GTconsult Smart Office Project

by Bradley Geldenhuys on June 23, 2022

The Client

GTconsult provides outsourced managed services by nurturing and growing talent in niche IT technologies for businesses around the world.  They focus on the Office 365 platform and leverage SharePoint, PowerApps, PowerAutomate and Microsoft Teams to help companies enable productivity.

The Brief

GT wanted to be able to manage and monitor their power consumption, access control, light automation, and security cameras all from one place for everyone in the office.

The Outcome

Milney implemented Home Assistant on their local server which was a very quick win.  GT have chosen a Milney Care Premium package so this is managed and monitored all year round by the Milney Team.

Access Control

Adding a camera with smart AI technology backend we where able to identify faces at the front door which would then unlock the door, turn on the lights, and start that persons favourite music playlist if they opened the office that morning.  All other late comers where still able to use the facial recognition to open the door but didn’t get the tunes. 

Cameras

GT had two EZVIZ cameras which showed the front door and main working space.  These cameras where only accessible via the EZVIZ app before, however now they are all on the Home Assistant app and have person recognition to identify who is in the office and updates this info to disapply on the dashboard.  

Lights & Motion Sensors

All light switches were replaced with Sonoff touch panels.  They were flashed with Tasmota and connected securely to the local Home Assistant server.  Now they can be controlled locally all in one place.  We also added several motion sensors to the server room, bathrooms, kitchen and boardroom to activate the lights on activity.  Thus, saving power when the rooms are not in use.

 

Power Monitoring

The GT team are a South African based company, so they have an inverter and backup power supply.  However, they did not have a remote power monitoring tool to understand how much power was being used or how much battery was available. Milney implemented an additional Power Management solution to show battery availability and power usage.  Milney implemented a smart power usage system, turning off non-critical office lights & appliances during load shedding. Status is audibly announced during these periods, so staff remain informed.

 

Alarm Management

Being able to disarm and arm the alarm from a device was a requirement, as well being able to sound the alarm in case of emergency.  All staff members have this ability now from their registered devices when they are on the premises.

 

Media Control

Boardroom and common area monitors are all easily controlled by the Home Assistant app. Accessible by all authorised staff.

 

Scenes

A few scenes were added to make the GT office space a welcoming, inviting and socially awesome place to work. Milney added a “Welcome” scene to the office for the first arrivals of the day, & a “Good-bye” scene for whoever locks up. The boardroom will also be prepared 5 minutes before a meeting, with appropriate lights, aircon and media activation.

               

Internet Control

Blocking ads, games, and social media on the corporate network was a request which the Milney team had a solution for.  This reduces the amount of bandwidth used on trivial connections and ensures that the team are highly focused on getting work done without distractions.  The Milney team also integrated the Unifi network to allow management of devices from one location, in order to see who was on the network and usage stats from one easy location on Home Assistant app.

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