Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
Enterprise IT at IBCon 2014
It was exciting and informative to see Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and Intel on the same stage discussing the transformation taking place in this industry.
VP Sales & Marketing
Environmental Systems, Inc. (ESI)
our industry has been discussing the inevitable convergence between the
enterprise IT and building efficiency industries for the past 5+ years,
it was pretty apparent at this year’s IBCon that this convergence will
appear to be more of a collision than anything. It was exciting and
informative to see Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and Intel on the same
stage discussing the transformation taking place in this industry.
However, we should take into consideration that these players typically
do not invest in developing solutions for a specific industry sector
unless it’s sized as a billion plus opportunity for their business.
What does this mean?
Having spent a number of years with Microsoft I saw a repeatable pattern; if they want in, they‘ll get in. This may not be directly, as in the case of Microsoft. Their approach generally consists of influencing (or owning) the development environment and capturing software licensing revenue. Each of the larger players mentioned above (including IBM) however, have different sub-sector targets that they are focusing their resources on in developing and/or displacing incumbent solutions.
key observation to consider here is that there’s a VAST difference
between the business practices of enterprise hardware and software
companies to those players that participate in the building efficiency
industry. The pace of solution adoption in our industry is much slower,
less urgent to the business, conducted at a different level of decision
making, and clearly made up of organizations that are not forced to
innovate at the same speed as enterprise IT. Matter
of fact, I’d love to see an enterprise IT deployment that has had
to integrate/interoperate with such old, antiquated closed technology
as typically the case in our industry.
are exceptions of course. Namely, ripping and replacing equipment and
software because the building efficiency industry continues to provide
solutions that are less than completely open. Enterprise IT however,
moved past that game of securing installations/market-share 15 years
ago. The ability to extend the investment in systems through
interoperability, without ripping and replacing, increased the value
proposition of IT solution investments.
our good friend Steven Covey always said, there’s a difference between
those that perceive the world from an abundance mentality, verses those
that see it through scarcity. Win/Lose eventually turns to
from the unique opportunity to see the major enterprise IT players take
the stage at IBCon, there are some additional business practices we
should note. Most go-to-market through well-established channel
partners that are committed to aligning the necessary resources (time,
people, money) to achieve mutual success. This is particularly the case
in our industry as many of these IT players have little to no domain
expertise in building systems and building efficiency. They usually
co-invest in these partners that understand enterprise IT channel
dynamics (it’s different than our traditional industry channel models).
They educate the targeted market, highlighting the business
opportunity. Most importantly, their presence forces the established
industry to innovate.
our new colleagues have the tolerance to withstand the pace of our
industry’s business, we should ready ourselves for a ride like no
other. More money, talent, technology, and thinking will be flowing
into this market than ever. We truly could be witnessing a
transformational industry change.
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