Welcome to ‘Tech Talks’ with Ana Andrade, a Q&A focused on how Tech is making the Built Environment SMARTER.
This bulletin series features key industry players from the land technology and built environment space in conversation with consultant Ana Andrade, drawing insights around the topics of AI, IoT, GDPR and ESG compliance, and much more!
TCM IP Services was established to support their clients’ business success by delivering the best possible infrastructure for their IT and communications systems and premises.
Their solutions are based on the deployment of IP (internet protocol) based technologies, whether for a new network to support rapid digital transformation, or state-of-the-art facilities to host face-to-face or hybrid meetings and impress clients.
What does your role entail at TCM?
Here at TCM IP Services I am the Director of Intelligent buildings, primarily TCM was founded as a network infrastructure business supporting the smart buildings and BMS sectors, so with me coming from a BMS background it was logical to build out TCM to provide end to end solutions for our clients undertaking projects ranging from Intelligent lighting, Energy monitoring and analytics as well as workspace application deployments / space analytics.
How did you find yourself working in the Built Environment sector? What unique opportunities and challenges have you faced so far?
It really is a natural progression from the BMS sector, many times in the BMS industry we as professionals were asked to optimise the system for energy saving purposes, however BMS systems are limited in their capabilities with regards to analytics and insights so it’s nice having the right product sets to be able to make a difference for our clients.
It goes without saying that the use of AI has been an increasingly relevant topic. What are your thoughts on that? Are you currently adopting (or planning to) this type of technology at TCIM?
Very important if we as a collective are to reach carbon net zero, the human mind simply cannot process data quick enough and accurately enough to analyse the systems as a whole so AI forms a large part of the success in this mission. By partnering with Spacewell they have developed an incredible energy platform which leverages AI to give the user the insights and information in order to make the right changes and focus their attention in the right areas.
How do you think tech and data collection might interfere with GDPR in your business? How do you plan to tackle this issue?
TCM specialise in implementing solutions that are secure by design, we do this by leveraging our expertise in cybersecurity and enterprise IT standards. By deploying IOT systems in the same vein this almost eradicates the possibility of data breaches and vulnerabilities on the network. All of TCMs product sets have been chosen carefully so that they are penetration tested by external third parties and this provides peace of mind for us as well as our clients. This is what sets us apart as a business in this market.
Could you tell us more about the hardware component of your services (if applicable)? What changes have you seen in IoT over the years?
Hardware for us is predominantly sensors and gateways; we have seen the introduction of PoE powered devices which is great for us as this eradicates the need for external Power supplies which can be challenging in the retrofit projects. So, this has been a positive change in my opinion.
How do you see the industry evolving in the next few years, and what impact might it have on professionals (thinking of AI, automation, data protection, privacy, IoT)?
I think the market is strong and clients are now starting to gain trust in the industry players unlike the early days where this was lacking making IOT tech a hard sell. I think this in turn will provide more opportunities for new roles such as internal system owners of analytic platforms etc, I think this is often overlooked when the client purchases a platform, the platform needs to be operated and managed by a client representative in order to gain any benefit from the investment.
Are there any exciting product/ project launches coming out or in the making that you could share with us?
At TCM we are focusing on our existing product set and staying true to our ethos by being agile and reliable, so we are focusing on our existing client base and just keep doing what we do best for now.
What does the coming year hold for TCIM? What are your expansion plans?
Expansion of the Intelligent buildings team by recruiting the right talent, we are almost going to be developing a new breed of engineer at TCM by having both IT, Network and Smart Building skillsets and knowledge. More apprentice intakes are also exciting for us as it’s important we give back to the youth of today to give them a fighting chance in this market.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring players and entrepreneurs looking to enter this space?
Trust in your abilities and when you are knocked back or put off by others keep going! The market is large enough for us all and there are clients out there for everyone. The UK in particular has so many assets that have zero smart capabilities and outdated systems ripe for upgrade.
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