Microland wins the Microsoft Hackathon
Feb 01, 2023

Microland wins the Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Hackathon 2022

We are delighted to share that Microland has been declared as a winner in the prestigious Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Hackathon 2022. Our entry titled “Smart Facilities & Sustainability using IoT” was selected as the winner for the Empowering Communities theme. This year the focus was on building innovative solutions and services in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Click here to read the announcement from Microsoft.

Our Inspiration for participating in the Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Hackathon 2022

Challenging times often spark innovation and provide us with a chance to reevaluate and reimagine the ways in which we use our resources. With a renewed degree of context and perspective, we set out to find innovative ways to help us adjust and adapt to the post-pandemic new normal.

For many years, the area of facility management has been rapidly evolving and now includes dedicated professionals who oversee the maintenance and operations of a portfolio of buildings and facilities. Understanding an enterprise’s physical space and risk profile is essential for devising an effective response strategy.

Pre-pandemic, Microland had been successful in leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to harness data and deliver actionable insights to our global clients. This gave them the power to transform the way they worked, while driving productivity gains and reliability. We have also demonstrated to our global clients how new data flows bring inert brick-and-mortar assets to life by leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) and increasingly affordable sensor technologies. Apart from the efficiency and cost reductions gains, the COVID-19 pandemic made these transformative technologies leapfrog from nice-to-haves to must-haves. We were compelled to deliver significant results such as improved employee well-being, safety, responsiveness, and sustainability.

COVID-19 demonstrated that society, and particularly businesses, had taken for granted the importance of knowing what goes inside a building's walls and how those dynamics influenced individuals that occupied these facilities. Facility managers around the world have spent at least a year or two formulating detailed plans on the health, responsiveness, and sanitation of their facilities including office spaces, plants, warehouses, and even hospitals. These have progressed from being tactical concerns for facility managers to a concern of the utmost strategic importance.

In recent years, excelling in the areas of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) has become a growing focus for many global enterprises. To effectively collect data facility managers and operators need to consider emerging technologies and infrastructures that enable connecting a wide range of smart devices and systems within a building and across campus environments, smart communities, and smart cities in a cost-effective manner.

Sustainable, efficient, and resilient facility operations may appear to be a faraway dream, but they are achievable with vision, strategy, and focused execution.

Our Novel Approach 

Over the last couple of months, the number of countries implementing mandatory ESG reporting has increased sharply. Global enterprises have been urged to take decisive actions to ensure employee safety and well-being. At Microland, we have been actively helping our clients achieve these objectives. One of our IoT based solutions enabled employees to maintain a safe physical distance and in the event of an adverse incident provided the capability to trace contacts and curtail the damage.

Microland Smart Facilities solution brings safety, wellness, efficiency, and a data-driven approach to securing your most valuable asset - people. Leveraging the power of IoT and Cloud, Smart Facilities leverages Sensing as a Service and is an intrusion-free, OpEx-based, easy-to-deploy suite of solutions that provides an immersive visual experience and real-time actionable insights into facility utilization, asset performance, and environmental health. This helps ensure robust operations and the well-being of employees (and other occupants) while complying with data privacy laws such as GDPR.

Sensing as a Service removes the intricacies of traditional BMS systems by connecting sensors to the LoRaWAN network independent of any corporate network. We deploy pre-configured sensors based on the requirements of the client, which install within just a few minutes. The data received from sensors will be utilized to improve the management and monitoring of an office, hospital, factory, store, or facility.

So how does it work?

Some of the most widely recognized use cases revolve around Universal Contact Tracing for immediate outbreak prevention and response, as well as occupancy-based solutions to realize space usage, predictive cleaning, and air quality monitoring for high-risk spaces. These factors enable companies to streamline operations and maintenance of their physical spaces. Our enterprise dashboards and analytics enable real-time management and monitoring of facilities, resulting in more actionable insights that save time and money. Furthermore, asset-tracking technology can track high-value and movable assets within a facility and is especially useful in hospitals to track critical operational assets like beds, wheelchairs, and nurse carts to optimize hospital operations and asset utilization with the potential to drive significant cost savings.

Case in Point: Microland Smart Facilities deployed at a Global Logistics Organization

A global logistics organization deployed our solution to keep operations running throughout the pandemic. During this time, the solution monitored two important warehouses with over 7000 employees, and 37 zones in real-time. We monitored over 1,000,000 CDC-defined high-risk contact events. The solution traced over 117 confirmed cases to help with preventive strategies.

This ESG-centric solution tracked and confirmed over 130 cases while greatly reducing the Mean Time to Detect and Respond (MTTR & MTTD), hence lowering the likelihood of further infections.

Taking it up a notch

At Microland, we have successfully identified that the use cases for smart facilities are replicable, adaptable, and scalable. These use cases and their architecture are easily extensible cross-industry and cross-domain beyond office settings. We have deployed our solution in hospitals, warehouses, and plants, among other places. These include solutions for scenarios including indoor navigation, heat maps, occupancy tracking, and digital twins of spaces. Additionally, each of these solutions, from energy and water monitoring to leak detection and smart waste management, saves costs right away while providing real data for sustainability efforts.

More importantly, we were able to achieve up to a 25% decrease in operating costs, eliminate facility downtime, improve occupant experience, assist our clients in tracking their ESG targets and reduce their carbon footprint.

Further Reading