Okapi AI technology optimizes building operations

Okapi’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology is used to optimize operations in Toronto’s Commerce Court, Southcore Financial Centre and other buildings, and it recently helped QuadReal Property Group win a Pinnacle Award for Innovation from BOMA Toronto.

Image: A notification within the Okapi app.

A notification within the Okapi app. (Image courtesy Okapi)

Okapi’s platform interprets and delivers real-time notifications to operational teams, allowing them to provide proactive and focused service to tenants.

It uses AI algorithms to find anomalies in data and root causes for performance issues and then delivers them as personalized notifications to different team members in the field. It predicts performance based on history and alerts teams to possible problems that might evolve, allowing them to take preventive actions.

“Our secret formula is based on combining data from IT (information technology) and IoT (Internet of things) sensors within organizations in order to gain most of the value out of it and to provide the many teams operating in all the different fields with personalized notifications,” said Okapi co-founder and chief executive officer Iris Tsidon.

“Our database is provided with 4,000 metrics and algorithms that allow the check-up process to be very fast. We commit to having the implementation process done within six weeks for every client.”

Okapi’s founders

Okapi, named after an African mammal which has the features of a giraffe, deer and zebra and needs to sleep only five minutes in a 24-hour period yet still remain alert, was co-founded five years ago by Tsidon and chief revenue officer Maya Gal. The company developed the AI platform two years ago.

Tsidon was previously vice-president of business intelligence at Ness Technologies, chief operating officer at Gilon Business Insight and served as human resources VP at several large industrial companies. Gal was previously project and consulting division manager at Ness Technologies, co-founder and chief technology officer at e-learning platform Hi-Teach, research and development manager at Microsoft and knowledge management leader at Amdocs.

Okapi’s platform is well-suited for property management groups, supporting operations teams to improve tenant satisfaction, preventive maintenance, and capital planning.

“The beauty of our tools is that we can send personalized notifications based on the role of the person who receives them, and also based on the different time frames needed,” said Tsidon. “Our main users are all of those working in the operational fields.”

QuadReal’s use of Okapi’s platform

Vancouver-based QuadReal was established by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest institutional investors, and has a $24.5-billion investment portfolio that spans 17 countries. The company is always in search of new technologies to help it innovate the way it builds, how its buildings function and to improve tenant experiences and satisfaction.

Alina Lloyd, QuadReal’s vice-president of digital innovation, expressed interest in testing Okapi’s platform because it was dealing with multiple systems with data coming from too many sources and wanted smarter data distribution for its teams. Quadreal also hoped to improve efficiency through better resource management.

“Commercial real estate companies typically need to deal with great amounts of data,” said Tsidon. “They’re expected to deliver fast and to understand where their main issues are. Okapi helps them during all these stages.”

Ninety days after implementing Okapi, QuadReal reported an 87 per cent reduction in completion times, an 82 per cent reduction in response times, and another 13 per cent improvement in repeating requests. Okapi’s platform enabled QuadReal’s operations team to increase tenant satisfaction quicker and more efficiently, and allowed managers to make better decisions in real time.

QuadReal plans to implement the Okapi platform in other property classes and roll out additional modules in preventive maintenance and capital project management.

Other Okapi clients

Okapi’s Canadian clients include QuadReal and Discovery Air, and its platform is used in several office buildings. Other clients include AHAVA, Fire & Flavor, Kanfit, Bynet Semech Outsourcing Ltd., Comprehensive Orthopaedic Global, Novo International, MX1, OmniSYS and Moss Adams. Tsidon said Okapi is finalizing deals with other American and Canadian companies.

Okapi’s head office is in Palo Alto, Calif. The company also has an office in Toronto that includes Gal, a sales vice-president and four other people, as well as in Hod HaSharon, Israel.

Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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