Samsung Electronics and Microsoft yesterday entered a global collaboration combining smart appliances and digital cloud technologies, aimed at improving building operations and maintenance, along with creating better experiences for both service technicians and residents.
This new strategic alliance, with pilots currently under development, brings together the power of Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform and productivity cloud services with Samsung’s smart devices and SmartThings platform, to help optimise building operations, equipment maintenance, energy management, asset performance, and new tenant experiences for commercial, hospitality and residential buildings as well as mixed-use developments.
The companies will leverage Samsung’s smart home appliances, HVAC systems and smart TVs integrated with SmartThings, together with Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins technology and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service, to improve building maintenance and management by aggregating and analysing IoT data from building systems and connected appliances. For example, with this new capability building managers can not only create an integrated dashboard for handling building issues in real time but potentially before failure, saving time and resources.
“We believe collaboration with a key partner like Microsoft is essential for innovation, as the company shares our vision of inspiring the world to shape the future by innovating in technology and products,” said Chanwoo Park, corporate vice president heading up the IoT Biz Group at Samsung.
He added: “Providing building owners and operators with a robust and powerful set of tools to help them optimize their building costs and equipment, including the management of Samsung’s connected appliances and other devices, is paramount to our long-term alliance. Together with Microsoft, we are helping to solve real challenges faced by our customers by creating secure integrated insight and digital solutions that keep properties functioning sustainably and efficiently while providing better experiences for residents.”
Reduced service calls and enhanced productivity
Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform is able to process data messaging from millions of building sensors and devices and then use machine learning and AI to help building managers and operators determine what issues should be addressed in what order, and then link to Dynamics 365 Field Service to determine who is the right person, with the right skills, in the right location to resolve the issue. This helps to reduce service calls while also improving the productivity of service technicians who can now troubleshoot multiple issues on a single visit and, if needed, get remote assistance through the Microsoft Teams application.
This collaboration with Samsung extends this capability to include Samsung smart appliances, HVAC systems and TVs, with plans to expand into digital signage equipment. The alliance also covers Samsung mobile devices, including the XCover Pro mobile phone, to create improved experiences for frontline workers involved in handling building issues. Additionally, Samsung plans to offer SmartThings mobile development tools to enable builders to craft custom, tailored connected living experiences for their end users.
The collaboration will leverage data from Samsung’s range of smart refrigerators, washing machines, vacuums, air purifiers, ovens and other devices connected through the intelligent SmartThings platform. Such data integration allows building operators to monitor nearly all devices in real time, identify issues and take appropriate measures before real damage happens, should a problem occur.
“With Azure Digital Twins, we can create comprehensive digital models of entire environments and a living digital replica of real-world things, places, business processes and people to help customers gain insights that drive better products, optimisation of operations, cost reduction and breakthrough customer experiences. This collaboration with Samsung opens up new opportunities for further innovation in the real estate development and property management industries,” said Sam George, corporate vice president, Azure IoT, Microsoft. “Together, we’ll bring the best of Microsoft’s trusted, easy-to-use and secure Azure IoT platform, Azure Digital Twins and Dynamics 365 Field Service technology with Samsung’s expertise in connected devices and appliances to streamline building operations and maintenance.”
In addition to bringing new capabilities to the real estate and property management world, the companies have aligned their worldwide marketing, partner and sales programs to deliver these new integrated solutions for their customers, including facilities management companies and real estate developers.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) will serve as a pilot for solutions pioneered under this alliance between Samsung and Microsoft as part of the university’s ongoing efforts to create a smart, safe and sustainable campus for students and staff.
“NUS is very excited to work with Microsoft and Samsung in piloting smart building management solutions on our campus,” said Professor Yong Kwet Yew, senior vice president of Campus Infrastructure at NUS. “The experience gained from this trial could help us transform the way we maintain our buildings with predictive maintenance, enable better user experiences and create a smart campus ecosystem, and it has potential to scale up at the national level.”
Likewise, Oxford Properties, one of the largest real estate companies in North America with operations in Europe and Australia, says this new alliance has the potential to add high value for customers.
“We are excited about the collaboration of Microsoft’s Digital Twins technology and Samsung’s range of connected devices, and the potential of these instruments to deliver meaningful new insights across the commercial real estate value-chain,” said Dean Hopkins, chief operating officer, Oxford Properties. “Investing in digital twins sets a foundation to unlock future opportunities. We are working with thought leaders around the world to advance the intelligence of our buildings and see enormous potential to positively impact building operations, asset management and customer experiences. Microsoft and Samsung coming together to accelerate the value that digital twins are bringing to the commercial real estate ecosystem is a great step forward.”