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Interview - February 2003
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EMAIL INTERVIEW  Anto Budiardjo & Ken Sinclair

Anto BudiardjoBuilConn™ 2003 Update

Anto Budiardjo is President of Clasma, Inc., the marketing and conference company organizing the BuilConn 2003 in Dallas on April 23-25, 2003 (www.builconn.com).

Anto Budiardjo is also the spokesperson for the recently formed Council of Advanced Building Systems.

Please send comments and questions to antob@clasma.com.


Sinclair: Please tell me how things are going with BuilConn.

Budiardjo: We are very pleased with the progress; delegates are registering, vendors are taking expo booths and sponsorship positions, and we have a very strong and varied agenda focused at building integration professionals. We are also very happy with the wide support we are getting from the industry—experts from key areas are being very proactive in their support for this initiative.

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Sinclair: Give me an example of the support you are receiving.

Budiardjo: The Advisory Board is aggressively pushing the envelope. Not only do they want to ensure a successful BuilConn event, they want to leverage BuilConn in a way that will help the industry improve itself. The announcement made during the Chicago AHR Expo is a major achievement for those interested in advancing building systems.

Sinclair: Please tell the readers about the announcement.

Budiardjo: It’s about the creation of the Council of Advance Building Systems whose mission is to provide objective, unbiased coordination, communication and education on the value of advanced building systems. It was unanimously agreed that this type of information source is a critical missing element in the industry. The activities of the Council will transform the way owners, operators and consultants view the building systems industry.

Sinclair: Tell me specifically what the council intends to do.

Budiardjo: As members of the industry, we all know that the installation of integrated, networked systems—what the Council calls “Advanced Building Systems”—costs more than traditional “dumb” systems. Building owners, on the other hand, do not see the value of advanced buildings and are more than willing to pay for the lower costs of “dumb” systems. Only manufacturers and technologists are trying to prove the value of the pricier advanced building system, and this persuasion is normally tied to a sales pitch of their own product or technology. Owners get tired of sales pitches.

The Council will drive educational and marketing campaigns designed to communicate to owners, operators, consultants, architects and others the intrinsic value of advanced building systems—value the end user will be able to translate directly to improved return on investment.

Sinclair: Sounds like a marketing campaign.

Budiardjo: One of the Council members used the analogy of the diary farmers banding together to increase the value of dairy products. The result is the famed “Got Milk” marketing campaign that increased the awareness of their product. All manner of stakeholders in that industry contributed to that campaign, the reputation of the industry got a significant boost and everybody benefited. So, yes, it is mainly marketing.

Reliable ControlsSinclair: It sounds like an expensive proposition.

Budiardjo: It’s clear that the industry is clamoring to increase its value proposition to owners. Because this initiative is not technology- or manufacturer-biased everyone can benefit, and thus many players in the industry should be able to justify a contribution. The audience, especially consultants, engineers and architects are also committed to increase the value of their services and should be able to be engaged in this campaign.

While the initiative is being driven by the Advisory Board made up primarily of integrators, this effort will include coordination with other players in the industry such as manufacturers, technologists, media, distribution, wholesalers, as well as the various consulting communities.

Sinclair: How does this relate to BuilConn?

Budiardjo: BuilConn gathers the practitioners of the industry, specifically integrators and vendors on a platform that is unbiased to technology or product. What will come out of BuilConn is an industry that is coordinated with the value proposition it provides. That is the very message that is required for the Council to deliver in the campaign I spoke about earlier.

Sinclair:  BuilConn is therefore a key part of the process.

Budiardjo: Exactly, Ken. Without BuilConn there is no single message and more importantly, without the Council no one can have the credibility to talk about the issue in an objective manner.

Sinclair: So, being part of BuilConn is very important for an involvement.

Budiardjo: You need to look at BuilConn as not just another conference or tradeshow. That’s why we called it the “Building Connections Forum”. It is a critical forum for the industry to define its purpose and its value proposition to the customer base. If you are a player in this industry and wish to contribute, BuilConn and the further activities of the Council is where you can make your voice heard.

Sinclair: How does someone become a member of this Council? Can anyone join?

Budiardjo: We ultimately desire a wide participation in this campaign, but the Council has a lot of basic work to do between now and April, which is when the plans of the Council will be unveiled at BuilConn. In the meantime, if someone feels strongly they can contribute to the definition of how the council will be organized they should contact me as the spokesperson (email antob@clasma.com). We have a lot of work to do, volunteers are welcome.

Control Solutions, Inc Sinclair: Give me an indication of some specific activities of the Council.

Budiardjo: Ken, these are early days, but one thing that’s being talked about is a regional seminar series where we take the message (as defined at BuilConn) to the consulting and end user communities. The likelihood is this will happen in the fall of 2003.

Sinclair: How does this initiative relate to other associations such as CABA?

Budiardjo: The Council intends to involve many associations and bodies in its activities. I had a chance to speak with CABA, BMA and LonMark who are all very keen to work with the Council. There are many other associations in HVAC, security, lighting, IT, FM as well as owner organizations who the Council intends to invite to be part of this exciting campaign.

Sinclair: Sounds like all of this can be of great benefit to the industry.

Budiardjo: We believe so Ken. First priority is to get to BuilConn; integrators, contractors and dealers are invited to not only attend to learn about integration and advanced building systems, but more importantly to be in the driving seat of how the industry moves forward.

Sinclair: I see that you have some incentives for that group.

Budiardjo: Yes, individuals working for integrators, contractors and dealer organizations are provided with complimentary accommodation, as well as an additional $200 discount if three or more attend from one company. Finally, readers of AutomatedBuildings.com are provided with an additional $150 discount if they use the promotional code AB250W. But they better hurry, the free hotel rooms will run out soon.

Sinclair: Thanks for the update.

Budiardjo: My pleasure Ken, and thanks for your support in this project.


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