At Current, we’re seeing one significant trend at a macro level: the emergence of connected environments across nearly every industry on the planet.
So when GE looked at the wasted energy problem in the commercial and industrial space, combined with the increasing importance of IoT technology, we saw an opportunity to merge our energy efficiency, innovation, and business productivity heritage with our digital future.
At Current, we are focusing on being the Digital Engine for Intelligent Environments, and we help customers drive better outcomes—better energy efficiency outcomes and better business productivity outcomes.
During a recent webinar, we explored how Current and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are working together to create an intelligent environment that will help the bank with its long-term commitment to sustainability.
Bruce Stewart, Chief Marketing Office at Current, and Mike Norton, Managing Director, Global Real Estate at JPMorgan Chase, spoke about the energy efficiency, business productivity ,and digital technologies being deployed across 4,500 U.S. bank branches—and the results of the digital installation to date.
In case you missed the live session, here’s the full Q&A from the presentation:
Q: Mike, why did you decide to make this investment with Current?
A: (Mike) It’s a good idea to do pilots and learn from those mistakes early on. However, there aren’t a lot of companies that can provide the kind of scale, depth, and speed to market that Current can. JPMorgan Chase has a very aggressive digital game plan—and that was the foundation of the collaboration with the Current team.
We didn’t want to do one market at a time—we believe in Current’s product and what it will deliver. The faster to market we can go, the faster the digital technology goes into effect. GE really stepped up.
Q: With so much vulnerability these days due to cyberattacks, how do you rationalize with a customer that connecting more platforms to the Internet is safe for their business?
A: (Bruce) Current and JPMorgan Chase have both worked hard to make sure we’re effectively managing data integrity, resiliency, and cybersecurity risks. We’ve built an Industrial Internet platform with a premium on safety, security and reliability.
Likewise, we’ve also set up a quantification and certification process to make sure that, when we’re rolling solutions out, we’re managing risk and creating the appropriate firewalls to prevent cyber security issues. That’s important to us—and clearly to JPMorgan Chase, due to their banking infrastructure.
(Mike) JPMorgan has 50,000 technologists today—out of a company of roughly 250,000 employees—and we spend a tremendous amount of time building the infrastructure and governance to protect end customers and employees across the globe. We take it very seriously.
This wasn’t a plug-and-play solution. We put months of trials and research into the way we put solutions into the bank branches to ensure customer data would not be compromised.
Q: What has the response been from JPMorgan Chase leaders and employees about these updates and the firm’s sustainability commitment? Are there any indications or statistics around how JPMorgan Chase shareholders are responding to this initiative?
A: (Mike) There has already been so much press on our digital installation, all of which has been very positive. We’re on the right track for this journey.
From the senior leadership of Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase and the operating committee all the way down, we are updating shareholders on a quarterly basis on our progress for all of these technologies. They couldn’t be more thrilled with the feedback.
Q: Does the GE solution provide access and controls to all the components? Can you provide more information about the software and controls piece of the technology? It looked like it monitored savings in addition to controlling the system.
A: (Bruce) AllSites delivers insights derived from the aggregation of rich data from the various energy components in the building and provides a detailed view about what’s happening in the facility. It also has the ability to control the building’s environment – including temperature, light, occupancy, etc.— and then execute both lighting and HVAC controls and optimize performance.
So, as we’re evolving the technology, we’re feeling very strong on control capabilities for lighting and for HVAC, thermostatic, and other base controls. We’re building a richer control package as we continue to evolve the software that will tap into and control a broader set of a building’s energy components.
Q: What difference do these updates make for Chase customers?
A: (Mike) This installation is helping us fine-tune our brand awareness. Our bank branches are cleaner, crisper, and more natural. We want to have better lighting in each of our bank branches. We want to invite people in.
But it’s not only about the lighting. Air-conditioning and comfort control are also very important. Customers don’t want to go into a Chase branch where air-conditioners are broken because they ran all night or a place that has dead grass out front because the sprinklers haven’t been on.
Our customers are our lifeblood. We want to make sure that their experience with us, whether commercial or retail, is one of remembrance.
Q: When Current starts working with a customer, what’s the first step you recommend for deploying an intelligent solution?
A: (Bruce) The first step is to ask: Do we understand the customer’s pain points and objectives? Are we focusing on reducing energy consumption? Driving costs down? Delivering sustainable solutions? Improving transparency into building performance and operations? Enhancing customer and employee use of the building?
As a practical matter, it often starts with the question: Where are you in your journey toward simple energy efficiency and capturing energy-driven cost reductions? The cost of LED lighting and the payback periods are tremendously attractive.
Look at what Chase has done across a variety of energy markets with different energy rates—it makes sense across the entire portfolio for their company… and that’s what we find consistently true for nearly all of our customers.
So energy efficiency is a great starting point, but it’s also important for customers ask the next question: Why don’t we turn from being an energy efficient facility into one that is intelligent? By doing so, we run it better for our customers and employees and improve our business performance.
We also have some customers who start with wanting to use our Current solutions to drive business productivity as their primary objective. They are asking questions about space utilization: Are we using our space effectively? Are we deploying our large capital investment in real estate effectively?
Q: How do you go about installing energy management and digital technologies in so many bank branches? How do you handle that kind of scale?
A: (Mike) We have project managers and facility managers, as well as vendors in these markets though the GE team. We create very specific schedules and we coordinate with our branch managers. Our main objective is to avoid disrupting the business during the day.
We put a lot of thought and effort into this so that we could take on a project of this scale. We did it with the lighting; now we’re doing it with AllSites and solar.
(Bruce) It’s about having proper milestones in place. Whenever you’re doing something of this scale, you have a lot of unique environments—the bank branches are not homogenous, they’re in lots of different buildings.
So, you have to adjust and ask yourself what’s working and what’s not working and then take all those learnings and apply a strong rigor around quality control initiatives.
Q: What were the greatest challenges in making this intelligent deployment happen?
A: (Mike) We are a big company—there are a lot of different disciplines to JPMorgan Chase. So it’s all about getting leadership to understand the thought process behind a vision of this magnitude.
That was the biggest challenge in the sense that it wasn’t one individual who made the decision to move forward with the lighting and digital installation—it took a lot of back and forth. There’s a term we use at JPMorgan Chase called “build the deck”—we built the deck, and then we built another deck and another one…
Q: What is the biggest benefit you have derived from the program? Is it more than meeting carbon neutral goal? Do employees see benefits? improved work output? Do customers notice improvement in environment?
A: (Mike) This program is a win-win-win. It’s good for our employees, our customers, and the environment.
From a sustainability standpoint, the LED installation allowed us to cut energy consumption by 50%; the Building Management System installation allowed us to reduce electricity and gas usage by 15% and water usage by 20%.
Additionally, these investments will allow our branch employees to spend more time with customers and less time on things that the Building Management Systems now take care of, like running the sprinkler system or the thermostat. And finally, these upgrades provide a consistent, comfortable environment for customers who visit our branch.
Thanks to all who attended the “Real-World Intelligent Environments: Energy Management & Digital Technologies at JPMorgan Chase” webinar. Thanks also to Mike Norton for co-hosting the webinar and discussing how JPMorgan Chase and Current are working together to drive energy efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in nearly 4,500 Chase branches across the U.S.