July 2013


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Ken SmyersEMAIL INTERVIEWKen Smyers and Ken Sinclair

Ken Smyers, with the Edward C. Smyers Co., in Pittsburgh, has over 30 years of experience in the HVAC, Building Automation, and Controls Industry and is Co-Founder of the ControlTrends Awards, which was established to recognize the superstars and heroes of the HVAC and Building Automation Industries.  Ken is also very much involved with Eric Stromquist and ControlTrends.org, a leading internet source for HVAC and Controls information.

ControlTrends, Realcomm IBCON 2013, and ControlTalk NOW

It was a great professional experience and we were able to capture a lot of the excitement, participation, as well as interview several key members of the industry. 

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SinclairThe Realcomm IBCON Show is always a huge event.  This was ControlTrends first attendance, what were your thoughts?

Smyers:  Yes, it certainly was a major industry event.  Eric and I were excited when Jim Young and Howard Berger arranged for us to attend Realcomm IBCON 2013 as ControlTrends.   It was a great professional experience and we were able to capture a lot of the excitement, participation, as well as interview several key members of the industry. 

The use of video really portrays the energy of the event and the vitality of the speakers.  It’s one thing to read what these industry leaders have to say, but to watch Darrell Smith, from Microsoft, Nino DiCosmo, Tridium’s new CEO, and Jim Young’s dynamic story of Realcomm’s 15 year history and the development of IBCON, you really get a sense of their purpose and their passion, which moves the conveyance process to the next level.

SinclairWhat were the biggest takeaways from Realcomm IBCON 2013?

Smyers:  It’s clear that the economy will not be recovering using the same familiar business paths that most of the present industry models are geared for.  The locus of control is swinging to the demand side of the equation as large building owners exert more specific influence and focus on what they want and what they don’t want; they have the IT technology; and they have the financial resources.  Now, they are waiting for the integration supply side providers to get up to speed and get it done.  This is an open challenge to our industry, requiring innovation, investments, and initiative.

In a ControlTrends interview with Jim Young, we got a firsthand description of the Master Systems Integrator (MSI), a term that Jim began using three years ago to define one of the emerging roles that will oversee large, possible national portfolio implementation and coordination with local systems integrators.  The MSI’s will be the solution providers of the future and a few of them were already displaying in the Niagara Way section of IBCON.

There’s so much more to the Realcomm IBCON message.   Please watch the videos.

Sinclair:  ControlTrends has now covered several of the industry’s largest events:  AHR 2012, Haystack Connect 2013, and now Realcomm IBCON 2013.  Is it your intention to cover all the major events?

Smyers:  We’d love to expand the ControlTrends brand, but for the most part, Eric and I have been fortunate that these industry events are pretty much aligned with our own distribution businesses and our relationships with the HVAC manufacturers, Vendors, and Solution Providers, which is mutually beneficial to, and had very much in common with, the interests of the ControlTrends community. 

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Sinclair:  What are the goals of ControlTrends for the future?

Smyers:  We believe that what we are doing is something unique and important.   Ken, as far as we’re concerned, automated.buildings.com serves both as the great Library of Alexandria, and the Library of Congress for our industry.  No one has done a better job than you of consolidating and preserving, electronically, our industry’s collective information.  ControlTrends and the ControlTrends Awards will continue in that same vein, adding video and social media.

Related Videos:
Microsoft’s Darrell Smith and Eric Stromquist Live at IBCON Bootcamp 2013: http://controltrends.org/2013/06/microsofts-darrell-smith-and-eric-stromquist-live-at-ibcon-bootcamp-2013/

Rob Murchison on Intelligent Buildings and IBCON 2013

Ken and Eric Interviewed at IBCOM 2013:  http://controltrends.org/2013/06/ken-and-eric-interviewed-at-ibcom/

Interview with Nino DiCosmo        http://controltrends.org/2013/06/nino-dicosmo-tridium-president-interview-at-realcomm-ibcon-2013/

ControlTalk NOW June 16, 2013   http://controltrends.org/2013/06/controltalk-now-live-for-the-week-ending-june-162013/

Related article:
Get the Realcomm Message and See the Messengers Behind Realcomm 2013 REvolution in Action: http://controltrends.org/2013/06/get-the-realcomm-message-and-see-the-messengers-behind-realcomm-2013-revolution-in-action/


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