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Honeywell Forge-SAP combo improves smart building management

SAP Cloud for Real Estate integrates with Honeywell Forge autonomous buildings platform to help improve energy efficiency in buildings.

SAP and Honeywell International Inc. are partnering to combine operational data with business data in a cloud platform that could help businesses make better decisions based on real-time data.

The partnership's first focus area is the real estate industry with the integration of the Honeywell Forge autonomous buildings platform and SAP Cloud for Real Estate. This combines operational data from buildings in Honeywell Forge, an industrial internet of things (IIoT) analytics platform launched in 2019, with financial and other business data in SAP Cloud for Real Estate.

Honeywell Forge takes data via sensors and other devices from autonomous building sources, such as internal environment conditions, external weather conditions, occupancy and time of day. It brings together data with different file formats and naming conventions and transforms it into a coherent building data set. The harmonized data is then presented in dashboards for building owners and managers to have better visibility into issues like energy efficiency.

Peter Maier, president of industries and customer advisory, SAPPeter Maier

SAP Cloud for Real Estate, an application built on the SAP Cloud Platform, provides companies with a platform to manage real estate portfolios with real-time analysis of critical metrics like cost, capacity and optimal use of space.

"The integration of Honeywell Forge and the SAP Cloud for Real Estate solution will provide corporate real estate owners and building operators with aggregated financial data, but also operational intelligence for their portfolio," said Peter Maier, SAP president of industries and customer advisory. "This enables customers to benefit from building performance optimization, such as reducing their carbon footprint and lowering energy costs."

Combining operational and business data

The partnership between Honeywell Forge and SAP makes sense to Scott Morey, executive director at One11 Advisors, a management consulting firm in Chicago. One11 Advisors provides vendor-agnostic advice on technology and operations for businesses that invest in, own or operate real estate.

Honeywell Forge provides a platform to gather and harmonize operations data from sources that previously couldn't communicate, Morey said. This is akin to the days before computer networks when devices -- like computers, printers and the like -- operated on their own.

Scott Morey, executive director, One11 AdvisorsScott Morey

"Honeywell Forge platform is making sense of all that operational data, and it provides a means for better visibility and control, not just over Honeywell equipment but any and all types of equipment within that category," he said.

That includes capturing data such as energy usage or triggers that send warning signals when something is not working properly or if certain usage or other metrics are hit.

SAP Cloud for Real Estate manages business data about buildings and combining that with the Honeywell Forge operations data provides real estate owners and managers with tools to examine how the properties are really running and changes that may be needed for goals like improving energy efficiency, Morey said.

"The amount of money people spend to occupy a space is usually one of the top expenses on their P&L statements," he said. "But there's always been such limited visibility over the usage of that space, so what makes this interesting is the combination of the data sets."

Context needed

Honeywell Forge provides the operational data, which is not very useful without the business context from SAP Cloud for Real Estate.

"You're getting energy costs, usage and things relative to devices from Honeywell Forge, but you're tracking spending and paying bills on the SAP side," Morey said. "One without the other doesn't give you the value, but together they give you context and data to achieve that value."

The other aspect that makes this integration interesting is that it's unique in the real estate technology applications market today, he said.

"Technology investment within the space has gone up exponentially, but it's mostly been niche pieces and no one's combined the pieces in the way that they have today," he said. "There are applications that do utility billing and track energy costs, but not to this extent and actually there's no one even close in my opinion. It was smart on both of their parts to combine, and it's definitely kind of a one plus one equals three in the end."

This is the first of many such industry-focused SAP Cloud Platform-based integrations, Maier said.

"It's the starting point," he said. "We will do similar things in other industries."

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