Episode 300: ControlTalk NOW — The Smart Building and HVAC controls Videocast and PodCast for week ending Jan 27, 2019 celebrates the 300th episode of ControlTalk NOW with our guests: Lynxspring’s Marc Petock, Jackson Control’s Roger Rebennack, and EasyIO’s Mike Marston, and Lim Hoon Chiat. A very special thanks to all the members of the ControlTrends Community that joined in on our celebration, particularly, the team at Jackson Control; Ken Sinclair, Automated Buildings; Howard Berger, Realcomm; Jim Hayman, CGNA; Aaron Gorka, ANT Technologies; and Stephen Johnson, McKenney’s. [Read more…]
The smart building controls evolution is closely coupled with the internet. What has changed in the 20 years of the Internet?
Cost is down; speed is up, everything has an IP address, the Internet has become clouded with powerful microcomputers that are out on the edge, self-learning and sharing their intelligence with everyone – and everyone is continuously connected.
As this is Ken Sinclair’s, AutomatedBuildings.com 20th year of providing education sessions at AHR Expo, he is uniquely qualified to moderate this panel and report on the smart building evolution that has occurred.
In this video, Ken and the panel, pull from this evolution timeline,the significant events and milestones that are likely to be part of our next 20 years. Brad White joined the evolution at the halfway mark so he provides a fresh perspective on the smart building controls history. They share takeaways, [Read more…]
Episode 289: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending October 28, 2018 features our extensive video coverage of the 2018 Honeywell Momentum, held in Orlando, FL. Lots of great interviews with many of the contractors, distributors, and Honeywell executives in attendance. We are also joined this week by special guest Therese Sullivan, Director Channel Marketing at Tridium. Therese explains Edge 10 economics and applications. Project Haystack 2019 Conference dates are May 13-15, 2019 in San Diego, CA. More information to follow. And, Opertgy’s P864 Controller is now available for your next Smart Energy Monitoring and Control project.
Haystack Connect 2019 will take place May 13-15, 2019 at Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego, California. Haystack Connect provides a unique, open-forum for professionals involved in automation, control and the Internet of Things to learn and share the latest technologies and techniques for connecting systems and utilizing device data in applications including intelligent buildings, energy management, remote monitoring, and other IoT devices and applications.
Our guest on this week’s CTN is Therese Sullivan, Director Channel Marketing at Tridium. Therese explains the Edge 10 ROI is there! And, it’s time to get data out of the historic, older, smaller, and more pedestrian buildings — that couldn’t justify a costly investment before, now — represent a great opportunity. The Edge 10 is a perfect fit for these buildings and with additional features like Niagara’s Bulk Deploy, it’s even easier than ever.
Honeywell Momentum 2018 Day 1 Opens with Innovation Evangelist Terry Jones: “Disruption and Innovation are Two Sides of the Same Coin.” Some 400 of Honeywell’s top distributors, integrators, and contractors joined together inside the Crystal Ballroom of the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®. Expectations were high. Keynote speaker Terry Jones, Mike Keller, Honeywell’s North America Buildings Sales Director, and Michael Garceau, Honeywell’s new General Manager, quickly met and exceeded all expectations.
Honeywell Momentum 2018 “You’ve Got Connections” Day 2 Features Cybersecurity Expert — Kevin Smith, Tridium’s CTO & Chief Architect.Honeywell Momentum 2018 Day 2 featured Cybersecurity Expert — Kevin Smith, Tridium’s CTO & Chief Architect. Breakouts continued throughout the day, with sessions including: IP Controller Programming, Niagara 4 Security Updates, Sales Acceleration, and Analytics on the Edge. The evening ended with a Gala Celebration and the 2018 Honeywell Momentum Awards Dinner, which recognized Honeywell’s top Distributor and Contractor Performers.
2018 Honeywell Momentum Executive Summaries from Mike Keller and Michael Garceau. Mike Keller, Honeywell’s North America Buildings Sales Director, and Michael Garceau, Honeywell’s new General Manager shared center stage to deliver Honeywell Building Technologies’ State of the Union Address, taking past problems and operational issues head-on, they then unveiled a host of transformative innovation and technology that nailed the event’s themes of Momentum, Connections, and It’s a New Day at Honeywell. Two great video interviews, with more 2018 Honeywell Momentum video coverage to follow.
Optergy’s P864 Edge Controller Provides Smart Energy Monitoring and Control. Introducing the P864 Edge controller that operates building equipment autonomously and expands up to 8 IO modules total (144 hardware points). Connectivity is made easy via BACnet IP (PoE), MS/TP, and MS/ TP routing. Applications include HVAC, central plant, lighting and hydraulic systems control and monitoring.
Episode 275: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending July 22, 2018 features interviews with Therese Sullivan, Director of Channel Marketing at Tridium, and Alper Uzmezler, Managing Partner, BASSG and Founder of Anka Labs. Contemporary Controls introduces their new EIGR Routers; Lynxspring offers Analytics at the edge; Acuity’s Lucid delivers a data and analytic platform; Why Project SandStar could change the Smart Building Controls world forever; and a message to contractors from Honeywell’s General Manager, Mike Garceau.
Contemporary Controls News: New Product — EIGR Routers Add OpenVPN Server Functionality. The EIPR-V routers have supported the OpenVPN client functionality to provide secure remote access using the RemoteVPN service. The newly released EIGR routers support this functionality but also can be configured to as an OpenVPN server. Setting up an OpenVPN server on your own is not a trivial task. It involves setting up a root certificate authority and generating certificates and keys for the OpenVPN server and for each client device that intends to connect to this server.
ControlTalk NOW interview with Therese Sullivan, who in her new role as Tridium’s Director of Channel Marketing, tells us how she still monitors the technology quakes emanating from the Silicon Valley, while taking a deeper focus on the Voice of the Customer. Therese also brings us up-to-speed on tagging, mobile first, bulk deploy, and the increased efficiency between the supervisors and controllers — features of Tridium’s Niagara 4.6 impending release.
Lynxspring Edge-to-Enterprise Solution Now Offers Analytics at the Edge for the Building Environment and Operational Systems. Lynxspring, Inc., a premier developer and provider of open, IP-control solutions for building automation, energy management, and edge-to-enterprise integration, announced today the full release of their Onyxx® SkySpark® Edge Analytics solution which embeds SkyFoundry’s SkySpark® Everywhere™ Analytics software in the Lynxspring Onyxx® Hardware platform.
ControlTrends’ Ken Smyers gets the 411 on Acuity’s Acquisition of Lucid at Realcomm20/IBcon. Ken Smyers digs in at RealComm|IBcon and talks with the team at Lucid about how their products will add to the great product portfolio Acuity Brands already has like DG Logik and Distech. Lucid provides a data and analytics platform to make data-driven decisions to improve building efficiency and drive energy conservation and savings. Its SaaS-based BuildingOS platform enables owners, operators, and occupants to gain powerful insights into the operations of their buildings, providing the ability to make them more efficient and improve the performance of the people and businesses utilizing these strategic assets.
ControlTalk NOW second interview is with Alper Uzmezler, Managing Partner, BASSG and Founder of Anka Labs. Alper tells us about Sandstar, an initiative that combines two open industry standards, Sedona and Project Haystack, which replaces hardware dependent code with self-describing haystack-based tagging. Alper follows with a demonstration and explains that the key to AI-infused PID loops is clean data. The next step is to develop the Sandstar ecosystem. Community participation is welcome!
Why Project SandStar Could Change The Smart Building Controls World Forever. If ControlTrends’ Young Gun, Alper Üzmezler, managing partner at BASSG, is correct with his theory that the way DDC software is done today is redundant — costly and inefficient, and if he can deliver the promises of Project Sandstar, then the smart building controls world as we know it — is getting ready to change forever. What Sandstar allows — is for independent Direct Digital Controls to merge Sedona with Haystack — into a seamless whole, which according to Alper, means you would eliminate the need for each individual manufacturer’s software.
Honeywell Building Controls 2018 Contractor Guide Book. A message from Mike Garceau, General Manager – Honeywell Brand: Dear Honeywell Contractor, Honeywell has a long tradition of working with independent contractors and integrators to provide complete, successful building control solutions. And thanks to your hard work and partnership, we feel our channel-to-market approach is the strongest it’s ever been. That’s why we’re committed to investing in the tools and resources and introducing more partner benefits — such as Contractor Pro Rewards — that help make you a success each and every day.
Episode 270: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending June 10, 2018, features an amazing capture of the 2018 Realcomm|IBcon Conference from Las Vegas with recaps of Day 1 and Day 2 and interviews from a host of industry experts: Stephen Johnson, McKenney’s Inc., Leroy Walden, Highrose Consultants; Ron Zimmer, CABA; Richard Campbell, Kele; Michael Garceau and David Witherspoon, Honeywell; Tom Shircliff, Intelligent Buildings; Leon Wurfel, BUENO; Courtenay Dill Glander, Lucid Design Group; Steven Guzelimian, Optergy; Josh Bradshaw, Built Alpha; Alper Üzmezler, BASSG and Anka Labs; Scott Meunch and Ryan Schlotfeldt, J2 Innovations; and Therese Sullivan, Building Context.
Steven Guzelimian Tells us about Optergy’s New VRF Application Document. Hi Guys, we just came out with a great new application data sheet for VRF and making those buildings smarter. Check it out, we elevate the VRF buildings and help consultants and contractors get more scope of work. Variable Refrigeration Flow (VRF) has become very prevalent in recent years as an efficient and effective HVAC technology. This technology dramatically changes the market for those accustomed to installing controllers on equipment like AHU, FCU, VAV, chiller and boiler plant and other traditional equipment requiring control.
Project Haystack Organization Publishes Spring 2018 Issue of Connections Magazine. RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – June 5, 2018 – The Project Haystack Organization (www.project-haystack.org), a collaborative community addressing the challenge of utilizing semantic modeling and tagging to streamline the interchange of data among different systems, devices, equipment and software applications, today announced they have published the fourth issue of their Connections Magazine.
Realcomm|IBcon Day 1 Begins with Realcomm Lifetime Achievement Awards — Bob Sulentic, President and CEO of CBRE Shares Views on Digital Transformation. Realcomm|IBcon set new records in both attendance and exhibitor participation as it celebrated its 20th Year Anniversary. As Jim Young, CEO and Co-founder remarked, its not a conference anymore, it’s a community event that is transforming the industry. Realcomm|IBcon began with a powerful message from keynote speaker Bob Sulentic, President and CEO of CBRE. Hype is not sustainable; technology must be embedded, commercial, and make important client impact. Realcomm Lifetime Achievement Awards followed recognizing the visionaries that have helped transform the Commercial, Corporate, and Institutional Real Estate industries. The daylong business tracks were followed by the Digie Awards.
Realcomm|IBcon Celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan! Pre-Con Event Opens to over 2000 Attendees! Realcomm’s founder and CEO, Jim Young, opened 2018 Realcomm|IBcon’s PRE-CON Event to a crowd of over 2000 of the most creative, forward-thinking, and insightful commercial and corporate real estate professionals from around the world. The PRE-CON Events included the Commercial and Corporate Real Estate CyberSecurity Forum, the 15th Annual CIO Rountable, the COO|CFO|CAO Innovation Summit, the Intelligent Buildings Boot Camp, and the Smart Buildings Integrator Summit, the Higher Education Smart Campus Summit, and the Smart Building Leadership Forum.
Realcomm|IBcon Day 2 “The Age of Acceleration” Theme Continues — This Community is Changing the World! Forget the fire hose. Day 2 at the 2018 Realcomm|IBcon Conference was hourly eruptions (like the Mirage Casino 1/2 mile away) of technology and innovation tracks that included the latest smart business practices — to the most up-to-date information on cybersecurity. ControlTrends got to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of Conference Live firsthand as we hosted a portion of the “Launch Pad” that introduced and promoted products, applications, and solutions from all over the world.
Episode 267: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending May 20, 2018 keeps the ControlTrends Community’s finger on the industry’s pulse as Ken Sinclair, owner and editor of Automated Buildings, and Therese Sullivan, editor of Building Context, bring us up-to-date with “Humanistic Digital Inclusion,” and the possibility that the flood of IoT technology may have reached its first high water mark. Siemens acquires J2 Innovation; Realcomm|IBcon 2018 sells out exhibit floor; and Scott Hamilton, VP of Sales is excited about Distech Controls.
INNNOVATE 14 is HERE! Siemon has been busy curating content for the latest Innovate magazine and are glad to release Issue 14! The magazine provides insights into the key technologies powering the Internet of Things, Power over Ethernet Computing and the Siemon ConvergeIT benefits as part of our robust Digital Lighting Partner programme. We also cover key product updates including our market leading Z-Plug, LightBow Termination Kit, Base 8 Plug and Play System and much more. Click here to get the magazine.
Scott Hamilton, Distech’s New VP of Sales is Excited about the “Passion of the People Behind the Products.” ControlTrends had the opportunity to interview Distech’s new VP Sales for North America, Scott Hamilton. Scott believes Distech and Acuity bring together a true unified solution for the total integration of lighting and HVAC, offering a game-changing sensory network that provides increased productivity and optimal energy efficiency. Scott is excited about the passion of the people behind the products at Distech.
Siemens Invests in J2 Innovations’ Future! Siemens Invests in J2 Innovations’ Future! Announcement from J2 Innovations: We’re pleased to announce that our longtime customer, Siemens is acquiring J2 Innovations! Siemens will be investing in our future as an independent company with our own business goals and objectives. J2 Innovations will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens Industry, Inc.
Realcomm|IBcon 2018: Hundreds of Technology Products & Services Under One Roof! | Sold-Out Exhibit Floor. The energy and enthusiasm for this year’s 20th Anniversary event is unprecedented! We hope you will be joining us and hundreds of the best and brightest real estate industry professionals as we celebrate 20 years @ the Intersection of Commercial and Corporate Real Estate, Technology, Automation and Innovation.
Episode 263: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending April 22, 2018 is co-hosted by Therese Sullivan, editor of Building Context, as we do an in-depth review of the 2018 Niagara Summit. This ControlTalk NOW will be invaluable to those interested members of the Niagara and Haystack communities that were unable to attend. Day 1 and 2 summary interviews with Tridium’s Ed Merwin, Director, Vykon Automation Energy Security, and Kevin Smith, CTO, offer some great insight to Tridium’s pending release of N4.6, Edge 10.0, and Bulk Deploy. The Future will be open, connected, always On. EasyIO is ready for the future, are you?
Niagara Summit 2018 Connecting the World Begins with a Festive Reception in Champions Square. The Niagara Summit 2018, held New Orleans Hyatt Regency, began under very festive and favorable conditions inside the Champions Square — as the world’s top Niagara Systems Integrators, Systems Distributors, OEMs, 3rd Party Solutions providers, and End Users — all gathered for the gala event. Also held earlier in the day, were the Niagara 4 Training Session and Developer Boot Camp. The masquerade masks were provided compliments of Cochrane Supply, who hosted a Masquerade Ball celebration later in the evening.
CEO and President Jim Bland Re-ignites the Spirit of Tridium! DAY 1 at Niagara Summit 2018. Following the dazzling electronic imagery of the Niagara blue spread of connected data through a city landscape on three-screen wide presentation, Tridium’s Jim Bland, CEO and President, took the wand from the cyber maestro of the screen and handed it, figuratively, to the expectant audience of over 1000 global Niagara Community members — challenging them that NOW — is the time to really think outside the box, Disney example provided. The possibility of failure should no longer restrain the efforts to achieve the spectacular possibilities and payoffs of innovation.
Kevin Smith Tridium’s CTO Reviews DAY 2 at Niagara Summit 2018. Tridium’s CTO, Kevin Smith possesses advanced and distinguished expertise in the fields of Cybersecurity, Semantics, Analytics, and Software Development. When Kevin Smith talks, people listen — and for good reason. That’s why we were delighted when Kevin joined ControlTrends in summarizing DAY 2 of Niagara Summit 2018. Kevin touches all the new Niagara bases as he hits this interview out of the park (his affable style of engagement almost outdoes his technical prowess). The Niagara Framework and team are strong, getting stronger, and committed under great leadership. The Niagara Community and ecosystem are growing world-wide and leading the way with innovation.
The Future will be Open, Connected, Always On. EasyIO is Ready for the Future, are You? EasyIO leads the future of Building Automation with smarter, faster, and greener concepts and controllers. This newest video release captures the driving spirit behind EasyIO’s philosophy to master and exploit emerging technologies that are pushing expectations and performance to higher standards, while eliminating costs and barriers to implementation.
Episode 258: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending March 11, 2018 features an interview with Alper Üzmezler, BASSG’s Managing Partner and CTO of Anka Labs. Alper takes us on a deep dive into Sandstar, an open-sourced offering from Anka Labs. Check out Honeywell’s e7 Hotel Thermostat; Scott Hamilton joins Acuity Brands’ Distech team; Johnson Controls announces Verasys “Turning Up the Smart” Roadshow — coming to a city near you; Watch 8 More Minutes of Magic with the 2017 ControlTrends Awards extended video, which captures the most exciting night in the HVAC industry; and make sure to read Therese Sullivan’s “Shaking Value Chains and Channeling New Voices in BAS.”
Honeywell is Making Your Hotel Room Smarter with the e7 Smart Thermostat. You already have a smart home, and now, you can have a smart home away from home. Thanks to the launch of Honeywell’s next-generation thermostat for the hospitality industry, you’ll now be able to control the temperature not only of your bedroom, but of your hotel room, too. Meet the new Inncom e7 Thermostat (otherwise known as the e7), heralded as the first enterprise-grade environmental control and energy management solution that also features Amazon Alexa integrations.
Acuity Brands’ Distech Controls Appoints Scott Hamilton as Vice President, Sales. Brossard, QC, March 5, 2018 – Distech Controls, an innovation leader in energy management solutions, is pleased to announce a recent addition to the company’s leadership team: Scott Hamilton joins Distech Controls in the role of Vice President, Sales. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Scott will be responsible for sales channels across the Americas, Australia and Asia, as well as the organization’s OEM channel and Distech Controls Energy Services.
Johnson Controls Announces Verasys “Turning Up the Smart” Roadshow. Verasys® is a new kind of plug-and-play building control system with less complexity and more capabilities to help expand your business and service opportunity for your customers. The best way to fully appreciate this system, is by seeing it in action. The best way to see it in action, is by seeing it live. That’s why we’ll be crossing the U.S. to share it with everyone on the Verasys Roadshow.
2017 ControlTrends Awards HighLight Video Extended Version. Watch eight minutes of magic as we present the 2017 ControlTrends Awards video that captures the ControlTrends Awards ceremony and night in the industry for the superstars and heroes of the HVAC and Building Automation industries. The 2017 Top Gun Awards recipients were recognized, as was the 2017 Petock Award winner Trevor Palmer, Distech/Acutiy Brands, and the ControlTrends Awards Hall of Fame inductees.
Shaking Value Chains and Channeling New Voices in BAS. The unifying forces within the HVAC and Building Automation industries are changing. The universal laws and assumptions we held as champion truths, are no longer valid. Even the gravitational fields that kept the “constellation of value” constant in our channels — are in full flux. New galaxies are forming and steering your way through these new strong and weak interactions may be be dicey. The following article by Therese Sullivan, editor of Building Context, will help to explain why.
ControlTalk NOW interview with Alper Üzmezler, BASSG Managing Partner and CTO of Anka Labs, who begins with an overview of Sandstar, open-sourced offering from Anka Labs. Alper then goes into several demos. BASSG has been involved in commercial building informatics for over a decade, delivering realistic renderings, dashboarding, energy analytics programming, integrations, and other services. BASSG makes a vital contributions to the open-protocol controls industry. BASSG offers a variety of solutions for multi-protocol data transport, data visualization libraries, an editor for custom UI development, and HTML5 block programming tools — and delivers these tools as a unified environment. In mid-2016, BASSG delivered their first generation Edge Analytics Controllers (EACs) to the market.
This article first appeared in the March edition of Automated Buildings and is re-purposed with the author’s permission. The unifying forces within the HVAC and Building Automation industries are changing. The universal laws and assumptions we held as champion truths, are no longer valid. Even the gravitational fields that kept the “constellation of value” constant in our channels — are in full flux. New galaxies are forming and steering your way through these new strong and weak interactions may be be dicey. The following article by Therese Sullivan, editor of Building Context, will help to explain why.
Charles Dickens was right. One of the best ways to tell a story is to channel different voices for past, present and future perspectives. For this telling, I’m casting those in building automation hoping for business-as-usual in the role of Ebenezer and the physical security industry as Jacob Marley’s ghost. This time, Marley isn’t in chains. Rather, he is pointing out that, once building operational data is moved to IP networks, there are no chains on alternate sales channels into C-suites where decisions about buildings are made.
I was briefed on the history of how data architectures for physical security systems evolved when I met Brad Kult, Associate Vice President & Director of Technology Design Services, HGA Architects and Engineers, in January at the AHR Expo Education sessions. Brad explained it this way:
“Why did Physical Security Transition to IP networking? Market pressure came from fierce competition in CCTV cameras and other system components that drove the industry to commodity pricing for IP-based hardware, eventually away from expensive proprietary head-ends. Once all of the hardware supported standard IP connectivity, systems were no longer closed and new integration opportunities opened up. As for software, that underwent a major transition too. Classic video matrix switches began to be replaced by virtual matrix software using the IP network to provide aggregation and transmission of video from cameras and recording platforms.”
Brad was quick to see other similarities that will drive BAS solution vendors and systems integrators along a similar path: “Just as BAS applications and analytics are being pushed to edge controllers, analytics moved into cameras and access control devices. Low-cost computing power and miniaturization allowed affordable cameras with better thermal management, solid-state storage and lots of memory. Likewise, because access control is subject to issues like transaction latency, buffering in the controller, operating through power and network outages. As soon as access control devices could be built with the right compute resources, analytics moved to the edge.”
Brad Kult’s description of past dynamics in physical security jibed with a January post on the Physical Security business by Memoori Research. I recommend that you read the whole post; but, here are the key points from the market analysis:
“Virtually all the security, safety and environmental controls in smart buildings now operate through IP Networks and this makes connectivity between them much more practical, but it still needs a common communication protocol to be used to enable data to be transferred and understood…[Once we have] the final link in this chain… [we can] join all the devices on a two directional network that can operate without human intervention… that we can call a Building Internet of Things (BIoT).
“We have almost reached the point where the technology to deliver BIoT solutions is in place but the channels to market need to be developed…There is now sufficient evidence to show that growth is not being limited by demand but is being restricted by limitations in the capability of the supply chain to deliver and service reliable systems…”
The real Jacob-Marley chain shaking part of this Memoori piece is in this paragraph:
“The main route to market for total solutions is at present direct to the end user or his consultant but Systems Integrators (SI) are now active in promoting this business and this has opened up a second channel. In the US some of the Major SI’s have now got involved in the design and installations of not just physical security systems but further integrating environmental controls and lighting.”
As Memoori reports, the major IT SI’s have extended their businesses to include physical security services and audio-visual services as a natural outcome of IT Convergence, and they are quickly moving into lighting. A case in point is this recent press announcement from a division of IT SI major Tech Data detailing an extended partnership with Crestron Electronics for Microsoft Skype-powered conference-room AV equipment. Crestron is also a major brand of lighting control and other office building automation systems, so the opportunities to extend this partnership to other IoT or as-a-service solutions are many.
For the voice of IT Convergence Future, you can hear an expert on enterprise IT channel selling on a recent ControlTalk podcast. Rauline Ochs of the Channel Company sees IT and Operational partners teaming together to bring new aggregated IoT solutions to market. She describes their playbook like this:
“Starting with expertise in edge devices and vertical industry domain knowledge, some OT companies will move to deliver control units to their customers. From control, they will move to IoT platforms, so that they can get involved in analytics. If they can succeed with customers on the basis of superior analytics – delivering high value from connected things, extracting insights, impelling action – they can control the customer ROI. If they control the ROI, they control the sale and are higher in the value chain among many partners.”
I glimpsed just how close the buildings world is to this future when I went to the Microsoft IoT in Action Conference in San Francisco in mid-February. Primarily the event showcased the Microsoft Azure IoT platform and new AI tools. But, far and away, the most information-rich session of the day was the industry panel featuring some of the major IT SI’s using the Azure platform and tools.
This panel was moderated by Nicole Denil, Microsoft’s GM of the Aggregator Channel, and included IoT leaders from Arrow Electronics, Tech Data, Synnex, Avnet and Advantech. The IoT deployments they described were right out of the Playbook described by Rauline Ochs of Channel Company. Here are some of the stand-out quotes from this panel.
The session on IoT Business Model Transformation featured a physical security company, Genetec. The company’s IoT leader, Christian Morin, detailed the process of remaking a business to leverage IoT workflows. Genetec has established a new brand for its cloud-based video monitoring system, Stratocast. Here you can start to see all the ways it is forging a new route to profitability – from hardware margin to subscription, from capex to capex plus opex. Also, Morin talked to how the relationship to the customer must change from transactional to a partner that is sufficiently trusted to keep renewing the service. Some call that a Managed Service-type relationship.
The comparison of physical security industry dynamics to BAS has its limitations. To date, there has been no direct sales model for BAS because of the skill set required to integrate HVAC designs unique to a building involving equipment of competing brands. In BAS IoT, the major value in the solution will still likely come from OT partners—like energy and commissioning service contractors, mechanical contractors, and controls contractors of various sizes, brands, and capabilities. Though security systems can be complex, they are more self-contained and thus have often been managed within the realm of a sophisticated IT or internal services group. So it’s no surprise that IT Convergence has come to these workflows first.
Still, BAS OT partners can learn from the Genetec Business Model Transformation story. They need a data road map and data playbook too. But, it is their physical presence and ability to tend to the needs of a buildings inner workings that position them for the Managed-Service relationship.
Microsoft noted several times during the conference that it can take from 15 to 25 IT-expert and OT-expert partners to comprise a successful IoT workflow. That is unprecedented. Today, the IT big-brands are transparent about wanting only to offer the tooling — infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a service, big-data and eventually AI tools. The major value in the solution will come from OT partners. What are these 15+ IoT partner value chains trying to conjure up? They are clear about that too; they want Cortana, Alexa or Siri in our walls telling us everything that needs attention in our buildings. To make it work, all partners need to be open and transparent in their business practices and contributing technologies. As the big-brand cloud providers compete, they are driving such tooling – even the AI and voice components – to commodity status. Like Genetec, OT partners can maintain their upper-hand position and own the customer relationship, delivering the high-value managed service part of the offering. That is, if they are awake to the industry transformation underway. So it can be a happy ending for those building automation solution providers and SIs who, like Ebenezer, wake up and seize tomorrow.
Episode 254: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending Feb 11, 2018 features two of our industry’s most prominent voices: Ken Sinclair, editor of Automated Buildings, who reviews his February edition, and Therese Sullivan, editor of Building Context, who provides detailed insight to KMC’s 2018 Genius Summit and several key AHR breakouts. Important update for the Niagara Summit 2018 in New Orleans; 2018 AHR Expo report — AHR posts [Read more…]