Award winning manufacturer of IT-based building automation.
Cheating “Death by 1000 cuts”.The technological approach to a more sustainable future will most likely lie in harmonizing BACnet and IoT underneath a BACnet umbrella, utilizing Haystack and the likes to get things to talk together in a better way and to make it easier to apply analytics as well.
Part 1 of 2
last couple of weeks have been extremely interesting on all accounts.
Global giants are taking an interest in what we do, insurance
companies, AI/ML companies, Telecommunication companies with 650
Million subscribers and the Maker Space movement are keen on getting
traditional companies are moving upstream, trying to capture more value
from end to end solutions. Whilst newer companies who are keen to talk
benefits instead of tech are taking more ground at the top. A lot of
them are okay with offering cool solutions that scale well, but they
are not really talking to the core tech that is the building automation
segment. It might also be the case that they are creating new
proprietary solutions from end to end, getting the job done in a rather
seamless way, albeit not always future proof.
in all, there are a lot of things going on now which usually means a
lot of possibilities but alas, there are some dark clouds out there on
the horizon as well. I am of course talking about the severe
integration challenges to come.
Are you talking to me?
and future proofing are some of the main challenges for companies on
all sides of the building automation industry. Individual vendors see
it when they try to integrate their solutions with existing
infrastructure. Most of them lose momentum altogether due to the lack
of integration and arduous configuration needed.
Real estate owners are starting to see the problems with the APP-approach inside buildings and have stricter demands towards companies selling them solutions. They too are starting to see a cluttered environment where everyone seems to be solving everything at first. But in the end, it just adds to the complexity and amount to nothing but the buzz and not real value.
Solution providers for Real Estate owners/Managers as customers say that they have a real hard time selling their solutions if they can’t promise two things:
basically means one thing. We see a shift from single source solutions
to a platform economy for buildings. Or at least the urge to get there.
The value of being lost in time
estate companies are also worried that a lot of the value is being
created by others, and they are missing out big time right now, but
even more so in the future. There is a constant worry about companies
like WeWork, who can go in, digitize buildings, and create exponential
value for tenants by offering more flexibility and comfort, where
traditional players have a hard time keeping up. There’s a lot of brain
scratching going on, trying to figure out how they can innovate faster,
without becoming a tech company themselves. Because that is the
question of the times. The question if tech companies can learn Real
Estate faster than Real Estate companies can learn Tech. And right now,
Real Estate companies are fighting a losing battle.
it’s a battle they should be losing?
Inviting others to innovate
it is a battle best fought with the help of others? What if Real Estate
owners could get their buildings connected, up to a point. And then let
others innovate with their assets in a standardized way? Being locked
in has its charm and proprietary has its perks as well. There is
usually ONE company to blame, to ask, to glorify, and there’s usually
more or less a seamless experience. Mixing and matching from different
vendors and technologies, utilizing the API-economy can soon enough
become a nightmare, and the API economy might not be the end
solution after all.
most players do believe that freedom of choice, open standards, and
service transparency is the way to go.
The death by 1000 cuts
freedom also comes a huge responsibility.
the Lead Solutions Architect at CBRE, LEED AP, made some fantastic
comments when asked about the current lay of the land in the IoT/API
world. He agreed that everyone wants to get their gadgets into their
buildings with what he referred to as a “low cost,” “peel and stick”
approach to sensors with fantastic benefits to… everything! Companies
will not only get energy consumption down by 105%, but they will also
make your whole life a great deal better. Throw in a lot of exciting
business models with recurring cost, and it slowly but surely ends up
being “Death by 1000 cuts”.
also adds that newer sensors might not even offer any actionable
information that you can use to improve control or save energy. The gap between the old and the new
is everything but new, but it is becoming more and more of a problem
considering the explosion of sensors out there on the market.
This might be a classic “gimmicky is everything but gold”- situation and Michael sure comes with a viable critique on the cool end user-centric solutions that don’t necessarily add any real value in the long run which are a nightmare to manage.
Harmonization for the Nation
This situation will most likely become worse before it becomes any better. There will be a lot of integration problems and severe configuration problems moving forward. But this can be avoided if companies dare to think about disrupting themselves. If not, they are bound to get disrupted.
Inviting others from across disciplines is the way to go in order to bring future products to market faster. These insights and many more are being created when Ken Sinclair and John Petze are discussing the Maker movement, Edge-ifcation and what needs to be done.
and John talk about it briefly that the key lies in the benefits such
as “Comfort as a Service.” And that there must be a shift from a
technology focus to that of end-user benefits.
I would take it a step further and post the question, what if end users could come up with the solutions themselves? We are already providing open modular hardware towards system integrators and the maker space, as discussed very briefly at the top. But what about the tenants? Is there a way to get them involved them in this space as well?
Avoiding the Death by 1000 cuts
The technological approach to a more sustainable future will most likely lie in harmonizing BACnet and IoT underneath a BACnet umbrella, utilizing Haystack and the likes to get things to talk together in a better way and to make it easier to apply analytics as well. We are working together with a couple of AI/ML companies in providing analytics in an easy, straight forward way.
our eyes, the only way to cheat death is by harmonizing the IoT World
and the Traditional BAS-world. Preferably
BACnet and anything IoT
considering the world dominance of BACnet as well as its inherent
device to device communication properties. Pook-Ping
Yao at Optigo Networks talk about the fact that open, wireless and IP is on the rise, but there’s
no doubt there’s a conservative approach in the business and wired
still is the King.
Considering the growth of both the traditional BAS market and the booming IoT market and the “proptech” movement, companies have a 1,4 Trillion dollar opportunity merging both of these worlds.
The approach of getting data in and out via BACnet/WS and converting everything IoT into BACnet objects might be clear, and there are a lot of obvious benefits in doing so. Connecting IoT devices to the Internet, securely in a standardized way without losing functionality is the way to a sustainable future. Companies don’t need to worry all too much of what vendor they are using, what technology they are communicating with since there is the ability to make everything into BACnet objects. Great!
sailing when cheating death? Not yet, but there is hope.
big challenge seems to be to get people in the same room. On one side
you have the system integrators who can utilize a more open, modular
approach than ever before. They have the lego building blocks to create
whatever needs to be created. Some wish to be at the forefront; others
are biding their time, seeing what will prevail and are sticking to
their proprietary guns.
is a divide between R&D efforts and the people using the solutions,
and this is also something that needs to be solved. Modularity is the
key and robust solutions today might infer that they have the
possibility to be re-configured and for firmware upgrades to take
place. The maker space movement and the Edge-ifcation out there will
certainly help in creating buildings that are robust, useful and
attractive for the ones who need it the most. The walls need to be
robust, but everything on the inside needs to become more flexible with
people in mind.
part 2, we’ll dig deeper into the business model side of things, and
what companies can do to cheat death by 1000 cuts in terms of recurring
business models. Because evidently, there are many things to think
about and there’s no sure way to cheat death.
I’d like to think there are many options out there which help. Platform
thinking and an ecosystem approach with open standards, service
transparency and a focus on people are in my opinion the best bet for
long-term success. Think big, start small, but above all else, start.
The best decision is all about taking the right decisions.
The second-best decision is taking the wrong decisions.
And the worst decision is when you don’t take any decisions at all.
out there, get started, and if you need any help, we are here to make
you make the most of the past, the present, and the future! Go-IoT!
About the Author
Nicolas Waern is the CEO of the fast-growing Nordic IoT company Go-IoT and is usually accompanied with the hashtag #Thebuildingwhisperer on Linkedin and Twitter. He loves what he does, and he knows he’s in this business for the long run, having the time of his life. Go-IoT makes it easier for others to harmonize data in buildings as well as simplifying the transfer of any data to and from the edge to any cloud, leveraging all that is BACnet with their dynamic BACnet server on the edge. Their offering consists of open and modular software and hardware solutions which form a powerful edge gateway under the name of DINGO and Go-IoT Cloud. Their solutions have the power of converting any sensor technology into BACnet objects, creating a BACnet umbrella for everything making SCADA systems, BAS, BEMS and anything in between, IoT-Ready. Why not take advantage of all that the API economy has to offer?
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