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EMAIL INTERVIEW – Joseph Aamidor and Ken Sinclair
Joseph Aamidor, Senior Product Management Consultant / Managing Director
I am the managing director at Aamidor Consulting (https://www.aamidorconsulting.com),
which is a product and market strategy consultancy. We work with
building owners/operators, established building management firms,
technology providers, investors, and early-stage innovators. We focus
on technology products. Our firm helps vendors improve their products,
building operators better understand the market, and other stakeholders
with a variety of related efforts. Previously, I served as Director of
Product at Lucid Design Group and was a product manager at Johnson
Controls. To provide a few examples, we’ve recently worked with a major
utility to help scout the smart building technology landscape and have
conducted due diligence for investors in the market.
Even if you aren’t in need of product and market strategy consulting, I encourage you to subscribe to my bi-monthly newsletter, Smart Building Insight, which includes updates on the market, M+A, product launches, and our perspective on these developments. Sign up here (http://eepurl.com/c7nrtv) and get access to our archives.
Catch Joseph and Ken at Realcomm, hosting "Connecting to the Enterprise – The Fast-Changing World of HVAC," on Thursday, June 13 at 2:30 pm.
We are going to host a session at Realcomm. What are you going to discuss?
Sinclair: What interests you about buildings, and smart buildings specifically?
While I work in technology, buildings are tangible. They are physically
there and have an outsized impact on people and society. I initially
was drawn to the buildings industry from an energy and environmental
perspective - buildings consume a huge amount of energy (39 percent in
2017 - https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=86&t=1), which
leads to a lot of carbon emissions. But over the past years, I have
become more interested in the broad operational efficiency of buildings
(the critical systems and staff that make them work) and the impact
buildings have on occupants. This is how the smart buildings market has
been maturing - while energy efficiency is a mature and clear value
proposition, we now are seeing that other top line benefits like
wellness, productivity and operational efficiency are perhaps more
Sinclair: We are going to host a session at Realcomm. What are you going to discuss?
The session’s title is "Connecting to the Enterprise – The
Fast-Changing World of HVAC," and we are going to keep it very informal
and interactive. Ken told me about a recent session in which he drank
beers with his co-presenters - while I don’t know if we’ll do that, we
won’t take ourselves too seriously. We, luckily, are not presenting at
8 am, so drinks would not be too out of place!
More specifically, we’re going to discuss some of the key trends we see in the HVAC space. This includes new business models to provide HVAC products and services, new technologies to improve efficiency, and the changing vendor landscape. The session is going to be at 2:30 on Thursday, June 13th so please join!
Sinclair: What are some of these innovations that you are tracking closely?
First, I am closely watching the developments more broadly in real
estate technology, as I think that these could have some impact on
HVAC, too. This includes the rise of as-a-service, which may change the
current value chain of HVAC, especially on the service side. But other
technology-enabled offerings, such as facility service and maintenance
marketplaces, may move into the HVAC service space.
Additionally, the focus on wellness and productivity hasn’t yet drastically changed how HVAC systems are specified and operated, but I think they will in the coming years. And, there are a number of interesting “point technologies” that may start to scale - for these, the key will be to partner with the major OEMs to accelerate distribution.
Sinclair: What advice would you give to a building operator/facility manager who wants to start deploying smart building technology?
First, it’s important to spend some time identifying the problems, or
pain points, that you seek to solve with technology. A needs assessment
helps to serve as a good foundation for future research, technology
scouting, and procurement efforts. It also will reduce the complexity
in the market, because instead of speaking to many vendors across a
confusing landscape, you will be able to more quickly identify those
firms that meet your needs and solve the most business-critical issues
that your firm has. Practically, this may mean developing a short
request for information (RFI) centered around a few key needs - this
could be released to many vendors, with the goal of shortening the list
on the front end and making the research and procurement effort that
Sinclair: What trends are you watching for 2019?
To the point above, I expect the market to become a little less
fragmented, but it still will be confusing. There are too many firms
out there, and the past of consolidation (so far) is not fast enough to
change this landscape. Moreover, the use cases, technology offerings,
and customer demands are shifting and maturing, which opens the door to
new entrants. I think that this “opaque blur” will continue for at
least a couple years, but within it, there are opportunities for
building owners and operators to establish leadership in deploying
smart building technologies. Not to make too many shameless plugs, but
our newsletter, Smart Building Insight, is a good source of analysis about current and developing trends.
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