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Creating Outcome-Based Platforms of Trust

July 9, 2020
The new corporate mandate requires that all employees be assured that they are safe at home, at the office, and in the in-between.
If we want to succeed at Embracing Enlightenment, we will need to create Platforms of Trust. The trend toward both these goals, Enlightenment and Trust, were well underway before COVID-19, but now the urgency and necessity have been greatly amplified.

As we set about creating a platform of trust for our employees and buildings we start to understand the complexity of the ever-changing landscape.

Thinking for health and safety first, we then cross over to the traditional understanding of building comfort and nice-to-have features. The new corporate mandate requires that all employees be assured that they are safe at home, at the office, and in the in-between.

To achieve this goal organizational change that breaks traditional barriers is necessary;  Platform of trust are required. From the API documentation guide comes this definition:

What is Platform of Trust?

Communally built Platform of Trust provides a trustworthy and easy-to-use surrounding where you can utilize a vast data pool and develop everyday services for your customers with the help from the developer community and without a need for pricey and time-consuming integrations. Platform of Trust has Finnish origins, but it’s built to expand globally through the network of built environment innovation hubs.

And another useful definition from the web site:

What is an Outcome-Based Service Model?

The driving ideology behind an outcome-based service model is that companies are selling business outcomes rather than just products. In more sophisticated terms, outcome-based service is “a new business model of outcome-based contracts where the firm is tasked to achieve outcomes of equipment as a service contract instead of the traditional maintenance, repair and overhaul activities,” according to Industrial Marketing Management.

Essentially, the service provider and the customer mutually agree on specific outcomes that are measurable and attainable, and designed to ensure customer success. This service dynamic is therefore a win-win – customers get the outcomes they want, and service providers know exactly what is expected of them.

In my own humble opinion as presented on

The trend is towards Platforms that provide Outcome as service. A separation of controls logic data from hard equipment needs to be provided, maintained, upgraded, and optimized as an outcome service

Major pieces of equipment may not be purchased in the future but will be bought as a service, servitization strategies will prevail.

Imagine your cell phone as a trusted outcome platform on which you download and connect to other trusted platforms to create your own customized, personalized outcomes. 

This is conceptually what needs to be built for companies to allow their employees access to buildings, provide cybersecurity for all their devices, and deliver protection for their health. Other outcomes need to be easily added and deleted such as location services, physical distancing and environment control of detected space. Each platform needs to be able to share the data lake and have the ability to navigate this data and become more aware. Open source everything and common database standards are a must.

This is evolving in many forms. The current struggle is because everyone wants to be the top layer platform. But to be successful it needs to be a Communally built Platform—or the trust is broken. The sheer number of platforms of trust evolving now is truly amazing.

Here is a great resource, the 5th edition of KPMG’s Real Estate Innovations Overview. It shows numerous fascinating innovations from all around the world (but keep in mind many more are under development).

On the overview web site they list nine categories. Here are four that caught my attention:

The first category, digitizing processes consists of innovations that digitize traditional processes. This enables the processes to analyse more data, be accessible online and real-time while making them more efficient and user friendly.

Flexible workspaces entails innovations that create the option for Real Estate to be flexible in time, location and environment. Workplaces can be allocated 'anywhere' and 'anytime'.

Innovations in healthy workplace and living focus on the internal working environments, ranging from air purity to office treadmills for walking meetings, to optimize employee satisfaction, health or productivity.

Platforms to connect allow users to connect and interact with stakeholders (e.g.buyers/sellers, owners/tenants, or construction parties and maintenance). These could essentially result in optimized communication, collaborations, knowledge-sharing and/or synergies.

From Nicolas Waern, “The Building Whisperer,” writing on, Wireless-First Strategy, what to think about? Key quote:

Using wireless-mesh in buildings will offer comfort knowing that, when customers want bi-directional when data-scientists and AI/ML-powered solutions cry for more real-time data, you have the solution for it already in place. One API, delivering all that data you want and that works seamlessly together with existing and future solutions.

In a word, onboarding is what we need to do in our industry to create a Phoenix from our COVID-19 Ashes. 

As an example, Chipotle and Shopify have worked together to lead virtual onboarding sessions with their partner farmers to help them get acquainted with Shopify's platform. We are all in this together and need to keep our critical partners healthy. It’s the only way to ensure a safe supply chain. From

Chipotle launches virtual farmers’ market

Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched a virtual farmers’ market allowing farmers in the company’s supply chain to launch improved versions of their own e-commerce websites.

Chipotle said it hopes its virtual farmers’ market will give suppliers a new stream of revenue and enhance their commitment to sustainable farming practices amid unforeseen circumstances. The company noted the pandemic has magnified a crisis the agricultural industry had already been suffering. Farmers have had to destroy millions of pounds of fresh goods due to decreased demand with restaurants, hotels and schools closed.

From the ABI Research web site:

SaaS in the Building Automation Market

A new wave of investment, driven by the SaaS model and a growing market emphasis on energy efficiency, is bringing new entrants into the commercial building environment management market. Building management systems (BMS) provide centralized management and control systems to maintain the building environment. Over the past decade these traditional systems have been upgraded to Building Automation Systems delivering greater environment sensing and connectivity to networked management capabilities. Now, new entrants are pioneering ways of leveraging BAS/BMS data already being collected to deliver in-depth analysis and provide actions to improve BAS/BMS efficiency.

Who are you going to trust? The following discussions look at three different pillars: the planet (environmental), the people (social), and the profit (economic).

First, Lauren Scott writing for Quebec’s The Suburban, After the Great Pause — A Case for Choosing to Move Forward Over Going Back:

During this period, we have heard countless people, politicians and pundits express a strong desire to get back to life pre-COVID. However, I would argue that, after the Great Pause, we should be focused not on going back to normal, but on moving forward to a new, more sustainable reality. COVID-19 ripped open and exposed a deep wound based on resource inequality. So what better time than now for our community, more tightly interconnected than ever, to pull together to rebuild our lives in a way that respects the Triple Bottom Line, a framework built across three pillars: the planet (environmental), people (social), and profit (economical).

Next, Stacy Kauk, writing on the Shopify web site asks, Is working from home better or worse for the environment? Key quote:

The online journal IOPscience recently published a review of 39 studies about the climate impacts of teleworking. Twenty-six of those studies suggest that working from home reduces energy usage, and eight found that it could increase, or have the same impact on, energy use.

And from the ASHRAE web site: ASHRAE's First-Ever Virtual Conference Is Proving to Be a Success:

"We are very pleased with what turned out to be a seamless shift from our in-person annual conference to a virtual format," 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. "The feedback we're receiving from attendees is very positive, as our Society continues to lead the industry towards a healthy and sustainable built environment for all, by providing solutions to current engineering challenges."

From a sponsored piece by IBM appearing on the web site:

We’re approaching a golden age of conversational artificial intelligence

From tech startups to government services, organizations are taking advantage of the power of conversational AI to improve their customer experience.

Conversational AI is a type of artificial intelligence that enables software to understand and interact with people naturally, using spoken or written language. Enterprises have adopted conversational AI in a number of ways…

From Steve Brooks writing for the Enterprise Times web site: Where are you on your servitisation journey?

Marne Martin, President, IFS Service Management Business Unit, added: “This survey confirms the current state of play as we have observed it among our product-centric customers, many of whom are employing servitization strategies to monetize their expertise and capture larger parts of their respective value chains. The IDC Servitization Barometer also lays out the key hurdles facing many manufacturing organizations, including the lack of internal know-how and the perennial problem of running legacy, disjointed business systems.”

A news item from highlights the importance of trust in successful partnerships: Customer-Centric IoT Platform Leader Brings International Expertise to Open Standards:

Manufacturers, brands, OEMs and retail chains partner with Tuya to access its AI + IoT (AIoT) platforms to transform products into smart devices and systems. Tuya wireless modules integrate seamlessly into existing objects to instantly connect to the company’s cloud platform, and the Tuya Smart application enables smart product control via mobile devices. The company serves more than 180,000 partners in over 190 countries to power categories including lighting, appliances, environmental equipment and surveillance systems.

Which of course leads to the question, how will we learn to trust our non-human partners? From the web site:

Cultivating Trust in AI Technologies

NIST has a long-standing reputation for cultivating trust in technology by participating in the development of standards and metrics that strengthen measurement science and make technology more secure, usable, interoperable and reliable. This work is critical in the AI space to ensure public trust of rapidly evolving technologies, so that we can benefit from all that this field has to promise.

AI systems typically make decisions based on data-driven models created by machine learning, or the system’s ability to detect and derive patterns. As the technology advances, we will need to develop rigorous scientific testing that ensures secure, trustworthy and safe AI. We also need to develop a broad spectrum of standards for AI data, performance, interoperability, usability, security and privacy.

This new edition of ControlTalk NOW was a fun, satiric discussion by myself and newly created Zoom Philosophers Eric and Kenneth of Control Trends. In case you (like me) need a history lesson about folks in the 1700 that were part of our Enlightenment, this will help with the teasing and name calling that was part of our ControlTalk.  

Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote the philosophical treatises A Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (1755) and The Social Contract (1762); the novels Julie; or, The New Eloise (1761) and Émile; or, On Education (1762); and the autobiographical Confessions (1782–1789), among other works.

Adam Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher, and author as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Economics'' or ''The Father of Capitalism.”

From the introduction:

We must use the positive powers of Reinvention, Rebirth,  and Renaissance to fuel our personal and professional enlightenment as we cope with the realities and responsibilities  that the COVID-19 pandemic has levied upon us. Ken offers this sage advice, “We are the philosophers of today. Let us all use responsible social media to bring trust and truth to enlightening the world.”  

During our talk we also referred to this article from the New York Times, The Top Doctor Who Aced the Coronavirus Test, a profile of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry who is fighting the pandemic in British Columbia.

Key to building trust is a project started by the Center for Humane Technology, the Ledger of Harms (now in beta version). From the site:

Under immense pressure to prioritize engagement and growth, technology platforms have created a race for human attention that’s unleashed invisible harms to society. Here are some of the costs that aren't showing up on their balance sheets.

When I started in industry 50 years ago they told me good Automation was indistinguishable from magic. Our evolution has led us to even more powerful magic, but just as real. A magic where the real and the virtual blur, where people become the controlled variable in our process. And just like anything perceived as magic, some people will always be apprehensive, slow to trust. We need to be the responsible harbingers of our new Enlightenment.

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