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changing collaborative connection communities

This is all important discussion needed in the necessary disruption that is driving our changing collaborative connection communities.
Ken Sinclair
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changing collaborative connection communities

In the last chapter in our story of our DX (Digital Transformation), entitled,  Edge-ifcation in the Era of Connection

Started with,  Together we are starting an interesting, important discussion and – to one degree or another – participating in the necessary disruption that is driving that transformation,

And ends with. That is all we do, connect things to things, so we created the first ever Connection Community Collaboratory.  Please come and join the discussion of industry leaders in Atlanta at AHRExpo and help us better define our human role in the connected-building era.  Exploring Our Human Connection: 7th Annual Connection Community Collaboratory

We are all part of several connection communities but the collaborative reorganization of our existing and the creation of new ones is now foremost on all our minds, so I want to pick up where our last chapter left off with the interesting, important discussion.

Why do we need to Change? Here is some big picture advice of our connection communities failures with amazing resources on how to change from Harbor Research,


Today, platforms for the Internet of Things are still a kludgy collection of yesterday’s technology and architectures that do not address the most basic development challenges. Even though many companies are telling fantastic IoT marketing stories about what their solutions can do, you wouldn’t know it from today’s fragmented collection of incomplete platforms, narrow point-solutions, and software incompatibility.

We need better software to empower users and developers to exploit the vast potential of the Internet of Things.


I recommend you download the 19 page PDF for a big picture read,

Opens with


A new generation of pervasive computing systems and information architecture that when combined with artificial intelligence, machine learning and Internet of Things technologies are breaking away from today’s information, computing and telecom (ICT) paradigms to enable intelligent real-world physical systems to be integrated onto networks and the data from machines, sensors, video streams, maps, people, news feeds and more to become an integral part of all information systems. This new paradigm is driving all information systems and, more importantly, their interactions towards real-time, state-based, context sensitive capabilities that integrate people, processes, physical equipment and knowledge to enable collective awareness and better decision making.


The key to accessing and leveraging the data necessary to inform new applications in a data-services economy is the formation of collaborative communities which bring complimentary systems, players and data streams together to benefit diverse users.  Ecosystems, collaborative communities and new value networks will be self-organized by people who are motivated to explore and develop ideas they care deeply about.

New technologies to enable collaborative innovation will extend beyond ideas about new products and new services to the very manner in which business is conducted.  Open collaborative communities and ecosystems will be designed and driven by many diverse and often unfamiliar stakeholders and businesses; what we like to call “strange bedfellows.”  The era of “flying solo” is over. The drive to partner with emergent start-ups and developer communities presents enormous cultural challenges to product OEMs that have built monolithic after-market monitoring, services and parts businesses based on closed, proprietary “command and control” technologies.

Platform business models that creatively combine elements of dis-intermediation, new relationships, shifting profit pools, new recurring services, customer transparency or other maneuvers are all disrupting existing business and operating models - just consider the scale and impact of technology-based platform models like Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

OK, that is the big picture but what do our smart automated building collaborative connection communities look like and how are they collaborating and connecting the communities of change?

This article asks the question while providing some answers to that question,

Is our industry Building-IoT ready?  How Amazon, Google, and Apple will change building automation for years to come.  - Pook-Ping Yao, CEO, Optigo Networks

Acuity’s a lighting company. They acquired Distech, DGLogik, and Lucid. Within two years, they went from a traditional, metal and lightbulbs company to a force to be reckoned with. The company now brings digitalization to lighting and building automation systems, with visualization, analytics, and the cloud. 

Siemens, one of the traditional big four, is also shifting into this B-IoT space. They’ve gone on a huge buying spree in recent months, acquiring J2 Innovations, Enlighted, and Comfy. These companies “wake up” our brick and mortar buildings at every level — from the framework and analytics to all the bits in between that keep us comfortable.

Companies like Acuity and Siemens don’t want to get left behind by disruptors of the new age. These acquisitions are their insurance against obsolescence.

This interview of industry experts follows up with the fact changes are being made in the BACnet connection community,

The Future of BACnet  The BAS industry is at a turning point, with IP connectivity shifting the way we see our brick and mortar buildings. Pook-Ping Yao and Monica McMahen, Optigo Networks

Pook-Ping Yao:  Well, I’m very excited by the new updates coming out with BACnet Secure Connect. It’s going to address issues of authentication and encryption, and it’s going to better align with IT security standards. I think this will help make BACnet devices more secure, but it will also make it a lot easier for IT and OT teams to work together. Suddenly there’s common ground, a common vocabulary that we can come together on. I think there’s still a lot of progress that can be made in BACnet, and especially in educating the community, but this is a big step for the protocol.

Then we have Haystack a newer connection communities collaboration with ASHRAE BACnet

Last April Project Haystack entered into a formal collaboration to integrate Haystack tagging and Brick data modeling concepts into the proposed ASHRAE Standard 223P for semantic tagging of building data. For more read this update

Project Haystack Update  There are several exciting happenings and events taking place with Project Haystack. - John Petze, Executive Director, Marc Petock, Secretary, Project Haystack

This coupled with major movement from the platform people,

Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins Platform  Could Disrupt Cloud Computing for the Building IoT - James McHale, Managing Director, Memoori 

In buildings, physical structures intersect with complex systems, which in turn interact with one another. Smart buildings have brought another layer to these facilities, a plethora of sensors and intelligent solutions that support the unique objectives of each building. All of this interacts with the dynamic element of people who occupy and visit the facility. Modeling such a complex environment is a challenge but unlocks a wide range of potential benefits for our buildings.

The digital twin is not new to Azure either. In fact, many companies have been building their own versions of digital twins on the Azure cloud service for years. Those third party versions consistently struggled to scale, however, which is what makes this announcement so exciting. The Internet of Things has opened up a huge market for cloud services, but Microsoft faces stiff competition from the likes of Oracle and Amazon. By offering an off-the-shelf digital twin capability like this, Microsoft may have found a “killer app” that will draw a significant portion of the market to standardize their entire Building IoT workloads on Azure.

New connection communities are evolving, what is
the new deal?

Discussion from this new deal interview speaks to the changes needed,

Anto Budiardjo:  What advice would you give readers on making the most of Facility IT?

Nicolas Waern:  The best option in this turbulent world is to take the right decisions. The second best option is to take the wrong decisions. And the third is to take no decision at all.

I think it really depends on who the reader is and what they want to achieve. Again, don’t focus on technology but rather give it a benefit-driven, outside-in approach. The outside-in perspective is crucial in today's environment, and companies will have a much better chance of making the most of Facility IT also thinking about product market fit from the get-go. Focus on doing the right things is more important than doing things right.
I am also a bit worried that this becomes an IT issue which is definitely wrong on all accounts. This needs to be connected to a strategic issue on the highest level where close interdisciplinary interaction, with a focus on action, is the key. IT should be seen as an enabler, with business as the driver.

My final advice to everyone in this industry is to stop talking about technology, focus on the why, get buy-in at the higher levels, and plot out a course to truly leverage all that Facility IT has to offer.

Communities of master connection contractors "Data Architects" are evolving,

Survey Results on the Role of a Master Systems Integrator

“The Systems Integrator market is bifurcated today between experts in IT and experts in building systems, but the opportunity to bring these skill-sets together is enormous,” said Casey Talon, Research Director at Navigant Research. “Real estate owners are poised to make major investments in smart building technologies and they are looking for resources with scale and multi-dimensional skill-sets that can manifest and support their strategy and vision. A new breed of Master Systems Integrators may just be the link between vision and reality that the market needs.”

This online interview provides insight into the change

Scott gives us an update on Master Systems Integrators and how their businesses are expanding; yet, their hardware sales are down. You need to listen why! Next, a review of innovative technology: AI and Indoor Positioning Sensing, and last but not least, a preview of Controls-Con 2019.

This is all important discussion needed in the necessary disruption that is driving our changing collaborative connection communities.


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