June 2009

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240 And Counting…

The number of speakers at ConnectivityWeek has now surpassed the total number of attendees at the first BuilConn.

 

Anto Budiardjo
President & CEO,
Clasma Events Inc.

Contributing Editor  

 

At Clasma, we passed a milestone today. The number of speakers at ConnectivityWeek has now surpassed the total number of attendees at the first BuilConn, which itself was a huge success!

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What does this mean?

It means that all of the issues, vision and work that has been undertaken over the past few years is starting to bear fruit, in a much bigger context of energy, information technology and the broadest range of building stakeholders.

The breadth of speakers this year is also inspiring. Major IT companies including Microsoft, Sun, Google, Cisco, Intel join industry heavyweights and influencers such as Bob Metcalfe (inventor of the Ethernet) to hammer the message to the IT community that they should wake up to this enormous opportunity around energy and facilities. This has been the prediction by many since the first BuilConn, and it’s now front and center of the opportunities and economic recovery of Silicon Valley, California and the USA.

Of course, the energy players are there in force. Speakers from all of the Californian utilities will talk about their implementation of smart meters; a Smart Grid 101 workshop will teach attendees the scope of Smart Grid; there is a discussion about Cloud computing in the Smart Grid context; and an update from NIST and GridWise on the Interoperability Roadmap being delivered to the U.S. Congress.

Technology leaders from IP, OPC, ZigBee, BACnet and a dozen other groups are also speaking at many of ConnectivityWeek’s 25 tracks over the four days of conference. So are Data Center experts on the future of green data centers, and their relevance to energy and Smart Grid.

New areas including connected electric vehicles (EV), with speakers from vendors as well as utilities and other experts. Also with a strong showing at ConnectivityWeek are home automation experts, ranging from service providers (ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.) and in-home connectivity technologies such as ZigBee, HomePlug, HomeGrid and others.

Industrial automation is also strong this year. With OPC and ISA fully supporting the event, covering a range of subjects from OPC UA education, to convergence of Automation and IT as well as future view of manufacturing and energy / Smart Grid.

Cyber security is a big issue today, as many more connected and smart devices are installed in buildings, homes and the grid. There is a legitimate concern that they provide opportunities for breaches, so, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon’s SEI/CERT, a full day track was organized on this key topic.

What has this got to do with Buildings?

If you consider all of the above subjects, while it may not be obvious at first glance, all of the automation systems at ConnectivityWeek have two key points of relevance to building automation.

Reliable Controls Firstly, much of the technologies, standards and products/services being used by most of the discussions at ConnectivityWeek are Internet based, which is the same as what will become the norm in building automation. It is also obvious to anyone who gets the whole view of these issues, that there is a great deal of the technologies that are very relevant to building automation. This is the same thing as saying that the email and web protocols used by corporation executives today are basically the same as the technologies used by a teenager with Facebook. The relevance is strong and will impact building automation significantly.

Secondly, almost all of the areas covered at ConnectivityWeek have direct end-user impact to buildings. Consider data centers that are in buildings, consider electric vehicles that are parked [parking garages] in buildings, and of course the Smart Grid is hugely tied to building automation via Demand Response. Home systems are also relevant as there is an increasing number of mixed use facilities being built as the population moves to urban areas. Emergency management is also highly relevant to how a building relates to the environment around it.

Reinvention

So all of this points to one thing, that the building automation industry will start to change significantly over the coming years, as has been predicted by many writers on this site and throughout all of the conferences since the initial BuilConn.

This is no longer a prediction, it is happening all around us, the drivers of clean energy are making it a reality.

Attend ConnectivityWeek this year to understand how all of this will impact your building automation business, as the certainty that it will is just that, certain.

More info at www.ConnectivityWeek.com.

To watch me on youtube  http://www.youtube.com/ConnectivityWeek

 

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