3 min read

The Mythical SPoG [Nexus Newsletter #118]

Hey friends,

We have all these computers running our buildings—many panes of glass.

The 'rolling chair integration'

Not to mention all the software, spreadsheets, whiteboards, chalkboards, and paper notebooks not shown in that iconic image.

It's natural to try and get them integrated. It's natural to strive for a single pane of glass (SPoG) to end all the switching between computers, applications, windows, etc to accomplish each workflow and collaboration that make buildings run.

But that last sentence epitomizes the problem with this trendy smart buildings buzzphrase. Most solutions on the market underdeliver on that promise—looking like little more than a glorified mega-dashboard...

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As one technology leader at a large REIT told me, the solution they bought is a "Single Pain in the Ass". He was left doubting the possibility of this panacea at all.

The fatal flaw, in my opinion, is that we haven't asked two important questions: For who? And for which of their workflows?

Real estate organizations are made up of many, many different types of stakeholders that collaborate to make things tick. Each stakeholder has many different workflows they execute to play their role in the operation, all drawing from the same set of data and managing myriad aspects of the same underlying systems and devices.

What they really want is the perfect pane of glass for the workflow they're executing right now, and they want it to be different when they're doing something else. This means they want a personalized pane of glass for each of the different groups and the different roles that are all simultaneously playing their part of the operation on their level of technology infrastructure.

The good news? Today's SPoG is not the destination. It's a step on the natural path of progression of new technology.

What are your thoughts on the SPoG? Where have you seen it implemented well?

Hit reply and let me know,

—James Dice, Founder of Nexus Labs

P.S. In week 4 of our Foundations course, we explore the SPoG concept, along with all its buzzword cousins using the Nexus Framework. It's designed to help newcomers navigate the murky technology marketplace. One week left before the Cohort 4 registration deadline!

✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything worth sharing from Nexus HQ this week:

★ PODCAST: 🎧 #091: The power of occupancy data with Rags GuptaWe walked through Rags’ fascinating career path through many different types of entrepreneurship and eventually into the buildings world to hang out with us.

Then we dove into Butlr’s approach to occupancy data, how they’re different, why they take an API-first approach, and the trends they’re seeing in the market today.



  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: Pro member Pete Swanson, Digital Technology Lead (AUS) at Mott MacDonald, presented yesterday on his experience in navigating how to brief with clients, how to understand what they really want, how to convert that into something a contractor can practically implement, the best ways to address the inevitable value engineering / cost management process and 3 key ways to ensure that when you deliver an Elephant your client isn’t expecting a Giraffe.
  • Member Gathering: Pro member Lee Hodgkinson, Head of Sustainability & Technical Services at Dream Unlimited (one of Canada’s leading real estate companies with approximately $10 billion of assets under management), will chat with the group about Dream's plans for Net Zero and the technology involved.

Join Nexus Pro now to get the invites and access to the recordings.


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★ LIVE BROADCAST: Monash University Digital ShowcaseExploring the lived experience of how various commercial digital building solutions can be utilized to develop building data models, create a secure common data layer and enable cloud based advanced analytics and supervisory control.


★ ON LINKEDIN: I get emotional updating this slide twice per year


★ LINK OF THE WEEK: An Introductory Guide to ‘Zero Trust’ Cybersecurity


👋 That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday!