Executives from Johnson Controls, Microsoft Corp. and the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, Bee’ah, have announced an agreement to enhance Bee’ah’s new headquarters located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, with a sweeping array of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart building solutions powered by Microsoft. Digital Vault Johnson Controls will work with Microsoft to outfit the new building with intelligent edge systems Using its Digital Vault offering and extended capabilities built on Microsoft Azure, Johnson Controls will work with Microsoft to outfit the new building with intelligent edge systems, devices and software designed to optimise energy efficiency, make the best use of available space and help the building’s occupants be more productive through a virtual AI persona. Evoteq, Bee’ah’s digital venture, will serve as the technical project management partner for this unique project, deploying integrated solutions and enhanced digital capabilities for greater operational output. From digital workspaces to smart back-office integration, and from smart lobby-visitor management to smart security, employees and visitors at Bee’ah’s new headquarters will experience a diverse range of cutting-edge AI features through multiple touchpoints across various functions including HR, customer care, procurement, administration, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. AI-enabled Smart Building solutions “Environmental sustainability and digital technologies are mutually inclusive factors in driving an economy of the future,” said HE Khaled Al Huraimel, Bee’ah’s Group CEO. “Our headquarters embodies our vision for this future and exemplifies the most sustainable solutions and advanced technologies, with no compromise on strategic partnerships, innovation or delivery. This will be the first building in the region, and one of the first in the world, to have full integration with AI to support new seamless experiences for optimisation of efficiencies, performance and functionality." "Our office of the future will manifest our commitment to the continual advancement of our valued staff body, and AI solutions will provide new avenues of employee development and operational convenience. We look forward to the gradual rollout of AI-powered smart building solutions at other Bee’ah offices and locations across the UAE.” Bee’ah is setting a benchmark in AI capabilities within the region and around the world through smart platforms As one of the Middle East’s first companies dedicated to the pursuit of improving quality of life, Bee’ah is setting a benchmark in AI capabilities within the region and around the world through smart platforms. Bee’ah’s progressive technology achievements have been made possible due to the continual support from the Sharjah government and the UAE’s leadership, which sets the foundations for developing sustainable smart cities. Green Energy Building Designed by the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, Bee’ah’s futuristic new headquarters will be fully powered by renewable energy and optimised for the sustainable use of resources to have zero net energy consumption and achieve a LEED platinum certification — the highest recognition awarded to green buildings. Under the agreement, Johnson Controls will deploy a technical infrastructure for the building capable of monitoring its entire environment virtually with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins and IoT technologies. The solution will enable Bee’ah to analyse volumes of data to optimise building operations and drive efficiency. AI-powered personal concierge services As Bee’ah’s exclusive cloud provider, Microsoft will also optimise the experience of the building for people through technology and solutions powered by Microsoft Azure. Intelligent concierge capabilities will engage visitors and employees to help locate available meeting spaces, book appointments, give directions, hail rides and support day-to-day tasks. These AI-powered personal concierge services are believed to be the first in the Middle East designed specifically for building occupants. Digital Vault and our building apps will give Bee’ah the power to make faster, intelligent data-driven decisions" “Digital Vault and our building apps will give Bee’ah the power to make faster, intelligent data-driven decisions to run its headquarters more safely, efficiently and sustainably, and will increase productivity for the people working and visiting Bee’ah’s headquarters,” said Bill Jackson, vice president and president, Global Products, Building Technologies & Solutions, Johnson Controls. “In partnership with Microsoft, Johnson Controls is transforming traditional building systems with services that merge the physical and digital worlds. Through this project, we are showcasing how the cloud and AI can tap into data from physical spaces to drive better engagement with occupants and achieve new levels of efficiency and sustainability.” Azure Digital Twins and IoT Johnson Controls’ Digital Vault offering takes advantage of the capabilities of Azure Digital Twins, Azure IoT and Azure Container Registry to provide a complete virtual representation of data from connected devices and systems throughout the building. With this approach, Digital Vault translates the physical world inside the building into a digital representation of the building with rich data that can be visualised, analysed and acted upon to deliver proactive maintenance, optimise building systems and deliver intelligent support for the people inside. Bee’ah started with a vision to create one of the most sustainable and smartest buildings in the Middle East Bee’ah started with a vision to create one of the most sustainable and smartest buildings in the Middle East. After an exhaustive search, the firm selected Microsoft as its trusted digital advisor because of the company’s deep industry expertise and commitment to empowering smart cities around the world. Microsoft collaborated with Bee’ah to design the new digital experiences and to build an executable strategy using cloud and AI that would not only deliver smart building systems, but also lead to the creation of spaces and services designed to delight its occupants. Bee’ah selected Johnson Controls based on the company’s skills and offerings across smart building systems and the underlying software platforms, as well as its commitment to and close relationship with Microsoft. Microsoft-Johnson Controls-Bee’ah partnership “Together with Johnson Controls and Bee’ah, we are driving the digitisation of smarter, more sustainable buildings and spaces,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI Group, Microsoft. “Bee’ah’s iconic new headquarters will be among the first buildings globally to have end-to-end experiences designed and built on the Azure platform. Azure is the platform that can truly integrate across all the devices, systems and services required for such a large and diverse implementation. Microsoft has been able to reduce energy consumption by 20% on our own campus in Redmond by using machine learning on edge devices and in the cloud, and we can’t wait to see what Bee’ah is able to do by applying this approach to its ultramodern new headquarters in Sharjah.”
Grinstead will be responsible for the organisation’s sales, marketing, product management, innovation, engineering and operations Johnson Controls has announced that David Grinstead has been named Vice President and General Manager, Global Security Products, a newly created position within Johnson Controls, to oversee all of the company’s security products operations. Technology leadership growth Grinstead leads Global Security Product’s operations, and will be responsible for the organisation’s sales, marketing, product management, innovation, engineering and operations, which includes nearly 3,000 employees. In his new role, Grinstead will lead and direct technology leadership growth in such market categories as access control, video surveillance and intrusion and helping to accelerate these offerings from a security perspective as part of the overall building management solution. Innovative security technologies “David’s experience in leading our global sales organisation uniquely qualifies him to bring innovative security technologies to market, and deploy them in an economically viable way to make improvements to the everyday lives of our customers,” said Bill Jackson, President, Global Products, Johnson Controls. Grinstead most recently served as Vice President, Global Sales, Tyco Security Products, for 10 years, where he managed the global sales forces and consistently grew sales year over year. Prior to joining legacy Tyco, David held commercial leadership positions at such firms as Tucows, Sinclair Technologies and Voice Mobility.
The partnership will help secure buildings from cyber threats In an effort to improve cyber-threat information sharing and analysis, Johnson Controls, a global provider in energy efficiency, integrated solutions and building controls, announces a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Cybersecurity and Communications. The agreement will help secure our nation’s critical infrastructure from those with malicious intent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that buildings consume nearly half of all energy produced in the United States. Proper use of building automation systems can greatly reduce energy consumption, lower operating costs and increase efficiency. But today’s smart buildings must be secure, as well. Better protection of customers and critical systems “Defending against cyber threats today and tomorrow requires the secure design, development and deployment of building automation systems and controls,” said Bill Jackson, president of Johnson Controls’ global products, Building Technologies and Solutions. “Our relationship with DHS enables our cybersecurity experts to collaborate with their counterparts in the federal government so that we can better protect our customers and critical systems around the world.” Through its agreement with DHS, Johnson Controls will participate in the Cyber Information Sharing and Collaboration Program (CISCP), taking part in multi-directional cybersecurity information sharing and analytic collaboration between government and the private sector. “We’re excited about this opportunity to work with DHS to help secure building automation systems and critical infrastructure from cyber threats,” adds Jackson. “Johnson Controls has always been an innovator in this space, beginning with Warren Johnson’s invention of the electric room thermostat – 131 years ago – and the building controls industry that grew out of that early technology. Addressing the new challenge of cyber threats to embedded building control systems is a logical next step in that journey.”