Cisco’s venture into the building space with the Mediator came and went — leaving a lot of unanswered questions behind. In response to Jim Young’s first question, “Is Cisco Back?” Rick Huijbregts, VP, Industry Transformation and General Manager, IoE Smart + Connected Communities at Cisco Canada, answers, “Yes,” and that “Cisco is here to stay,” as he reviewed Cisco’s past, present, and future positions — and reminded everybody that Cisco enters billion dollar opportunities quickly, as they did in the telephony, video, and data center markets. Cisco has the option to make, buy, or partner their way into the smart connected building market, and in this instance, Cisco has chosen to partner with companies like Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Schneider, Rockwell, and Intel. Cisco sees tremendous opportunities in the IoE, with particular focus in the IoT and cloud services, and has created four IoE Centers of Excellence to accelerate the co-creation of future real estate and smart communities advancements.
As a member of the System Intelligence Redefined panel, Lindsay Baker, VP, Research & Marketing, at Building Robotics, addresses the attendees of the 2014 IBcon Smart HVAC Track with High Tech, High Touch technology from Building Robotics that drives participatory comfort attainment and energy savings. The ultimate compliment to any existing BMS BACnet system, COMFY takes VAV Zone Control to the next level. Take a good look at COMFY!
Adnan Akbari, Senior Manager Strategic Marketing, at Siemens Industry, was genuinely excited about Advantage™ Navigator, the energy management system performance platform that Siemens featured at the IBcon 2014. Advantage™ Navigator offers a number of energy analytics that take existing Siemens technologies and services to the next level by giving Siemens customers distinct business advantages — making costs easier to predict and delivering key insights into the total energy and operational performance of their buildings — locally, or worldwide. Adnan sees the IoT Titans: Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and the others, entry into the HVAC market as a logical move, because they too, have significant technology plays to make in the building space. Siemens also announced their Platinum Sponsorship for the 2014 ControlTrends Awards.
Advantage Navigator’s customizable suite of applications helps you monitor building system performance, energy demand, and energy supply more effectively and efficiently. It provides transparency, giving your team and the Siemens experts who support you laser-sharp insight to make critical improvements. And using a central platform, you can maintain total control over a single building, a campus, or your entire portfolio.
John Petze, a leading spokesperson for Project-Haystack, the open source initiative focused on developing semantic modeling conventions and taxonomies for smart device data today, announced the formation of a 501-C6 Corporation made possible by its founding members: Airmaster, J2 Innovations, Lynxspring, Siemens, SkyFoundry, Wattstopper, and Yardi. Since its formation in March of 2011, Project-Haystack.org has grown tremendously (now, over 500 members) providing the industry with an open-source, collaborative environment where people work together to address the challenge of utilizing semantic modeling (also known as tagging) to streamline the interchange of data among software applications. The community has developed a flexible, extensible, data modeling approach and standard models for common equipment systems.
The standard includes detailed documentation describing the data modeling techniques, significant libraries of equipment models, and software reference implementations to easily enable software applications to consume smart device data that is “marked up” with Project-Haystack data descriptions.
More background on Project-Haystack. Modern automations systems, metering systems and other smart devices produce tremendous amount of data, but this data is hard to utilize across different applications because it is stored in many different formats, has inconsistent naming conventions, and very limited data descriptors. Simply put, it lacks information to describe the meaning of the data.
Project-Haystack helps address these challenges. The work developed by the Project-Haystack community streamlines the process of managing, presenting and analyzing the vast amount of data produced by smart devices and equipment systems. Project-Haystack data modeling techniques can be used with virtually any type of system data. The community’s work not tied to any vendor, or communication protocol.
Building Context’s Therese Sullivan, the eyes and ears of Silicon Valley, wraps up her thoughts about the 2014 Realcomm/IBcon with piercing insight: Big-brand tech companies and Rock Star-caliber personalities in real estate management and data security came calling on the buildings industry at the Smart Building Integrator Summit (SBIS) on June 17th, the day before IBcon 2014 opened in Las Vegas. Their common message was that open-architected, interoperable building automation systems (BAS) are at the nucleus of the next phase of human-to-machine connectivity. There was recognition that the commercial real estate technology industry is, in important respects, way out ahead when it comes to merging information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT). However, the next phase is going to require greater collaboration between IT and BAS technology and service providers to stay out ahead of security threats and legislation, as well as to meet the expectations of occupants who want their workplaces to keep pace with their home automation systems.
In the ‘Owners’ panel discussion, the audience heard both a corporate campus and urban retail/office/residential multi-use perspective on what customers want from system integrators. The panel included Darrell Smith, Director of Energy and Building Technology for Microsoft’s Real Estate and Facilities, and Mike Smith, VP of Building Technology Services Group of Forest City Enterprises, as well as Kelly Millsaps of Related. A common theme here was that System Integrators should work to earn a place at the decision-making table as a trusted advisor. Having a narrow view that emphasizes one brand of building system due to a sales channel relationship won’t serve to build such a relationship. “The SI’s role is to make us look at the challenge through a different lens,” said Microsoft’s Darrel Smith. Moderator Ken Sinclair had many heads nodding in agreement with his comment that one sign of customer trust is that the SI is allowed to be involved in the definition of the Request for Proposal for the project.
Paul Oswald, CEO, Environmental Systems Inc. (ESI) and John Petze, Principal, SkyFoundry, brought some realism to the topic of data-driven building decision-making. Oswald covered the topic of hiring, training and retaining great people to do the multifaceted job of system integration. He explained that the fastest, most secure route to an enduring systems integration company was to become a learning organization. With IT, control, mechanical, electrical, security, etc. technologies rapidly advancing and client business models and organizational structures always changing, integrators need to be always ready to adapt and learn new things. Skills in application development, data analysis, energy aren’t enough, staff needs to know how to sell and manage project too. A constant investment in people is required, with outreach and active mentoring of the next generation, to bring new talent up the ladder of learning because it takes a while to gain all those skills.
John Petze presented on the topic of databases, analytics (predictive & prescriptive), visualization and advanced integration. He reminded the audience that the biggest effort in setting up a data analytics project has been the task of interpreting the naming of source data and tagging it appropriately. Notably, Project Haystack, an effort to bring together industry leaders into an open source community to solve that tagging challenge together won the Digie award for Best Intelligent Building Technology Innovation. Petze also offered two pieces of actionable advice: 1) start with a shallow-dive project and 2) you don’t have to connect to live data to derive value from analytics. When evaluating all the solutions now marketed in the building analytics category, he advised to compare 1) whether the data processing occurs in the cloud or on premise 2) whether programmability was available at the customer or project level and 3) what protocols and connectivity are supported, that is, does the system get the data you want to work with.
Billy Rios led the session on cyber security. He has one of the most impressive resumes among the white-hat hackers who work to discover and plug vulnerabilities before the black hats arrive. Rios oversaw the setup of a decoy honeypot by systems integration firm McKenney’s in their training center. Deployment vulnerabilities far outnumber product engineering vulnerabilities according to Rios. His prescription for avoiding these is 1) lots of employee training 2) logging more of the data traffic to and from the BMS so there is a record to audit and study and 3) better access control over BMS resources.
The last session of the summit brought six big names in commercial building real estate technology to the stage – some new to our industry: Yardi, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft and Tridium. RealComm’s Jim Young moderated and pulled one quotable sound bite after another from each. With both companies in the ‘Wintel” computing near-monopoly present, there was on-stage consensus that we’re at another inflection point much like when PC technology eclipsed the minicomputer/mainframe. The big surprise came from Intel who announced the intention to play a big role in the next chapter of the building automation industry’s evolution. Rick Lisa, Group Sales Director of Intel’s Worldwide IoT Business Development Group, pointed to partnerships with air-conditioning multinational Daikon who wants to “give every air handler on the roof an integrated Intel-supplied brain” and Dell who aims to enter the systems integration service business.
All together the sessions that comprised the Smart Building Integrator Summit pointed to exciting times to come in our industry.
Keith La Rose, Director of Business Development at CopperTree, was delighted with the attendees at 2014 IBcon. According to Keith, “The people here really understand the space — and, they are the influential decision-makers.” The Delta Controls’ story is one of prolific success. Delta Controls, a privately held corporation, has been manufacturing BAS controls (all made in North America) for over 30 years, and is the world’s largest independent BAS manufacturer! The Delta Controls’ motto, which permeates throughout the organization is “Do it Right!” CopperTree Analytics, wholly owned by Delta Controls and ESC Automation, is an agnostic solution that works with anyone’s control system focusing on data analytics and building optimization.
Excerpts from Automated Buildings July, 2014. Editor’s Note: We are experimenting with a virtual wrapper for our July issue. The flyover is based on the same format used for our Over 150 past issues and 15 years in the collaborator. The graphical presentation is more people centric following the theme of this issue. Powered by a web service it should present well on all devices, as more and more of our readers are BYOD. Also here is a short url http://goo.gl/ahcnO7 to wrapper for tweeting. Please let us know if this is useful or just plain annoying……..smile. It is simply a different way to view the same information.
I find it interesting that in the blur of technology at this year’s IBcon in Vegas; the largest gathering of authorities with international case studies on the topic of open architected, interoperable and integrated IP centric smart, connected, high performance and intelligent buildings, my biggest takeaway is that it is the people of our industry many of who are part of our AutomatedBuildings.com collaboratory are our cashable assets, not technology.
Keynote Geoffrey MooreKeynote speaker Geoffrey Moore’s, pragmatic and systematic approach to the chaos created by technological innovation provided insight and guidance to the adoption journey. Click here for complete story.
This roadmap and productization for the smart buildings market segment is just the beginning of Dell’s service offerings. Look for more to come on IoT and building automation in the future! (Source: AutomatedBuildings: July, 2014 Edition)
Dell is introducing new research on smart buildings and will join Intel to discuss its findings at the Intelligent Buildings Conference (IBcon) in Las Vegas today. Enabling building automation is a key element of Dell’s strategy of supporting customers around the world and across various industries in realizing their vision for the Internet of Things (IoT). Dell and Intel are helping architects and organizations imagine the next generation of integrated, open-architected, IP-centric, connected, high-performance, sustainable, energy-efficient, operationally efficient, and intelligent buildings.
Dell is taking its IoT focus a step further by collaborating with others in the industry (including Intel) to help architects and IT organizations capitalize on these transformative technology approaches for smart buildings and the Internet of Things. In a Dell white paper made available today, Dell outlines its recommendations for organizations interested in the smart building trend:
1. Define Organization’s As-Is and To-Be state: Take stock in the current systems and subsystems in a centralized list. Use a Maturity Matrix as an engagement method to assess where the organization is, and how to get to where it wants to be. Focus first on the business outcome or user experience that the organization wants to create.
2. Technology and Project Timeline: Outline the desired outcome, time requirements, and standard building blocks required to achieve your desired business case objectives and end result. This fosters discussions that determine business relevance and return on investment (ROI).
3. Open Reference Architecture: Utilize a non-proprietary, open reference architecture system that takes into account the existing infrastructure, as well as the types of connected systems the organization wants to create.
4. Industrialization: Architect an industrial environment and provide a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the architecture, so teams can develop software across disparate systems. A great reference point to develop an SDK is to break the systems up along the lines of automation and analyze the data,
IBcon’s Smart Building Redefined Session brought together three unique and distinguished industry experts: Kevin Facinelli, EVP, Daikin Applied, Lindsay Baker, VP Research & Marketing, Building Robotics, and William MacGowan, Director Smart Connected Real Estate, Cisco Systems Canada. The panel presented and discussed innovative technologies developed recently for Building HVAC Systems (read the synopsis below).
Kevin Facenelli, EVP, Daikin Applied: Daikin Applied the global Number 1 provider of air conditioning. The Intelligent Equipment solution provides building owners the ability to have 24/7 real-time access to the building information and manage operations in a way that was previously unattainable. Daikin Applied products can automatically inform a support organization before they break down so customer service can move from a reactive to a preventative service model. The Intelligent Equipment solution allows building owners, managers and technicians to have access to the same building information, on the same platform. This capability provides the opportunity for the key members in building management to coordinate their efforts at a higher level.
Lindsay Baker, VP Research & Marketing, Building Robotics: Comfy is software that enables a better relationship between people and their works paces. Comfy provides instant streams of warm or cool air to people while also using machine learning in the background to reduce energy use. It can be installed quickly, connecting to an existing building’s hardware and software, providing users with a simple web and mobile interface.
William MacGowan, Director Smart Connected Real Estate, Cisco Systems Canada: Many consider Cisco as the 4th utility in their buildings and Bill’s 3-30-300 analysis provides valuable insight how technology increases a building’s value. Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities helps transform physical communities into connected communities that: Realize sustainable economic growth; Enable environmental sustainability through resource management and operational efficiencies; and Enhance quality of life.
To make Realcomm/IBcon the world’s leading conference on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings, and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry, the charismatic Jim Young begins the 16-hour telephone days in January. It takes practiced and passionate networking to gather the industry’s top thought leaders, the world’s largest and most advanced next gen projects, and the creation of an industry vortex so powerful, that it drew a billion dollars worth of perspective from Yardi, Cisco, Intel, Google, Microsoft, and Tridium (oh, and Dell’s in, too).
Congratulations to Jim Young, Howard Berger, Lisa Woods, and the rest of the team at Realcomm/IBcon for orchestrating a massive symphony of excellence. Attending industry shareholders received ample returns on their professional time invested. Next up on the 2014 calendar, CoRE Tech, scheduled for this Fall in Kansas City, MO.