April 2015


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EMAIL INTERVIEWBill MacGowan and Ken Sinclair

Bill MacGowan P.Eng., CEM, Director, Smart Connected Real Estate,
Cisco Canada

Smart Converged Building Network

The SCBN facilitates both communication and sustainable power connect-to-facility based systems/edge devices (HVAC, Metering, Lighting, Access, CCTV). Converging all IP devices.

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SinclairWhat makes Waterpark Place III so ‘smart’?

MacGowan:  Water Park Place III is the first commercial high rise project in the Americas to deploy a Smart Converged Building Network. The SCBN features an enterprise architected secure IP/POE (Power over Ethernet) vertical platform. The SCBN facilitates both communication and sustainable power connect to facility based systems/edge devices (HVAC, Metering, Lighting, Access, CCTV).  Converging all IP devices and systems onto one network drives smart value in the area of capex and opex savings. Platform convergence facilitates seamless interoperability and integration allowing for enhanced personal control/visibility of all systems (HVAC, Lighting, Metering, Security). Personal control drives Smart Space, Wellness, Innovation and Personal Satisfaction.

SinclairWhat technology is being deployed in the Cisco office?

MacGowan:  Cisco’s new home has been designed from the ground up to attract and retain next generation talent. Talent is the strategic differentiator which will drive innovative solution creation for Cisco’s partners and customers. Technology is the platform which enables personal control, collaboration and sustainability awareness. The Cisco office platform is built upon:

SinclairDescribe the Cisco Project Team.

MacGowan:  The collaborative team which was assembled by Cisco’s Global Work Place Resource Team included the following key stakeholders:

SinclairWhat will happen when an employee arrives to start their day?

MacGowan:  All Cisco employees will begin to interact with the new office from the moment their personal smart device alerts them to the start of their day.

Mobile apps will allow for everyone to reserve both work space options and meeting rooms.

Personal control will allow for the presetting of environmental conditions including temperature and lighting levels.

As employees travel to work they will be updated on primary building conditions including space utilization, energy profiles and office activities.

Upon arrival (via car, train, bicycle or foot), interactive digital screens and virtual agents will provide a warm welcome and offer updated floor details.

Internal way finding will facilitate efficient location of work space and meeting rooms.

HVAC and Lighting systems will dynamically adjust during the day to maximize environmental conditions which will drive IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) and personal satisfaction.

Interactive energy gamification will allow employees to challenge one another, save energy and reduce the sustainability foot print of Cisco’s new home.

At the end of the day, Cisco Space will wish you a good evening, turn down, set back and look forward to your next visit.

SinclairWhat key Smart Building features drove the decision-making process for the new office?

MacGowan:  The Cisco Smart Converged Building Network facilitated the adoption and integration of the following key features:

SinclairHow did this design and planning process differ from other ‘traditional’ office builds?

MacGowan:  To deliver a next generation nontraditional work space, all stakeholders where at the table very early.  The design process defined and focused clearly on all end customer needs. From a clear understanding of needs “The Whys”, every factor shown below where captured via the Integrated Team Approach.

SinclairCisco’s Toronto headquarters will also be home to a new Cisco Internet of Everything "(IoE)" Innovation Centre. Why was Toronto chosen as the location for that new Innovation Centre?

MacGowan:  Todays business decision makers are not looking for products, architectures or solutions. They are demanding business outcomes with measureable business metrics that will bring value to the both the business and the end customer.

Cisco Canada is in a unique position. Over the last five years, a team of vertical thought leaders have been assembled and now make up the Industry Transformation Team “ITX”.

Priority verticals include, healthcare, education, finance, cities/communities, factory floor, real estate and oil and gas.
All outcome solutions are based on Internet of Everything strategies.

Based on the depth and breadth of the “ITX” Team, Cisco Toronto was selected as the IOE Innovation Centre for the Cisco Global Innovation Centre program.

Toronto will collaborate and integrate with all Cisco Centres to bring to market next generation solutions that will drive economic, sustainability and social priorities.

SinclairWhat is the purpose of the IOE Innovation Centre “The Hub”?

MacGowan:  The IOE Innovation Centre is also considered as a Technology Collaboration Hub. Stakeholders representing customers, partners, suppliers, contractors, startups and incubators will meet at the Hub both physically and virtually. Both IP centric products and software platforms will connect and run on a Cisco Smart Converged Building Network. Applications and analytic engines will be hosted on prem in a secure Cisco Cloud.

Work flows, uses cases and new mobile apps will be developed, built, tested and in some cases deployed via a process of commercialization.

Open source data will drive integration, interoperability and hackathon activities.

Our IOE Innovation Centre will be the epicenter of Innovation and will be an enabler for next generation technology talent.

SinclairHow long do you think it will take for this type of technology to be ubiquitous in buildings?

MacGowan:  Leading landlords are already building new towers with this technology today. Others are deploying the same strategy across their existing portfolios. It is being led by those in premium spaces with tenants who expect a premium experience.  This industry is conservative, so we expect this process to take two to three years to truly accelerate.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]SinclairAll of these connected systems sound like an incredible security risk.  Doesn’t this connectivity provide an easy attack vector for hackers?

MacGowan:  Existing buildings are already a wild-west of connectivity, with many remote vendors having access to the system that they have installed or manage.  The problem is that the site or landlord may not apply enterprise grade security and policies to all system access points to a building. This is where the IT industry can support the FM with robust, enterprise grade security and policies to manage these connections, behind a proper firewall, and with managed access.  Our recommended architecture is extremely robust because it is managed by IT professionals, instead of by individual system vendors. There is certainly a learning curve for those new to this approach, but the benefits of system connectivity/convergence and the challenges of security need to be addressed either way.


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