May 2004  

Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Editorial Comments by Ken Sinclair

May 2004 &

letters to editor

Wow, last month Automated Logic got gobbled up by Carrier / United Technologies and this month it is Andover's turn to get gobbled by Schneider Electric. Last year TAC was also gobbled up by Schneider Electric plus, Novar of the United Kingdom acquired Alerton. What does this all mean? Change in our industry is constant. I am sure this is all for the best, although I feel that we will all miss the innovation that these companies provided to our industry. It does tell me that what we are doing is becoming main stream plus very global and that web ways and the importance of controlling the new wave of the converging real time data with our existing clients' enterprise is not going un-noticed by the major players. The purchase the industry leaders' client base is well understood as the quickest way to move into a new industry. I feel that the games have just begun and the independent companies have a clear message that if you provide comprehensive powerful integration solutions and assemble a strong client base someone will likely buy you out. This keeps the pressure on us all to innovate and keep the creative juices flowing.

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Securing Buildings News

With Andover Controls, Schneider Electric will expand its security capabilities and benefit from a platform well suited for expansion in electronic security, which is a € 20 billion market growing by 7% a year. Last year when Schneider took over TAC the market was estimated at €11 billion, growing on average by more than 6% a year. Our markets in all areas are rapidly expanding and globalization is upon us.

Our last month's article LonWorks and BACnet Solution on a Chip was extremely well read and created a lot interest. This month Waking Up to Wireless points out that this new approach will add even more fuel to the fire. Exciting times and a great time to be in the news business. 

I finally got around to updating our Education tab. Although it had many broken links I was pleased that most of the core messages where still true and I was able to provide linkage to more online information. I was prompted to get at this when someone thanked me at BuilConn for providing this education reference service and said that he had all new employees spend a few days poking at the section just to get a overview of what our industry is all about.

Now if I can only convince the new kids reorganizing their company web sites with active server pages and flash to not break the original links to their valuable information. I cringe at the loss of impact of some of the several year old web sites being reorganization by those not understanding the power of existing related links. Be sure to read our updateA great link connected to our training links is Lighting Controls Industry Offers On-line Education which provides insight and valuable information to radical changes in lighting control. Be sure to check out our other valuable training links.

Check out Events CalendarBuilConn Europe and LonWorld® 2004 Shanghai, China have been added and we are media sponsors of both.

Our May issue marked the 5th year or the 20th net year anniversary of In a web world a multiplier of 4 is often used to convert to net years. Net years are felt to be necessary as quarterly reviews in lieu of annual reviews are required because web dynamics are such that an annual review only could prove disastrous. The growth and direction changes of our web site provide us with constant amazement. Our 40 plus advertisers allow us to assemble and host our web site providing the industry with resources and informations from an army of authors who monthly create our incredibly fresh content which is provided free to the industry. Every article, interview, news release, new product, review, and link has been archived. This provides an evolutionary record of our rapidly changing industry with quick access to 20 net years of information, easily accessed from our site search engine.

Thank you advertisers, contributing editors, industry authors and of course all of you our readers for your ongoing support of our monthly online resource and magazine. Last month marked our best month ever. Our March statistics indicate an estimated 39,424 sessions served, and our readers came from 17,141 unique IP addresses. This represents well over 10,000 hours a month of one-on-one online industry interactions. Approximately 18% of our readers are not from North America indicating the global interest in Building Automation and Intelligent Buildings.

It seems that our industry's news just keep flowing at an incredible rate. This month big news is Carrier: To Acquire Automated Logic  I spoke to Gerry Hull, Chief Executive Officer of Automated Logic and he assures me that all is well and Automated Logic will stay in tack, plus he has agreed to stay on for four years. The entire ALC management team will remain in place as part of the plan so we should be in for some more interesting times.  ALC and Carrier have agreed their future is in continuing ALC's R&D program.  Their focus will be on technology and innovation.  I am sure we will have more on this subject as it unfolds. The big players are starting to take notice of the Automated Buildings enterprise convergence revolution/evolution. 

Also big news is Al Mouton's article which states "Simply by loading different firmware into the device the node will communicate on BACnet and/or LonWorks networks. "This is truly an exciting offering for the industry.  It is estimated that the cost will be between 15 and 20 US dollars and product and tools will be available sometime during the fourth quarter this year."  LonWorks and BACnet System Solution on a Chip  LOYTEC/Cimetrics: BACnet / EIA-709 Controller   This marks the end of the protocol war and heralds the start of commodity based open systems. And of course we also have the change in leadership of oBIX - Toby Considine – Technology Officer for Facility Services at the University of North Caroline is to become the new chairman and CABA: To Transfer oBIX™ Governance. Want some great points of view from the industry?  Read this month's interviews. Wow it is a great time to be in the news business!

We are just back from BuilConn and pleased to report that the BuilConn feeling just keeps Building. Before the event I wrote “All of us are very excited about where BuilConn 2004 may lead us and what new vibrations and feelings will be transferred to the industry." Well I for one was not disappointed, nor were the folks I convinced to attend. The co-location of the M2M Expo (Machine To Machine Expo) proved to be a dynamite combination. It became obvious that we have been in the M2M business for years but just never looked at ourselves that way. The M2M folks bring new ideas and products to propel our industry forward, and are a great addition to our community. Lots of things happened at BuilConn this year including the first ever "CABA Intelligent Building Ranking Tool Workshop/Forum". It was a great meeting of minds. See my review BuilConn Feeling Keeps Building.

 The industry that plays together stays together. Leighton Wolffe's, Director, Energy Partner Program, WebGen Systems, idea of putting together an Interoperability Blues Band was a great success and provided a forum never seen before for the industry to interact. See my review and listen to and watch the short video clip.

My feature article Connecting the Dots Surrounding XML / Web Services was written for print for Engineered System before BuilConn so does not include the new info covered in my review.

Lots of great articles, interviews and reviews this month.

Lots of new global events; check out our Events Calendarsection to see how they will benefit you. Thanks to all Our Sponsors for allowing us to provide our industry online information service to you for free.

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