Scenera, S&I seek to replicate facilities management platform model from South Korea in the US

by | Feb 15, 2024 | News, Press

Scenera Faciltiy Management Dashboard

The effort builds on the success of case studies in South Korea, where a retailer garnered roughly 10% in energy savings and cut maintenance costs by 17%, Scenera’s CEO says. The applications dashboard will incorporate generative AI for improved facilities management through data-rich insights aimed at optimizing end-user experience in modern property management and facility operations, Scenera says.

This article was published by FacilitiesDive on February 13, 2024.

Dive Brief:

  • Palo Alto, California-based Scenera is working with South Korean building and facilities management solutions provider S&I Corp. to provide data-driven facilities management solutions in the U.S. by integrating artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technologies, according to a Tuesday news release shared with Facilities Dive.  
  • Backed by Microsoft, the alliance aims to incorporate generative AI into Scenera’s applications to help companies organize operational data, Scenera said. S&I said it hopes to replicate the success of retail case studies from South Korea in the U.S. facilities management industry. 
  • “There’s a lot of data out there, but facilities management companies are not able to see that data in a way that can help them run their operations efficiently. We’re trying to gather data from different IoT [devices], publicly available data and from other services, organize these into operational themes to customize them for operational needs, and then run advanced AI to make that data better,” Scenera CEO David Lee told Facilities Dive.

Dive Insight:

The agreement comes as facilities managers are increasingly turning to data insights, amid pressure to cut costs, boost tenant satisfaction, maximize the service life of equipment and make their operations more efficient.

Scenera specializes in IoT data orchestration from edge to cloud, with its MAIstro data management solution integrating and organizing various data sources into a cloud data lake. This enables sophisticated AI analytics to predict maintenance needs, capture the status of real-time energy usage and detect anomalies through surveillance video cameras, per the release. 

S&I, which manages office buildings, data centers and factories of LG Group affiliates, provides lease management, building security, energy management, maintenance services and space management in Korea, per the release. S&I said it is building a platform to migrate its IT infrastructure to an Agile platform-as-a-service model and mining data from facilities management sites to build “intelligent nodes” that can improve efficiency. 

Lee hinted at successful implementations with at least three U.S. customers, including Wachter, a system integrator that joined hands with Scenera last month to generate data-rich insights aimed at helping U.S. retailers with real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance of store appliances and energy management for store equipment.

Building on the success of S&I’s case studies in South Korea, Scenera and S&I say they aim to address common pain points facilities managers are experiencing and questions related to how well data is supporting their operations as they seek an impactful return-on-investment on proptech capital, the release said. These pain points include staffing costs, operational expenses such as energy, maintenance, logistics and food waste, data utilization challenges, including the types of data gathered, and efforts to retain customer loyalty.

At a GS25 retail store that was part of S&I’s case study in Korea, energy savings reached approximately 10% and maintenance costs were reduced by around 17%, Lee said, noting that these statistics, gathered over the past 3-4 years, have left the retail store satisfied. 

“Instead of maintenance crew, they have automatic detection systems, resulting in a projected payback period of within two years,” Lee said. 

The initiative began with Microsoft serving primarily as a platform provider, 3-4 years ago, S&I CEO Won Joon Hyoung told Facilities Dive. He noted that a push for agility in software urged a shift away from traditional, sluggish technology, with Azure emerging as an optimal and flexible platform. As the company’s applications evolved to incorporate AI and deep learning, Microsoft’s investment increased, leading to collaborative projects aimed at maximizing platform usage and functionality and significant progress began two years ago, he added. 

Conventional facilities management relies heavily on labor-intensive methods, with services like security and cleaning often contracted annually based on manpower, and automation is able to reduce this burden, Hyoung said. 

“A typical mega-building has 40-50 workers running around behind the scenes to sustain and maintain all the buildings and keep them clean and safe,” Hyoung said. “Technology can complement and augment the efforts of these workers, so we provide robots or new sensors and IoT tools [that can] measure how clean a bathroom is, for example.”