How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level

Digital transformation should be used for optimizing the decision-making process in a company. That can be operations, claims, investments, or efficiency. The companies need to know what will not only have the biggest effect in a short term but more how that digital transformation can be sustained in the longer term.

As part of our series about “How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Soner Haci.

Soner Haci,,multi-time startup CEO founded deep-tech companies in different industries and has been working in Siemens Building Technologies and e-On energy for the last 15 years and was responsible for business development and strategy in emerging technologies and markets and the EU/MENA region. Right now he is the CEO and co-founder of INESS360.

We spend 90% of our lives inside buildings and nearly half of that time is spent inside commercial buildings like shops, offices, markets, etc. Even the next generation is assumed to become an indoor generation which makes it much more important to understand how we use buildings and how the building technology should work according to our usage trends. Building automation technologies have not changed too much for the last 25 years. We have developed robotics to control and produce goods in factories, we are developing and using driverless cars, but in buildings, we still depend and rely on human intervention and operation.

We want to create a real positive impact on people’s lives by developing sustainable and innovative new technologies for saving energy and operating buildings more intelligently.

Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

Imagine a building that speaks to you

Imagine a building that listens to you and thinks about saving you money

A building that knows the weather forecast before you do and prepares your building for you.

INESS is the beginning of The Internet of Buildings. We aim to be the blockchain-based application that unlocks the vast potential value that lies within the data collected by sensor networks in buildings — unlocking the growing value of the real-time data.

In the future, anyone would be able to buy data from commercial buildings. This data is the evolution of how companies are able to interact with modern business buildings.

We are working on a Building Data Exchange platform called BDex, which will convert commercial spaces into data streaming sources so that the data can be integrated into different industries. With that approach the building owner, investor or business will have the option to sell their data on the platform and generate additional revenue from the building they own and rent.

Imagine the possibilities of knowing how much traffic is going on in your local shopping center, how many customers are in a nearby restaurant, or even what your building is doing right now. On BDex you can utilize commercial building data as if it was your own to make smart business decisions fast.

What exactly Digital Transformation means? On a practical level what does it look like to engage in a Digital Transformation?

The digital transformation as we understand it is to convert the business operations from being human dependent into digital and data-driven operated systems. With the data that is created from the devices, machines, sensors the digital transformation is happening much faster than before, the decision-making, analysis, and efficiency in operations are handled by creating digital models with the date and that helps the businesses act faster and better.

There are some industries that are already leveraging the digital transformation like industrial factories, self-driving cars, financial markets, and the Real-estate industry will be the next big vertical that will be affected in a positive way in the digital transformation era.

Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?

I believe that Real-Estate investment companies and healthtech companies will be benefiting most from the transformation. Those 2 verticals will be generating very important and critical data that will affect people’s lives in a better way

Real-estate investors will benefit from the digital transformation of the buildings. The building will generate data for their investors so that they can better understand how human behavior, usage trends are changing during the day in different types of buildings. With that transformation the investment decision will be done according to the real usage trends and needs and the real estates will be optimized not only for efficiency but also for human comfort and health

The Health tech companies are already leveraging the digital transformation in health care. The move from being centrally focused into decentralized health care is happening very fast, and the digital transformation in primary care, diagnostics, and remote monitoring is changing how people will access healthcare.

How has Digital Transformation helped improve operations, processes, and customer experiences?

Every building is a data source.

We’re on a mission to help in the transformation of the world’s commercial buildings into data sources. We do this by integrating INESS devices into the structure of the building and converting commercial spaces into data streaming sources to model human behavior. The digital transformation of the concrete structures into data twins will help the building owner and business to optimize their operations without being dependent on human input

Our initial project which was performed with the biggest fitness chains addressed our clients’ problems with steadily increasing and unpredictable energy costs at their 40 locations. We started by analyzing one of their location in Europe, which runs at 22k Euro monthly energy costs. The problem was that at that location the automation system and the building were basically disconnected from each other, which is a common pattern throughout most locations we have assessed. The automation system was installed with a proxy of maximum assumption of occupancy and no intelligence to adapt. Thus, it catered for service levels assumed to be necessary for 1000 people coming to the location during the day, vs. a real-life 200 to 350 occupancy at any time.

INESS identified the following patterns and allows to dynamically react to them

1- The location was only occupied after 10.00 a.m. Our dynamic adaptation to real-time occupancy saved the location close to 10% of energy cost.

2- The system registered energy consumption during nighttime due to cleaning and maintenance patterns. Our dynamic adaptation to reflect actual use times saved the location further energy cost.

3- The location featured windows at the roof, getting daylight for significant periods of any given day. Adjusting another lighting to reflect the natural daylight use we changed the real-time scheduling to the lighting system, yielding a further 8% of energy cost.

TOTAL energy cost savings for our customers by using INESS at this location was more than 20%, effective immediately. We achieved these savings by simply analyzing and connecting the building’s different energy uses with the people living inside on a real-time basis.

Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?

As we are gradually entering into the digital era in which market disruptions are becoming more frequent, established firms need to make sense of digital technologies and transform their organizations to the new market environment. The digital transformation is bringing a lot of advantages but it is also difficult for companies to adapt to the change in a sustainable way. One of the key challenges is how to adapt and engage employees in the transformation process. The resistance between the old and new employees is a key barrier to integrating the processes into the digital formation. The best way to overcome that problem is to set up short-term and easy to reach goals, instead of trying to move fast and change the whole structure of the company. The short-term and easy to achieve goals will help the employees to adapt to the change but also can help them to engage in the process and give their inputs and feedbacks. The whole process should be backed up by the top-level management and the management should be involved in the process as well, which will help to create the innovation culture in the company.

What are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”?

Digital transformation should be used for optimizing the decision-making process in a company. That can be operations, claims, investments, or efficiency. The companies need to know what will not only have the biggest effect in a short term but more how that digital transformation can be sustained in the longer term.

  1. Operations: Converting the operations into data-driven digital operations, especially commercial building operations should be done by using real-time data created from inside of the commercial buildings. The data will help the building owners or tenants to integrate the dynamics of the space usage patterns into their facilities management.
  2. Investments: The investment either in the stock market, real estate, or retail will be done by transforming the decision-making process into the digital world. The data economy that is growing every minute will make it easier to make investment decisions in certain verticals
  3. Sales: Sales process is usually the most important process in a company’s lifetime. With the digital transformation, the whole sales cycle is integrated into the digital process so that the follow-up, customer engagement, and after-sales process can be done much faster and much efficiently.
  4. Employee engagement: Till today the marketing teams were heavily focused on developing tools for optimizing customer engagement. Right now to engage the employees is as important as customer engagement. The customer data will be used as key insights to the internal systems, business processes, and employee engagement
  5. Employee training / Onboarding: The developments with WFH have also transformed the employee training and onboarding process, the digital transformation will create digital content platforms where employees can create the training content for other employees in real-time and remotely. That will help the companies to update their employees with the latest developments anywhere and instantly

How can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?

Competitive advantage refers to the ability gained through attributes and resources to perform at a higher level than others in the same industry or market. In the early days, that advantage was to have more human power, human resources

Right now the focus of innovation is how to use digital transformation in order to have the most optimized number of humans involved in day-to-day operations. In order to adopt the change, the companies should be focused on how to create a culture first inside of the company. The process needs to involve every level of employees so that the change to digital transformation can be accepted by every level and the employees can be engaged in the transformation roadmap. The concept of ` Open Innovation ` should be accepted by the companies right from the beginning. One of the main goals of open innovation is to ensure a company’s swift response to the competitive environment by collecting information of rapidly changing markets and technologies.

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