Day 2: On The Road to the 2014 Niagara Summit

Check out day two of The ControlTrends Road Trip to the 2014 Niagara Summit. The Summit is the place to be April 27-29! Next stop — the Controls Group North America (CGNA) meeting in San Diego.

On The Road Day 2 from Eric Stromquist on Vimeo.


CRB_3ControlTrends is proud to feature one of the most outstanding networks of global consultants, engineers, architects, and constructors — driven to deliver the right solutions to life science and advanced technology clients around the world. CRB, well done, and here’s to 130 more years of extraordinary success!

April of 2014 marks CRB’s 30th year as a global consulting, design and construction services firm that relentlessly pursues and delivers success for our clients in advanced technology industries. Founded in 1984 as a single three-person office, we have grown to a team of 600+ in 12 offices serving clients throughout the world.

Every day, on every project, CRB shows the world what makes us most unique as a company: our single-minded dedication to doing what’s best for our clients. Or as we like to put it — “The Relentless Pursuit of Success. Yours.”

Fueling this growth is our people and CRB’s approach to serving our clients: an unrivaled passion for seeking out the right solution on every project; deep technical expertise to tackle the toughest challenges; a network of team members who thrive on collaboratively performing work of the highest caliber; thought leaders who dedicate their expertise to advance our industry and make the world a better place… and individuals committed to developing trusted, longstanding partnerships with our clients.

“Just Because” — Credibility, Choose Your Words Carefully, by Marc Petock

MarcPetock “Just Because” — by Marc Petock Vice President Marketing, Lynxspring. In today’s business world and especially in our industry, we are all in sales even though we may not have “sales” as part of our titles or imprinted on our business cards. I recently came across an article in INC magazine by Eric Holtzclaw that got me to thinking about sales and the sales pitch. The article entitled “One Word That Kills Your Credibility” reads as follows:

“I have watched more salespeople and companies pitch their ideas over the years than I care to count. And during thousands of interviews with consumers about how they use different products and services and respond to marketing messages, I have honed the craft of ferreting out telltale signs of lies and omissions.

From that experience, I am going to let you in on a little secret about a word you should stop using immediately. It is “actually.”

For the experienced listener, “actually” is a dead giveaway of an area that at the least needs to be further investigated, and may point at a deception.

Let me explain.  When you use the word “actually” properly, you are comparing two thoughts and providing clarification. For example: Question: “Did you go to the store for milk?” Answer: “Actually, I stopped at a gas station.”

In this example, it is easy to see why someone might use the word. The original question suggested that you went to the store, but you might not think that a gas station is really a store. In your mind, you are comparing and justifying the decision to stop at a gas station rather than a grocery store.

Back to the business setting: Extra words used in a sales presentation or investor pitch are unnecessary. They subconsciously point listeners to question if there’s more unspoken information. The word “actually” serves as a spoken pause, giving the presenter’s brain time to catch up and decide how to resolve the conflict in their mind between the question asked and reality.

A common example of how this plays out in a sales presentation or investor pitch: Question: “How many customers are using the platform?” Answer: “We actually have over 100 companies.”

The word “actually” isn’t important to the answer.  It’s extra information that makes the listener curious as to why the word was added. An astute investor or customer will follow up with a request to see a customer list or to get a customer referral.

In a customer interview, the customer may use the word as a way to please the person asking the question: Question: “Do you use this product?” Answer: “Actually, I have.”

To the experienced listener, this answer actually (get it?) means, “No, I have never used it” or “I used it once and it didn’t do what I expected or needed.”  An appropriate follow-up is to ask for a specific example or time that the function was used.

Perfecting your pitch requires attention to what you say and removing anything that distracts them from your primary message.  As a listener, keying in on the word “actually” can clue you in to the subconscious and give you a competitive edge”.

After reading the article, I asked myself, what is another word or phrase that comes to mind as a credibility killer if I was sitting behind the desk listening to a sales pitch? I didn’t have to think too long. While I thought of several, there was one that stood out, however it can be referenced in two ways. The first reference is “trust me” — this reminds me of nothing more than the famous used car sales pitch, “trust me, this car was owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday”. And the other is “to be honest”—here, by having to mention honest only makes the person sound dishonest and leads one to think that what they have said all along has not been honest.

I am sure you have a few credibility killers of your own that come to mind. What are they? Share them with ControlTrends.

The Easy Way to Offload Your JACE’s Modbus Traffic

The following is from our friends at Contemporary Controls: April 2014 — Although the JACE has the ability to communicate Modbus RTU over one ofScreen Shot 2014-04-16 at 10.54.36 AM its serial ports, Modbus points cannot be discovered like BACnet points requiring manual configuration of each Modbus register. By using external Modbus RTU to BACnet gateways, with pre-defined Modbus device profiles, configuration of Modbus registers is just as quick as configuring BACnet points allowing to greatly reduce the time to configure Modbus devices in the field. Our BASgatewayLX

— Modbus to BACnet® Gateway provides a 10/100 Mbps Modbus TCP or BACnet/IP Ethernet port and an opto-isolated Modbus EIA-485 serial port for Modbus RTU or Modbus ASCII devices. Up to 30 Modbus serial devices (represented by up to 1000 polled points) can share the single Modbus port on the BASgatewayLX.The virtual routing feature in the BASgatewayLX allows each connected Modbus device to appear as an individual BACnet compliant device which can save configuration time if using multiple identical Modbus devices. A device profile for each Modbus type device is needed and Contemporary Controls maintains a library of common device profiles. If one is not available, we will be glad to provide it upon request. In addition, custom device profiles can be uploaded to the BASgatewayLX. Using web pages and a resident database of common Modbus device profiles, Modbus data points from Modbus Serial or Modbus TCP devices can be mapped to BACnet objects.

Using Lynxspring Drivers to Control Building Automation Systems

Clayton Plymill showed the group at the Stromquist & Company Lynxspring lunch and learn how to use the wide range of Lynxspring drivers to be more competitive on retrofit building automation control jobs. Lynxspring drivers give contractors the ability to communicate and control different building automation control systems.

A Peek at Belimo’s New America’s Headquarters… WOW! Mt. Belimo to Open October, 2014

BelimoControlTrends reporting from Danbury, Connecticut: During a recent business trip to the Connecticut and Rhode Island areas, I made a short detour to take a look at the new Belimo Headquarters. As I departed the existing Belimo facility, which is impressive in its own right, I realized that my curiosity about Belimo’s new manufacturing facility began two years ago, when Belimo held their press conference April 12, 2012 and Belimo’s Chief Financial Officer, John Coppola, revealed the plans to construct a 200,000-square-foot building to replace the 86,000-square-foot manufacturing facility Old Ridgebury Road.

Well, my high expectations were fully met. The new Belimo facility is an impressive, ultlra-modern, and simply a massive facility that overlooks the peaceful landscape of the neighboring areas. As the Belimo manufacturing facility nears its grand opening, Belimo moves closer to releasing another powerful measure of brand-building, as well as undoubtedly securing their unparalleled future success — and growth.

Some interesting information about the color Orange:
* Physically, the color orange stimulates activity, appetite and our ability to socialize.
* Orange is a color that really stands out, even at a distance, and invites attention.
* The word orange comes from the Sanskrit word naranga. In the early Christian church, orange was a symbol of glory and fruits of the earth. It was also called the wisdom ray.
* In the practice of Feng Shui, colors hold great significance, and orange represents fire.
* Orange helps us focus our powers of concentration, and it’s also the color that’s credited with assisting us in organizing our thoughts and our things.
* An orange vehicle says you are fun loving and trendy.
* Frank Sinatra once said, “Orange is the happiest of colors.”

Systems Integrator Controlco Now Offering Hosting Services to the Building Automation Industry

ControlcoInvestment in database infrastructure addresses unique industry needs.

OAKLAND, April 7, 2014 – Oakland-based distributor and building systems integrator Controlco announced today that it will offer hosting services to address building automation industry needs. While big data and the interconnectivity of the Internet of Things proliferate at unbelievable rates, the need for fast, reliable and redundant servers is ever-increasing. There are plenty of standard business options for datacenter storage and server space, but Controlco, after spending five years customizing traditional data center storage packages, has invested in the infrastructure to supply the real-time control that they and other energy and building managers need.

Brian-Turner-Thumb.“These are not your typical databases built on sequel tables and rows,” Controlco President Brian Turner said, “these are time-series databases. While relational databases are proven at handling large data sets, the energy management analytics tools in the market today need to access historical and near-real-time data at speeds not often seen in the business analytics tools used on those databases.

“Our databases are able access thousands of rows of historical data, and compare it to near-real-time data to make intelligent decisions and take action. This occurs several times per minute in the typical building portfolio and this capability is crucial to empower automated energy demand management.”

Controlco has invested in all of the software and hardware infrastructure and is leasing cabinet and cooling space from datacenter solutions provider Digital Realty. To make the data available on the cloud, Controlco worked with the managed services firm Ontai and cloud storage manufacturer X-IO Technologies.

“The building automation industry has unique database needs,” said Donough Roche, VP of Engineering at Digital Realty. “We worked very closely with Controlco to make sure that the solutions we provided are agile and scalable enough to fully work within their framework growth.”

General Growth Properties, the real estate investment company specializing in shopping malls which has recently implemented a BAS integration with Controlco, decided to use the company’s hosting service after they experienced complications with an in-house server on a smaller project many years ago.

“We had done a minor project several years earlier and we had that server in-house,” Jeff Nash, senior director of energy management for GGP, explained. “We owned and built that server and it was really an alien within our network architecture. It created lots of issues for our technical team to maintain. So going into this full portfolio integration, we made the decision to have Controlco host the server.”

“We’ve built this infrastructure on many years of experience within the hosted server space,” Controlco’s Turner said, “and now we’re making that experience available to customers so they can take advantage of real-time, historical and cloud-ready data without having to learn all the lessons the hard way.”

Space is now available for other building automation clients to lease from Controlco. For further information, contact Natalie Jacobs at

About Controlco: Controlco delivers leading-edge automation and control solutions, products and services that improve business performance and peace-of-mind for commercial and industrial building operators. With state-of-the-art software and industry leading products as well as a full suite of value-added services, Controlco offers total solutions all energy management needs.

About Ontai: Ontai has more than 30 years of combined experience in the development and delivery of IT services. They have developed industry-recognized solutions for many of the key verticals targeted by Ontai financial services, retail, manufacturing, and local government. Ontai’s management team has successfully built several professional services organizations with millions of dollars in revenue.

About X-IO Technologies: The X-IO ISEs provide a carrier-grade scale-out high-performance storage infrastructure, with a five- to seven-year operating lifespan, and provide 2 to 10 times the performance of alternatives, at 30-70% of the total cost of ownership of those alternatives.

The ISE achieves that kind of scale and performance by focusing on the effective interoperation of hardware and software, in concert with one another. The basis of the ISE performance and reliability lies in its proprietary, patented hardware design.

Submission Deadline For Tridium Awards: Jenny Graves Explains

One of the things that will make this year’s Niagara Summit epic is that for the first time ever Tridum will be presenting Achievement Awards. Niagara Summit 2014 Powered By Possibilities, and Tridium’s VP of Marketing and Communications, Jenny Graves(@AllThingsJLG). Jenny brings the ControlTrends Community up-to-speed with NS14 and the Niagara Innovator of the Year Award and the Niagara New Product Showcase Award and their respective prizes (HUGE!). With over 400,000 global deployments of Niagara in operation, 15,000 certified Tridium professionals and over 1000 Tridium developers, these new awards represent great opportunities for these businesses using the Niagara Framework to showcase their work! Submit your Innovation or Product form by April 14, 2014. Winners will be voted on by Summit attendees using crowd sourcing through the social media channels.

Deadline for submissions is this Monday, so get your applications in today !!

Rob Allen’s 7 Minutes of Control: Lighting it Up with Blue Ridge Technologies Pt.1

In this episode Rob Allen and Michael Bonner talk to Blue Ridge Technologies and get the 411 on how to do better lighting control. Unified Lighting Control completes the BAS, incorporating lighting and HVAC controls on the same network. This network consolidation eliminates surplus hardware required for stand-alone and gateway lighting control. As a result, installation and maintenance costs decrease while simple and complete building control increases energy savings. This approach provides more savings for less cost.

One More Reason to Attend the Niagara Summit: The Business Track

Las Vegas, April 27-29, The Niagara Summit will be the hottest show in town. See the products, meet the people, and learn about the technologies that make building automation controls work around the world. If that is not enough, add in this year’s business track and the Niagara Summit is a no-brainer. So register now !!