Smart Buildings

Siemens Smart Infrastructure Invests in Software, Open Platforms & Co-Innovation

In this Research Note, we examine two significant initiatives for Siemens Buildings business, both announced in the last week of June 2022: the acquisition of Brightly Software by Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) and the launch of the Siemens Xcelerator platform for digital transformation, which enables co-creation and co-innovation with partners for their new Building X smart buildings software suite. SI’s Building Products Division, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, has undertaken a series of software acquisitions since 2018 to complement and expand its digital buildings offering across the management and operations lifecycle of buildings and infrastructure.   Comfy, a US provider of digital workplace experience apps.Enlighted, a US provider of a multi-sensor based IoT platform.J2 Innovations, a US developer of the FIN (Fluid Integration) software framework for building automation and IoT.Wattsense, a French startup providing a plug-and-play IoT management system for small and mid-size buildings.EcoDomus, a small US provider of BIM-based digital twin software for buildings. And now […]

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In this Research Note, we examine two significant initiatives for Siemens Buildings business, both announced in the last week of June 2022: the acquisition of Brightly Software by Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) and the launch of the Siemens Xcelerator platform for digital transformation, which enables co-creation and co-innovation with partners for their new Building X smart buildings software suite.

SI’s Building Products Division, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, has undertaken a series of software acquisitions since 2018 to complement and expand its digital buildings offering across the management and operations lifecycle of buildings and infrastructure.  

  • Comfy, a US provider of digital workplace experience apps.
  • Enlighted, a US provider of a multi-sensor based IoT platform.
  • J2 Innovations, a US developer of the FIN (Fluid Integration) software framework for building automation and IoT.
  • Wattsense, a French startup providing a plug-and-play IoT management system for small and mid-size buildings.
  • EcoDomus, a small US provider of BIM-based digital twin software for buildings.

And now SI has announced its largest building technologies acquisition to date: the purchase of US-based Brightly Software, a provider of cloud-based asset and maintenance management software for $1.575 billion, at a revenue exit multiple of 8.75. With $180 million in expected revenues for 2022, Brightly Software offers CMMS, EAM, Strategic Asset Management, IoT Remote Monitoring, Sustainability and Community Engagement software and services for clients in the education, healthcare, public infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

Originally founded as Dude Solutions in 1999 and rebranded as Brightly Software in March 2022. The firm has grown its North American business organically and through strategic acquisitions, backed by private equity, from around 220 employees in 2014. The company now serves around 12,000 customers, mainly across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia. 

Complementing Siemens offerings for digital buildings, Brightly Software has also recently augmented its energy management capabilities. The January 2022 acquisition of Energy Profiles Limited (EPL) expanded Brightly Software’s capabilities to address enterprise-level energy and sustainability management.  The acquisition of the cloud-based software provider based in Toronto, Canada, delivers data-driven energy and sustainability data management, ESG reporting and predictive analytics to owners and managers of more than 6,000 buildings. 

The second announcement on 29th June 2022 was the launch of Siemens Xcelerator platform, an open, flexible and interoperable digital business platform comprising three elements;

  • A curated portfolio of IoT-enabled hardware and software.
  • A growing partner ecosystem.
  • An evolving marketplace to accelerate digital transformation.

This marks a fundamental step change in the way that Siemens has previously worked together with partners and clients. The concept of co-creation and co-innovation has not previously been at the forefront of the group’s strategy; this initiative intends to commit the group to openness and simplicity, particularly in the smart buildings space in line with the demands of the market.

Built on the design principles of Siemens Xcelerator, Siemens Smart Infrastructure launched Building X, their latest smart building Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite that is open, interoperable and fully cloud-based. Stakeholders can digitize and use their building data from various sources, disciplines and systems on one single platform. This enables the integration of their existing software and ecosystems, including third-party applications, through vendor-agnostic connectivity and open application programming interfaces (APIs).

Certified partners in the Xcelerator ecosystem include both startups and large firms in the smart buildings landscape, many of which are existing members of Siemens ecosystems for the Desigo CC platform and Comfy workplace app.  For example, Xcelerator partners for Building X include Senseware, Copper, Pointr, Halio, Vigilent, Violet Defense and Genea.

Siemens is not an early adopter of this open, tech agnostic approach for building IoT platform solutions. Many stakeholders in the built environment have been advocating this for years and Memoori are now seeing a significant maturing of solutions in the marketplace

Memoori notes that some building automation competitors have a head start in adopting this approach in the market. For example, Schneider Electric launched a similar Exchange platform in 2019, offering open collaboration and data exchange for IoT energy management and automation solutions. While Johnson Controls launched its OpenBlue digital platform in July 2020.

The Brightly Software acquisition will reinforce Siemens Smart Infrastructure’s previous commitment to double its digital revenues from EUR 700 million today to EUR 1.5 billion by 2025

Memoori also highlighted in last year’s Research Note on Siemens Buildings business that we could therefore expect to see an acceleration of digital transformation initiatives driven by the Buildings business for its core commercial and industrial customers. 

This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori

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