Fusionex, a provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions, wanted to help a customer reduce energy consumption. To improve efficiency, Fusionex helped the company implement a Big Data solution based on Windows Azure HDInsight Service that
integrates and analyses data from multiple sensors and equipment types. As a result, the customer has gained valuable insight into building operations, cut reporting time from three months to less than 30 minutes, and reduced energy consumption by 20 percent.
Fusionex is a global provider of IT solutions with offices across Asia, Europe, and North America. A Microsoft partner with multiple gold level competencies, the company specializes in Big Data and BI solutions. Fusionex wanted to help a leading provider
of building management products and services improve energy and operational efficiency. To enhance service and reduce energy consumption, Fusionex wanted to provide better insight into the performance of building equipment.
In particular, the Fusionex customer sought to improve operations in Asia, where its customers typically faced challenges such as high temperatures and humidity. “These are companies that run around the clock,” says Keat Ming Chen, Vice President of Fusionex.
“As a result, reduced energy consumption and ‘greener’ buildings are a priority.”
The company offered automated systems designed to optimize building management, but it struggled to cope with the volume and variety of data contained in disparate heating, cooling, fire, and security products. “Equipment has different interfaces, and it
was a challenge to make sense of all the different data formats,” says Chen. “So while our customer could produce reports from individual systems or machines, it was unable to gain a comprehensive, holistic view of what was happening across a facility.”
To produce reports for clients, employees typically pulled information from each system and then manually entered the data into a spreadsheet. It could take up to three months to identify trends, and, unless someone reported an incident, it was even more
difficult to pinpoint problems with individual equipment. The customer wanted a more automated solution that would provide better insight.
||Manually collecting data from individual systems and preparing reports could take up to three months. With our Big Data solution based on Azure HDInsight Service…our customer gained accurate insight in less than 30 minutes.
| Keat Ming Chen
The customer asked Fusionex to implement a Big Data solution based on Windows Azure HDInsight Service in the cloud and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 software running on-premises. By using the service, the customer could deploy an Apache Hadoop cluster on the
Windows Azure platform and analyze structured and unstructured data from a wide variety of sources, including sensors, equipment, and building-automation systems. Then it could use SQL Server 2012 to extract and work with the data on-premises.
In March 2013, Fusionex and its customer began a pilot project with the new solution. The team integrated cooling, humidity, and temperature sensors from a large facility with HDInsight Service and monitored the data for two months. “We wanted to see if
there were any spikes or abnormal behavior,” says Chen. “We studied trends and patterns so that we could operate in a preemptive mode instead of just reacting to problems.”
To look at the information, employees used a web-based interface designed by Fusionex, as well as Microsoft Excel 2013 spreadsheet software. After quickly identifying spikes in energy consumption, the customer can investigate further to find the root cause,
whether it is a configuration issue, an installation problem, or faulty equipment. The customer is looking at more ways to take advantage of Big Data and plans to introduce the solution to management teams across Asia and, ultimately, worldwide.
With a Big Data solution based on Windows Azure HDInsight Service, the Fusionex customer is gaining new insight into building management, significantly reducing reporting time and energy consumption, and improving customer service.
Improved Operational Insight
With the new Big Data solution, Fusionex and its customer have already made surprising discoveries. For example, they found that similar models of the same cooling system, even when installed the same way, varied in performance. “It was quite surprising
to see that energy consumption was different for similar units,” says Chen “When we drilled down, we could see what was really happening and make changes. HDInsight Service coupled with Big Data analytics is a great tool for improving operations.”
Cut Reporting Time from Three Months to Minutes
The company can now react quickly to fluctuations in energy consumption and make changes that help its customers cut both waste and cost. “Manually collecting data from individual systems and preparing reports could take up to three months,” says Chen. “With
our solution that takes advantage of the power of HDInsight Service, reporting has taken a quantum leap forward. Our customer gained accurate insight in less than 30 minutes.”
Reduced Energy Consumption by 20 Percent
By using a Big Data solution based on Microsoft technologies, Fusionex helped its customer significantly improve energy efficiency in the building used in the pilot project. “We chose a building that we knew needed improvement,” said Chen. “We estimated
that we cut energy consumption by approximately 20 percent by taking advantage of HDInsight Service.”
Better Service and Competitive Advantage
Fusionex believes that better access to data from multiple sources will help its customer stand out from the competition and enhance service. “Our customer works with machine-to-machine data—what it calls the Internet of things,” says Chen. “The volume of
data handled is massive, and massively underused. The information is there, but people typically are not able to take advantage of it. With this Big Data solution, there is huge potential for ways we can work with the data to improve service.”
This case study is for informational purposes only.