February 2014

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The Power of Concurrency and Collaboration in the Cloud

The strength of this approach is that these concurrent paths keep evolving and becoming stronger increasing our collaborated strengths.

Ken Sinclair,

Energy Manager
Energy Manager

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Happy New Year! Hang on tight because it is going to be a wild ride in a year of radical change for our industry. See Marc’s prediction for 2014 at end of this column.

This column is themed “Concurrent Collaboration” and speaks to the power of concurrency inside the cloud and how it can propel us to new solutions at dizzy speeds in our journey to achieve the ultimate in collaborated converged products and services.
The strength of this approach is that these concurrent paths keep evolving and becoming stronger increasing our collaborated strengths.
To effectively use these new cloud tools we need to first understand their existence, then their power, weakness and strengths, while collecting them and making them part of our collaborated vision of our new products and services.
How do we document this new vision of collaborated cloud? I propose we put it in a cloud container called “SLACKnet” not to be confused with BACnet, the standard network protocol for building automation system.

SLACKnet is not a network but a loose fitting net that is a virtual bonding of the online functionality we wish to make part of our client's user experience. This is an extremely flexible, malleable mashup of collected cloud services and concurrent thinking, mixed with our real time generated data. This softer, wider, looser, SLACKnet thinking is posed to change the world. BTW this is presently occurring with or without us, so best we pay attention and get involved. So what are the mandatory requirements of your products and services SLACKnet and how will it best serve your clients?
Some of the concurrent web services that are evolving that are destined to be gathered in the SLACKnet and become part of our constantly evolving BEMS and Enterprise Energy Management presentations are; energy reporting, fault detection, deep analytics, building assets, CMMS, BMS, corporate indicators, and as you can see below even social media.

As usual not sure where I am going with this SLACKnet thing or even why, but somehow I feel compelled to explore the creation of a cloud container that would document our mandatory requirements for our collaborate collection of cloud services, for our clients and for all our products and services as an industry.

Very pleased to have you jump in with your thoughts and comments. “Ken has completely lost it” is a valid comment. When working in virtual worlds finding new ways to express clearly what we are doing is always a challenge. Remember AutomatedBuildings.com business model is selling virtual holes in virtual media and yet somehow that has worked for the last 15 years.

Please join this discussion on Linkedin SLACKnet group and have some fun.

I am very pleased to have just done an interview with the real people at Building Robotics who are introducing us to a virtual Comfy in this interview: Control by the People For the People - with Lindsay Baker of Building Robotics

Comfy is a piece of cloud software that plugs into existing Building Management Systems, which they do via BACnet. Comfy reveals who shares a thermal zone with you, and what changes others have made. This is critical for the psychology of how Comfy works. We’re taking a lot of things that used to be confusing and opaque, and making them transparent.

Sinclair: You are a new company in the intelligent buildings marketplace, what is Building Robotics?

Baker: We are a software company, a venture-backed startup, working on radically new approaches to the software that runs buildings. We’ve started off with a piece of software called Comfy, which is the world’s first intelligent software for personalized control in the workplace. A lot of people think of it as a ‘Nest’ for commercial buildings—there are some similarities there. Essentially, we’ve carefully designed a way for occupants to have a real, satisfying, efficient relationship with the heating and cooling in their workplace.

Comfy is a piece of cloud software that plugs into existing Building Management Systems, which we do via BACnet. We’re very focused on making these connections clean and simple, which has been a chronic problem for the BMS world up to this point. In fact, in terms of what we’ve spent our development time on, Comfy is almost the icing on the cake—most of our work has gone into the underlying architecture to tie into these software systems, making everything perform cleanly and reliably.

So if this is an indication of change in the New Year what other things does 2014 hold for us? From Marc Petock’s article, 2014. Trends to Keep Your Eyes On, he writes:

2014 is sure to be an interesting ride. While it is never easy to predict with certainty what is likely to happen, I believe as we prepare for 2014 there are some trends that will impact our industry and we should keep our eyes on.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] In looking at the changes we’ve seen in technology and the evolving demands of the market that have taken place in our industry over the last several years, combined with the ones taking place now, I believe we will see unprecedented growth when it comes to anytime, anywhere, real time information and business intelligence that further drives the way we manage and operate facilities. Also the industry will continue to shift in how facilities are managed being driven not just by the technology side, but by the business side. As a result, we are experiencing a shift in the value equation, moving beyond the important goal of energy efficiency to a more holistic view encompassing overall performance of buildings and their increasingly sophisticated equipment systems as assets to be exploited for increasing value to the business’s bottom line.

The architecture of intelligent systems will continue to collapse as more devices directly connect to IP networks. The result being more direct and streamlined connectivity between systems and decision-making. This is driving increased collaboration across the business functions which represents potentially the greatest opportunity to transform our industry. And it’s not just the economic factors that can be captured with simple ROI calculations; it’s a combination of the economics, and the rising expectations of building owners, operating management and the users who increasingly live in a technology environment that is more advanced than their building systems.

So here are 10 trends (+1) to watch in 2014. They are in no particular order of significance, and by no means capture all of the trends that are affecting our industry.

Be sure to read complete article; it will help you understand how The Power of Concurrency and Collaboration in the Cloud will lead to the new model of convergences.


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