New cloud-based systems, including SaaS and EMaaS, are changing how CRE providers work to create a better experience and atmosphere for clients.
Energy efficiency is a hot topic in corporate real estate (CRE). While traditional implementation costs made most CRE companies shy away from energy management systems (EMSs), advancements in technology, like increasing demand for WiFi and cloud-based systems, have reduced price points and garnered the attention of major CRE providers. Also, EMaaS, SaaS, and smart systems have led to some confusion and uncertainty when exploring EMS, but these acronyms are game-changers. They empower corporate building managers to serve clients better, and you need to know a few things about them.
Exactly What Does EMaaS and SaaS Mean?
The first acronym, SaaS, stands for software-as-a-service. This means a company, like Microsoft, develops and manages a cloud-based software that it licenses to individuals or organizations. Since the system exists in the cloud, the developer can upgrade and enhance its features at a fraction of the cost of traditional, in-house systems. So, how does it relate to EMaaS?
Replace the first “S” in SaaS with energy management (EM), and you get EMaaS. EMaaS systems use cloud-based technology to provide cohesive energy management and analytics to CRE providers and companies. Like SaaS, the behind-the-scenes’ work involves managing the system, finding its vulnerabilities, and optimizing workflows, reporting and analytics to provide the greatest benefit. In other words, it is an off-site, third-party energy management system.
How Does EMaaS Benefit CRE Providers?
Think about the data collected if a single CRE provider uses an in-house EMS. Even if the system connects via WiFi, the information collected is only relevant to the respective company. However, EMaaS connects multiple companies using the system to a central hub via a third-party, such as ENTOUCH. The sharing of data, as explained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), creates opportunities in sustainability and energy efficiency. By collecting and analyzing patterns across entire regions of the country, EMaaS can find small savings that become major cost reductions.
Sustainability initiatives contribute to increased collaboration between CRE providers and their clients too. The client sees a reduction in utility costs, and the CRE provider sees an overall decrease in facilities management costs.
Speaking of facilities management costs, EMaaS directly reduces immediate, finite costs by enabling broad scalability without increasing labor costs. In other words, a team can handle increasing operations in the CRE company without hiring new workers to manage system controls. Furthermore, today’s technology in EMaaS systems allows for easy retrofitting and implementation of a system regardless of your building’s age or size, including the use of scalable cloud-based analytics, reports the Deloitte University Press.
EMaaS systems automate many existing processes, allowing companies to reduce the number of people employed in their existing facilities management team. Moreover, the performance of individual facilities management equipment and staff can be tracked through key performance indicators (KPIs), opening the door to added savings as the system matures.
The Big Picture
An EMS can help CRE providers achieve great savings, but these savings may plateau or shrink after one year. However, EMaaS ensures longevity and increasing cost savings, and in some cases, complete return on investment is achieved within 12 months. If something goes wrong, EMaaS systems can find the issue, dispatch a technician, or adjust settings to restore a comfortable and cost-efficient indoor environment. This results in fewer costs for the company, fewer costs for the clients and a positive impact on climate. It is a big win-win for everyone.