July 2006

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Keeping ConnectivityWeek StrongThis Building-IT industry represents validation from owners and the IT industry to move forward and deliver converged IP-based building systems, taking into account the needs of the new types of stakeholder in the building owner organizations: the IT and enterprise focused groups.

  Ken Sinclair, AutomatedBuildings.com

As published

July Issue - Column 

I am writing this column after returning from BuilConn’s ConnectivityWeek in Palm Springs, and I feel compelled to share with you the excitement of this event. 

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Extracted from a perspective and review by Anto Budiardjo President & CEO, Clasma Events Inc 

The collection of BuilConn, M2M and GridWise was given a new moniker in Palm Springs: ConnectivityWeek. Connectivity is at the core of all the events and conferences in Palm Springs. Firstly, because technically it is about connectivity, the connectivity between devices, systems and people related to smart connected devices whether they are in buildings, other M2M venues or the electric grid. While the applications are different, the core issues of network protocol, data standards, security, reliability and applications are common.

ConnectivityWeek will forge ahead later this year in Europe Amsterdam Oct 3-5 and in Asia - Singapore November 14 -16, and in 2007, the U.S. Connectivity Week will be in Chicago, May 22-24.

Cisco Roundtable In what is likely to be a turning point for the connected building industry, the Cisco roundtable focused its morning discussion on building owner issues, with a distinct difference. Compared to many other prior discussions on the subject, the owners at the roundtable were all high-level IT individuals including CIOs, CTOs and senior players from owners with multi-billion dollar projects demanding open, converged, connected and IP-based building systems.

The first ever industry Connected Real Estate Roundtable in Palm Springs occurred as a well planned prelude to BuilConn's ConnectivityWeek. BuilConn provided the only logical venue for these extremely necessary roundtable discussions that crossed over and cross pollinated information of the many industries presently interacting in our converged environment. As your columnist I was extremely pleased to be invited to the table. 

The factual and official reporting of the event is outlined in the below email from Rick Huijbregts, PhD Cisco Systems, Inc.

For us, it was a tremendous experience sharing visions, concerns, opportunities, and roadblocks when it comes to delivering intelligent converged environments. And although we all come from different business backgrounds and represent different corporate objectives, it was a pleasure to see that we all appear aligned in our thinking on the future design and realization of our next-generation built environment.

In the coming weeks, look for a white paper detailing the discussions and conclusions of our roundtable event. This paper will be developed in collaboration with CIFE at Stanford University http://cife.stanford.edu. You will be among the first to receive this paper, after which we will make it available to the industry at large --- in Cisco's ongoing effort to spread the word and share the vision.

Anto's summation:
It will take precise visions, well aggregated, plus balls to make the type of change we are talking about in this room. We believe that IT folks like Cisco can help us organize, educate, and communicate a new level of integration. We all have to go forward and think about what having our data as part of the data utility really means and set in place a guideline on how that can be done with best practices.

Without a doubt, this pre-conference session set the tone for the new Building-IT industry that has gathered at BuilConn. This Building-IT industry represents validation from owners and the IT industry to move forward and deliver converged IP-based building systems, taking into account the needs of the new types of stakeholder in the building owner organizations: the IT and enterprise focused groups.


The Cisco keynote on the first day clarified Cisco’s vision that buildings and facilities will be the core of networking. At the heart of this vision is the concept of the network as the 4th utility. By looking at the network this way, the network (and thus Cisco) touches all systems in the building without exception.

This view is furthered in what Cisco calls their Building Information Network, where the network infrastructure (including building control networks) and interactive layers provide a secure and robust platform for all types of applications from lighting, HVAC to instant messaging, IP phones as well as traditional data and information applications.

Jane and I were pleased to turn over our year of glory as last year's BuilConn “Buildy Visionaries” to this year's winner Jack McGowan. This prolific contributing editor's vision has transformed him into Mr GridWise. In addition to winning this award Jack also won the best keynote speaker with only 5 minutes preparation when a GridWise keynote was unable to attend at the last moment.

The GidWise expo and all it sessions were very well attended as were all connectivity week business sessions. 


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