Ali Javan, Founder & Managing Director, TECDATA January 21, 2019

This month we shine the spotlight on our partners at TECDATA. We got in touch with Ali Javan, founder and managing director, to learn more about his company and the great work they do to help their clients in the Middle East to meet their energy efficiency goals.

Tell us about how your company was founded.

My 20+ career in the energy sector doing various roles with instrumentation control OEMS/system integrators and R&D organizations like Novatech Controls, CSIRO, Invensys Software Systems (Now Schneider Electric) in Australia and Middle East, informed my thinking going in to starting TECDATA (A PBOTech Company).

TECDATA is an instrumentation control system integrator, focusing on building management and automation systems (BMS/BAS). Through strategic partnerships with IT seasoned professionals, TECDATA has expanded into Information Technology, working with clients such as Saudi Aramco, UAE Adnoc and Saudi Sabic. This combined experience has allowed Ali and the rest of the TECDATA to embark on the IoT journey and focus on building energy and operational efficiency.

What evolution have you seen in the energy management space since you started your career?
The mind shift that has occurred in the past 10 years as a result of global warming, the KYOTO and Paris agreements, gathering leaders around the world to influence the reduction in energy consumption, and overall awareness have been instrumental in driving the Middle East to embrace change. The region has shown progress. And while many energy efficient projects have been completed successfully, the industry as a whole still falls short of the first world countries, mainly due to lack of regulations and properly incentivizing relevant industries to save energy to meet target carbon footprint reductions.

There are many challenges to overcome. Thankfully, there are also many initiatives —by various governmental and none-governmental bodies (such as electricity and water authorities)— to encourage construction developers, facilities managers, property managers, MEPs, architects and building owners to reduce energy consumption. One such major initiative was the creation of ETIHAD ESCO Company. The company was established in 2013 to influence the built environment in Dubai to invest on energy saving infrastructure with shared benefit of the savings. TECDATA aims to assist ESCO companies with IoT-based solutions, in order to meet or exceed targeted energy reductions.

What are the main reasons and benefits for partnering with BuildingIQ?
We identified a major gap between building operations, using traditional BMS and overall business performance, where C-level executives wanted to have better visibility to day-to-day operations. In the past three years, we’ve been looking for the right IoT technology solution to help with closing this gap. We determined that BuildingIQ has the deep knowledge in analyzing data using advance machine learning algorithms, plus in-house expertise with impressive shared years of experience in building operations.

BuidingIQ’s complete roadmap —the 5i journey—covers the complete infrastructure suite to enhance building operations regardless of building age, whether legacy or new, having a BMS or not, with the ability for continuous improvement over the years.This building stock diversity is the reality of the market that we serve, making the decision to partner with BuildingIQ an obvious one.

In your view, what are some of the advantages of being able to gather building data on a granular level?
The main advantage would be the visibility into the operation of the building. The more data received from the building the better the results that can be achieved. With the help of AI (e.g. advanced machine learning techniques), data can be analyzed in a very short period of time, providing live and meaningful information to experts in the field —such building energy experts, data scientists, etc. As a result, informed decisions —based on data, not supposition— can be made which could lead to improved operational efficiency. For example, increased asset life cycle and building occupant comfort, reduction in energy consumption, streamlined facilities management operations, etc. With powerful mobile and desktop dashboard applications, stakeholders can make informed decisions that effectively contribute to overall building efficiency.

What is your vision for the future of energy management and building automation?
We need the intelligence from operations to make informed decisions. From the energy management point of view, I foresee great future opportunities in this region. Building owners and operators are becoming more aware that automation and energy management are going to play a vital role in the operation of their buildings.Hence they are making careful decisions to choose technologies that they can leverage over the long run (knowing that approximately 80% of expenditure on total building cost* goes towards building operations). The authorities in this region have set forth an ambitious carbon footprint reduction goal to be achieved by 2030. This should further triggers the expansion of energy management and building automation in the region. As energy tariffs get introduced to encourage users to utilize energy during non-peak hours, energy management services coupled with building automation systems and wise IoT choices will be crucial to help end-users during such transition.

*Building total cost = Cost to build + operation expenditure

Ali Javan, TECDATA, Dubai

Ali Javan is founder and managing director at TECDATA with 25+ years of experience working with instrumentation control OEMS/system integrators and R&D organizations such as Novatech Controls, CSIRO, Invensys Software Systems (Now Schneider Electric) in Australia and Middle East.