Decoding the Digital 10X Vision

“With strategic strides to transformation, a strong product roadmap and faster execution capabilities, we will be exploring a variety of new opportunity verticals as well as exploring fresh global markets apart from investing in R&D to further hone our solution portfolio,”  highlights Prabhu Ramachandran, Founder & CEO, Facilio Inc, while in conversation with Ranjana Konatt, Editor, Industrial India 

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Decoding the Digital 10X Vision

What is the Dubai Digital 10X vision? How does it go beyond what other tech companies are doing?  

Digital transformation has been adopted in every industry, across the board. There’s a ubiquitous consensus that the next generation of IT technologies will form the basis of higher productivity and unprecedented efficiency, in our world. The Dubai 10X initiative represents a vision to introduce technology that is ten years ahead, today, to empower the city’s infrastructure and amenities and propel Dubai ahead at a faster pace. In many other instances of implementing technology, from around the world, such an approach is piecemeal. The Digital 10X initiative takes the approach of creating systemic synergies, and both the scale and the scope are more ambitious than what other instances of deploying these technologies have aspired to. The Digital 10X vision is to produce optimal outcomes for people, physical assets and the environment, in tandem. With the centralized command and control delivered by Facilio’s software platform, each metric is optimized which also results in the overall performance profile being enhanced by several orders of magnitude. No other tech-driven disruption of the legacy model is as far-reaching or as effective.     

Where does the Middle East stand when it comes to the fast adoption of technology and integrated systems? How is the UAE a step forward when it comes to the inclusion of automation in enhancing a country’s overall productivity?   

In my opinion, the Middle East is emerging as one of the most proactive regions worldwide, in terms of adopting emerging technologies. Within the region itself, the UAE is probably the leader in taking this approach. With the Expo 2020 event being hosted in Dubai, next year, the focus on future-ready and people-centric technologies has a context within which to expand robustly. From sustainability, connectivity and rapid mass transport, to renewable energy and waste as a resource, even the casual observer can see a remarkable evolution taking shape. Autonomous systems, which are constantly optimized in real-time, are an integral element of such a shift. I believe the success of the UAE, in making this technology-driven transition to a more efficient and end-user empowering society, will act as a test case for the rest of the world to follow. Next-generation automation, which relies on cognitive technologies and connectivity to create ultra-responsive environments, is one of the biggest enablers in bringing this vision to fruition.

Could you explain Facilio’s role in delivering Smart Living as a service (SLaaS) with a focus on an integrated safety, surveillance, health and automation solutions?  

Smart Living as a Service is a future-ready approach that combines optimal results in user experience, sustainability and efficiency. Automation has existed in buildings for a long time. Each of the services you have listed has been using technology for some time already. The breakthrough lies in implementing Smart Home systems using unified, system scale, software platforms, which use IoT, AI and Machine learning-based solutions. By taking a scalable software platform-based approach, the solution can be commercialized at any scale conceivable. It allows the upgrading of existing buildings and infrastructure to integrated and optimized systems that are responsive, intuitive, offer system-wide transparency and real-time control over all the automation that is already embedded in the built assets.  

Prabhu Ramachandran

Dubai 10X is an innovative new platform that has proven to be a step further towards development, could you elaborate on how Dubai is looking ahead in terms of bringing smart living and services to its citizens in an affordable way? 

Until the very recent past, Smart Homes was presented as luxury real estate to a class of client that could afford the superior functionality these properties offered. The big leap that the Dubai 10X initiative takes is offering these tech-driven services as a new standard in community infrastructure. By being able to integrate services and automation at a portfolio, community and ultimately city-wide scale, not only does the cost of provision far to a significant degree, smart living and services become accessible to the average consumer.

The difference is in moving from a model that depends on deploying hardware to deliver an elevated degree of services, to implementing a software-based model, which leverages existing physical assets, to deliver the same of better evolution in smart living solutions.

While executing the Dubai Digital vision in partnership with the government, what are the roadblocks that you will most likely come across, and how do you plan on overcoming these challenges? 

As with any digital transformation, changing the way that humans interact with it is crucial to derive the maximum benefit. The introduction of a new technology pre-supposes that humans making use of it will act in accordance with what produces optimal results. In my opinion, changing the behaviour of all stakeholders across the board is probably the single biggest challenge to be overcome. However, I think the Dubai Digital vision is being pursued with a cooperative approach that will help get all stakeholders on the same page and working together. The Facilio solution also involves an app-based interface that creates a constant feedback loop that will aid and accelerate this process.

Facilio is a company that has operations in three distinctive places in the world. How is automation changing the way industries function across the energy and industrial sector in the US, India and the Middle East? 

I see each theatre of operations for us as presenting a different challenge, but one that will prepare us for the entire spectrum of issues and opportunities. In the case of the US, the great enabling contribution that our technology makes is being able to leverage existing physical assets. The US is probably the one country in the world with the largest number of modern cities. It would be impossible in such a market to begin Smart urbanization from scratch and discard the huge capital that has been invested in existing assets. So, the opportunity there is for us to demonstrate the power of digitally retrofitting our solution. This approach is partly also valid in Dubai; however, the Emirati city also presents a great opportunity to be truly ambitious with our plans. Dubai has a well-deserved reputation for doing the unprecedented and having an administration, resident population and developer community that are all keen on the next generation of technology is a great canvas on which to show the future-ready capabilities of our product. The opportunity in India is to realize yet another potential aspect of our solution. India is in the middle of a transition to emerging as a developed economy, over the next couple of decades. The Facilio solution is an ideal way to enhance that process by delivering a positive disruption that leapfrogs several generations of small improvements and replacing them with a quantum leap.

The company has been taking strides steered towards progress, what’s the company’s trajectory in the coming five years? 

Our product is a platform which is open-ended and able to integrate with a multitude of technologies in a vendor-agnostic way. I believe our great strength is in being able to scale up deployments to a system-wide perspective, whatever the enhancement or breakthrough might be. Over the next five years, our vision is to emerge as the leading tech partner for the industry and help real estate players move to efficient and data-driven operations and maintenance.

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