May 2004
Interview
AutomatedBuildings.com

Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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EMAIL INTERVIEW - Keith Gipson & Ken Sinclair

Keith Gipson, CTO, Impact Facility Solutions

Keith Gipson has been a technologist for more than a decade. Starting out as a Technician with Honeywell Inc. in 1987, an Engineer at Johnson Controls in the mid-90's and at Pacific Gas and Electric in 1997. Keith co-founded in 1997 the world's first, internet based Enterprise Energy Management company, Silicon Energy Corp. Silicon Energy was acquired by Itron in March 2003.

Keith was Awarded United States Patent number 6,178,362, Jan 23, 2001 as Co-inventor of: an Energy Management System and Method utilizing the Internet to perform Facility and Energy Management of large corporate enterprises.

Presently, he is CTO of Impact Facility Solutions, which produces a product called myFacility. He can be reached at kgipson@myfacility.com 


CTO Sings Praises of BuilConn

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Sinclair: Good seeing you again at BuilConn this year. Tell me about some of the changes you've observed since the inaugural BuilConn event last year?

Gipson: Of course, the impact of XML has got to be one of the biggest changes the building controls industry has experienced, and last year's BuilConn event certainly stands out as being the birthplace of that revolution. It's really has been a case of the building controls industry re-aligning itself with internet-based standards, though to be fair, the building controls industry, for a long time, was ahead of the game.

Sinclair: Expand on that a little bit.

Gipson: Well, the building controls companies invented their own networking standards, hardware, protocols, etc. out of necessity. No other technology, except maybe the phone system, touched as many parts of a building. When I think back to the mid-eighties, when I was a service technician; many times the IBM PC that I unpacked was the first computer anyone in the customer's facility had seen! "PC's had not been widely adopted". So, as I was setting up the BCS front-end, people would huddle around and stare at this new piece of technology I was configuring. XML is the same way. It's not just the technology, but the social change that it brings through enhanced opportunities.

Sinclair: Yes, we've certainly seen a lot of change this year!

Gipson: Before BuilConn and XML, interoperability meant that two devices or systems could talk to each other on a network. Now, being interoperable means collaborating with other companies to find a common solution for customers. Even though the emphasis of this year's BuilConn event was not focused on end-use customers visiting vendor's booths, like a typical trade show, my company already is benefiting from the alliances and partnerships that we were able to solidify and establish with companies we may have previously looked at as competitors.

Sinclair: Speaking of interoperable, I caught your singing performance in the "Interoperable Blues Band"

Gipson: Ken, that's a perfect example! I had a great time participating in the IBB. It just underscored the spirit of BuilConn, which is all about working together.  (See our review of the IBB.)

Sinclair: Any last comments?

Gipson: Yeah, "Never buy an Enterprise Facility Management system from a CTO who doesn't sing!"

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