The voice assistant that gives facility management a refreshing appeal

The Museum of London stores the capital of England’s long history from its settlers to modern times and welcomes over one million visitors each year. To realize its vision of becoming a “smart museum” and making use of resources efficiently, once again in the summer semester of 2022, the Museum of London shakes hands with the University of Applied Science Munich students and works together on another project. Accompanying the museum on the way to achieving its goal, a group of ten students has teamed up and developed a solution to integrate the use of the voice assistant ALLRight into facility management at the museum.

The Vision for 2023

Committed to engaging more people and constantly transforming to be a “New Museum”, knowing exactly where and when a malfunction in the building occurs is of great importance for all stakeholders. Within the scope of the previous cooperation projects between the Museum of London and the student teams at MUAS (Andreas Meuser, Syed Muhammed Ali Raza, Tobias Kuch, Lukas Förner, Simon Meier, Richard Nefzger, Florian Kaiser, Daniel Eberhard, Mai Linh Tran, Florian Horder), the main goal always involved the efficient consumption of resources and maintaining the best environment not only for the visitors but also for the preservation of the historical artifacts.

Hurdles in the way

“Usually, when at work, I was constantly concerned about the museum’s condition. I could not quickly and easily get reliable information about the temperatures and humidities in the galleries. I wanted accurate, reliable, and valid information to know that everything was alright”, John, facility manager at the Museum of London said.” However, with ALLright I feel more confident at getting the information I need at any time. And all that can be done simultaneously while I am working on my desk!” However, facility managers at the Museum of London have been having difficulty in quickly finding out the state of the building. Due to various data points and limited access to these data, it involves an inefficient and time-consuming process to pinpoint the problems with the functionality of the building, as they have to check various systems or ask around to find out what is wrong. Instead of having to go through all these troubles, they want to be granted easy and quick access to insights into the building’s functionality, and the most convenient way to get the information they need is via a voice assistant.

Delivering a valuable solution to solve the client’s problem

The intuitive voice assistant ALLRight was developed as a “Skill” based on the foundation of Amazon’s infamous voice assistant Alexa. It answers the 8 critical questions about the condition of the buildings at the Museum of London and gives information about occurring technical problems. With the voice assistant, facility managers can conveniently get a fast and simple overview of the current state of the building. The special feature of ALLRight is the interaction between it and the user as the skill has been developed to be able to include personalization and naturally converse with users.

“The team has surpassed my expectation!”, the client from the Museum of London, Steve Watson – Technical Building Lead – and John Iaciofano – Facility Manager – are very thrilled about the development of the voice assistant ALLRight from the early days until the prototype is completed.

 “ALLright is an exciting game-changer, which makes accessing building information easy, fun, and reliable.  Managing buildings is all about decision-making and ALLright informs me quickly of the relevant information to support important decisions.  This app is a glimpse into the future of building management”, Steve said. He also added when asked about future implementation potentials, “I see a future where buildings become much better structured at the data layer and then voice assistants will have a very rich source of information and analysis available.  Then I see voice assistants becoming more adept at natural language and also having a back-end learning capability that improves with specific buildings, their datasets, and their interactions.”

Dieses Co-Innovation Lab Projekt wurde in Kooperation mit dem Digital Transformation Lab (DTLab) an der Hochschule München durchgeführt:
Das Digital Transformation Lab (DTLab) der Hochschule München widmet sich den großen gesellschaftlichen Herausforderungen unserer Zeit. Zusammen mit Akteuren im öffentlichen Sektor entwickeln Studierende zukunftsweisende Lösungsansätze. Hierbei werden sie von Amazon Web Services mit state-of-the-art Cloud-Technologien und der Innovationsmethodik Working Backwards unterstützt. Wir leben digitale Transformation.

Weitere Informationen über das Co-Innovation Lab und das Digital Transformation Lab (DTLab) an der Hochschule München:

Autoren: Mai Linh Tran

Creation of Audio Reports for Facility Managers at the Museum of London

The Co-Innovation Lab of the Munich University of Applied Sciences enabled a team of its’ students to demonstrate their skills. As part of the project, they developed a web-based software solution for the Museum of London (MOL). The smartReport (SRP) application collects sensor data from the building and creates audio reports that are made available to the museums’ Facility Managers. The SRP provides a general overview, helps with long-term maintenance of the building, and supports day-to-day operations by providing building data in a convenient way.

Dashboard view to access the current status reports on the building data of the Museum of London Docklands.

Museum of London – A building full of history and innovative drive

The Museum of London Docklands is committed to maintaining its historical repertoire. The staff, as well as the public of London, share a great interest in presenting a part of their history to visitors from all over the world for years to come. With this in mind, it is important to roll out innovative technology and enable the facility managers to do so as best as possible.

A matter of heart – The need for novel software solutions in everyday life is apparent

Until now, facility managers struggled with cumbersome information processes: Long and complicated chains of communication, complex software systems, and a missing integrated overview. They wondered if it is possible to be informed more quickly about critical data such as the humidity or temperature. Enabled employees, that is exactly what the technical management of the Museum has at heart. They are behind a new innovative thrust and are willing to invest in new technical implementations.

Co-Innovation Lab develops a web app that informs the user about building data via audio

The user-friendly application makes the facility managers’ everyday work easier. They can flexibly access the status reports from any location in the building via web either on their mobile phones or on the desktop computers in the backoffice. For the facility managers, this means no more cumbersome trips to the backoffice and an immediate understanding of the health of the bulding conditions and risk exposures of important exhibits while on the museum floor. But SmartReport wouldn’t be smart if it didn’t have smart functions in it. In the case of the novel SmartReport app, they come in form of dynamically created audio reports from realtime building data. The big benefit: Facility managers can access and assess everything relevant while action and without any interruption of their ongoing tasks.

Build things people need – Amazon Web Services as technical and methodical support

The app was developed in cooperation with partners from Amazon AWS who coached the team throughout their project. A modern methodology called ‘Amazon Working Backwards’ was applied to emphasize and approach the need of the facility managers in London. Based on regular talks and reviews the prototype was created in small but quick iterations.

The management, as well as the facility managers, are enthusiastic about the new solution

During the solution presentation, the facility managers and more than ten other stakeholders from the Museum of London praised the successfully validated prototype. A lively review and enthusiastic discussion about the implementation and future use cases has proven that the project hit the needs and the students fullfilled the core philosophy behind the Co-Innovation approach.

“As far as I know, this is the very first time in the history of the Museum of London that audio reports were created from real data in London!” – Steve Watson,Technical Lead at the Museum of London Docklands

“I just wanted to say it has been great working with you on this. I really like how the team approached and recognized our need just to prove how it could be met in such a short time” – John Laciofano,Facility Manager of the MOL

Team members of the Co-Innovation project: Roles of the Scrum Process & Working Backward Process

This Co-Innovation Lab project was carried out in cooperation with the Digital Transformation Lab (DTLab) at Munich University of Applied Sciences:
The Digital Transformation Lab (DTLab) at Munich University of Applied Sciences is dedicated to the major social challenges of our time. Together with stakeholders in the public sector, students develop forward-looking solutions. They are supported by Amazon Web Services with state-of-the-art cloud technologies and the Working Backwards innovation methodology. We live digital transformation.

More information about the Co-Innovation Lab and the Digital Transformation Lab (DTLab) at Munich University of Applied Sciences:

Dawn of new Era in Consulting & Interim Management

In the end of 2020, a Co-Innovation Lab ( consulting team consisting of three students from Munich University of Applied Sciences advised EIM Group on a project to develop a new marketing approach for Young Executives Management Solutions. Such solution was never seen before. It is an innovative service combined of B2B Interim & Consulting Management. The project goal was to define an effective methodology for promoting Young Executive Solution.

Young Executive Solution

EIM group (, one of the leading enterprises offering services of highly qualified and experienced Interim Managers, who are assigned to the companies as an instant and rapid solution for implementing new methodologies / processes or “vacuum” appearing on C-level Management. Following the trend of an increasing number of modernization projects requiring highly skilled but at the same time innovative young middle managers, EIM intended to react strategically and thus will offer an additional solution.  The Young Executive Management Solutions is a new offering to tackle these challenges.

CIL-Team – Hui-Ju Shen, Marvin Kresse, and Nursultan Klychev

Modernization requires “Fresh Blood”

The DACH region is a highly developed industrial area, which is supported by its business with years of experience, business culture, and traditions. As an Interim Management provider, the EIM group relies on highly qualified high-level managers to satisfy the market needs.  However, global economic and technological evolution dictates digitization, transformation, and modernization trends affecting SMEs and big corporations on the market. The EIM group seeks opportunities in the implementation of transformation and modernization projects to the market. Such projects often require agile management and new ways of thinking. Young Executive Management Solutions, a new and innovative service, is the answer for that opportunity. So, how can we promote this novel type of service?  How do we approach the clients? And do we need to approach this market in a different way?

To define that, Co-Innovation team, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Holger Günzel, was assembled with Master students from “Digital Technology Entrepreneurship” and “Applied Business Innovation” programs at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. Thereby the team represented by Hui-Ju Shen, Marvin Kresse, and Nursultan Klychev achieved diversity not only in academic but also in professional and even international experience. Through the creation of the marketing approach concept for the Young Executives Solution, the team delivered the new sales funnel that will support EIM Group with the newly defined target personas and recommended marketing content for organic traffic.

Analyze, Adapt, Overcome

The collaboration result was a strategic concept with recommendations for actions based on comprehensive branding and market research. The new market approach linked to the transformation of the customer acquisition process into a more explanatory promotion approach and sales funnel focused on creating organic traffic and early-stage customer relations.

The EIM group project side rated the work extremely positively. “It was very pleasant to do the project with the very motivated group. We were lucky to get really very good results. There were areas that were revealed to us for which I am very grateful, we will now work on this and fill these “gaps”.” Julian Merkel (Counsellor EIM).

Paths to the Future at Leop. Siegle: From Process Improvement to Cultural Change

The Co-Innovation Lab supports Leop. Siegle GmbH & Co. KG in Augsburg in optimizing its internal processes and lays the foundation for further digitization activities.

Virtual final presentation: The project team Martin Flöß (1st from top), Benedikt Fischer (3rd from top) and Anara Abylova (5th from top) present the results of the project to Prof. Holger Günzel (2nd from top), Christian Ultsch and Christopher Ultsch (3rd from top).

With several thousand different products, the company Leop. Siegle GmbH & Co.KG, as a medium-sized technical wholesaler in the field of rubber, plastics, industrial safety and environmental protection, has a very large stock. Numerous packages enter and leave the company every day. To improve internal logistics, companies often use warehouse management systems. Efficient use is only possible if existing processes have been analyzed and optimized in advance.

Leop. Siegle GmbH & Co. KG expects great added value in the digitalization of its logistics processes and the warehouse management system derived from them. For this reason, Anara Abylova, Benedikt Fischer and Martin Flöß, three students at Munich University of Applied Sciences and part of the Co-Innovation Lab, worked on optimizing the goods processes with coaching from Prof. Holger Günzel. It quickly became clear that long-term change management would be necessary to enable the cultural change that comes with digitization.

The team’s proposed solutions were well received by Leop. Siegle. “The consulting team did an excellent job. Thanks to the team’s work, we now have not only short-term “hands-on” solutions, but also a long-term solution that will definitely help us move forward,” Christian Ultsch, member of the management board, is enthusiastic. With their project, the consulting team has created a basis on which Leop. Siegle can build in the future. Christopher Ultsch, assistant to the management, is also satisfied with the result: “Optimizing deliveries to our customers, that was our goal! We are highly satisfied with the work of the team. We had a very good collaboration and will be happy to draw on the expertise of the Co-Innovation Lab in the future as well.”

Promoting digital skills in the social sector

The Co-Innovation Lab is developing an innovative competency model for measuring and expanding employees’ digital competencies for Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn gGmbH.

Presentation of the project results by the Co-Innovation Lab consulting team to the client Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn in December 2020. Participants from top left to bottom right: Miriam von Meyeren (HM), Prof. Dr. Holger Günzel (HM), Johannes Bahl (Head of Education and Consulting, Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn), Julian Speidel (HM), Sandra Pavleka (HM) and Thomas Raudzus (Head of Organizational Development and ICT Services, Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn) Photographer: Miriam von Meyeren

The change processes triggered by digital technologies offer companies in all sectors a wide range of optimization opportunities. The expansion of digital solution approaches represents great potential for more effective use of the limited time resources of personnel, especially in the social sector. The digital skills of employees play a decisive role in the successful implementation of digital solution concepts. The social enterprise Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn gGmbH would like to expand precisely these competencies within its organization with a digital competence model and an associated innovative training concept and has commissioned the consulting team of the Co-Innovation Lab to develop the concept.

Digitization of administrative processes as a strategy for the future   
Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn is a non-profit institution for living, learning and working for people with intellectual disabilities. Since its founding in 1861 by Viktoria von Butler, the mission of the sisters, caregivers and employees working there has been to provide an inclusive and barrier-free social space for people with disabilities. The organization’s strategic goals for the future include the digitization of administrative processes through the use of digital applications, such as an electronic documentation system in care and administration. This is intended to relieve employees in their day-to-day work and increase time capacities for the facility’s residents. From the client’s point of view, this initially requires the acquisition and expansion of digital competencies of the employees through a creative training concept that is based on the blended learning concept.

Using an agile creative process to create a customized competency model to promote digital skills among employees
The team of consultants consisting of Julian Speidel (project manager), Sandra Pavleka (consultant) and Miriam von Meyeren (consultant) received approval for the project assignment from the clients of Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn Thomas Raudzus (head of organizational development and ICT services) and Johannes Bahl (head of education and consulting). Based on the initial situation, the Co-Innovation Lab consultants presented a concept idea to the client. “Due to the pandemic, our collaboration was appropriate to the topic, purely digital (web conferences, digital project room), highly effective and yet always personally approached” explains Mr. Thomas Raudzus from Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn.

The three-month project resulted in a digital competence model tailored to Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn, which consists of seven dimensions and four degrees of competence. Based on the competency model, the consulting team developed a questionnaire that the client can use to determine the competency levels of employees in the sense of a location assessment. In order to expand the digital competencies, additional requirement profiles were created to define target values. In the future, the client will be able to use a developed tool to independently perform variance analyses of employee digital competencies in order to use these as a starting point for determining employee learning paths. With the training concept developed and the forms of training it contains, which are differentiated according to competence levels and stages, Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn can promote the development of digital competencies among its employees on an individual basis.

Satisfaction with the project results delivered can be described in the words of Mr. Thomas Raudzus as follows: “Our co-innovation team delivered custom-fit concepts, tools, and valuable impetus for planning and implementing a “digital competencies” PE concept for our company in the field of integration assistance. We will benefit greatly from this.” As a thank you to the consulting team, Wichtel clay figures handmade by residents in the Schönbrunn workshop were handed over.

Wichtel clay figures of the Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn. Photographer: Sandra Pavleka

Automatically clean!

In collaboration with the Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb München (AWM), students from the Munich University of Applied Sciences have developed a business case as part of the Co-Innovation Lab to automate the manual cleaning of mobile waste compactors.

Mobile waste compactors have become an indispensable part of German waste management operations. They are used not only at recycling centers but also at major events such as the Oktoberfest. The advantage of these compactors is that waste and recyclables can be compacted more efficiently. The space saved during storage and transport enables economical and environmentally friendly disposal.

As part of the project, the consulting team of the Co-Innovation Lab at Munich University of Applied Sciences cooperated with “Kea Robotics” . The startup from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) specializes in the development of modular robots. Automating the cleaning process would relieve the employees of the waste management service provider AWM, as the robot would take over the manual, repetitive and physically demanding cleaning using a high-pressure cleaner.

Gerald Stutz (Head of Innovations and Projects at AWM) was extremely satisfied with the cooperation with the Co-Innovation Lab and the results of the project: “Technical, organizational and business aspects were intensively examined. As a result, the work result represents a good basis for further planning in this area.

In collaboration with Gerald Stutz and Roman Hölzl (co-founder & managing director of Kea Robotics), the three student consultants of the Co-Innovation Lab Amel Fazlovic, Philipp Rathke and Florian Zinsbacher – with coaching from Prof. Holger Günzel – prepared a decision document that shows AWM whether the robots are suitable for use in the cleaning process. The decision paper confirmed a basic technical feasibility and shows financial cost advantages that can be achieved by automating the process.

Entry into artificial intelligence at klarx

As part of the Co-Innovation Lab (CIL) at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, two students have provided an introduction to artificial intelligence for the company klarx. The project team consisted of Tobias Hetfleisch, Marc Gehring as well as Prof. Dr. Holger Günzel from Munich University of Applied Sciences, and Moritz Schmidt and Camille Raiser from the company klarx.

Tobias Hetfleisch and Marc Gehring (both Hochschule München)

A success story for all involved

During the summer semester 2020, the company klarx and students of the Munich University of Applied Sciences worked on the development and implementation of several machine learning models. The two student consultants were able to sustainably optimize the sales process of the construction machinery brokerage klarx within a very short time. Furthermore, a concept was developed by which these algorithms can be implemented in the daily business of the customer.

The consulting team analyzed the business data of the past five years so that a prototype could be developed for the customer in a very short time. This was further adapted to the customer’s individual requirements using several optimization loops. The goal of the consulting team was to differentiate itself from the previous tech giants by setting up and implementing individual solution approaches and not to offer a “one size fits all” solution.

According to Moritz Schmidt (klarx – Financial Management), the project result “represents the first step into the new and important field of artificial intelligence” and could not have been implemented in the foreseeable future without this project.

A step into the future: dynamic pricing at Neuburg’s organic hotel Aussicht

The team of consultants from the Co-Innovation Lab at Munich University of Applied Sciences developed a concept for dynamic pricing for the Bio-Hotel in Neuburg an der Donau as part of an innovation project.

In the first virtual cooperation project between the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the Bio-Hotel Aussicht in Neuburg an der Donau, a three-person project team is developing a data-based price configurator called DYNO for dynamic pricing for small and medium-sized hotels within ten weeks. This enables the project partner for the first time to respond to fluctuating demand for rooms by adjusting prices flexibly. It also enables potential hotel guests to book hotel rooms at lower prices during periods of low demand.

The software solution DYNO offers the possibility to answer price inquiries quickly, easily, intuitively and to the day. A new feature is that regional factors influencing the price can be taken into account. Thus, high and low price days are identified and the software provides the user with an automatic price proposal. Through an individualized offer, the organic hotel optimizes customer satisfaction and increases its overall profitability.

Decisive for the success of the project was the customer-oriented development. DYNO is to become an everyday companion at Bio-Hotel Aussicht. “For us, the collaboration is already a complete success. DYNO is the next step in digitalization for the hotel. The project team has done a unique job, designed the software exactly to our needs and laid the foundation for an easy implementation,” says Michael Pantner, owner of Bio-Hotel Aussicht.

(from top left: Christopher Ultsch, Sia Zink, Michael Pantner and his assistant Katrin, Dominik Ganswohl, Holger Günzel).

The circumstances that accompanied the project are also unique. Due to the ongoing restrictions triggered by COVID-19, the consulting project was carried out virtually. Project manager Sia Zink summarizes: “Of course, face-to-face contact has its advantages. Through weekly online-based conferences with Michael Pantner, our project partner and lecturer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Günzel and the consulting team with Christopher Ultsch and Dominik Ganswohl, we specifically promoted the exchange between all stakeholders. We have probably even increased the number of points of contact with the customer as a result of the current situation. That shows in the results.” The collaboration between the Co-Innovation Lab of the University of Applied Sciences Munich and the Bio-Hotel Aussicht sets an example for innovative student consulting services and dynamic pricing for small hotel providers.

Digitizing Munich’s Used Clothing Drives – The Co-Innovation Lab Makes Recycling Fit for the Future

Students at Munich University of Applied Sciences are paving the way for digitization in municipal used clothing collection and enabling plannable recycling with the help of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

Munich: Students in close contact with the collection of old clothes. If you want to achieve change and sustainability, you have to enter the field of the current situation yourself. Marlene Piper during her accompaniment of the old clothes collection.

As part of a student consulting project of the Co-Innovation Lab at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, an interdisciplinary team of students developed a holistic concept for emptying used clothing containers at the Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb München (AWM) in line with demand. The aim was to optimize the previously rigid emptying schedule, which takes into account the respective emptying requirements of the containers, and thus to improve the quality of the clothing and make more efficient use of existing resources. The focus was thus on moving toward digitization with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT), thereby creating data-based, demand-driven planability with a digital planning tool.

The team consisted of students from three degree programs at Munich University of Applied Sciences and was divided into a consulting team consisting of Mahboob Elahi Noor, Gilbert Muhumuza and Marlene Piper and a development team consisting of industrial engineering students Agnesa Xhemaili, Majlinda Sllamniku and Stefan An. Prof. Dr. Holger Günzel and Prof. Dr. Olav Hinz assisted the team as coaches.

The client Rudolph Schmid (department head of bulky waste and depot container collection AWM) was impressed by the solution that was finally presented: “From the department’s point of view, all requirements for the project, which was presented in an exciting presentation, were exceeded.”