July 2019

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Ken SmyersEMAIL INTERVIEWKen Smyers and Ken Sinclair

Ken Smyers, with DMS Controls Group, LLC, 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, a leading internet source for HVAC and Controls information.

Re-calibrating since Attending 2019 Realcomm|IBcon

  Eric and I thought it was the best conference yet -- because the focus of the 2019 Realcomm|IBcon Conference nailed every important trend that we are experiencing and tracking in our HVAC and BAS worlds.


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Sinclair:  We've all needed to do some re-calibrating since attending the 2019 Realcomm|IBcon Conference in Nashville, TN. It was a true mindful. What were some of your major thoughts and take-aways from the conference?

Smyers:  Eric and I thought it was the best conference yet -- because the focus of the 2019 Realcomm|IBcon Conference nailed every important trend that we are experiencing and tracking in our HVAC and BAS worlds. From CyberSecurity, Edge and/or the Cloud, to Business-casing Data, to the art of Analytics, to the elevated role of the Master Systems Integrator, and more.  All of the panel speakers were generous with their expertise and experience, and every breakout sessions that we attended, unabashedly addressed the sticky side of many issues that brought lively comments and contrary opinions to the forefront after the presentations. It was amazing.

Sinclair:  I certainly agree; it was all there and sometimes, it was challenging to take in such an enormous volume of technology, business intelligence, and energy. What other thoughts did you have?

Smyers:  Clearly, the technology to make every building smart and connected is here, and the conference vendor area and showcase area demonstrated that fact. There was a vast assortment of existing technologies that have been made more scalable, easier to integrate and more networkable, and in many cases, their restrictive economic barriers have been mitigated. The vendors were there with their case studies on display, testimonials in hand, offering several scalable solutions to choose from, and the gap industry partners and integrators introduced. It was the most prepared group of vendors that we’ve ever seen -- every one of them ready to do business and deliver a customized solution on the spot.

Also, the understanding of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) has been fully wrung out, and the issues, challenges, and opportunities recognized. One leading solution is to create a separate BMS Network and be done with the Enterprise Network. The second solution is to bring all of the Operational Technology onto the existing Enterprise IT Network and join forces with the IT experts. The presentations were given by some of the biggest and the best in the business.

Reliable Controls Sinclair:  I saw that ControlTrends stayed busy throughout the conference. What were some of the other interesting items?

Smyers:  As you said, it was a lot to take in, and I’m glad Eric and I are able to provide a host of important video interviews, industry updates, and conference highlights. More video reportage to follow in August:

Smart Buildings Integrator Summit — Huge Focus on the Master Systems Integrator

Therese Sullivan & Michael Westerfield | Tridium | IoT Strategy

Robots Running Smart Buildings? RYCON Driving Building Performance — Leading Innovation on Display at Realcomm

Live Footage of the Smart Buildings Integrator Summit at IBcon 2019
Real CyberSecurity Solutions — Intelligent Buildings’ Tom Shircliff at Realcomm|IBcon 2019


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