February 2008

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Anto BudiardjoEMAIL INTERVIEW  Anto Budiardjo & Ken Sinclair

Anto Budiardjo is President & CEO of Clasma Events Inc., the organizer of BuilConn held annually in North America, Europe and Asia as part of Clasma’s ConnectivityWeek (www.ConnectivityWeek.com). ConnectivityWeek is a collection of conferences and tradeshows related to smart connected devices, regularly made up BuilConn (www.builconn.com), M2M Expo (www.m2mexpo.com), GridWise Expo (www.gridwiseexpo.com) and DRExpo (www.dr-expo.com)

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

BuilConn Santa Clara - “Empowering the Energy Revolution”

The challenges I hear now are: how to make this growth happen, how to improve business, reduce risk, find resources, and generally, how to deliver solutions to building owners.

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Sinclair: Tell me about BuilConn this year.

Budiardjo: BuilConn will be held as part of ConnectivityWeek in Santa Clara, May 20-22. This year we are looking forward to a major event focused on green energy; our theme is “Empowering the Energy Revolution”.

Sinclair: What’s in it for building automation players?

Budiardjo: In talking to many people around the country, I see a watershed occurring this year. We know technology is now available in many areas; we know the potential growth of green buildings in the U.S. and around the globe; and we also understand the drivers of growth for this industry is climate change. The challenges I hear now are: how to make this growth happen, how to improve business, reduce risk, find resources, and generally, how to deliver solutions to building owners.

Sinclair: We hear the same things; how will Santa Clara help my readers?

Budiardjo: Your readers need to understand that there are two ways to look at this opportunity: firstly, to view it as strictly a buildings issue and specifically from a building automation perspective. The second perspective is to understand the current challenges and opportunities from a broader basis – beyond commercial buildings. Doing just the former is an injustice to your readers as there are major trends that will affect many things from common technology, energy, business models and owners’ objectives.

Sinclair: We can’t just focus on building automation?

Budiardjo: I don’t think you can. Technology and energy are very significant subjects that touch almost everything we do; we look at the Santa Clara event as an intersection between IT, energy and facilities. In facilities, we also think we need to broaden the view to include residential and industrial.

Sinclair: Help my readers understand why they should come to Santa Clara.

Budiardjo: Let’s first focus on a building automation perspective. The key here is how buildings will participate in the new energy agenda being driven by the greening of the world. I often hear that people understand this concept but don’t know how it relates to them; some say that their customers are not asking for green while others can’t understand how to make money with green. In Santa Clara we will create conference and educational sessions to deal with this at three levels: firstly, a roundtable of building automation industry leaders will outline the bigger picture of this opportunity. Secondly, we will create educational sessions specifically for the building automation industry on how to participate and grow business around green energy. Lastly, we will offer content explicitly targeted at building owners and operators on opportunities to leverage building automation to achieve their green and sustainability objectives.

Sinclair: Are these all practical content and information?

Budiardjo: Yes, we intend to make this very practical; it’s time to stop talking and start doing!

Sinclair: What specifically will you cover in these sessions?

Budiardjo: This is still in development, though subjects will include DR (Demand Response); working with utilities and ISOs; ROI for building owners; specific how-to content for contractors and integrators; as well as explaining new technology applications and business models. We are working with many organizations from standards-centric like BACnet and LonMark to energy organizations like utilities, ISOs, the Department of Energy, and other DR related groups as well as thought leaders such as LBNL (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories), PNNL (Pacific Northwest National Laboratories), CEC (California Energy Commission), GridWise and others. The sessions will be rich in actionable content.

Sinclair: You mention an industry roundtable. What are the objectives here?

Budiardjo: You recall in 2006 we organized a major roundtable at the Palm Springs BuilConn (sponsored by Cisco); it brought together traditional and new vendors, consultants, owners and thought leaders to discuss the future of buildings. Think of the Santa Clara roundtable as a continuation of this important discussion, though in Santa Clara we will expand the participants to include many more IT players and owners, specifically from local and state governments and large corporate owners.

Sinclair: Explain why our readers should care about the broader view of ConnectivityWeek?

Budiardjo: This can be explained at a number of levels; let’s tackle technology first. As we use IP and other technologies that are common in the IT field, we find similarities between building automation and home automation, industrial automation, smart grid and other segments of industry. Here I’m talking strictly about technology, obviously the applications, route to market and issues can be very different. Many of the technology vendors we know have products that are applicable to many, if not all, of these areas.

This is a two-way street; having BuilConn collocated with other ConnectivityWeek events provides attendees with a view of technologies that are currently used in adjacent markets, while technology vendors from these other areas can better understand how their products and solutions can be applied to large building automation applications. We have received much positive feedback on this valuable interaction from past BuilConn events.

Sinclair: I understand the cross-fertilization of technology, what else?

Budiardjo: I would describe it as crosscutting issues, the main one being energy. Building owners can no longer look at buildings in isolation. From an enterprise perspective we know that corporations want to consider buildings as an integral part of their enterprise. From an energy perspective subjects such as Net-Zero buildings will require a holistic view of utilities and buildings. We also understand that IT departments are rapidly drawn into discussions on facilities, and specific subjects such as green data centers have a huge relevance to building automation. Lastly, the green and sustainability agenda is now top-of-mind with many corporations at the C-level (CEO, CIO, etc.); they will look at how to improve their business performance from supply-chain to marketing. More and more, green buildings are becoming a key component of their decision making process.

Sinclair: There are many conferences these days, how is BuilConn different?

Budiardjo: From the start, BuilConn has focused on the future direction of the industry by providing tangible information relevant to move the industry forward. I know many events focused on specific subjects of technology or perspective, and none of them can illustrate the opportunities as well as BuilConn can. We increasingly get a new breed of owners who come to BuilConn; they understand their future needs and look to the speakers and sponsors of BuilConn to provide them answers.

Sinclair: And the location in Silicon Valley?

Budiardjo: The venue will bring a significant number of new audiences from California, people and companies who care about technology and energy. I don’t know any other venue that can do this other than in the heart of High-Tech.

Sinclair: How can my readers find out more?

Budiardjo: Visit www.builconn.com over the next few weeks as the agenda develops. To get on our mailing list, visit www.clasma.com/list. One other resource to see the big ConnectivityWeek picture is this brochure

For more insight read my February article The Energy Revolution is Here!  Let’s understand something: The Energy Revolution is happening around us, it is starting right now, not by this author, not by Al Gore, not by environmentalists, but by the realities of the changing energy paradigm. 


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