successful pilots and paid contracts across the Middle East region.

 

What specific industries will you focus on? Apart from the real estate vertical, are there any other verticals you will focus on?

Outcome Based Service provides high visibility of building performance with real-time analytics, improves efficiencies, reduces risk and adds a life cycle management approach to building maintenance, therefore improving performance and lowering costs. It can be applied to any vertical that can be improved by smarter buildings such as, hospitality, healthcare, retail or education.

By using building performance data, the service helps detect areas that need immediate attention and direct maintenance activities accordingly. Diagnostic tools, performance dashboards, intelligent alerts, expert reviews along with a number of other elements, work together to help building managers and operators manage their building’s performance and lifecycle.

 

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a major part of our economies and they are lagging in IT investments. How does Honeywell plan to address this? 

Honeywell has a diverse offering of hardware and software solutions that can be applied to a wide range of businesses across a range of sectors. We are proud to have built a complete portfolio including fire and security solutions as well as Public Address (PA) and Voice Alarm systems that cater to the SMEB segment.

The portfolio guarantees a cost effective solution for SMEs that are easy to install and serve, yet come loaded with cutting edge technologies that meet high quality standards. We are committed to supporting businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes in becoming more safe, productive and sustainable.

 

How would your company overcome the large competition in the BMS space?

Honeywell remains at the forefront of the industry because our solutions are some of the most innovative and customer focused in the market. Importantly, our solutions are equipped to easily integrate with core building functions that enhance building occupants’ experience.

Our well established presence in key markets has meant that we have fostered relationships with customers over long periods of time and have built strong expertise and experience within the BMS space.

For example, in the Middle East, we recently announced a new release of our building management system, Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) to support the region’s smart building and city ambitions. It improves the region’s facility managers’ ability to turn building data into actionable insights to deliver real outcomes in real time. These types of solutions demonstrate our commitment to making the Middle East’s buildings greener, safer and more productive in line with the region’s smart cities vision. It is also what keeps us leading the BMS space and providing our customers with the equipment and know-how they need, this is a fundamental part of delivering IoT capabilities to customers.

 

What plans do you have to impart knowledge and skill development to the GCC nationals in your area of expertise?

We are committed to promoting knowledge transfer in the Gulf region, along with the development of engineering talent. This is to support the growth of knowledge and skills in the areas we operate within, in line with regional economic growth visions.

To give you an example, we currently run Honeywell Automation Colleges in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to give GCC nationals the opportunity to enhance their professional and vocational capabilities.

Our Automation Colleges offer hundreds of professional development courses focused on power and water, oil and gas, and automation industries. The colleges are designed to educate Honeywell customers and employees – including chemical engineers, plant operators, maintenance technicians, process engineers and plant managers – on the key aspects of maintaining safe, reliable and efficient plants and processes.

In addition to this, we run a number of professional development programmes across the region which actively encourage GCC youth to develop skills that can fuel the growth of SMEs capable of installing and maintaining world-class technology.




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