There are a ton of facility management apps out there to choose from, but the differences in their capabilities can be vast. Many that claim to offer “remote” access, for example, actually mean that you can access the system using proprietary facilities management mobile apps—but must still be on the local network for your BAS, which generally means being on-site. A truly remote option, like ODIN, would function from anywhere. Here are seven questions to ask as you compare your options.
1. Do the facilities management apps work from remote locations?
Apps go wherever you do, but only a cloud-based solution can help you manage your facilities remotely, while you’re not within range of the local area network. Building Automation Systems (BAS) never stop working, and there’s no telling when or where it will be helpful to access the controls or data for your facilities. With a remote facilities management app like ODIN, facilities managers have the freedom to take care of business on-the-go from off-site locations.
2. Will the apps protect my facility’s data security?
Security Today has remarked that savvy facility managers and security directors “will see value in using the computer-based cloud environment as a reliable, secure and cost-effective means of accessing and storing data from disparate building subsystems.” However, a heavily accessible and interconnected environment can also represent potential risks to the data security of facility management apps. Select a system that does not store financial information or personal user data, and that verifies logins with two-phase authentication (as with ODIN’s email activation link).
3. Can the facility management apps integrate smoothly with my BAS system?
Many buildings use multiple, independently operating technologies to control lighting, security, HVAC, and other internal systems. You’ll want to look at facilities management apps that streamlining building management by integrating smoothly with all essential devices and systems, regardless of manufacturer. ODIN herds all certified BACnet devices, objects and controls within a single, user-friendly portal.
4. Which of these apps is scalable and future-proof?
As the scope of the facilities under your management umbrella grow, you’ll want any facilities management apps to grow with you. Some managers must keep track of a network of buildings that spans the nation. Look for an app that makes multi-site management easy and integrate new systems in a hierarchical tree that will make it simple to control facilities at scale.
5. How do the facility management apps improve my facility’s efficiency?
As BUILDINGS has reported, “Buildings today need to operate as one cohesive ecosystem for peak efficiency.” The facilities management apps you’re comparing will become a critical component of that ecosystem. Make sure the one you select won’t just control systems, but help you to track trends and optimize everything for cost-efficient performance that will still maximize comfort when the facility is occupied. According to Facility Executive, “Maintaining occupied conditions 24/7 for a space that is used 60 hours per week means the space is only seeing beneficial use for 35% of the time.” The ideal app will fix that figure and guide you towards peak efficiency.
6. Will the apps help prevent and resolve problems in advance?
Any facilities management apps that trend trends in a rich historical model will have a wealth of useful data to help you predict when problems will arise. But can the app “monitor itself and self-diagnose issues before they come to the point where a human technician would notice them,” as the HVAC School suggests? ODIN is specially designed to build robust data models and assist you in identifying potential issues before they happen.
7. Which facility management apps are “smart technology” solutions?
Today, even regular one family homes are rife with smart, automated technology solutions. These “smart homes” autonomously manage lighting, heat, and other functions without intervention by the homeowners. High quality facilities management apps will also give you a smart facilities management solution to monitor and control your buildings. Smart automation (and quick, easy, user-friendly controls to set it up) is what drives efficiency in modern buildings—and it’s also a time-saving convenience for facilities managers.