January 2006

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There are new kids on the block......... and they are giants!

......... and they are giants!

Ken Sinclair, AutomatedBuildings.com

As published

January Issue - Column 

In last month's column "Guess Who is coming to Dinner?" I promised to provide more information about the impact of Cisco and HP at BuilConn Europe.

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These are new kids to our industry but are well known giants in the IT industry. Collectively they have decided that the time is now right to help us get on with our convergence struggle. This is great news because it shows that our industry has matured to a point that interest in us is very high by those outside.

Below I have extracted from Anto’s BuilConn Reports on Cisco and HP in Amsterdam.

A report on Cisco’s message at BuilConn Europe 2005
Anto Budiardjo – President & CEO Clasma Events Inc.
Email: antob@clasma.com – Phone: +1(972) 865-2231

The message from Cisco at BuilConn Europe is that the building automation convergence Decision Zone is now upon us. The growth of IP controls is poised to dramatically accelerate in the next few years. Robbert Kuppens, EMEA Managing Director of Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, in his Keynote presentation in Amsterdam, November 9, declared that in a similar way the PBX industry reached the decision zone around 2002, the BAS market is now at this point in what they call a “Decision Zone”.

Those unfamiliar with the evolution of IP-based PBX (Private Branch Exchange, commonly referred to as VoIP) will appreciate that in the 80’s and 90’s most PBX’s used a proprietary technology called TDM (Time Division Multiplexing). PBX’s these days are predominantly IP based, and Cisco was one of the leading players that enabled and grew the IP-based PBX market.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Cisco quotes ARC Advisory Group data on the above. The group states, “As BAS become part of a much larger IT infrastructure, customers are increasingly demanding a scaleable capability to connect, monitor, integrate and control functions in a single building, groups of buildings or even entire cities”. The ARC Advisory Group further states, “The BAS industry has come to realize that the convergence of BAS (Building Automation System) and IT and the growing demand to share information between systems offers a tremendous opportunity, which is rapidly becoming a requirement”.


HP’s message at BuilConn  First of all, IP is the enabler for HP’s interest in buildings; without IP-centric solutions, buildings would not be part of the enterprise picture, not part of the integrated corporate network. IT Systems Integrators thrive on IP and the data standards revolving around it. To sum this up, John’s comment is, “The future is IP everywhere”. If you’ve been around IT consultants at all you know that they are driven by ROI, it is ROI that they use to justify their services, and in buildings this is no different. In what is probably the most valuable slide, John presented the ROI proposition that HP together with their partner Cisco have evolved in delivering ROI to building owners.

While optimization and reduction of costs is part of this ROI picture, the most valuable is the top left, the ability of intelligence in buildings to generate incremental revenue for the building owner. This became one of the key discussion points throughout BuilConn in Amsterdam. How can we shift the focus from saving costs (with its finite scope) to generating new and increased value, which is not limited? Other ROI areas include hard issues such as health and safety--something we all know about--to the softer (but nonetheless important) area of ‘the wow factor’ - providing the best in class environment for the building occupants.


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