November 2016

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John PetzeMarc PetockEMAIL INTERVIEWJohn Petze, Marc Petock and Ken Sinclair

John Petze, Executive Director and Marc Petock, Secretary of the Project Haystack organization.

Haystack Headlines

For the past five years since its formation, the Project Haystack community has made significant advances in developing and defining an easy-to-use methodology to attach a description and give meaning to all types of data using a simple, extensible data-tagging approach and standard models for common types of equipment systems.

Today I am talking with John Petze, Executive Director and Marc Petock, Secretary of the Project Haystack organization. For those that do not know, yet, Project Haystack is a non-profit, 501(c) organization focused on developing common standards to streamline the interchange of data among today’s smart devices, systems and equipment.

The devices that are making Internet of Things (IoT) a reality such as intelligent building systems, automation systems, metering systems, sensors and smart devices, produce tremendous amounts of data. This data has been very hard to organize and use across different applications because it was stored in many different formats, had inconsistent naming conventions, and very limited data descriptors. In essence, data has lacked information with it to describe its meaning. And, without any description of the data, a time-consuming manual effort is required to determine what the data is and then assign any value to the data.

For the past five years since its formation, the Project Haystack community has made significant advances in developing and defining an easy-to-use methodology to attach a description and give meaning to all types of data using a simple, extensible data-tagging approach and standard models for common types of equipment systems. The community-developed, Project Haystack Data-Tagging Standard includes detailed documentation describing the data modeling techniques, significant libraries of equipment models, and software reference implementations allowing software applications to easily consume device data that is marked up with Project Haystack tags. So one of the headlines is, Haystack Tags (the data descriptor that allow software applications to automatically ingest, interpret, and analyze data from literally hundreds of thousands of smart sensors and smart devices) Make IoT a Reality.

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SinclairGood morning gentlemen!

John Petze: Good morning and thank you for meeting with us today.

Ken: Besides adding to the aforementioned “overview” of the Project Haystack Organization and its mission to make IoT a reality, I understand you have a few announcements to make?

Marc Petock: Yes, Ken. First, we are very proud of the advancements that the Project Haystack Data-Tagging methodology has been making to the whole IoT, Intelligent Building, Smart Systems and Device industry. As a testament to this, we are able to announce today that six more companies and key players in this industry, have joined the Project Haystack Organization.

SinclairCongratulations! Can you tell us who these new member companies are?

John Petze: Of course. They are Intellastar, Intelligent Buildings, IoT Warez, KMC Controls, the KNX Association, and sensorFact Services, Inc. These are major technologists, vendors and industry influencers, so you can see how this does, again, represent the ever-widening acceptance that making the data smarter is the smart thing to do!! To give you a quick overview of each of these companies, they are:

Intellastar provides end-to-end technology to bring Buildings, Plants, Smart Devices and Energy onto the Internet of Things allowing them to operate efficiently, securely and effectively with reduced operating cost.

Intelligent Buildings provides smart building consulting for multiple real estate use-types, utilities and governments that leverages technology and change management to lower costs, reduce risks and enhance experience.

IoT Warez develops custom software that helps technologies communicate together. From state-of-the-art data centers to environmentally conscious facilities, the IoT Warez software development team is capable of building solutions that connect anything and everything.

KMC Controls has helped facilities achieve higher levels of energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality by automating and controlling building systems for nearly 50 years. KMC is an independent American manufacturer of building automation solutions for system integrators, system distributors and OEM partners.

The KNX Association is a non-profit organization whose membership consists of manufacturers developing devices for home and building control for applications such as lighting control, shutter control, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, energy management, metering, monitoring, alarm and intrusion systems, household appliances, and audio and video systems. Member companies also includes service providers of utilities and telecom, to name a few.

SensorFact is a cloud-based data acquisition and storage service for sensor data. It allows for sending sensor data from one location, through their pointCollex technology or directly to their pointCollex API, to a client account in sensorFact. Once there, clients can name, organize, tag, monitor, and choose which sensors data to store long-term. In addition, sensor data is available to share or integrate with other systems.

SinclairThat’s quite a list of companies and several of them I know well as contributors to I understand you have some other news? There is another headline to insert?

Marc Petock: Yes. We would also like it be known that Airmaster Australia, BAS Services & Graphics, Connexx Energy, J2 Innovations, Lynxspring, Inc., SkyFoundry and Yardi Systems, Inc., have all committed to Platinum, Gold or Silver sponsorships and will be exhibiting in the Vendor Showcase at the Project Haystack bi-annual meeting and conference Haystack Connect 2017. So the headline is “Haystack Connect 2017 Gaining Major Sponsorships”? How’s that one?

John Petze: Works for me! So, we have scheduled and announced back in May that Haystack Connect 2017 will be held next May 8th – 10th [2017] at the Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa, Florida. Haystack Connect 2017 is a truly community-driven, open-forum, technical conference that provides a unique opportunity for professionals involved in any type of automation and control, and devices and systems to advance the Internet of Things, to learn and share real technology, real techniques, and real case-studies about connecting systems and utilizing device data in applications, including intelligent buildings, energy management, remote monitoring and other smart-device applications. So to have these companies already committed to sponsorships is great, and we are in the midst of signing up additional companies.

Marc Petock: As was the case for our very successful and highly-attended Haystack Connect 2015, proposed session topics include data acquisition, communications, wireless technologies, protocol translation, data visualization, analytics and methods,which can effectively bring data together for improved systems and equipment performance. But, being the community-driven conference that it is, it is likely that more topics will be added. We will be announcing the “Call for Speakers” very soon and may have by the time you publish this, Ken.

SinclairI do recall HC2015 quite well, having been a Media Sponsor. It was a very valuable, nuts n’ bolts conference for our industry. How does one get more information about becoming a sponsor and when can people start registering to attend the conference?

Marc Petock:  We have a lot of information about the Haystack Connect 2017 conference on our website All of the new sponsoring companies are well represented there with links to their own company websites, as well as information about becoming a Sponsor. We have expanded the levels of Sponsorships to accommodate the growing community interest in participating and expanded the space to accommodate the Vendor Showcase.

SinclairAnd registration? Is it open yet?

John Petze: Attendee Registration for Haystack Connect 2017 is now open and we have our “Early Bird” registration discount in effect now through January 31, 2017. To register online, everyone can go to There is also a link to make Hotel Reservations. Last time, with the huge turn-out we had, we did run out of rooms in the block we held, so make reservations early so we have time to add additional rooms.

SinclairJohn and Marc, thank you again for joining me today and allowing me to share these “Haystack Headlines” with everyone…

For more information about HC2017 or Project Haystack, please contact:
Robin Bestel, Haystack Connect 2017, Conference Manager
John Petze, Project Haystack, Executive Director, Principal, SkyFoundry
Marc Petock, Project Haystack, Secretary, Lynxspring, Inc.


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