– Gert-Ulrich Vack, Einat Ditze
and Ken Sinclair
Vack, CEO, and Einat Ditze, Product Manager SysMik GmbH
SysMik reviews the Niagara Summit 2014
The Summit reflected 3 major trends: IoT, Security, and Collaboration!
The Niagara Summit 2014 has just
completed, how would you summarize it?
SysMik: The summit was a
great success. First, the event had a record
number of 1400 attendees, showing how strong the Niagara Community is
becoming, and making the conversation more vital and profound.
Second, the community got first and ground breaking exposure to two new
innovations: Niagara 4, JACE's new generation, and
Scalibur, the new modular controller executing Niagara 3.8. The
community had extremely exciting discussions and numerous new ideas and
cooperations were created. It was a vibrant event that will surely
lead to great new powered possibilities in the automation industry.
You mentioned Niagara 4 was
presented for the first time. What was the response of the community to
SysMik: When John Sublett
finished his presentation, the entire
room applauded. Niagara 4 is everything we wished for and more, and the
community is definitely excited about the version, planned to be
available in Q1 2015 after approval by Tridium. The new version is
based on Niagara AX, so the upgrade process should be as simple as
possible. However, Niagara 4 is a much more powerful framework,
enabling us to provide a wide range of new features to our users. The
new version includes an overall redesign of the user interface, making
programming and engineering so much easier and cost-efficient. We were
very impressed to see the new features that Tridium built into Niagara
4, and are sure this new version will greatly strengthen the community.
As for Sysmik, you come from
Germany - was it worth the long journey all the way to Vegas?
SysMik: Of course! At this
year's Summit we were proud to present the
community with our Scalibur - the first controller operating Niagara
3.8 on an independent hardware, which is a completely modular
controller of professional industrial design. Scalibur combines the
best of both worlds: the powerful Niagara's software and the modular,
robust and high quality product from Germany. We had excellent feedback
from the community, which found this an ideal combination for perfect
scalability, easy implementation and cost efficiency. We see huge
potential for industrial and infrastructure applications. Tridium
shows us that "openness" translates itself not only on the protocol
level, but beyond that - to the entire business model, as
they enable porting Niagara on foreign hardware platforms.
What was the response of the
clients to Scalibur?
SysMik: We were expecting
that a new technology being able to port
Niagara on our own hardware would create a big buzz at the Summit, but
the actual level of excitement and interest amazed us. Visitors, coming
from across the country and around the world, were
absolutely stunned when they saw our Scalibur running Niagara in a live
demo. We all knew that Niagara is planned to become portable, but
seeing live our modular controller running Niagara was almost magical. It
opens endless possibilities for the entire
community, and we are thankful to Tridium for the cooperation
to make this possible.
Which issues played the most
significant role for the Niagara community this year?
SysMik: Tridium organized a
highly interesting Summit, covering
issues central to our market. Security, of course, was an important
issue that was discussed in depth in several platforms and best
practices for cyber protection were presented. Internet of Things and
Big Data were both widely covered and deeply discussed, providing some
significant predictions for the near future. Additionally, several
fascinating implementation projects were displayed, providing highly
insightful inputs for the community. The Summit reflected three major
trends: IoT, security, and - collaboration!
What would you look forward to see
in next year's Niagara Forum?
SysMik: We are looking
forward to 2015, when Niagara 4 is expected
to be available. We will be excited to see it in action and discuss
the many extended capabilities the community can utilize.
As the topic of Internet of Things extends and becomes less of a
buzzword and more of a common reality, we look forward to seeing many
Niagara community members offering clever new inventions providing
smart communication of "things" using Niagara to seamlessly
integrate. We are excited to display our advanced new versions
of Scalibur as well as our Sedona based controllers, and provide our
market with the most innovative control solutions.
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