Cisco & Oxford Properties
Cisco and Oxford Properties pilot Comfy to drive innovation in the workplace and improve the employee experience.
Global real estate company, Oxford Properties, has partnered with one of their lead tenants, Cisco Systems Canada Co., for an initial deployment of Comfy throughout Cisco’s headquarters at RBC WaterPark Place III in Toronto (96,000 ft across 3 floors). Comfy was the first integration of a third party, cloud-based technology for both organizations who are investing in innovative tools to strategically differentiate in their respective industries.
Image: Cisco, RBC WaterPark Place III, Toronto
"With Comfy, you can give people what they want—the ability to adjust and control elements of their space. If they can adjust it themselves, they are more comfortable. And if they’re more comfortable, they’re more engaged."
In the competitive commercial real estate world, it’s critical for companies like Oxford Properties be on the forefront of workplace technology in order to offer a premium experience to their tenants like Cisco, CitiGroup, RBC, and other Fortune 1,000 companies. “We have the ability to control the environment from home—change the color of lights, adjust the thermostat and more, all from our phones—and it’s good to see the evolution in commercial office buildings similarly being advanced,” explains David Gallagher at Oxford Properties. Leveraging smart building technology also helps Oxford Properties and their tenants find operational efficiencies and save money on energy spend.
As a building tenant, the Cisco Toronto team is tasked with using the Innovation Centre as a hub to help identify workplace technologies of potential interest to clients, as well as their own employees. Past projects include collaborations with a national bank on the development of solutions for employee collaboration, IoT, and energy efficiency.
“Our end goal is to understand what a customer’s problem might be and build out solutions for them,” Bill MacGowan, Director, Smart Connected Real Estate at Cisco, explains. Bill sees the “world of IT and facilities coming together to drive value in a big way”—whether it’s figuring out a way to help a client run a project (or building) less expensively, use less energy, or utilize space more efficiently. Ultimately, finding solutions to improve the workplace experience—both for potential clients and Cisco employees—is paramount to the Cisco team.
Together, Cisco and Oxford Properties decided to pilot Comfy, the first personalized control app used by either company. Through the easy-to-use Comfy app, Cisco employees are empowered to control their workplace comfort on-demand, from wherever they are in the office. Over time, Comfy uses machine learning to automatically tune the workspace temperature based on learned preferences. In Comfy’s management console, Cisco and Oxford Properties teams can get a detailed view into how people are using the space and how the building is performing. In addition, Comfy’s customer support team fields issues from occupants and proactively notifies the building operations team of any potential building issues.
With on-demand comfort at their fingertips, over 73% of Cisco employees report that they feel more productive with Comfy. With a high rate of adoption (over 70%), Comfy’s machine learning algorithm has learned the preferences of hundreds of Cisco employees, automatically and dynamically adjusting the space to their individual needs. As a result, the building has become optimized for occupant comfort with more efficient use of building systems, saving the building an estimated 15.8% in HVAC energy since deploying Comfy.
73% more productivityA majority of Cisco employees reported that they feel more productive with Comfy.
- David Gallagher, Oxford Properties
15.8% HVAC energy reductionCisco Canada has saved an estimated 15.8% in HVAC energy since deploying Comfy.
As the first workplace app designed to put people first, Comfy has proven to be valuable to Cisco employees while helping Cisco and Oxford Properties address their broader company goals. “From a Cisco perspective, we're looking at utilization and optimization of the real estate that we currently have in our portfolio,” explains Bill. “We're always looking at what we can do to drive a better work experience for our employees.” Looking ahead, this means working to get Comfy in the hands of more Cisco employees and additional Oxford Properties tenants—in Toronto and elsewhere—to help them experience a better way to work.
"Being able to find operational efficiencies is the key with workplace technology. With Comfy, we can reduce hot/cold calls by just giving people freedom to control their own temperature."