April 2020

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Nicolas WaernEMAIL INTERVIEW  Nicolas Waern and Ken Sinclair

"The Building Whisperer" - Making buildings talk to people

Contributing Editor

The Road to Future Ready Facilities and Digital Twin Thinking

he podcast with James was a great discussion between him and me about our past, what we think about the future, and the whole idea of decoupling hardware and software.

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Sinclair:  Hey Nicolas! How have you been since AHR? How’s Corona treating you?

Waern:  Well, not too bad to be honest, considering the global turmoil. The whole family’s been stuck in quarantine now for about 12 days. It’s been a lot of monopoly, watching Pokemon and also recording some meetings for my new podcast. Not only waking up to wireless ways and thinking about The Smart City-future day and night but even letting others know what we talk about!

Sinclair:  Yeah, I saw that! You and Captain Planet, James Dice, hitting it off. Well done! What is the podcast about?

Waern:  The podcast with James was a great discussion between him and me about our past, what we think about the future and the whole idea of decoupling hardware and software. James is a titan in the industry, and I appreciate what he is doing with his amazing newsletter.

The overall idea with the recordings is to spread as much knowledge as possible to the ones that need it the most. I guess similar to the intent with and ControlTalkNOW.

My idea with my future “podcast” is about giving WINNIIO customers, my network, and everyone else a transparent view of my weekly conversations. (Sign up here)

Just this week has been engaging with new customers coming in and existing customers phasing out.

Sinclair:  Can you give us some examples?

Waern:  Absolutely! I managed to record about 5 “podcasts” last week with companies and people that I work with/are interested in. Here are some examples:

-    Everything connected strategy
Connected strategy for the leading Digital Twin company in Sweden, Zynka Group and their Digital Buildings approach, on how to get data out and in, of buildings. It’s a strategy for data collection from the buildings that have intelligence (BAS/BMS) that don’t have any intelligence, as well as a connected approach for new construction focusing on future-proofing the industry as much as possible.

Zynka Model

i. Zynka Group and Digital Buildings knowledge capital turned into Digital Buildings Platform thinking

-    Going full-on TESLA/APPLE approach for construction
Digital Twin thinking for a Prefab construction company in the APAC region-building four new hotels and a couple of apartment blocks. They want to go full TESLA-approach in building a software product, with some walls around it – thus making smart from the start, also turning them into the APPLE in the construction industry, delivering a Smart Building to their customers.  Enabling them to take care of the technical asset management side of things extending their value offering to the Asset Management side since we’ll help out in creating a “self-driving” building. I’m advising on future connectivity strategies, also putting together a smart building-package with suggested vendors and technologies.

-    Corona-fighting through a Digital Twin

Combating future pandemics through a European Digital Twin initiative regarding a Pan-European National database. I helped a Digital Twin-company with a Euro Horizon2020 Granting proposal, with ecosystems thinking, overall value proposition and getting a consortium together based on my network and knowledge of cutting-edge technology with a benefits-driven approach.

Basically how 200 databases could be ingested and indexed into a Digital Twin database, being able to trust that data, harmonize it, tied to a real use-case utilizing edge thermal imaging, crowd analytics, scalable mesh sensoring to help curb existing and future outbreaks based on heat, movement, air pressure and humidity factors in and around smart buildings and smart cities. This is a combination play with SEKAI, Natix, Bumbeelabs, Conectric and Platform of Trust also with Winniio partner company Wiredhut.

-    Increasing organizational curiosity
Remote speaking engagement for a listed giant working with Industry 4.0 initiatives. They have an ageing organization with a traditional approach to everything. They want help in demystifying AI/ML, blockchain, IoT, for their employees, and enabling a more mature view of modern technology to provide cutting-edge offerings to their customers, also attracting new talent with modern ways of working. We are setting up a 1,5-hour seminar as well as education blocks for self-learning and how to get started in their organization.

-    Resolute Building Intelligence and the 3-seashell strategy
Vendor spotlight on several companies, including Resolute Building Intelligence, with their Building-performance analytics & reporting solution based on Niagara installations. I had a blast discussing the past, present and future with Chad Ruch and Chris Hallendy. The conversation will also be a podcast episode for the new show – with a basis in the extremely relevant 3-seashell strategy.

Resolute Building Intelligence

ii. Resolute Building Intelligence depiction of the Smart Building Layer Cake

Teaser – these guys know what they are talking about. The next step after monitoring is when bi-directionality takes place in an open, secure, future-proof way to get to those cognitive buildings of the future. Something which I can help with for sure.

-    GTM - Go To Market strategies
Go to market strategies through sounding board advisory for a couple of Small-Medium-Sized companies. It’s a classic scale-up advisory where the need is for a scalable, repeatable product to become one with a scalable and repeatable organization—creating solutions to the challenge “how existing companies are meant to die” and how to operate in a supposedly “broken” industry.

Sinclair:  I see that you are making the most of your time in quarantine, very interesting! I understand that there is a lot of Digital Twins there. Isn’t that just a buzz-word?

Waern:  Great question. I think everything sounds like a buzz-word if you don’t have a good understanding of the benefits, limitations and current status of said buzz-word.

I think that the True Digital Twin will take a decade to reach global market penetration. It’s not so much about the technology as it is ways of working that need changing. The TRUE part is a Digital Twin for the entire lifecycle that won’t die. Readers can read more here about my thinking as well as Leading players in the industry.

If we go back to the trusted tool of the BB-cycle, we can see that it’s indeed a long way to industry mainstream adoption. Data shows that this will most likely correlate with more IT-intensive organizations coming into the building automation industry, as well as a younger work-force, demanding new ways of working.

But as the article states, everything is possible right now. And I’m glad that companies are reaching out to me to get it done!

The BB-Cycle – Building Buzz Breakdown

The BB-Cycle

iii. The Building Buzz Cycle - "The BB-Cycle"  - breaking down all the building buzz in the industry

Sinclair:  I can see that you are busy. I guess this is why we are not getting an article from you for March? What do you have for us in April?

Waern:  Yes, I’ve been trying hard to help companies that are busy focusing on their core, to get the most of what the world has to offer as a sounding board for everything future-oriented. Most companies act reactively, waiting for vendor products to hit the market. This is great for the “main-streamers” but not the ones that want to innovate and become digital champions. That’s where I want to help out, in turning knowledge into wisdom in an action-oriented way.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]I’m thinking that the May-article will focus on the ways to get to a smarter industry. And for that, I need to read the latest of, which I haven’t done after the AHR expo.

Both the April article and even more so in May will hopefully have more bullet points than text, and I’m going to try to keep it very streamlined and action-oriented with practical advice more than anything. My recent connections and already recorded podcast guests, Go-to-Engineer John Sullivan, and Veri Smart City Expert Anthony Veri Jr will help frame that article with their immense amount of knowledge into adjacent industries.

I hope that both the April issue as well as the May issue will be the best ones yet and they will hopefully give some practical advice on the way to a future-proof building automation industry!

Sinclair:  Thanks a lot for this, Nicolas! Any final words?

Waern:  Two things.

  1. I need a name for the podcast.  The leading one is something Chad Ruch came up with.
    How about "Setting It Straight with Nicolas Waern," to emphasize your leaning tower concept, and what you're trying to do for the industry?
  2. To continuously encourage companies and people to keep innovating!

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Linkedin if there’s anything on your mind, and you want to do the right things, as well as doing things right!

/Nicolas Waern


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