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How thinking about user experience creates better Smart buildings

Earlier this year, James McHale of (the brilliant) Smart building research company Memoori wrote a LinkedIn post entitled ‘The Need for Real Human Experiences in our Smart Cities and Buildings’. It really struck a chord with us, as it raises some interesting points about whether the technological advancements that are often at the core of Smart technology are actually of benefit to the individuals using the spaces.  

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The business case for Smart & Intelligent building

The use of buildings, especially commercial premises, has changed. Until relatively recently, if you were offered employment with a company, the chances are that you would have been expected to report to your company’s premises when you were working.

In a world of increasingly collaborative working and knowledge sharing, that is no longer the case. In fact, commercial buildings are rapidly changing from places we go because we work for someone, to tools we use to get our work done.

Business leaders must begin to appreciate the relationship between the spaces in which their people work and the key business challenges they are trying to address:

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Buildings as Products Prevent Smart Building

We currently construct buildings with a product mentality, handed over by a developer or construction company to an owner-occupier or management company with little thought as to the efficiency of its long term operation and maintenance. This model de-incentivises developers to build Smart buildings because the rationale behind Smart is that significant gains and savings can be made via the performance of the building over time. Developers have long since left the scene before those benefits are fully realised.

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What is Building UX?

Building User Experience (or UX for short) describes how people interact with buildings and the technology contained within them as tools that help them live, learn and work. This system driven (as opposed to silo or unit driven) approach brings some very unique challenges due to the number of service disciplines involved, but the potential rewards for all can be massive and highly sustainable, let’s explain…

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Vanti v10.0 – The Best is Yet to Come!

We’re almost there… 10 years old this October! It’s been an incredible time; we’ve achieved some amazing things and created an internationally-award-winning team.

Nine-and-a-bit years on and we’re now a thriving digital experience company creating everything from truly immersive classrooms used to inspire kids to learn maths to the Smartest building in the UK today for United Business Media.

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Considering Smart & Intelligent Buildings and Spaces

I recently had the opportunity to present Vanti’s thoughts on Smart & Intelligent Buildings during UK Construction Week 2015 at the NEC in Birmingham. We used the show as an opportunity to consolidate our research to date, engage in conversations with construction industry professionals and attempt to help answer the question ‘What really makes a Smart or Intelligent space?’

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Recognition for Jyoti

Congratulations to Jyoti on having been recognised by both Birmingham City University and Microsoft following her contribution to our Continuous Improvement initiative, underpinned by a huge amount of work on our business processes and internal systems.

It’s great to see Jyoti, who joined us following her Business and Information Technology degree, grow in to an accomplished Business Analyst and valued member of the Vanti team.

You can read the full article here: https://customers.microsoft.com/Pages/CustomerStory.aspx?recid=18345

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Raj Patel recognised as IT Future Leader

Global IT Industry Trade Association to Honor Raj Patel at ChannelCon 2014 for Leadership and Industry Contributions

Raj has beenrecognised as a ChannelChanger and designated a future leader within the information technology (IT) industry channel by CompTIA, the IT Industry Trade Association. At 28, Raj is the Founder and Technical Director at Vanti and is credited with being the driving force behind the company’s continuing expansion of it’s Audio-Visual & IT consultancy and solutions businesses as well as diversification into new corporate and public sector markets.

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Technology is a tool, not a destination.

In the past week I’ve seen two different business leaders ask the exactly the same question on LinkedIn and it’s one that we are frequently asked by clients – what’s the best CRM (Customer Relationship Management) / MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) / <insert business process here> application?

We also get asked this from a hardware perspective too – what’s the best video conferencing platform, multi-site collaboration tool, laptop, the list goes on…

In our fast-paced world of continual change we’ve lost sight of the fact that technology is a tool that helps us achieve things faster, to a higher quality or in a way that we weren’t able to before. We also fail to consider that in an era of almost infinite choice, what is best for one person may not be best for us or our organisation.

So whilst sales and marketing engines continue to tell us their solution is best for us, why not take a step back and challenge the assertion?

Business leaders – define how your organisation works (your business processes), who needs access to information (role definition) and how they want access to it (does everyone sit at a desk with a workstation, will they be stood in a collaboration space or do they need information available on mobile devices?)

Educationalists – define how you want learners to learn (pedagogy), how you want them to access and manipulate information (researching text data or watching videos and rendering 3D models?) as well as the environment you want them to do it in (individual research in a classroom or library or as a group in an immersive learning environment?)

Once you’ve defined why you want to change how you’re working, how you’re going to do it and what technology you need become incredibly easy to define.

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