IBM, Schneider Electric Team Up to Make Buildings Smarter

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — IBM and Schneider Electric are joining forces to provide new smarter buildings solutions that combine robust data collection and powerful analytics, enabling owners to better manage energy use at their facilities and obtain greater savings.

The partnership with Schneider, an expansion of a longstanding relationship, was among the major developments unveiled by IBM's Al Zollar today at the West Coast Green conference in San Francisco.

The new offerings of software, services and tools, which were developed in house and in concert with many of IBM's strategic partners, represent the latest wave of developments to emerge from Big Blue's Smarter Planet campaign. The company lifted the veil on other partnerships this spring at its Pulse 2010 conference.

IBM's strategy has been to team up with other leading businesses, harness their capabilities, integrate them and apply IBM's analytic might to produce end-to-end sustainability solutions for smarter connected buildings, grids, communities, transportation and infrastructure systems.

"This is not about IBM," said Zollar, the general manager for Tivoli software in IBM's Sustainable Enterprises and the Smart Urban Infrastructure unit. "It takes an ecosystem of organizations ... we really believe that working together we can create a smarter planet "

The news today included the addition of Autodesk to IBM's Green Sigma Coalition, which brings the design software developer into the group of big-name companies whose products support energy efficiency, management of water use and consumption of other resources, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

Zollar in his presentation and other company executives in interviews this week detailed further developments that stemmed from Green Sigma alliances and technology developed in-house. They include:

Technology called the Smarter Building solution. IBM is installing its first "customer-ready" end-to-end Smarter Building solution at it headquarters in Armonk, NY, and at a manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minn. The solution was implemented with Johnson Controls Inc. and connects information from the building management system, electrical meters, the IBM Maximo asset management system, weather data and other external information. Using advanced analytics, the solution provides new and deeper information about energy consumption, operations and space usage.

The system is geared toward delivering information that yields more than basic energy and cost savings and helps users make better decisions about how to operate their facilities and manage their business. The solution features a dashboard based on the IBM Mashup Center and provides a real-time view information culled and analyzed by the system.

The Smarter Building solution is designed to mesh well with building management systems available from Johnson Controls, Tridium, Schneider Electric and other leading controls companies.

A new version of IBM Maximo Asset Management for Energy Optimization.  A highly visual tool, version 7.1.1 collects and displays a data center's energy and environmental data including temperature, humidity and power usage, and generates a thermal map of the environment. The graphics show users where there are opportunities to save energy and help identify potential issues before they become problems.

A services offering called the IBM Sustainability Management System, which is based on the company's best practices, helps users integrate and align sustainability efforts with business strategies.