SkyFoundry: Transforming Smart Device Data into Business Solutions

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John Petze, Principal & Co-founder
Healthcare facilities have evolved over the last several decades owing to the stringent regulations and advancements in technology. Today, hospitals have adopted several mission-critical systems like automation, metering systems, and other smart devices to efficiently deliver quality healthcare and professional services. These systems can't afford to go down as hospitals have a greater risk profile in an outage and will only worsen the condition for patients who are already fighting between life and death. Hence, monitoring and maintaining these systems become highly important for efficient use of energy resources and cost control and to protect occupant safety and comfort and manage risk. The best way to improve performance and streamline these systems' management is by tapping into the wealth of data garnered from mission-critical systems. To achieve this feat, healthcare facilities will need dynamic and robust data analytics tools to efficiently work with data from diverse systems and quickly find issues, patterns, deviations, and faults represented in the data.

Enter SkyFoundry.

A promising data analytics solution provider, SkyFoundry offers powerful products to unlock the value of data that allows healthcare and other industries to manage their systems and facilities more efficiently, with fewer resources and increased comfort. The company's SkySpark, a robust data analytics platform, helps owners and operators "find what matters" in the vast amount of data produced by smart systems. "By automatically analyzing the data, SkySpark identifies issues, faults, patterns, trends and opportunities in building and energy systems, for operational improvement and cost reduction," asserts John Petze, Co-founder & Principal at SkyFoundry.

Unlocking the Power of Data

Initially, SkySpark communicates with various devices and equipment systems to collect all data types via a live link to an automation system or smart meter, connect to a SQL database, import historical data from Excel files, or a web service feed from a utility. "Our technology supports the communication without requiring gateway devices or any other intermediate products in many applications," states Petze.

At the heart of SkySpark is the high-performance database technology designed to store and organize heterogeneous machine data. Once the data is stored in the database, the next step is to process them. SkyFoundry uses their advanced analytics engine to execute this task, using predefined and fully programmable analytic rules on the data to find “Sparks”—things that matter. The valuable insights are then used to interpret patterns in operational data to identify faults, deviations, and trends that can be addressed to improve efficiency and ensure proper operation of equipment systems. "And the final step is actually where the real value comes from, which is being able to convey these findings to the operating staff in a way that makes sense to them," says Petze, SkySpark automatically generates visualizations, notifications, and reports that show the issue, time of occurrence, frequency, duration, and even cost. The company's platform also has a built-in analytic function library; users can draw functions from the library or create new rules that target the specific needs of their facilities, equipment, processes, and project scope.

The highlight of SkySpark is its centralized visibility. SkySpark includes a rich set of applications that allows users to visualize data and analytic results. The rich visual presentations show how systems are performing at all times. It is also integrated with a configurable KPI app that automatically calculates critical performance indicators and presents them with a variety of user-selectable chart types for easy comparison.

Finding the Right Partner for Implementation

SkyFoundry's applications are delivered to hospitals and regional healthcare providers through a network of authorized factory-trained system integrators. Pete explains, "This means, we do not directly perform installation and setup, it's the contracting organization that the healthcare provider engages with to complete installation."
The healthcare facilities can choose SkySpark Service Provider and SkySpark system integrator according to their requirements. "We have around 150 partners worldwide, who have special skills in a variety of different facilities that include major OEMs, systems integrators, specialty engineering firms and Value-Added Distributors," proclaims Petze.


By automatically analyzing the data, SkySpark identifies issues, faults, patterns, trends and opportunities in building and energy systems, for operational improvement and cost reduction


When it comes to deployment, SkyFoundry's applications are deployed on edge to cloud architecture. Users can have analytics running in real-time at the edge, on the equipment, in the operating room, in the equipment system, and the hospital while bringing data up from all of these different sites in a secure manner.

The Client Onboarding and Training Programs

SkySpark can be customized to fit any human-built environment's unique requirements, everything from office buildings to stadiums, hospitals, and factories. The client engagement process begins by assessing the critical systems, optimum performance goals, and regulatory requirements. Especially in the healthcare industry, where facilities need to comply with a variety of stringent regulatory norms, the company's software proves to be highly beneficial as it helps them meet their regulatory requirements and reporting with less manual effort. Once the project plan is finalized, the next step is to design and implement the software while ensuring it communicates and integrates all the mission-critical systems and smart devices. "Before implementing, our SkySpark system integrators offer initial proof of concept on pilot project; once the client is confident and happy with the result, we move ahead with bigger implementation," elucidates Petze. The ability to deliver cost effective proof-of-concept to clients is what makes them second to none.

The company also provides training programs that help facility operators with the essential information to use and implement SkySpark for the specific industry. Apart from that, the company is working toward educating the market on the benefits of data analytics and data-driven decision-making.

Recently, SkyFoundry helped one of the primary healthcare facilities adapt to the new' work from home' norm caused by COVID-19. They wanted a way for remote users to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot their facilities and equipment systems. SkyFoundry stepped up as a helping hand by offering its wide range of tools. These tools supported all healthcare facility departments from home, resulting in reduced on-site visit requirements by 75 percent. The facility's technicians, operators, and engineers had full awareness of all systems, including boilers, chillers, heating and cooling systems, air handlers, and filtration. By leveraging data analytics platform, they can successfully identify and troubleshoot issues before it creates havoc.

The Effective Way Forward

SkyFoundry has numerous healthcare success stories to its name and is optimistic about the road ahead. The company aims to maintain the top position in the marketplace by delivering outstanding value through SkySpark and training programs. As technological evolution in the modern healthcare environment occurs at a dizzying pace, the facilities are under tremendous pressure to keep up with novel systems and processes. With platforms like SkySpark, healthcare facilities can streamline and manage mission-critical systems much more efficiently.

Company
SkyFoundry

Headquarters
Glen Allen, VA

Management
John Petze, Principal & Co-founder

Description
The company offers an open platform, SkySpark that helps healthcare organizations and other industries streamline and manage their mission-critical systems and smart devices

SkyFoundry