BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
Much is happening in the world of LONMARK International. We are reaching out to new markets, looking for new collaborative efforts, and employing new tools to do so. We are utilizing social networking outlets and online collaboration tools to introduce a series of new programs to make it even easier to learn, contribute, and benefit from membership and industry involvement. Below is a summary of some of our new and ongoing initiatives focused on broadening the adoption of LONMARK International’s open interoperable standards:
The LONMARK International Marketing Committee
is a dedicated group of members exploring a wide variety of creative marketing
avenues for promoting and gaining adoption of the LONWORKS® platform. We are
very excited about the response and involvement of this new committee and
already we are seeing great ideas and plans. Many of the upcoming LONMARK
campaigns and activities seen in the coming weeks and months will be a direct
result of the creative and strategic accomplishments of our member-driven
The new LONMARK International Lighting Advisory Committee was launched in May 2009 with members stemming from a wide variety of players including utilities, manufacturers of lighting devices and systems, integrators, and industry consultants. This committee is working towards open standards using LONWORKS platform and how we might help save energy for both indoor and outdoor lighting systems through the use of intelligent controls. To see the latest news and activities of the LONMARK International Lighting Advisory Committee, please visit http://www.lonmark.org/connection/solutions/lighting/.
The LONMARK Americas Career Center continues to be an excellent resource for the intelligent buildings and environments industry. Here hiring managers will find relevant applicants with who possess the distinctive skills specific to the buildings industry while job seekers can create a professional presentation of their qualifications and quickly find relevant industry job listings. The LONMARK Americas Career Center is free for job seekers, and job advertisement rates are priced extremely competitively. For more information, visit http://www.lonmarkamericas.org/7_Career_home.html.
A LONMARK International Blog is now available where members and non-members have the ability to see short news items, post suggestions, share ideas, work on standards, propose new work items, and network with others. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts and ideas at http://blog.lonmark.org/.
Live Online Training Classes and Webinars will be offered to anyone anywhere in the world using online meeting tools. This new program is in beta test now and we expect that it will be very effective in providing core educational information about the LONWORKS platform. Our current training classes will be offered as well as new educational seminars to a much broader market. We believe one of our core responsibilities is to educate people on the value and benefits of LONWORKS platform, and the capabilities of our members’ products and services along with understanding the core technology that powers LONMARK International’s open systems.
The LONMARK International Magazine is going digital – and green - and we will soon be delivering our magazine right to your in-box as a fully online, searchable, linkable publication. Not receiving the LONMARK International Magazine? Sign up for a free subscription at http://www.lmimagazine.com/subscribe.php.
U.S. Smart Grid Road Map and LONWORKS
The U.S. government is in the process of defining the roadmap for the U.S. smart grid which can potentially affect anyone doing work in the building controls business as well as every aspect of the controls market including commercial, residential, and industrial projects. Part of the effort NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology) has been assigned is to develop the list of standards to be included in this roadmap, of which the LONWORKS platform is now a part as a result of passionate member support and the active involvement of LONMARK International since the project’s launch in 2007.
The focus of the near-term efforts at NIST are to identify applications and standards that are available today to modernize the grid. Another emphasis is to identify areas where standards are lacking and start working to fill the gaps in order to move quickly to an interoperable smart grid.
LONMARK International, its affiliate organizations, and its members have been extremely active in identifying where the LONWORKS platform can be used to make the grid smart. Now that the roadmap is out for comment, according to the U.S. Federal Register notice, the LONMARK International community is working diligently to ensure that it makes sense for the country and that LONWORKS networking standards are represented in the areas we know it can benefit. After all, there are tens of millions of electric meters installed today with LONWORKS technology and roughly 100 million devices in total with LONWORKS technology inside—a pretty good start. For the latest news on this initiative, please visit the LONMARK International Energy Solutions page: http://www.lonmark.org/energy.
Continuing ISO/IEC Standards Activities
Now that the core protocol and several transmission media are ISO/IEC standards (ISO/IEC 14908-1,2,3,4) the next phase of our efforts focus on the higher layers of LONWORKS platform and the LONMARK International Guidelines. The device interface definitions and the LONMARK International profiles, 14908-5 and -6, are clearly defined and are going through the process now and we expect them to make their way through the standards process in the next year. The end goal is a comprehensive set of technologies, implementation guidelines, and documentation that allows anyone to openly and interoperably implement a LONWORKS technology solution anywhere in the world.
Navigating through the standards process from association work to national standards body to international standards body can take many years. In the case of the LONWORKS platform, LONMARK International has been working on this process for most of its existence starting in 1994. For 15 years, efforts to get the LONWORKS platform to become an international standard have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless man hours by staff and member volunteers to get to where we are today. Once a technology becomes an international standard though, the process is not complete. Some say the hardest part then begins – the broad worldwide adoption of the technical standard as an “industry standard”. Very often a technology that successfully makes its way through the standards process never becomes an industry standard and falls away. There are many reasons that this can happen: obsolescence, lack of industry support, lack of marketing and promotion are but a few.
Our members and the industry agree that the LONWORKS platform is very much a viable industry standard and is more prevalent today than any time in the past. With the need for more energy efficiency and more intelligent systems, it offers something unique and beneficial for many markets. And now that the LONWORKS platform is an international standard, our efforts are redoubled to inform the market of the value and benefits of this great technology. Our success is based upon the solid technical foundation, the openness of the technology, and the extremely strong support of our members.
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