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Role of technology in FM for best practices

Cloud Computing

bim-SavingCloud computing is now becoming prevalent for both businesses and consumers, whether through Apple’s iCloud, use of social networks or shared software such as that available from Google. It allows organizations to benefit from reduced costs and increased productivity. The various modes of deployment are:

  • On-Premise: Traditional Sales Model where the customer owns software and deploys on-Site.
  • Off-Premise Hosted: Known as “Condo” Model where the customer owns Software and is hosted by 3rd Party Off-Site.
  • On Demand: “Software as a Service” (SaaS) Model where the customer does not own software.
  • On Demand –Dedicated Server: SaaS Model where the customer does not own software

Mobile Devices and Apps

In today’s work culture of flexi-hours and off site work locations, mobile devices maximize staff productivity by providing services and data at the pointof- activity, leverage the existing IT infrastructure. Various apps on phone for workplace, facility, property and, asset management help coordinate with organization on go securely, supporting wide range of consumer devices and enabling an increasingly mobile workforce within an agile and changing workplace.

Strategies for Mobile Framework

  • First generation – Bespoke solutions using Palm OS and other early mobile technologies
  • Second Generation – Commercial solutions from AI/ADNs/ISVs using vendor-centric technologies such as Windows CE and BlackBerry
  • Third Generation – Embedded hybrid Mobile Framework to support multiple mobile OS with full security and device control

Social Media

Social media like WhatsApp, Twitter among others are the new brand building tools as well as channels for consumer grievance redressal. They offer services that earn an organization blue dollar meaning bringing revenue indirectly. For example, a customer complaint of newly bought vehicle breaking down posted on Twitter was immediately noticed by the CEO of the company who extended instant solution and thus the company earned rave reviews from the customer in turn encouraging others to buy their product. Similarly, in China a messaging app on metro stations is being used by the citizens to post pictures and problems for the department to address those within a short time.

Intuitive Business Transformation

A traditional consultant-driven transformation shows limited results as top down solutions from consultants are usually resisted by associates and middle management. Whereas, horizontal interactive collaborative solution using Intuitive business transformation tool and UIFM ensures the involvement of all the stakeholders and enhances productivity. This approach creates knowledge via Information and data sharing by – asking consultant and/or executive about data and information needs, listening & offering feedback to colleagues and partners about additional opportunities related to their Services-Driven Data and Information in addressing the business and operational need and lastly analyzing to determine the costs and value associated with each additional opportunity. Work with Colleagues and Partners to identify and deploy appropriate IBT Initiatives that will meet knowledge expectations.

Big Data Management

APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities was founded in 1914. It is dedicated to the maintenance, protection and promotion of quality educational facilities with over 1500 learning institutions and 4700 members in U.S., Canada and other countries. It runs FM courses and uses technology to collate information from students and members across the globe to churn out big data of reports and papers. The organization offers an extensive collection of resources designed to help the facilities professional keep abreast of trends in the field, enhance your performance, and grow professionally.


(RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The systems can be classified as an Active Reader Passive Tag (ARPT) system, which transmits interrogator signals and receives authentication replies from passive tags. Or an Active Reader Active Tag (ARAT) system using active tags awoken with an interrogator signal from the active reader. Alternatively, in places like exits gates of shopping centres, fixed readers are set up to allow a highly defined reading area for when tags go in and out of the zone or hand-held mobile readers can be used. RFID can also be used to track people such as doctors in a hospital in case of an emergency.

[box type=”shadow” ]“A platform encompassing -property management, asset management, facility management, building operations & sustainability is called Enterprise information modelling EIM.”[/box]

The latest Green RFID Enterprises seamlessly integrate databases and passive UHF RFID technologies and digital photography. The system is easily interfaced to client’s existing data base systems providing immediate enhancements to safety, security, visibility and life experience of these systems.

Most phones have NFC (Near Field Communication) that organizations can use as identity cards, instead of issuing RFID cards/badges. Emergency services too can be provided through NFC that That can even translate languages while communicating. Likewise, for facility maintenance, mobile phones can be embedded with scanner to conduct equipment condition assessment. The employee can scan the machine to check for listed conditions, the scanner scans the malfunctioning parts that flashes on the server.


technologyTill five years back there were very few vendors for geographic information system (GIS). Today, all smartphones have GIS system like Google maps etc. The intersection of Facilities Management and GIS delivers powerful new information for planning, training, and responding to natural and man-made events. For example, a custom map service shows the juxtaposition of a hazmat event with a number of SAIC office locations, and the floorplan for an office that’s closest to the event origin. If this was your facility, you could know who was in the building, what the effects of the event might be and how your response should be executed to safeguard these people.

Virtual / Augmented Reality VR/AR

The technologies having a great impact on the FM sector are Virtual and Augmented reality. While, virtual reality is all about the creation of a virtual world that users can interact with, augmented reality shows beyond what can be seen, like an x-ray. Augmented reality means that computer-generated sensory input is added to the real-world environment. Whereas in AR the real environment is augmented, virtual reality uses a complete virtualization of the given circumstances.

The empirical accuracy of the system helps improve decisionmaking during construction or facility management activities. It enables prompt identification, processing, and communication of discrepancies between actual and expected performance. The technology also aids project managers to proactively decide on corrective actions and minimize the cost and delays.

Conclusions and Opportunities

Undoubtedly, technologies like BIM & Mobile applications have enhanced process quality with technical advancement and visualization of data and information have increased FM efficiencies even further. The time is now to start adopting these technologies and service offerings proactively and for FM leaders and managers to learn how to ask, listen & analyze, and market themselves as “Chief Value Officers” and “Chief Revenue Officers”.

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