In case you missed it, Comfy recently joined the Siemens family. Amidst all the excitement, we took some time to sit down with Dave Hopping, President of Siemens Building Technologies (BT) Division, Americas, to hear his take on what led to Siemens recent “buying spree” of smart building technology and how Comfy fits in to Siemens long-term strategy.
Why did Siemens decide to invest in Comfy, a workplace experience app?
If you look at how building innovation has transformed over the last 50 or so years, we’ve seen a lot of change; in the 70s and 80s we saw the transition from pneumatic controls to direct digital controls. Today, we see the biggest changes happening because of the cloud, which has enabled lower-cost solutions that can be deployed across a wide scale, making building operations more cost-effective and more reasonable. When it comes to building technology, you have to have a payback and a reason for customers to invest. The low cost of emerging smart building technologies have made this payback even greater and able to deploy across a fleet of buildings.
In my mind, workplace apps are the next phase of IoT in buildings. I’m seeing more and more customers ask us about app technology because they’re trying to improve the environment for their employees. They want their employees to be happy, to be engaged, and to stay at their companies in what’s become an increasingly competitive job market. Our customers have told us that having a good workplace environment is critical.
This whole concept of smart buildings, of leveraging data and information to help the buildings and the environment become the perfect place, and to become more valuable to both the people inside the building and the building owners—that’s what it’s all about. At Siemens, we strive to partner with our customers for the entire life of their building: we service our customers, we meet their needs, we help them improve their business—and Comfy, with its people-centric connection to the building, will play a big role in that mission.
"The software is top-notch; Comfy's intuitive interface and ability to integrate into any type of building system has made them a true market leader in the digital workplace app space."
Siemens announced a number of acquisitions in the smart building space in the last few months (J2 Innovations, Enlighted, Comfy). What makes the investment in Comfy particularly exciting?
There are a few reasons we decided to invest in Comfy. First and foremost, Comfy has found a way to connect people to their environment in a way no other company has—the reputation it has in the marketplace is very strong. Second, we wanted to leverage the Comfy team’s strong SaaS expertise and deep bench of talent to meet our customers’ needs.
Most importantly, the software is top-notch; Comfy’s intuitive interface and ability to integrate into any type of building system has made them a true market leader in the digital workplace app space. We’ve been so impressed by Comfy’s energy, passion and people.
We know that BT is in the business of “Creating Perfect Places.” How does Comfy fit into that vision?
We’re here to take our customers on a journey; it’s our job to show them how a smart building makes them more efficient, their employees happier and more engaged, and ultimately improves their bottom-line. It’s only when building owners and workplace managers understand how people are interacting with the building, that they can best determine how to turn them into perfect places.
Comfy, as a workplace experience app, helps create a perfect place for people at work. By empowering employees to personalize their workplace—adjust temperature, lighting, find or book rooms and spaces, provide feedback and more—the Comfy app makes people feel like they’re in tune with their building and more engaged with their work environment.
After all, how can you be in a perfect place without being Comfy?
In your opinion, how can today's leading companies benefit from Comfy?
If you want an engaged, more satisfied workforce that is connected to their work environment, Comfy can help. If you’re a building owner and you’re trying to attract tenants, Comfy serves as an added feature to increase the value of your building. If you’re an enterprise business, there’s a real hard financial benefit associated with using Comfy to lower overall operating costs. You can win with all three types of key stakeholders by partnering with Comfy.
"Comfy, as a vendor-agnostic solution, will continue to be open to do business with any of our competitors to best serve the needs of building owners."
How will being part of Siemens impact Comfy's clients and fans?
As a company, Siemens is becoming a more open organization with many products served by multiple sources, and our recent acquisitions support this. Comfy, as a vendor-agnostic solution, will continue to be open to do business with any of our competitors to best serve the needs of building owners. Anyone who wants to buy Comfy will be able to. Comfy will also continue to operate as an independent entity, with the original co-founders Andrew and Steve at the helm. It’s proof that we want Comfy to succeed in the marketplace, and we look forward to supporting the company’s growth around the world.
Thank you, Dave, for sharing your perspective on this exciting milestone for Siemens and Comfy!
If you’d like to learn more about Comfy's approach to building people-centered workplaces, read our eBook.