Facilio: Optimizing Facilities for Building- People, Energy, and Assets, in Real-Time

Facilio was conceived in response to the opportunity to leverage technology for the optimal management of built spaces. The inspiration was to create an industry-specific model of digital transformation, based on employing IoT & AI. The company identified the need to create a more agile and predictive model of facilities management, focused on balancing the three components of built spaces – people, assets, and sustainability.

Facilio delivers solutions based on leveraging the data generated by automated systems within built spaces in real-time. The Facilio solution uses IoT-based data collation and AI-enabled real-time analysis, in order to provide FMs and their teams with ongoing and specifically actionable insights. It evolves operations from a siloed model with mutually isolated hardware solutions to a unified and synergistic software led approach. The company’s USP is being able to deliver both operational efficiencies and energy management concurrently. The solution creates optimal outcomes that are focused on people, sustainability goals and machine performance, by achieving continuous efficiencies across portfolios.

In a nutshell, Facilio is about reimagining facilities management and crafting superior tenant experiences leveraging innovative software technology.

 

From Inception to Transformation

With considerable technology experience across the founding team, the company had witnessed the power and impact of tech-led transformation in various industries. With Facilio, the mission was to bring that same transformation to the built environment. The company identified an industry niche through extensive research that indicated a sizeable industry potential for tech-led transformation in the way buildings and facilities were being managed, driven by several pressing needs such as:

•  Changing customer expectations of modern, service-led facilities that were responsive and offered seamless experiences.

•  ROI and sustainability concerns of Commercial Real Estate Owners.

•  Need for a competitive edge in the crowded real estate marketplace.

•  Demand for a unified solution by FM’s and CRE owners, to connect the various disparate systems and data pockets, to enable clear, portfolio-wide visibility and control of efficiency.

Aspiration and need to transcend from everyday firefighting and maintenance to creating value and crafting superior tenant experiences.

Customer expectations have evolved across industries, from an emphasis on a transaction-based outlook to prioritizing experience. Facilio identified opportunities to enable data-driven and software-based process control that could enable superior customer experiences, while also meeting sustainability and performance goals. Existing automation in built environments was siloed and disjointed, creating a huge disparity between expectations and potential versus delivered performance. The company was able to identify critical pain-points and solutions that could address them through an insight-driven and predictive approach.

Inspired by the likes of Uber, etc and the way in which they have redefined their respective industries, Facilio realized that space existed for truly transformative solutions within the built environment as well. Since its inception, it has been apparent to the company that an AI & IoT based model can generate operational efficiency across commercial real estate portfolios and transform how buildings are managed. The industry has responded enthusiastically, in adopting the operational model that Facilio’s solution is able to deliver. In terms of ROI, there is no other solution that can empower CREs and FMS as dramatically. The company is proactively evolving the solution further, based on its research as well as the feedback it receives from the customers.

Global facilities management spend is currently tagged at $1.3 trillion. The total global energy spends on commercial buildings, stands at $1 trillion today. The impact of addressing inefficiencies in FM services and Building energy usage, with the help of technologies like IoT and AI, presents potentially enormous untapped opportunities waiting to be explored. A recent analysis report by Verdantix – a leading research consultancy specializing in energy, real estate, facilities and maintenance – estimates that the global market for software and related IT services in buildings is currently estimated at $8 billion and is expected to reach $12 billion by 2022, so the potential size of the market Facilio targeting is huge. In addition, with post-construction maintenance being nearly 80% of the cost of a building over its lifecycle, the potential scale of savings generated through increased efficiency is also very significant.

 

Dynamic Leadership

Prabhu Ramachandran, Founder & CEO, Facilio Inc., and Co-founders Rajavel Subramanian, Yogendra Babu, and Krishnamoorthi Rangasamy were part of Zoho Corporation, a leading Indian software development company. Their collective experience of over 50 years (17 years each) in delivering Cloud and IoT solutions at Zoho, and a passion for bringing about tech-driven change to the status-quo, led to the creation of Facilio. The idea was to reinvigorate innovation and process optimization within the facilities management space, which they identified as a nascent industry full of promise and potential, as it had last seen disruption about 20 years ago when automation was first introduced.

The vision of Prabhu Ramachandran was to optimize the siloed technology deployment within the industry, by employing IoT for connectivity and AI derived insights. Traditional FM software vendors have been too inflexible, and time and labor intensive, to truly impact operations within the industry. Facilio, on the other hand, empowers the built environment with agile responsiveness and predictive management due to its unified and real-time capabilities – an advantage that Prabhu Ramachandran and his team aim to remain frontrunners in delivering.

 

Exemplifying Novelty of IoT Industry

The legacy model of FM technology existed as disparate automation and mechanized systems that each addressed specific functions within buildings. Siloes of data, across multiple sites, with multiple systems from multiple vendors, meant the task of optimizing overall efficiency was nearly impossible to achieve.

Most IoT solutions in the market today come bundled with a proprietary set of sensors that only adds to an already disparate and siloed environment. Plus, they add an extra hardware layer to already hardware-centric systems and further increase complexity and the substantial cost of management and ownership.

Facilio, on the other hand, is a software-driven solution that, unlike traditional incumbents and other piece-meal software offerings, rationalizes the asset-intensive buildings ecosystems and reduces functional complexity. The SaaS solution provided by Facilio enhances built facilities with an end-to-end approach that addresses maintenance, operations, sustainability, and tenant experience with a unified solution, leveraging IoT & AI. It seamlessly integrates with existing building systems and improves efficiency, through centralized and real-time facilities optimization.  Means it also does not require uprooting existing infrastructure, nor does it require the addition of massive hardware, making it a cost and time effective solution. It uniquely focuses on real-time data collation and analysis of data, enabling actionable insights. It delivers continuous and predictive management of operations and condition-based performance, through the means of an IoT and AI enabled solution – scalable across a portfolio of buildings.

Facilio’s approach is based on collating the data generated by mechanized elements within the building, through the use of IoT technology, and adding an interpretive layer of AI-driven analysis. The solution facilitates unprecedented transparency in operations that can be leveraged to fine-tune everything from automated environment control to empowered workforces.

 

Radical Revision Via Disruption

The ability to embed distributed processing power in an environment, cheaply and effectively, is at the heart of IoT technology. This ability is the next step in automation that results in being able to monitor and control mechanized processes in real time – when used in conjunction with real-time connectivity between all the elements within a system. The ability to employ Big Data Analytics, AI and Machine Learning add a further layer of empowered functionality by enabling truly intelligent insights and predictive intervention. Cloud computing can extend this system transparency and highly specific control over several locations and venues at once. So, in a sense, each of the elements you have listed builds on the abilities of the previous one. In isolation, these are all very versatile and effective technologies, but when used in conjunction they are truly able to come into their own and radically transform possibilities.

 

Pristine Services Driving Innovation

Facilio offers the facilities management industry a comprehensive solution that is the world’s first AI & IoT-based real-time facilities optimization software offering unified facilities and sustainability management. The Facilio solution is able to create a high level of transparency within the system that results in leveraging data to help the management of built environments achieve continuous operational efficiency across multi-site portfolios.  Due to the fact that it is a complete hardware agnostic SaaS solution, the product streamlines rather than adding an additional layer of complexity.

Facilio can help CREs, FMs CAFM providers achieve optimized operational outcomes while also effectively addressing the role of customer experience as a key differentiator to a competitive edge. Facilio’s solution is an integrated facilitator of building maintenance, day to day operations, sustainability concerns and tenant experience. Smart Buildings, Smart Workforces, and Smart Cities are the building blocks of a future-ready economy. AI & IoT are key technologies in the FM industry’s efforts to remain relevant within this new paradigm.

With respect to partnerships, Facilio has partnered with Sensors, Controls and Hardware OEMs to provide an end-to-end solution to customers, as well as with Channel partners to deliver superior customer support and services.

 

Perseverance Leading to Achievements

Facilio is a business backed by renowned venture capitalists Accel and Tiger Global Management. After an initial first round funding of over $1 million from Accel, Facilio secured a further Series A funding of $6.4 million from Tiger Global Management and Accel, within its second year of operations. Within the very first year of its product commercially available, the company has already invoked a strong and rising, interest in markets as diverse as the Middle East, US and India. Some of Facilio’s Awards and accolades include:

•  Startup World Cup 2018 finalist, representing India.

•  Winner of Built World Technology’s Most Innovative Startup in Proptech for 2018.

 

Overcoming Challenges

When you look at any new innovation, the biggest challenge any provider faces is in its immediate adoption. Facilio overcame that challenge with all the companies and reached out to in the beta phase. Once the companies experienced Facilio, they were able to see their problems in context. These companies loved how a single solution maximized their facilities experience for everyone interacting with it in real-time. For Facilio, this translated as a direct measure of the disruptive transformation the commercial real estate industry was evolving towards.

Prabhu feels the industry is evolving. But software tech-led transformation is still new for this industry. So, one of the things the company feels it is missing is a playbook – a step-by-step guide on how to go about digitally transforming your built environment. While not specifically a challenge, Facilio has endeavored to meet this need of the market by being part of several knowledge-based seminars and forums. In fact, the company’s latest series, termed “Future Proof”, is a knowledge platform that is inviting industry incumbents and new players to meet, interact, and share experiences, challenges, and fears, in a bid to accelerate the digitization of the industry.

 

Future Roadmap for Creating Values

Facilio is inherently defined by the possibilities that IoT enables. The company is differentiated by the same advantages of an approach that technology enables. The Facilio solution can radically empower existing automation by augmented systems, rather than a complete cost-intensive overhaul. Such advantages are inherently more future-ready than isolated and specific solutions that cannot take on roles beyond the limited ones they are designed to deliver.

“Real estate owners, especially those with large portfolios, need solutions that can scale and adapt in keeping with their operations and its changing needs. Building owners are finding existing legacy CaFM solutions and building specific automation systems limiting. They require a modern and enterprise-wide platform that facilitates real-time insights and data-driven operations across their entire portfolio. Facilio can address this evolving need perfectly, by leveraging its IoT and AI-based solution to enhance facilities management and fast track the creation of value for the business”, said Prabhu.

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