November 2012
Interview

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EMAIL INTERVIEWMike Marston and Ken Sinclair

Mike Marston, Co-Owner of EasyIO Holdings Pte Ltd.



EasyIO?

 EasyIO will go direct to Systemview, directly through the Internet
without any additional devices or difficult protocols



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Sinclair:  What is the Direction of EasyIO?

Marston:  To be innovative and different to anybody else. There is no point in doing the same thing that everybody else already does! We see a paradigm shift taking place in the M2M, building automation and energy management field. We see big opportunities to look for out-of-the-box thinking to the way they currently are delivered. Different in the way to flatten the architecture of a conventional system, put more power where it needs to be and take advantage of IP and wireless technology so that we directly can go from device to enterprise and use more of the new nice analytical tools and viewing tools such like Systemview of Systemhouse.

Sinclair:  Where do you see M2M technology going in the future?

Marston:  It will go smaller, deeper, wider, companies like Cisco that look at smart grid opportunities, make things more clever, more intelligent, more stand alone and more wireless and IP based. Of course we have got Web 2.0 coming along so internet speed and availability is only getting better, not worse. We want to get aligned with what is happening in the cellular and IP field. End users will definitely benefit from that because they will get more value for their money, more control over their facilities, there will be more powerful technology where they could not have that before.

Sinclair:  How is M2M different from BMS?

Marston:  BMS is about buildings while M2M (machine to machine) is how we can get devices intelligent, small and low cost enough so that they can actually talk to each other and act on their own. It’s a little bit like people, in a way, if we encourage people to talk to each other, work together and share things they are able to make decisions themselves and do not need to go to a supervisor to make things work, like with BMS that needs a supervisor on top of it because it is not powerful enough and does not have a free framework inside.

So what we do with M2M we go from device to device and from a cluster of devices we go directly to the End device. This will be in the market for mainly metering and for small buildings or multiple small buildings. For multiple large buildings you inevitably will end up connecting a supervisor or server.”

Sinclair:  Where are your main markets and will this change in the future?

Marston:  No, I just see the market growing. The market we are in is, obviously, the BMS market but it is not our main focus, our main focus is small buildings where currently, I would say, 70 to 80% of those buildings are not connected to an amplified system so that they can be analyzed, monitored and measured or benchmarked. The reason for that is; cost!

Our direction is to reduce costs and we do that by having a shorter development cycle to getting products to market.”

Sinclair:  We heard about the Beast, why is called that?

Marston:  We wanted to fill the gap between a Jace and the EasyIO 30P controller. The FG controller does not replace the 30P at all. The 30P is great, very low at cost and very efficient but sometimes it does not have the power that it needs to bridge that gap of a Jace and an IO device. The big difference is that the FG controller has graphics on board and HTML-5 so you can actually work from an Ipad or something like that.

In the US they call the FG ‘ The Beast’. The reason why it’s called ‘the Beast’ is that the FG is the first controller that has two processors and it has an extra SD cart under the hood, which means that we can store histories for up to 10 years! That is unheard of in our industry.”

Control Solutions, Inc Sinclair:  How can Systemview influence the dashboard possibilities for end-users?

Marston:  The key here is; it’s all about simplicity! There are a lot of tools on the market that are very good but you have to be a software programmer to use them. They have their place in the market. At the large enterprise level they have a staff of people who can do that.

But most people who want to look at energy, at performance, are mainly non-technical people. They might know how to use a smartphone, Ipad or android and a dashboard like Systemview, which is very user friendly, can have these people look at their energy usage and monitor and influence them. People can see the performance of one building or many, without spending a lot of money, set environmental and energy targets and are able to benchmark this performance with a tool like Sytemview.

The nice thing is that EasyIO will go direct to Systemview, directly through the Internet without any additional devices or difficult protocols.

For logging it is great. I want to look for abnormal behaviour, what happens now and what happened before and if it is different. Systemview will do that nicely!

Sinclair:  What makes the guys at Systemhouse so motivated?

Marston:  Systemhouse has a very refreshing approach to our markets and to everything really. If you look at the individuals and their past and track record they are not new to this industry at all. They have a lot of experience working in BMS and M2M and they have staff on board that really understands; data, web technologies, marketing and have a refreshing and an open mind to progress. So it is a little like us in EasyIO, we can work together very nicely because we are looking outside the box. We are looking at customers needs and looking at how we can do things differently, easier, more cost effectively than the traditional systems.

Sinclair:  Thank you Mike, was great talking to you.



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