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Acquisition Targets Digital Transformation of Buildings
Siemens Building Technologies Division is acquiring Building Robotics Inc., best known for its Comfy app, which directly integrates with existing building automation, IT networks, and IoT systems to provide on-demand control and smart automation, all within a single intuitive app.
The acquisition of Building Robotics is the latest sign of Siemens Building Technologies’ strategy of investing heavily in secure digital products and solutions to drive the digital transformation of buildings and the building industry. Siemens believes interaction between buildings and humans is crucial to increase productivity, energy efficiency, and comfort in a building and has been looking for offerings that help connect people to buildings. “We thought Comfy was a perfect fit,” said Dave Hopping, president of Siemens’ Building Technologies Division – Americas. “Our vision is creating perfect places.”
In May, Siemens Building Technologies Division announced that it was acquiring Enlighted Inc. and J2 Innovations, two other leading Building IoT startups.
Enlighted offers a Building IoT platform that consists of multi-function smart sensors, distributed computing, its own network, and software applications to analyze and visualize sensor data to drive down operating costs and improve the inner life of a building. J2 Innovations has developed FIN (Fluid INtegration) Framework technology to operate, monitor and control equipment and automation systems for small to large buildings.
Like Enlighted and J2, Building Robotics Inc. will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens Industry Inc. and will continue to operate as a vendor-agnostic platform provider. “We will continue to serve all of our customers with all of their systems,” said Andrew Krioukov, CEO and co-founder of Building Robotics Inc. The company will continue to expand its product suite. “The vision is to become a holistic workplace app,” Krioukov said. As part of Siemens, he believes, Building Robotics will be able to achieve that goal at scale and on an international level.
“It was really clear to me the commitment that Siemens had to putting people at the center of the building,” Krioukov said.
“This move further strengthens our leadership position in smart buildings,” said Matthias Rebellius, CEO of Siemens Building Technologies. “With the Comfy app, we will bring a consumer-like experience to commercial buildings that simplifies the interaction with buildings to increase employee productivity and engagement.”
The Building IoT represents a key opportunity for facility managers, said Hopping. With the falling cost of sensors and the rapid growth of technology in areas like the cloud and machine learning, the volume of data available to improve building performance is growing. “We’re able to leverage this data to deliver more value to our customers,” said Hopping.