How Crestron Building Management Software Helped Microsoft & Four Seasons Hotel

By Cathrine Hosking 10 months ago
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At the speed current technology is developing, these days it’s common for businesses to miss out on some of the technology available. One area where this is especially true is in commercial building management, where tracking, optimisation, and clever programming can bring massive cost savings. Several case studies indicate that it is not only advanced smart building technology, but the ability to personalise the integration and tracking with the commercial space that brings significant benefits.

This is especially important with the wide range of problems, needs and types of businesses we see today. We see some businesses adopting a remote worker or BYOD approach, some that need their employees onsite full time and provide their required devices, and everything in between. A tailored approach means each client gets the best technology, has the opportunity to better understand their unique business through data tracking, and as such can optimise what they do day to day.

Microsoft and Crestron achieve savings of $1M

Microsoft® is an excellent example of how operations can be optimised. Middle management at the company found themselves wasting huge amounts of time and money searching for available conference rooms. Through the use of Crestron building management reporting, they discovered that over 70% of Microsoft® meetings had below 10 attendees, hardly using up the capacity of a full conference room. By gaining access to this metric they immediately realised what was causing the issue. Employees wanted spaces to collaborate on projects and were using the full-sized conference rooms for this purpose because there were no other spaces available.

In a subsequent new build, they decided to put this insight into action and designed several smaller ‘huddle’ spaces that were dedicated collaborative environments and fewer full-size conference rooms. Besides facilitating happier and more productive employees, this insight helped Microsoft® realise a cost saving of more than $250 000 in building materials. Given this success, it’s no surprise that Microsoft® decided to follow this approach on subsequent build projects which has resulted in a collective savings of over $1 million to date.

Recognising the success of the partnership, which has seen Microsoft and Crestron collaborate numerous times over the span of a decade, Crestron was named Microsoft’s 2018 Partner of the Year: Internet of Things. One key reason for this was the Crestron XiO Cloud, including the IoT-based service.

The Crestron XiO Cloud IoT-based service is built on Microsoft Azure and ties together the E2E cloud-to-device experience in a workplace, and integrates Microsoft Power BI tools so users can analyse system data and match technology to worker’s needs.

This software enables a business to centrally deploy, monitor, manage and develop workplace solutions, and is said to reduce any added complexity. Microsoft reports that its enterprise customers are using data gathered by the cloud to match new technology investments to actual usage, so as to save money, and have seen up to 90% less installation time and improvements in device uptime. Having not only the best technology, but the best technology for your business’s specific needs is a crucial part of any workplace or commercial space.

Four Seasons Hotel dramatically drops power bill thanks to data

Another example of how metrics can be used to gain powerful insights is with Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago and their energy crisis. After spending more than $1 million on energy bills every year, they decided it was finally time to investigate the power consumption of the guest’s rooms. Four Seasons Hotel initially needed to scope the problem. To do so they teamed up with Crestron to install the Crestron Fusion energy management tracking system. Over three weeks, data was tracked to determine how much power could be saved by better controlling the HVAC systems and linking them with the guest management system. They found that over half of the energy consumption was accredited to the HVAC system, which included consumption during times when the guest’s rooms were unoccupied.

To resolve this issue, the Crestron Energy Management System was programmed to integrate the HVAC with the Guest Management System at the hotel, automatically turning off the HVAC when a room was unoccupied. Through this integration, the hotel was able to reduce the run time of the HVAC units by 2.5 hours per day without having any impact on the experience of the guests. This resulted in savings of more than 27% and a carbon reduction of 845 tonnes, which meant a full return on investment in less than three years. Fully deployed, the Crestron system data tracks energy consumption and gives employees with a real time dashboard of a current room status.

According to Crestron, great benefits can be had in intelligently managing not only HVAC but AV, voice, data, lighting, security and more. When everything across the building is monitored, managed and controlled from a centralised dashboard, users find they have more efficiency, productivity, energy savings and less tech support cases and equipment downtime. Furthermore, these businesses have actual data that can be used in ‘green’ initiatives and showcase increased sustainability.

Where to next?

In the examples of Microsoft® and The Four Seasons Hotel, it’s evident that through the use of modern building management tools that track usage efficiently it’s quite possible to both increase profits and gain a better understanding of the inner workings a business. Around the world, business leaders are adopting smart technologies to streamline their current operations and integrate disparate systems to ensure all are working together.

Alongside building management systems, Crestron offers lighting control, AV distribution, energy management, HVAC control, and digital signage – all which integrate together into a total solution. According to Crestron, the ultimate aim of its systems, whether for cubicles, huddle spaces, boardrooms or public spaces, is to allow users to control, monitor and analyse their building, simplifying their life and ensuring ease of mind, time and cost savings.

Are you leveraging technology to make smart business decisions? Chat with our commercial energy management team to learn more about what you can do to track usage and optimise energy consumption.

You can read the full Special Report from Crestron here.

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