Podcasts > Ep. 144 - How can IoT make buildings more healthy, efficient and sustainable
Ep. 144
How can IoT make buildings more healthy, efficient and sustainable
Ross Sheil, Senior VP of Global Revenue, Infogrid
Friday, September 09, 2022

This week we interviewed Ross Sheil, Senior VP of Global Revenue at Infogrid. Infogrid is a mission-based, AI-intelligence-powered platform that gathers and analyzes data from its Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network to drive its mission of making every building healthy, efficient, and sustainable. 

In this episode, we discussed how the demand for building intelligence to reduce energy consumption and improve human well-being has increased. Infogrid works with Fortune 500 companies helping them to reimagine their smart-building strategies for corporate real estate.  

Key questions: 

  • What significant changes in the building tech industry have you observed in the past years? 
  • How do regulations impact the use of technology in buildings? 
  • How do you measure the impact of AI solutions on building owners and managers? 
  • Which stakeholders do you typically work with in a smart building project? 
  • How do you deal with issues of privacy in collecting data related to employees or customers in commercial buildings? 

Transcript.

Erik: Ross, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. 

 

Ross: Wonderful, Erik, to be here. Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to have a great discussion about trends and IoT with you. 

 

Erik: Yeah, me as well. I think you're part of a great company. I mean, it's really — IoT sometimes can be a bit obtuse. But this is a company that is really close to people, right? I mean, it's actually physically close to people. So, something I think everybody here will be able to resonate with. But before we get into Infogrid and your business, I'd love to understand a bit about you and how you ended up here. Because if I look at your background, you spent the past several years really focused on VC, VC from corporate, CVC, and then also private VC. What was it that led you to put away your VC hat and decide to throw yourself into the ring with an operating company? 

 

Ross: Yeah, it's a good question. As background, my focus has always been as an operator for a high-growth scale-ups, typically large US companies that have come from the US into Europe and are in the process of scaling. I'm first boots on the ground, establish a strategy, hire a team, and create momentum for international presence and revenue and customer traction in the business. I have done that rodeo a few times with companies like Twitter and Stripe. In parallel, I had always been very plugged into the venture capital ecosystem — as you've highlighted — where in addition to operating, I have GP experience and investor experience in institutional capital and a lot of angel investing experience. 

 

I think what drove that for me was curiosity. Now it's really — as every industry moves through digital transformation, understanding more about what is the 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 of every industry and first principle is curiosity to break businesses down, and be a part of that journey. I love nothing more than enabling great founders to do great things. I'm the second fiddle. There are, frankly, much smarter people doing amazing things in various industries than me. But it all came down to curiosity and an innate desire to build. You can build as an operator. You can build as an investor. You can build as a founder. Today my focus has mostly been on the building as an operator and building as an investor. It's incredibly rewarding to see all of these founders take their vision from seed-funded company through series ABC and beyond to go on and have a real Dent and impact in the world. I am a builder by heart. I can do optimization, but I enjoy optimization less. That's likely what pulled me into the VC and founded the industry more. 

 

Erik: Just for the sake of our audience. So, you were head of VC for Stripe, an international GP over at The Fund, a scout with Sequoia, and then also, looks like you do a lot of angel investment. Was it one of these investor roles where you were first in touch with Infogrid? What was your first touch point there? How did they get on your radar? 

 

Ross: It was more serendipitous, actually. I had an introduction from a friend who was connected to the founder, Will. I have a bunch of conversations with early-stage companies pretty regularly. It just evolved into a really great fit, a lot of kinship, and alignment on the mission and the purpose of the company. Infogrid is a mission-driven business. We exist to combat climate change in the built environment. Everything we do, from a product and people points of view, revolves around that mission — from people we hire, products we build, how we measure our impact in the world around carbon emissions' reductions, and healthy buildings created with the goal of bringing down emissions, which are responsible for 40% of emissions globally today. 

 

Conversation started very naturally and evolved into what Infogrid wanted to achieve in terms of geographical expansion and building a large go-to market organization for commercial and marketing and partnerships, which is where a lot of my expertise is having done that for large companies in the past. Here we are now closer to 300 people. When I joined Infogrid, it was about 50. That's just a year ago now. So, we've grown as a business 6x in that timeframe and continuing to experience that clip and rate of growth as we move into end of this year as a business. So, lots of really exciting things happening across the entire business, driven by large secular trends in the growing awareness of sustainability and ESG and a real appreciation in the industry of the tangible and concrete applications and use cases for IoT and building management. 

 

Gone are the days where IoT was viewed as innovative or experimental. It now has concrete implementations and use cases that are aligned to the P&L of businesses, how businesses fund initiatives and run their corporate real estate footprint across the globe. So, it's just been really exciting to be part of that journey and see it unfold and play a small role in making that happen. 

 

Erik: Yeah, that's a great point, that the technology has been moving rapidly in the past few years. But equally, importantly, the mindset of understanding how the technology can be used to really impact the core business as opposed to experimental innovation has developed quite quickly. You mentioned earlier that, as an investor, you like to track the 0.1, .2, .3 of an industry and understand where it is in terms of maturity. 

Building is an interesting industry. I mean, it's huge. In some ways, it seems to be operating similarly to how it was — I don't know — 30 or 40 years ago. In other ways, there is a very sophisticated technology. How do you define where we are today? Then maybe you can also share where you've seen really significant changes in the past few years versus maybe five or 10 years ago. 

 

Ross: I think if you'll rewind to even three or four years ago, the industry was at a point where it was collecting data from buildings through sensor implementation, and surfacing very rudimentary and basic data points in a dashboard. It was really a collect and surface exercise for IoT. That was part of the reason why IoT did not yet have that breakthrough. 

 

If you think of Geoffrey Moore's Crossing the Chasm where you have innovators, early adopters, and at that early adopter stage, you have a minimum feature set in an industry, I think that's where IoT was. It had that minimum feature set that demonstrated some promise but had not yet evolved into broad scale adoption across the corporate real estate footprints to demonstrate the scalability of the solution, for reporting analytics but also for insights. I think, simplistically, that's the journey. I think of IoT 1.0 was all about collecting surfacing data but not with the scalability. Where we are today — which I would describe more as a AIoT 4.0, the proliferation of artificial intelligence and IoT — is all about insights and predictive analytics, and ensuring that the technology can help humans with decisioning across their corporate real estate footprint. 

 

There has been a significant propagation of the rate of growth, that growth there. If you think of IoT enterprise spending three years ago, it was roughly 100 billion. By 2025, we'll get to 430 billion, but the rate of growth is compounding more than ever before as we move 2022 and to 23, 24, 25. So, the journey has been simplistically in those two spheres — simple reporting through to intelligence analytics, predictive intelligence, that reveals the SOACH in a building, helping asset managers, occupiers, landlords become more intelligent and make smarter decisions so that they can reduce OpEx, streamline operations, or improve the carbon footprint of their building. 

 

Erik: There's a lot of different directions we could approach this. Maybe there's three. We can take them in turn. First would be, what are the non-tech drivers? Second, I'm really interested in your thoughts on the stakeholders, because you just ran through a few of them. But it's a very complex stakeholder environment. Then third is, of course, the tech stack and where we are there. But if we start with the first one, I guess the underlying business drivers are relatively similar, but we have a lot of new. We have health and safety concerns because of COVID and regulations coming on that. We have environmental concerns because of CO2 emissions. We have a lot of trouble retaining talents right now, so companies are focusing on how to make a better lifestyle in the office. We have maybe the WeWork phenomenon of companies, seeing how office spaces can be operated differently than in the past, and maybe being inspired around more shared use spaces and so forth. What do you see as the big, let's say, social/regulatory changes that are impacting how we operate and how we use technology in buildings? 

 

Ross: I think that's a great call out, Erik. It is complex. It's driven by money, secular changes. I was going to say secular trends. But actually, they're not trends because they're here to stay. It's driven by a lot of secular movements that is informing the long-term direction of what the future of the industry is, and should be. 

 

Predominantly, the big North Star in this space is around ESG and sustainability. If you look at the Biden administration's goal for carbon pollution-free energy by 2030, or the SEC starting to Monday climate disclosures for publicly-listed companies to demonstrate that there are good corporate actor and climate, or executive pay being linked to the carbon performance of a business, you have these big chunky themes that are changing the corporate agenda for how businesses should behave in climate, and what their carbon objectives should be. That top-down legislative and regulatory change is driving bottoms-up innovation in combination with a top-down mandate from the leadership of these companies to explore intelligent ways to manage corporate real estate in a more streamlined fashion — from the energy consumption of buildings, gas, and water, being able to identify anomalies so that these buildings can run in a more streamlined way, aligns to global reporting standards like GRESB, or building standards like LEED, or BREEAM, or Fitwel, and so on. The ESG and the sustainability driver is one of the biggest North Stars here. 

 

I think you also have some secular movements on building health and efficient buildings, which I'll get to in that order. For building health, there's now a broad awareness in the industry on the importance of building health. If you think of a building as a living, breathing organism, we spend 90% of our time in buildings. It's the largest asset class in the world, and 40% of emissions are generated from building. So, it's high time that the industry has started to understand that dynamic. 

 

There's a lot of peer-published academia in the industry on the impact of building health to employee productivity and employee creativity, employee cognition. If you look at some of the research from Joseph Allen and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on the impact CO2 and temperature has on the productivity of employees in blind tests where there are high level As of co2 and low levels of co2, it's very clear that duty of care through this peer-published academia and journals is starting to become clear to employers. Of course, one of the biggest trends in the last number of years is the pandemic. The pandemic has been a big driver to bring a lot of these insights to the fore, and employers and corporate companies starting to understand their duty of care to businesses. 

 

I think the last driver is that there's a real talent shortage in the industry today. That's being compounded for numerous reasons. It's challenging to bring and attract talent into facilities management and building management. Through the pandemic, some of those folks have moved on into other industries. So, a lot of building operators — whether you're a landlord or an occupier — are seeking out smart ways to maximize the productivity of their existing staff on the ground, managing buildings, knowing that there is that talent shortage in the industry. 

 

All of these things have combined together to create and compound the rate at which IoT is growing for corporate real estate. We've even divert as a business to build our platform. What we solve for as a business aligns to the challenges that our customers and our partners in the FM industry and in the landlord industry are experiencing. So, we've been very deliberate and intentional to build a building intelligence platform across healthy buildings, efficient buildings, and sustainable buildings knowing that that is where the market is moving to, due to all of this legislation and the pain points that these folks are experiencing on the ground and how they run and operate buildings. 

 

Erik: It's such an interesting market. Because some of the topics you've just touched on sustainability and employee life quality, and so forth, could be viewed from very different perspectives. You have the debt financiers who might start actually caring about sustainability, because they might have that as part of their metrics. You have the owners, you have the operators, you have the sub lessors. You have the, let's say, users, the employees and the customers who are actually using the buildings. So, you have all these different stakeholders. As a tech provider, who are you working with? Who are you working with primarily? Then who are the other, let's say, stakeholders here that you're somehow paying attention to or trying to satisfy? 

 

Ross: We have a broad customer base. We work with large channel partners like JLL, CBRE, Sodexo on providing IoT solutions for their corporate client base globally. We also work with a lot of the Fortune 500, directly helping them to reimagine their automation and smart building strategies for their corporate real estate. Then we also work with the landlord ecosystem as they've started to embrace tech forward solutions and IoT solutions to solve some of their challenges, as that industry moves to a real appreciation and understanding of the value of green assets. The customer base is very broad and varied. 

 

To your point, the stakeholder landscape is complex. Because in these businesses, it really does take a village. Decision-making power is distributed across a broad range of stakeholders. If you look at an ESG solution in a Fortune 100 company, you will have lots of folks play a role in shaping that solution — from your head of corporate real estate, to an asset manager, to the facilities manager, to the FM partner. If there is an FM partner involved, then how they manage their corporate real estate. Each of those stakeholders has different agendas. They care about different things. Your head of corporate real estate and your asset manager will want to understand that the solution and technology is driving real change. It's having an impact. It's reducing energy consumption in a building. That reduction in energy consumption is reducing the carbon footprint, aligns to the US Green Building Council standard or whatever the local standard is in that particular territory. 

 

When you get onto the ground, your engineer and your facilities manager will want to ensure that the solution is helping them be smarter about the decisions they make for how they manage HVAC control or how they manage triggers into their BMS. So, there are aspects to this of ensuring full alignment across all of the stakeholders and what the value drivers are for those stakeholders in a complex organization, in combination with change management. Because it is change management. That's just let's call that out. Facilities management in corporate real estate is one of the last frontiers of digital transformation, which is why the problem space is so exciting. Because a lot of folks are going through that journey and that evolution, it's important to have a strong change management plan in place across all of those stakeholders. As you embark on that journey, it can be challenging. But the output is rewarding as you start to play a role in those businesses, realizing their ESG objectives and their sustainability objectives and having that impact on the planet, which is why we exist as a business. 

 

Erik: Great. Well, let's get into the details of how you do that. Maybe before we go to the technology, we can start with the use cases. Because I think that that will give us a good foundation to understand what are the really practical levers here. So, you have on your website a nice list of maybe 12 or so use cases. It's air quality, safe spaces, smart cleaning. Then you have the benefits — increased efficiency, reduced cost, health and well-being, drive sustainability, optimize maintenance, strengthen compliance. So, that's a great way to think through these already. Is there some 80:20 rule? Is there a handful of use cases that you see as being really the either the low hanging fruit or the really big impact levers that you're focused on right now? Is it just a long tail, and everybody finds their own way?

 

Ross: That's a great question. A lot to unpack there. So, let's take it in that order, Erik. I think to your point, it's important to take a step back and assess what the customers' pain is and what they want to achieve. I think this is partly the problem with IoT from even three or four years ago, where there was a lot of focus and congregation around what is the use case, without a deep understanding of what is the business problem that we need to solve here at a corporate holding company level. That's how we've designed our platform. Whether the customer or partner wants to achieve an ROI saving for a water safety solution, or a smart cleaning solution to reduce the cost of cleaning services and optimize their investments in building management, or whether the customer wants to focus on compliance management through a water safety solution or an emergency lighting solution, or whether it's about streamlining the operations and making their engineers and staff on the ground more productive to help combat that labor shortage in addition to many of the goals and objectives that we've explored around sustainability. So, that's the hierarchy in which we work with our customers. One, understand what their objectives are, and then start to build some pattern recognition for what solution can solve those particular objectives. 

 

So, let's take an example. If a customer — we work with money large, global banks. One large global high street bank who we're lucky to have as customer came to us with a challenge to reduce their spending on some services, and make their staff and engineers more productive, to aid in productivity increases, but also address that talent shortage because they were having difficulty in attracting some engineering talent and FM talent into their business. So, they had this long laundry list of jobs internally but a limited team to complete them due to that crunch in the industry. So, that particular customer's goal was on ROI savings and productivity increases. 

 

Looking at Infogrid's product suite, the solutions which can aid in that goal are, one, water safety and, two, smart cleaning. For water safety, we take a tiny postage stamp size sensor. We transform that sensor into an artificially intelligence-powered solution that is able to detect a water movement event and a temperature event aligned to the Legionella legislation in the UK. As you may be aware, the UK has very stringent Legionella legislation that mandates every commercial building to test for Legionella monthly and have a robust program in place around that. That's now becoming a global standard from what we can see, particularly in healthcare settings. All around the world, we'll have very stringent Legionella measurement programs. Some states in the US are being very progressive and forward thinking about this introducing state by state Legionella management as well. 

 

Now, that solution on the face of it seems like a compliance solution, and it is. Because the customer will have a single source of truth that has a digital record of what water outlet has failed the Legionella check through those two criteria not being present and what water outlet has not crossed their entire real estate footprint. But it also has sustainability upside. If you think of all of the water that is wasted through Legionella programs, with the water engineer going tap by tap, turning the water on for three or four minutes at a time, flushing toilets to ensure that there is movement in the water apparatus in the building. That large global bank that I mentioned, across 700 sites in one country, on a per site basis, they saved 30,000 liters of water and 30,000 kilos of CO2 on a per building basis across their real estate footprint. In addition to having that cost saving, through making their engineering team more productive and giving them time back due to the talent crunch, they were also able to experience that water saving, the utility saving, which gave them a hard dollar saving and also helped them to become a better ESG actor where they were able to account for that carbon reduction in line with their corporate carbon accounting and corporate carbon reduction goals. So, that's one example of water safety. Another example can be — 

 

Erik: Sorry, Russ. Sorry to interrupt you. Can we just take a little bit deeper look at the technical solution that you're providing there? Maybe my first question would be, when you're assessing the need, is that you, or is it typically going through maybe an Accenture, some integration partner? Then when you're providing the solution, you have these postage stamp sensors. You're putting those. Is it that you have some central hubs, some kind of gateway? You're bringing that to the cloud? What does the tech stack look like behind that? 

 

Ross: Always fascinated to talk about the tech stack. On the go-to market, we work with consultancies and SIs, some of the folks that you've mentioned. We also work with FM partners like JLL, CBRE, Sodexo. We work direct with money businesses as well. The discovery phase of the client's pain and the problem they want to solve for can be via an SI or an FM partner. It can also be direct, in our direct sales business. But nonetheless, there's always a tag team effort around that, ensuring that both partner and Infogrid and account executive on our team is working to understand what the problem behind the problem is. Sometimes you can look at these problems on a very surface level basis, but more deeply understanding the problem, what the customer wants to achieve. Part number one is to understand the problem so that the partner and Infogrid can build the best solution for the customer. 

 

Then on the technology stack itself, there are really three parts to Infogrid's management of IoT. The first is taking best in class sensors for different use cases. Now, as those sensors come out of the box, sometimes they can be limited in what they do. They have certain data points that they surface, which are more straightforward data points. 

 

The real challenge in IoT is the data management across a large real estate footprint. What we solve for is, one, making sure that every sensor type can communicate with each other. An energy meter or a CT clamp can communicate with an IEQ device and can communicate with an occupancy sensor. All of these sensors, as they come out of the box, speak different languages. They can speak Japanese, German, French, English. The first challenge is to make them all speak to each other. 

The second challenge is building data transformation service, where we take millions of data points from these solutions — we're now ingesting over 75 million data points on buildings on a per day basis — and pass all that data through our events transformation service, where we have a machine learning algorithm that draws down on historical data points, in addition to real time data points, and is able to make very meaningful and accurate predictions on what will take place in a building. That may be a prediction like, next Thursday, your energy consumption will peak on floor seven on this particular asset. You should get ahead of this by doing X, or looking at your corporate real estate footprints in New York. This building on the fifth floor, you will fail a Legionella check due to water flow in the building. You should get ahead of this by doing Y. Getting ahead of this by doing X and Y is very important. I'll come to that in one moment. 

 

The third part of what we do is ecosystem. So, there's a broad range of different folks in the ecosystem from IWMS, to CAFM, to BMS, many, many more. It's a complex landscape. In order to close the loop and drive real, meaningful behavior change, it's important that our platform is driving an action — whether that's creating a work order in a CAFM system, where an engineer can close the loop in any of those two actions, or the robust taxonomy of potential actions an engineer can take for smart building management, or using Infogrid's platform to trigger an action in the BMS. As an example, if your CO2 levels are approaching 1200 parts per million, our open API can communicate with a BMS to trigger an increase in the air filtration rate, to extract out of that poor quality air and bring high quality air into that space. 

 

So, the technology stack is broad. As you've touched on, the information flow flows from sensor through to gateway, through to our cloud, via radio frequency, and cellular. When all of that data hits our cloud, we pass it through all of our proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence so that we're able to arrive at real, meaningful analytics and insights for our customer base aligned to those focus areas. 

 

Erik: In this point of giving prescriptive recommendations for how to solve it, that's really interesting. Because that's where you can create a lot of value. Otherwise, sometimes there's situations where what you end up doing is giving people a lot of information, which forces them to figure out how to analyze it. Then at the end of the day, they might just ignore it. They might take them a significant amount of time to analyze it. So, getting to that point of being able to give prescriptive recommendations is a huge benefit, but it's also quite complicated because situations differ. How do you approach that? Is it a platform where your customers can easily program in their own — if this, then — or do you have a library, or do you use machine learning and semi-automate this? How do you make sure that you're giving accurate prescriptions? 

 

Ross: You're right. The stakeholder base is very, very diverse. I'll give you two examples of how we manage that. Our playbook, to ensure that all of our customers and the personas that we serve get the best possible customer experience with Infogrid as a platform and through our team is through our customer success team. Our customer success team will work directly with the end customer — whether they're in healthcare or whether they're in retail banking — to understand what data and insights they need to have access to on a day-to-day basis, what personas will be looking at that information. Having higher level data points for your manager who's looking at the data on a monthly basis, and very granular and tactical data points for your engineer who will be looking at this on a day-to-day basis or week to week basis. Out of the box, our customer success team will set each persona up with relevant analytics for their industry and the pain that they're solving for in their particular industry. 

 

As an example, we work with the NHS in the UK. The NHS use Infogrid for a bunch of different solutions. One of those solutions is cold storage medicine. A nurse in NHS just has to go from fridge to fridge to conduct spot tests on the temperature in those fridges, to ensure that it's being stored at the medical standard required for storing that particular type of medicine. Our solution offers a remote monitoring solution. When that nurse is logging into our dashboard, he or she gets a simple intuitive set of analytics that will give them a list of fridges that have failed to check, if they have failed, and what they should investigate so that we're curating the information and giving more prescriptive information to those stakeholders in order to solve for the time or lack of time they have in their days. 

That's the key with IoT — that it's simple to use and easy to manage, and gets to the real SOACH in order, so that all the underserved hero, the folks who are genuinely making an impact on the ground don't have to sift through reams of data or an Excel sheet to get to their action and what they need to complete in their industry. 

 

Erik: Yeah, absolutely. We've talked a lot about the stakeholders from the type of organization. Within the organization, are you typically working with, let's say, the operating unit? Is it I.T.? Is it, I guess, in some cases, maybe a CDO function that might be playing more of a discovery role? Who would you typically be working with in a project? 

 

Ross: Well, it's multi diverse. In an enterprise, the CDO is always involved. There can be an executive buy in from the C suite, corporate real estate sustainability. Due to how diverse our platform is — it's come back to what I mentioned at the beginning of our conversation — it really does take a village to implement a successful IoT program in a business. CSO may be involved for security purposes, to understand IoT infrastructure and data infrastructure. Generally, the best practice which all Infogrid solutions follow, which is top of the agenda for CSO is cellular connectivity as a core requirement in IoT. We offer the ability to integrate both with cellular and Wi-Fi. But from a security perspective, cellular is viewed as the gold standard. 

 

Then you will have folks who run large teams of engineers. One of the most important things when implementing an IoT program in a building is ensuring that the standard operating practices and procedures of those engineers has a change management plan, that the SOPs are augmented, the engineer, or the cleaner, or the nurse is brought up to speed on how to use the technology on a day-to-day basis in order to experience that productivity gain or experience that saving that the management team wants to drive in that particular part of the business. 

 

Then from a management perspective, when you think of the goals of IoT at scale — labor optimization, streamlining operations, sustainability — it is now a boardroom topic. These are boardroom topics for businesses as they navigate a period of change, which is driven by the economy currently. Oftentimes, there is input from the C suite and sign off from the C suite, and different check in points throughout that multi-stakeholder landscape, and bringing a Iot program from early-stage discussions through to wide scale adoption and implementation across the global corporate real estate footprints in hundreds of buildings across many, many different countries. 

 

Erik: Last question from my side, maybe there's some other points you also want to touch on. I'd be remiss if I didn't touch on the topic of privacy, just because of the context here. I was chatting with the VP of IoT for one of the largest elevator OEMs. We were discussing how in China, one of their competitors was putting cameras facing down from the top of elevators, and that they could collect all this great data that would help eavesdropping into the hole. How many people are in the elevator? Are they male, female, et cetera? You can get a lot of data. In China, to some extent, you can use that data. But we were joking that if this was in Germany, of course, first of all, you wouldn't put the cameras in. If you did, somebody would tear them out two days later. I guess, a lot of the data that you're working with is collecting infrastructure data, but some of it is collecting data around people. Are there any issues here with privacy? How do you basically make sure that you are collecting data in such a way that your customers are able to use it without either legal concerns or, in some cases, just human concerns, just concerns that employees might have? 

 

Ross: I wish we spoke about this a lot more in the industry than what we do today. We are a privacy-first business. GDPR is at the heart of everything that we do globally, so no personally identifiable information is ever a part of our core products, or any analytics, or insights that are surfaced. We thoroughly respect the rights of every occupant and employee to productivity. For that reason, we are very solutions-focused in how we work with our customers, and have a diverse product suite to cater to privacy-oriented customers. 

 

I'll give you an example. Today, you may have a very tech-forward customer who geeks out about the latest computer vision, occupancy solution. To your point where those solutions are not so advanced, that they can detect gender, age in an elevator lift. Some tech forward businesses may gravitate towards that. That's what they want to do as a business. Others will be more privacy-oriented, and they will want solutions that cater to that — whether that's anonymized desk occupancy solution or a spatial intelligence occupancy solution that's based on thermal imaging and artificial intelligence. So, the ability to detect facial recognition and gender through that computer vision is more limited. Really, it's courses for horses. Every single customer will be unique in what they want to achieve. 

 

As a privacy-oriented business, we hold that near and dear to our hearts as a customer-first business, and have the flex and optionality in all of our solutions to ensure that privacy is offered up to the customer as a key tenant of every solution they have access to with Infogrid. You're right in the example with Germany. We have bunch of customers in Germany. We work with them very closely to inform a lot of our standard practice for privacy globally, in our terms of use, and how our solutions can be used. We had one German customer, in particular, who felt that it was invasive for CO2 levels to be measured in a room as an indicator of occupancy. So, every market is very different. The ethos in China will be different to the ethos in Germany. I think it's important that the customers in each individual market are listened to, their needs are catered for. That's what we focus on as a business. 

 

Erik: Okay. Yeah, that sounds like a great mentality, a great approach to this tricky problem. Ross, I think we've covered a good bit of ground here. Anything that we didn't touch on that's important to share with folks? 

 

Ross: Likewise, Erik. I love chatting to you. It's a brief conversation across the industry and secular tailwinds. I think the main take away from me, for anyone who's listening to this podcast if they're thinking about implementing IoT and their corporate real estate footprint is to experiment. Just get started. Have a crawl, walk, run mindset to what you want to achieve. Really, be laser-focused in bringing it back to business outcomes, so that you and your management team have full confidence that it's a value driver in the business. 

 

The industry and the technology has evolved and compounded at a very significant rate over the last number of years. So, we've crossed the chasm. We're at that point now where we're starting to see businesses and CSOs and execs adopt IoT solutions in a very broad fashion, to drive their sustainability and ESG goals, to create more efficiency in their buildings, to create healthy buildings, understanding that duty of care they have to their teams. We're very humbled to be playing a role in creating that and making the planet better to boot. So, Erik, thank you. 

 

Erik: Awesome. Well, thank you. If anybody wants to reach out and learn more about Infogrid, you can go to infogrid.io. Then on the homepage, there's also a nice demo button. So, looks like it's very convenient to crawl or to take that first step. Ross, thank you.

 

Ross: Thank you, Erik. 

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