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Local tech players team up on new building safety solution

Local tech players team up on new building safety solution

Co-developing digital solutions for the property industry that it claims will build the framework for the “new normal”

(L-R) Barhead CEO Ken Struthers, Cognian CEO Mark Blum and Barhead co-founder John Orrock.

(L-R) Barhead CEO Ken Struthers, Cognian CEO Mark Blum and Barhead co-founder John Orrock.

Credit: Barhead

Reekoh, Barhead, Microsoft and Cognian have teamed up and joined forces with property group Mirvac to build and trial a solution designed to enable a safe return to work for Australians post-pandemic.

Launched in 2016, Cognian Technology rolled out a pilot of its wireless technology in Cisco’s Innovation Lab in Sydney, where its patented Syncromesh wireless solution was tested for security and robustness. 

Today, the company’s Syncromesh unified data connectivity platform provides commercial building owners, managers or tenants to remotely and automatically control access, comfort, occupant capacity and other smart building capabilities.

Thanks to the company’s work with Microsoft, Barhead, Reekoh and Mirvac, the provider is co-developing digital solutions for the property industry that it claims will build the framework for the “new normal”.

The impetus behind this push is the belief that the “safe and healthy” building will look starkly different in the post-COVID world. Managing virus transmission at work will be at the top of the agenda for most organisations as they seek new ways to improve tenant experience and maintain profits through optimised operations. 

The company is also hoping to tap into the burgeoning smart building market, which it claims is now projected to exceed $150 billion globally by 2026.

For Mark Blum, Cognian CEO, collaborating with technologies such as Microsoft Azure's internet of things (IoT) services is a big step in his company’s mission to transform buildings into human-centred spaces which evolve as the needs of the people who inhabit them change.

“Microsoft Azure IoT, in conjunction with forward-thinking partners such as Cognian, will be a key component of enabling the end to end smart building solution for return to work in the age of COVID,” said Microsoft Australia chief partner officer Rachel Bondi.

“In parallel, our partner ecosystem addresses challenges and creates opportunities around wellness, sustainability, operational efficiency and tenant experience,” she said.

As Cognian continues to develop its relationship with Microsoft, its new partnership with Microsoft partner Barhead sees the partner update its workforce management app, which has been built to address organisations’ return to the office as pandemic restrictions lift, to take advantage of Cognian’s Syncromesh capabilities.

“Work environments will only become more multi-dimensional and dynamic post-pandemic – business solutions must be adaptive, secure and scalable above anything else,” Barhead CEO Ken Struthers said. “We know it’s a combination of people, technology and business drivers that underpin the most successful implementations. 

“This is why the combination of our Workforce Management App and Cognian’s Syncromesh capabilities, bringing together best of breed teams and technologies, is so powerful in terms of helping owners, managers and occupants navigate and effectively operate the post-COVID workplace,” he added.

For its part, IoT integration platform vendor Reekoh, one of the new Cognian partners, is poised to technically extend Cognian’s Syncromesh beyond infrastructure into human-centric solutions. 

This is a major step for Cognian towards realising the vendor’s Syncromesh Smart Canopy-as-a-Service (SCaaS) by enabling cross-integration with legacy, major application and platform providers.

"Our partnership with Cognian is about taking the infrastructure data and reaching into organisations and the applications they use to operate, support and maintain their facilities and businesses to provide even greater value, insights and outcomes," Reekoh CEO and co-founder Dale Rankine said.

“Our platform's [IoT] integration capability, delivered through agile and low-code tools, was a fantastic fit for what Cognian is doing in the market,” he added.

Together, Cognian has deployed an end-to-end solution into the head office of Barhead and Reekoh in Sydney for the safety of staff and visitors, and as a ‘live lab’ for smart buildings beyond COVID-19. 

The deployment showcases the sophistication and extensibility of the solution, which focuses on building efficiency, tenant experience and new forms of value at its core. 

Meanwhile, a site at the Australian Technology Park (ATP) in Sydney has been selected by Mirvac to showcase and demonstrate the Syncromesh solution in an actual environment to customers.

“We’re thrilled to have expanded our partner ecosystem with such a prestigious group of companies, and look forward to collaborating on solutions including cleaner audits, social distancing compliance monitoring, contact tracing and environmental reporting – which are absolute must-haves as Australians return to the office post COVID,” Blum said.


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