to 2020! It’s like we just woke up here and as I look around,
WOW, it’s nothing like the industry I started in more than 20 years
ago. The new digitally enhanced IP experience we are working in
is about to obsolete the old, and we need to start planning these
changes instead of being dragged into the new technology just to keep
projects and customers.
Before we develop a plan, we first must assess our own capabilities.
Here is a quick list of questions to ask yourself about your BAS
company’s IP capabilities.
Integrator IT Self-Assessment:
- Can you or do you work with someone that can manage IT departments effectively?
- Do you know the key components required to set up a stand-alone, managed IP network?
- Can you self-manage or host a customized cloud solution on a network for your customer?
- Do you understand how to cyber protect a building control system?
- Do you have a company policy for setting up or accepting remote IP communications to a building control system?
Okay, so you're not an IP expert—neither am I, so what do you do? Here are some planning ideas for you to consider:
- Hire or Partner with an IT expert.
Yes, they are out there. They come from all sorts of educational and
work backgrounds and here are some of the IT fields to consider:
- IT Network Installers | These folks
don’t just run wire, they also know switches and servers and firewalls
and modems and... most importantly, how to set everything up
properly. If you can’t find someone with that experience to hire,
you might want to find a company to partner with or train some of your
- Programmers or Coders | We already
have many great ones in the BAS industry, but as a fresh young face
into the industry, a coder can make a world of difference when it comes
to understanding different software and developing software
capabilities while combining data from diverse systems on a
network. Data is KING in BAS and those who can deliver it the
BEST bring great value to the business.
- Data Scientists | Okay, we can’t
actually afford them yet, unless you are an AI company looking to
introduce machine learning to the industry. But in the future,
there will be a role for these superstars—they actually have the
capability to make buildings smarter than ever. If you want to
shoot for the moon, bringing in one of these folks could change your
- Introduce IP Pilot Projects.
This is where you partner with your customer, pick a small-scale
application and start installing IP controls instead of 485 to deliver
a new, improved experience for your customer or maybe even the
occupants within. As you go down the rabbit hole, questions and
answers will come up and with it you can teach yourself what it's all
about. Our BAS manufacturers, along with distributors like
myself, have support for you, so don’t be afraid to ask a dumb
question—there is no such thing in this Google world we live in.
Pilot projects bring you closer to your customer and the
accomplishments can develop successful relationships. Now is the
time to talk to your customers as there are many building owners
struggling with good ways to introduce better technology into their
- Organic Business Development - GO FOR IT!!!!!
Make the right turn decision to go forward with IP, start estimating
every opportunity with IP controls, assess your team and add or train
the appropriate resources. Get some IP work to gain experience as soon
as possible and keep going even if it's hard to do.... I am seeing many
in the industry dive in this way. They are still questioning that
decision today, but I believe there is a BIG future out there for the
new capabilities we will bring to the industry through the new
technology we FINALLY have to utilize.
no time to wait. The day of IP control is here and if you don’t jump on
the ship quickly, you might get lost for a very long time.......
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