Going beyond conventional
The new Netix Novus Partner Program brings about a brownfield revolution in buildings. Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO SB Group and Netix Global BV elaborates
Congratulations on the launch of the Netix Novus Partner Program. What led to creating the programme?
It was a matter of a challenge and its solution becoming clear, at the same time. We saw strong industry interest in seamless, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) enabled, open-protocol, plug and play, vendor-neutral, building automation. At the same time, we witnessed the success achieved by ODS Global, using our solutions.
ODS Global is a Dubai-based company with strongly connected buildings, smart cities, sustainability, and energy efficiency focus — and now the programme's first Platinum Partner. A company with stellar credentials, ODS won the maintenance of the Building Management System (BMS) of 18 properties and five vertical communities by Emaar, across Downtown Dubai and Dubai Creek Harbour. Netix's retrofit solutions enabled ODS Global to avoid replacing the entire system and help Mazaya save 75 per cent of costs. Netix's IoT and AI-based open protocol solutions also played a crucial role in ODS Global being awarded a three-year maintenance contract for the building automation systems of 24 DAMAC Properties towers; the upgrade and maintenance of three Mazaya Towers' buildings; and system integration projects at the Jafza Convention Centre, the BVLGARI Resort in Jumeirah Bay, the Pullman Hotel, and the Emirates Airline staff accommodation in Dubai.
We realised the industry needed an initiative such as the Netix Novus Program, to create an empowered ecosystem of certified partners, with the tools and information to lead a Brownfield Revolution.
Was the scale of this vision the reason behind a prominent launch ceremony, at a venue like the Burj Khalifa?
Exactly! We felt that the launch needed to attract attention, and be seen as a turning point. That’s why we chose a venue as iconic as the Burj Khalifa. It’s why we invited online delegates from 25+ nations to be part of the launch virtually and hosted prominent industry leaders as speakers.
We hosted 180 in-person guests, and 4,000+ online attendees; and online views have reached the 14,000 mark, to date. Even before the launch, Netix shook hands with Garnet, part of JBK Controls International — a market leader in Qatar with 27+ years’ experience in Extra-low voltage system (EVL), Building Management Systems (BMS) and Security Services; Electropower — market leaders in the KSA, with a strong 20-year presence across Yemen, Qatar, Jordan, Dubai, and Bahrain; and several top industry names. I’m especially proud that stalwarts like Priyesh Bhatia, General Manager of ODS Global; Ganesh Khanolkar, Managing Director of Exenture India and ODS India, DOS of Teknoware and Netix; Jehad Abu Shamiyeh, CEO of Electro Power Systems, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Vivek Wagh, Business Development Director, SB Group International, Oman, Africa and South East Asia; and Jagdish Rajan, CEO, Garnet Technologies, part of JBK Qatar; are already platinum partners.
Could you elaborate on this concept of a brownfield revolution?
Until recently, deploying smart-building tech was about greenfield developments. But pre-existing buildings are most of our infrastructure. Any real transformation is needed to address brownfield building stock.
One useful analogy — to understand the brownfield revolution, and how Netix Novus benefits our partners and their clients — is the way owners of premium branded cars maintain their vehicles. These automobiles usually come with warranties and service contracts, with a time limit. Once the contract expires, owners keep going back to the service provider regularly; often paying a huge premium for ongoing maintenance. Alternatively, they can find another reputed service provider, who offers routine maintenance at a lower cost, without compromising on quality. This is what the Netix Novus Partner Program enables in building automation.
The brownfield revolution is about overcoming the limitations of locked-in legacy systems and implementing an ‘Android’ approach instead. Just like the Android operating system seamlessly integrates new apps on a smartphone, regardless of the vendor; the brownfield revolution will allow stakeholders in real estate to integrate both existing and future assets; under an AI and IoT enabled, open-protocol, plug and play, and vendor-neutral, platform.
How is this different to offerings from Netix Global's competitors?
The Netix Konnect Intelligent Integrated Command and Control Center (iICCC) is one
key aspect that differentiates us. It allows real-time control over up to 84 per cent of a building’s energy consumption; which its powerful diagnostic tools can then reduce by up to 28 per cent. Building automation is worth more than Dh1 billion in the UAE, and more than Dh10 billion across the region. Globally, we’re talking more than Dh1 trillion in installed assets. Why should an industry of this size be restricted by legacy models? Take Abu Dhabi, which has predominantly older buildings. Legacy models would make Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure redundant, in a few short years. The Netix Novus open-protocol, plug and play, vendor-neutral, Android approach, gives the city a path for continual growth, instead.
This stark contrast is why Netix is in discussions with a partner in Oman, to implement our solution in 450 of their properties; and plans to expand into Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We are at an inflexion point for the industry, and the Netix Novus Partner Program will be the enabling force, for its transformation.
CEO, Garnet Technologies, part of JBK Qatar
A couple of decades ago, who’d have thought that we need not walk to the street corner to hail a cab; who’d have thought we need not drive miles and wait for reservations at our favourite restaurant; who’d have thought, we need not go to the supermarket, to shop for our day to day groceries. Yet, the Amazons, the Talabats, and the Ubers changed our perceptions, and age-old practices; of dining, driving, and shopping. In line with what we have seen, here comes yet another revolution that is going to change the way we monitor, control, and manage, our automation infrastructure. The days of legacy systems closed protocols, and market monopoly, are long gone. Open protocol solutions, vendor-neutral building management systems, and digitalisation, are the norm. We must act towards integration and automation.
Jehad Abu Shamiyeh
CEO of Electro Power Systems, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Our partnership with Sanjeevv Bhatia goes back to the year 2012. We joined forces to address the need for professional central battery systems, through Teknoware products. We quickly and successfully completed several projects; like the King Abdullah Financial District; Princess Nora University in Riyadh; the Mecca Metro; and a few campuses of the King Saud University National Guards; to name a few. In line with the Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi economy is now more diversified. The Saudi government has unlocked several opportunities for growth and investment; opened the Saudi market to the world, and launched platforms to facilitate investment. With the speed of change in Saudi Arabia, many international firms are rushing to invest and to get established, in this rapidly growing market. This opportunity has motivated us to join forces with Netix, as a Platinum Partner in Saudi Arabia. We are taking advantage of the multiple success stories, and the cutting edge innovations, made possible by providing solutions using the plug-and-play approach. I strongly believe that this is the right time, for such projects and solutions, for both existing buildings and Greenfield projects. Netix Novus solutions seamlessly integrate existing systems, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and enhance digital parity between new and old buildings. Our goal is to implement these strategies and solutions in the Kingdom, and drive transformation through Netix Novus.
For more information please visit https://www.netixglobal.com.
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