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December 2018
Interview

AutomatedBuildings.com

Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Logan SoyaEMAIL INTERVIEWLogan Soya and Ken Sinclair

Logan Soya, Founder, CEO, Aquicore

Logan Soya is the founder and CEO of Aquicore, a leading commercial real estate software company with an all-in-one asset operations and management platform. In his role, Soya is responsible for creating and implementing business strategies, managing the company’s investments and resources, as well as driving Aquicore’s future innovation and growth. With a background in physics, technology, systems management and business, Soya founded Aquicore in 2012 on a mission to create a global impact by helping clients connect to and understand their physical world.

After completing his master’s degree in business administration at Georgetown University, Soya launched Aquicore as a vehicle to create a global impact on the built environment. By leveraging advanced IoT technology, combined with a cloud-based information platform, Aquicore enables property managers, asset managers and building engineers to cut operational costs, improve tenant relations, increase energy efficiency and boost asset value. 



The Right Tools in the Right Hands

By tracking and analyzing building data and key performance indicators in real time, we have been proven to cut operational costs, improve tenant relations, increase energy efficiency and boost asset value.

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Sinclair:  What problem does Aquicore solve?

Soya:  Today, a large majority of commercial buildings’ useful data is locked up in physical equipment at the property or siloed in business processes that prevent a holistic view. This robs building teams of valuable context in the decision-making process. The lack of data not only reduces profits but also negatively impacts our global environment.
 
Fundamentally, we are a smart buildings company established on the principle that the right tools in the right hands can help create a more healthy, sustainable, productive and profitable future. We use a cloud-based information system along with customized analytics and reporting features to provide property managers, asset managers and building engineers with granular insights into the built environment. By tracking and analyzing building data and key performance indicators in real time, we have been proven to cut operational costs, improve tenant relations, increase energy efficiency and boost asset value.

Sinclair:  What is Aquicore’s self-installing IoT hardware and what are the deployment benefits?

Soya:  Our primary device is the Aquicore Hub, which serves as a central unit and internet gateway for securely uploading building data to the cloud. The Aquicore Bridge extends the Hub’s using a secure mesh network and connects to building meters, equipment, and sensors.
 
The self-install process makes installation quicker, easier and cheaper. Both devices, which use encrypted 4G communications to keep customer data safe, are designed to be installed by on-site staff in about 30 minutes, eliminating the need to hire outside contractors.
 
Sinclair:  In what ways are IoT devices necessary for managing buildings more efficiently?
 
Soya:  We use IoT devices to compile real-time data from utility meters, equipment, and sensors in buildings. They can track, analyze and predict key building metrics in real-time, instead of days or weeks later. With access to granular views of what’s happening inside commercial assets across a portfolio, asset and property managers can make faster and more informed decisions about how to operate their buildings, leading to places that are more healthy, sustainable, productive and profitable. However, it’s important to note that our platform doesn’t require IoT devices to deliver data and actionable insights to its users.

Sinclair:  Best practices for companies when deciding to implement smart buildings asset management technologies into their business operations?
 
Soya:  Start with one issue you want to analyze, energy efficiency for example, and work toward solving that problem. When looking at raw data, it can often be confusing and hard to see the forest through the trees. I recommend finding a vendor – like Aquicore – that can compile, analyze and synthesize the data into easily digestible reports. After all, it’s not just about having your building run better; it’s about helping the people who run your building operate better. Once you figure out how to manage one issue, begin adding on new components to track - start with energy, then add water, then HVAC, until you have a full picture of what’s going on in your building at all times.
 
Control Solutions, Inc Sinclair:  Has the compnay launched any new products or features within the last year?
 
Soya:  Yes – Our new features and updates to the platform over the last few months include: 
•    Mobile App – The Aquicore mobile app takes the core features of the platform and makes them available anywhere. We’re also gradually rolling out mobile-specific features to capitalize on its portability and to incorporate the lessons we’re learning from user feedback.
•    Optimal Start Time – The optimal start time tool utilizes a complex algorithm to develop it suggestions, factoring in outdoor temperature, equipment efficiency, insulation levels, utility tariff schedules and lease hours. The tool’s suggestions are then delivered to users on a daily basis with plenty of time to take action. The tool also requests input from users to better train and enhance the algorithm for the future.
•    Equipment Inventory – An updated inventory function to map building meters and equipment within the Aquicore platform, eliminating loose excel sheets and lost records, to keep a central system of record of what’s happening in each building.
•    Bill-Back Anomaly Detection – The platform’s new anomaly detection adds another layer of protection to the billing process by automatically double checking for accuracy.
•    Self-install IoT Equipment – 30-minute self-guided, on-site installation and commissioning process, eliminating the need to hire outside contractors. Aquicore’s breakthrough software-led setup and installation process gets buildings up and running significantly faster than its competition, saving the company both time and money.
•    Tenant Billing – Updated workflows make reading meters and creating, approving and sending bills to tenants a breeze every month. The new feature also supports all the complex leasing structures that vary from state to state.
•    Tenant Management – Improved transparency tools streamline communication with tenants by breaking down utility consumption into easy-to-read reports.

Sinclair:  What can we expect to see from Aquicore in the near future?
 
Soya:  Our data science team is working on some really exciting things. As more and more buildings come online and more utility and historical data is input into the platform, we’ll be able to expand our offerings – not just in terms of what the platform can do, but what it can tell you about the market.


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