Understanding and Procuring the Next New
How do we quickly understand, procure and make the Next New part of today's Smart Building User Experience?
Founder, Owner, Publisher AutomatedBuildings.com
How do we quickly understand, procure and make the Next New part of today's Smart Building User Experience?
From Monday Live - Video of our great discussion about Smart Building User Experience with Paul Maximuk from Newcomb & Boyd, LLP
Some of Paul's words from video
of the key things that we see all the time in our organization, when
we're working with clients, is not all the right people are at the
table. Typically, it's a group designated for user experience to solve
some of the use cases that they've developed. But they don't engage the
IT folks, which is a huge concern, because you're connecting to those
systems, you're bringing data from multiple sources that may already be
on the corporate network, may possibly be a cloud hosted solution,
could be something that may be a hybrid of both. And quite honestly,
it's too late in the game to bring the IT team to there after the fact.
So one of the key things that I would recommend, anytime you go on this
journey, when you're developing your use cases, when you're working for
your user experience, how you want to present that and connect all
these different systems is bring that engagement, make sure you have
solution architects, cybersecurity experts, your network engineering
teams involved as part of that day one discussion, because they are
really going to be able to point you in the right direction, especially
if you're doing this as an enterprise solution, as many of you may have
been involved with, with global departments. So that's the first step.
So one of the things that we start when you know, Danny is, as Ken
mentioned, Danny Walker was how to control what's going on. And we
talked about that smart building, building out that infrastructure,
building out that user experience, you know, working with the use cases
and what you're trying to achieve. The bottom line is, we're looking at
a lot of different types of information we have a lot of different
groups have different requirements. And really, we need to define those
and see how we can merge those things together and use those
technologies that are already on prem connected to your systems, such
as your BMS, you know your elevator, you know, your fire, protecting
all those core infrastructure systems, and then start bringing in other
systems that may include occupant experience, such as your spatial
utilization sensors, people counting, contactless security, entry into
the facility, elevator calls, turnstiles, where it starts to become a
seamless experience to that user. And that's really what we try to
drive to. We don't want people to have to think about how to use the
technology. We want the people to use that technology as an enabler to
solve day to day, you know, issues that you may have in, you know,
trying to get around, connect to meetings and so forth. So, I guess
let's start there. And I guess, let's start looking at answering maybe
some of the questions that you may have, or somebody may have. And then
I can go in deeper as you ask those questions.
Looking back to look forward
grew up in the industry in a time of rapid evolution in the Direct
Digital Control revolution, as a consultant working with a very enlighten
owner, we quickly
learn the we could not specify technology that was changing so rapidly
and had so many new dimension that we did not know what was available.
The technology was morphing to something new in the time the projects
took to complete. We need to adopt a just in time purchasing
policy completely independent from the long project time lines that
insured technology obsolescence.
The procurement process needed to educate us as well as insure we were
aware of the next new. We used a Request for Proposal (RFP) outlining
Mandatory Requirements and reason for procurement. This turned out to
be much harder that we had expected. Free of any technology what did we
want to achieve? We need to do all of what the technology of the day
was capable of so we need to interview our perceived leaders and
interviewed them and watched there demo and talked to their
understand their offering and pre qualify them for our RFP invitations.
very much believe this is the best way for our industry to move forward
with AI first and Mobile First thinking. I like to think of "AI" not so
much as Artificial Intelligence but Additional Intelligences making our
equations more real than artificial.
Using the RFP
of all, we call the systems, we were buying client comfort systems,
which was kind of unique. Secondly, we used a request for proposal
because the technology was changing so fast, we had no earthly idea
what we were buying. And then the next piece of this puzzle was
mandatory requirements. Based on on the
requirements and also interviewing of these new technology
companies and learning from them. Every time we went out for a
proposal. Then we basically took the good ideas from the last one made
the mandatory requirements stronger. That's how we grew the DDC
Western Canada. And it was a very significant change. We are at that
exactly at that same point in time, we need to grow up our requests for
proposals for these new systems trying to figure out what our mandatory
requirements are. That exercise will amaze you at how long it takes to
figure out with the client, the folks that are in the building,
everybody, what are the mandatory requirements? What is this this
system supposed to do? Is air quality, a big portion of it? All these
pieces have to be defined. What do we need to do with the
data, I think what we might find is our systems are being
designed from a technology point of view not user experience. We really
need to define
them from a customer client use.
When we brought in Our RFP for DDC, it was
like magic, and nobody could get their mind around it. This is exactly the same thing.
Artificial Intelligence, mobile first, all this stuff is, is a
technology that we know about, but we don't completely know, we don't design for it. First,
we don't make it part of our product, we don't make it part of our
sales pitches and our buildings. We need to, we need to change our whole approach, we
gotta learn how to Naviagate Next New and achieve our Mandatory Requirements
Having problems specifying rapidly evolving building automation? we have been here before this 20 year old article talks of our solutions which I feel are very relevant now.
The Request For Proposal (RFP) approach has been used by the
Information Technology (IT) industry for several years. This approach
allows the purchaser to focus on actual functional requirements rather
than being confused with the various technologies supplied by vendors.
Time is well-spent defining mandatory requirements and gives a clearer
understanding of how the technology will achieve our goals. Once
mandatory requirements and "nice to have" features are defined we can
send out a Request For Proposal to allow vendors using different
technologies to present proposals on how they will meet our
requirements as well as expounding on their ability to provide further
Article was up dated in 2020 Requesting Innovation Create your "Request for Proposal for Innovation" Innovation is a timeless ingredient, a necessary part of our successful transformation, needed now more than ever.
Selecting the Building Automation or Systems Integration Contractor
The process that we use involves a formal “Request for Proposals”
(RFP), allowing us to gather information and evaluate it in an
Qualification Process Flow:
- Develop a set of pre-qualification criteria and issue an RFP.
- Work with the owner and project team to identify a list of potential integrators who will receive the RFP.
- Issue the document to invited integrators.
- Respond to questions by integrators as required.
- Evaluate written results including references.
- Conduct interviews, tests and site visits.
- Provide scoring input and a full written on recommended approval of products and contractors.
always, if I stop talking about building automation, I get way more
reads. We had our article connected contractor driving and
dodging digital dinosaurs, posted on LinkedIn . As my daughter quips,
Jurassic times we call for drastic measures. If you remember in the
Jurassic period was when birds started learning how to fly and I think
maybe that's where we are as an industry. We're just starting to learn
how to fly. James Dice couldn't be with us today. Following some of his
stuff, and we were chatting back and forth about them. The Power of
windshield time. That was when you're trapped in a car with somebody
going somewhere and you have this amazing conversation because you have
their undivided attention 300 miles or something like that. We also
posted comments about when these dinosaurs hit the winshield they're
messy, there's some real, some real variances in thought these days, to
follow some of his thinking, some of these people because he has
actually a whole network of folks that are thinking quite differently,
and applied their thinking. And then the other one we did is, we posted
a need for AI first strategies. And the courses from our contributing
editor, Nicolas wrote about the AI age. AI is so powerful to
actually get it up there first in the design, because it radically
changes the design, just simplifies how things about the way things are
done, if we know how it's going to be used, even if maybe it's not even
artificial intelligence, maybe it's just added intelligence. Maybe that is what
AI stands for.
Navigating the next news, discover what the next new is, and how
we can best discover, understand and make it part of our next solution.
And how do we purchase what has not been invented yet? And how do we
navigate uncharted waters?
mobile first approach is, take our things that are really complex,
break them into small parts, and they make it do one thing. Example
indoor air quality, they don't have to look at the filters, they don't
have to look at whether the fans running backwards and any of that
complex stuff that's in our heads. What happens is our great wealth of
experience almost hamstrings us, or we basically, we've thought so much
we're unable to move. The young people come in, and they say, well, all
we want to do is measure the indoor air quality. I don't really want to
get involved in your complex systems. So by breaking it into pieces,
they make it simple. I think there wisdom in that approach. And that's
a lot of what I'm thinking navigating next new is.
complexity we have as we drag all of our technologies for the last 20
to 30 years with us, and the IT folks get to start with all brand new
stuff. So they can go really fast. And we have to go really slow. Our
approach is really complex, because we're supporting up to 15 systems
is not uncommon.
Bill thanks for the Kodak Moment.
your Kodak post "RIP Too Big to Change" reminded me I had occasion to
explain to my granddaughter why some of the older pictures were black
and white. We talked about the problems of early films/prints holding
their color which ended with a question, "Papa what is film?"
I needed to explain film/prints to her......hum well it was something like a memory card.
I did not know exactly the complicated photographic process or how to
explain film/printing easily to someone born connected and drawing
pictures on a tablet in color or taking them on her phone as her first
experience to image recording.
seemed Ok with the answer imagining that black and white film/printing
was the first kind of memory recording and at some time we were able to
do this in color.
The next question completely floored me
"Papa when did you first see color?"
Our technologies alter everyone's perception of the world.
we were able to capture and print color our recorded world was back and
white. The really old black and white movies she had seen proved that
our problem that we still see the world and try to explain it and
interface with it in only the technologies we understand? Just black
But the new born connected world is looking at everthng in color and our B&W message is confusing ?
Evolution is hard and learning how to fly even harder but we will do it or die trying.
Lets all champion change and talk only in a born connected color world.
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