June 2006
  
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AutomatedBuildings.com Article - BuilConn, Tridium and Controls Group North America - Openness and Connectivity
Openness and Connectivity

Jim Hayman,
Director, Business Development,
CGNA

Mid-May was beautiful in Palm Springs, California, for BuilConn.  Once again this year Tridium was a sponsor/exhibitor for the show and their Vykon Systems Distributors in Controls Group North America (CGNA) were on hand to help man the booth.  Interestingly, the Tridium/CGNA message of openness and connectivity was a prominent theme throughout the three days. 

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The line-up of speakers and topics at BuilConn was impressive and many industry insights and trends were presented.  The forum environment was quite successful.  One of the things that stood out with keynote speakers and presenters was this: the technology of open systems is changing the building automation industry.  Commercial building automation products from large single manufacturers with closed proprietary systems are being replaced by products from “multiple vertical vendors” through open systems connectivity. 

The word is getting out to building owners and engineers at venues like BuilConn that technology is giving them many new options.  According to keynote speaker Glen Allmendinger, founder and president of Harbor Research,  “openness and connectedness has become the driver” for commercial buildings.  Tenant comfort and convenience is demanding new ways for commercial property systems to talk to many devices, often from different manufacturers with dissimilar protocols. 

The question is where can a building owner/engineer go to learn about connecting products from “multiple vertical vendors?”  Who today has expertise with products from multiple manufacturers and the engineering experience to connect them all on a single front end?  

The answer is rather surprising to some.  Owners, engineers and installers are turning to a national network of Integration Distributors specializing in providing solutions by connecting the multiple manufacturers’ devices and peripherals through a Tridium software front end.  They are the Tridium Vykon System Distributors, (VSD’s) in Controls Group North America, (CGNA).

J2 Innovations Tridium, Inc., headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, www.tridium.com, is the inventor of the patented Niagara Framework, a software framework that integrates diverse systems and devices into a unified platform regardless of manufacturer, communication standard or software.  The Niagara Framework can be easily managed and controlled in real time over the Internet or intranet using a web browser.

Controls Group North America, (CGNA), located in Brea, California, www.cgnacontrols.com, is the largest network of independent controls distributors in the nation.  CGNA Member distributors are a unique one-stop resource for integration products and engineering support from multiple manufacturers.  Tridium partners with their distributors in CGNA to promote and sell their products. 

The Tridium/CGNA alliance has brought to the forefront a next generation Integration Distributor who understands the necessity of the “openness and connectedness” that was a focus at BuilConn.  Commercial property is moving toward the intelligent building model and the large single manufacture with a “lock” on a building does not fit the open/connected equation.  The Tridium VSD’s in CGNA are playing an increasing role as “multiple vertical vendors” and their products need to be connected to deliver the services tenants expect.  As building owners see the value of their properties increase through open system technology, Integration Distributors will be called upon increasingly for building automation solutions. 

 

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