March 2018

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Pat TessierEMAIL INTERVIEWPat Tessier and Ken Sinclair

Pat Tessier, Global Offering Leader, Honeywell Building Solutions

Based in Minnesota, Pat Tessier is the global director of marketing for HVAC in Honeywell Building Solutions. Pat has more than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial controls with numerous granted patents. Pat holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

Integrating ComfortPoint Open with Niagara 4

While the concept of smart buildings is nothing new, buildings’ potential is evolving and growing due to IoT connectivity, which centers on the fundamental notion of connectivity between everything, from infrastructure to devices. 

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Sinclair I understand Honeywell Building Solutions (HBS) is now integrating its ComfortPoint Open family of controllers with the Tridium Niagara 4 building management platform. What’s the big deal? Don’t these sorts of integrations happen all the time?

Tessier:  This is the first time we’re offering an end-to-end open Niagara 4 (N4) building management system. N4 is an open framework powering the Internet of Things in many buildings today, and now we can bring it to a broader base of buildings, thanks to the integration with the ComfortPoint Open (CPO) family of BACnet-based controllers.

“Open” is really the key word here, and why this is so notable for buildings, as well as the general contractors and consultants who work with these buildings. The integration between N4 and CPO is truly open, with open tools to promote optimal service. That means that we now provide the Niagara licensing and keys to protect building automation systems and allow open service using the Niagara Workbench. We make the integrated solution support files and license keys available so facility managers can meet and manage their open service needs.

SinclairWhy is having a serviceable open system important, and what expectations does it reflect?

Tessier:  Our customers in the buildings space expect open systems based on open communication protocols, like BACnet, for simplified integration and interoperability. And they expect this also to cover the interchangeability of their system controllers, so they can easily add and expand their systems, regardless of manufacturers.

To be truly open, systems must also provide access to open tools that give customers more flexibility in programming and service. This means going beyond proprietary tool software to provide more open options. The open Niagara framework on which N4 is based provides open tools to meet these open service needs across a variety of Niagara and BACnet communicating products and solutions offered by many BMS providers.

This integration truly expands what customers, general contractors and consultants can access when building out integrated, connected building environments, which is only continuing to accelerate in our current Internet of Things (IoT) reality. Customers now have the freedom to choose the best open solution and service provider and partner for updates and expansions.

Sinclair Let’s talk more about the concept of IoT in the buildings space. How does this integration support advancing IoT connectivity in buildings?

Tessier:  While the concept of smart buildings is nothing new, buildings’ potential is evolving and growing due to IoT connectivity, which centers on the fundamental notion of connectivity between everything, from infrastructure to devices. The N4-CPO integration is a necessary element to fuel this continued advancement as more and more “things” become connected.

Whether you manage, own, service or specify a building, you want to know that the IoT-connected technologies you’re using are going to work more seamlessly and be more easily serviceable so you can get the most out of your building. Tridium has already proven what the Niagara framework can achieve in terms of connecting people to devices and systems, and the integration of the CPO family of BACnet-based controllers solidifies the fact that virtually no system or subsystem gets left behind as buildings evolve and become more connected.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Sinclair Tell me more about who benefits most from this integration, and why.

Tessier:  Aside from the general benefits of having a connected building, which can extend to owners, occupants and anyone else who interacts with a building, this is really a boon for contractors, because Honeywell is making the “keys to service” available to customers, making it a truly open, end-to-end system—no special, proprietary tools are required.

For owners and operators of both new and existing buildings, this extends the boundaries of open integration and the potential benefits, including better energy management, more efficient operations, and streamlined service, enabling them to choose how they manage and meet their open service needs. We are providing more freedom and flexibility with how, and if, they choose to pursue third-party integrations and interoperability.

Sinclair The word “open” gets used a lot, but it sounds like the definition is more nuanced. How can someone tell if they’re using a truly open building management system?

Tessier:  “Open” is a frequently used word, but the key factor is the service tool. Is it proprietary or truly open, meaning anyone can use it? To determine if a system is truly open, one should contact their building management system provider, or preferred service provider, who can provide access to and review the operator interface, permissions needed and licensing behind it. That license will reveal if a system includes open service tools. If they’re not open, it’s time to take steps to ensure they are.


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