Smart Facilities — What's the Motivation?

Brian Vaughn, P.E., is a Senior Digital Solution Engineer at Current. This article was originally posted on LinkedIn on Oct. 17, 2018. You can connect with Brian on LinkedIn and see his original post here.


I am Brian Vaughn. I contribute my skills as a Solution Engineer to Current, among other things (I hope). I am here to help customers with their IoT or smart building visions.


We often talk about a lot of different technologies or experiences that people want, but not always want bad enough to motivate them to adopt a technology. My own experience making my facility smart had me thinking about this. You see, when I am not solutioning, I am a facility manager for a small property—my house. The tenants can be a bit demanding and unrealistic, but the goal is to keep them happy so they stick around for a while. Not too long, but at least until college and then hopefully I can evict those I am not married to.


I have dabbled with technology around our facility. A smart thermostat here, a universal remote there, wireless switches everywhere, and distributed audio. The tenants were mainly happy. Some gripes about the user experience or lack of functionality would occasionally come in. I had a lot of the infrastructure, but honestly, it wasn’t very smart or user friendly yet. It wasn’t until I was selected to beta test the integration of Sonos with Alexa where I was motivated to take my smart building integrations to the next level.


Being able to control music with my voice was the critical mass of motivation that got me to integrate all my other disconnected technologies. Now I can control everything in my house with my voice and I have the ability to issue voice alerts over Sonos. When one of the kids sneak out the front door, an alert is read over the speakers in the house stating that the front door was opened. I never have to lift a finger or open an app to turn on a light, play almost any song I can dream of or lock the door at night. All this was available to me for a while, but it wasn’t until Sonos integrated with Alexa that I took the time to connect the rest.


When I meet with my customers, I have to imagine this is the case for them as well when they’re facing technology decisions. There are likely dozens of things we can do, but what is the solution that will create the critical mass of motivation to jump in?


What do you think your motivating use case is?


Not sure what your motivating use case is? Learn more about how Current can connect your facility with smart building management and explore all the possibilities of a connected future.


Or, contact us to talk with an expert like Brian to hear how Current can help your business.