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Contractormag 11893 Human Connections
Contractormag 11893 Human Connections
Contractormag 11893 Human Connections
Contractormag 11893 Human Connections
Contractormag 11893 Human Connections

Edge-ifcation in the Era of Connection

Nov. 9, 2018
Together we are starting an interesting, important discussion and – to one degree or another – participating in the necessary disruption that is driving that transformation.

When we started this journey over 16 months ago with stories about our digital transformation — our edge-ifcation — we seemed to be on a bit of a new road even inventing our own words. But now as you can see by the included links in this piece that several have joined in and are even using our words – we sometimes get quoted.

Fun stuff! Thanks to all for the support. Together we are starting an interesting, important discussion and – to one degree or another – participating in the necessary disruption that is driving that transformation. 

Klaus Schwab, chairman of the World Economic Forum, refers to this present era of connectivity as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” The first Industrial Revolution was powered by water and steam, changing the way we built things. Electricity powered the second and enabled mass production. In the third, electronics and information technology accelerated scale and complexity.

Now we are in the fourth, an era of connection between our physical, digital, and biological worlds; a new phase of massive creative potential, where everyone has the power to share anything with anyone. This era brings with it an avalanche of new, creative ideas and opportunities.

The era of connection brings disruption for us all, but we as an industry have an edge that has rapidly evolved into an Edge-fication. We need to disrupt our complacent selves to proactively manage this disruption.

Do not wait to be disrupted – by then it will be too late! Disrupt yourself now. The retreading of your mindset needs to start now; if you wait for disruption to hit (or worse still, try to fight against the inevitable) your efforts will be consumed building band-aids for your wounds. 

Take your knowledge of your own journey to today's edge. Use your experience – whether it’s months or years or decades -- of automating buildings and learn how to become a major player in this new connection era.

Building Automation's collision course with the Internet of Things (IoT) has provided us with a new understanding of how valuable we are as part of this new era. 

Boiler Room Bob, the traditional keeper of the secret software code designed to provide thermal monotony, has metamorphosed into the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) who now talks directly to the CEO about Our People. The People who are the reason, the inspiration, the true center of our new people-centric buildings.

The C suite is now trying to instill and install a new virtual fabric, Building Emotion, to provide a solid connection to our community of mobile nomads that now inhabit our buildings.

Yet as an industry, we stay on autopilot navigating the objects of the chapters outlined in our digital transformation (DX) hoping to avoid a direct collision. This is not sustainable.

Wake up! Open everything, especially your mind. An open mind is a vital resource for your drive down the connection highway.

This article from www.memoori.comMoving Intelligence to the Building Internet of Things Edge, provides a few choice quotes about the advantages and necessity of Edge-ifcation:

Creating “healthy, safe and productive environments” is not as straightforward as it sounds, however. One person’s productive environment is another’s distracting space, one person’s sleep is affected more by bright light than the next, some people feel secure in a locked room while others feel safer out in the open. Each person is different, even when it comes to these basic aspects of the urban environment, so as smart technology emerges it must give control, directly or indirectly to the user. And that requires these smart systems to move intelligence to the Edge.

The evolution of a human-centric Internet of Things (IoT) has introduced a new paradigm for smart buildings that supports a decentralized architecture where a great deal of analytics processing can be done at the edge (the sensor unit) instead of the cloud or a central server. This computing approach often called “edge computing” or “fog computing,” provides real-time intelligence and greater control agility while at the same time off-loading the heavy communications traffic. The edge is also user-facing and by giving edge devices greater intelligence the IoT can be more responsive to user preferences.

McKinsey & Company declare in this great article "The connected-building era"

Some selected quotes:

Connected buildings could introduce a new way of working. Here’s what it will take for them to become mainstream.

A step change is on the horizon, however, with a focus on user-centric features that evolve the ways in which occupants benefit from their surroundings. A set of buildings are starting to bring these benefits to light, serving as test cases for the future of infrastructure technology.

These facilities are using data to provide tangible new benefits to occupants and operators, and this connectivity-driven disruption is poised to unlock significant value for infrastructure suppliers across heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, IT, security, and safety.

As an industry, for the last 20 years we have been struggling with "the connected-building era."  It is what we do for a living, but has now become a thing well-defined by a management company like McKinsey.

This article, Cheating “Death by 1000 cuts” by Nicolas Waern, CEO of Go-IoT, speaks to our need to get on with our own self-disruption:

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.

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.

This article, Digital Transformation (DX) from AutomatedBuildings.com contributing editor Marc Petock (who is also Chief Communications Officer and VP for Lynxspring, Inc.) defines the value of DX:

DX is the acceleration of business and operational activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the opportunities that digital technologies deliver and their outcomes.

DX has changed the way we approach what we do. It is reshaping how we manage, look at and evaluate our buildings and facilities. Digital transformation has changed the landscape in which buildings must operate and must be embraced to remain competitive. By blending traditional building assets with digital technologies such as edge connectivity, data, analytics, extended services, DX is redefining the facility structure and stakeholder relationships. This new landscape is helping building owners, operators, and providers across all sector types radically improve performance, efficiency and asset value.

So, what are some of the beginning building blocks for DX? Start with the right mindset and culture. Specifically creating a culture of digital transformation by in¬vesting in organizational capabilities that are embraced throughout OT, IT and the C-Suite. While technology is the enabler and certainly a key component, it's not the only one. Just implementing technology doesn't get to DX. In order to benefit fully from the evolution of DX, the internal culture and mindset, as well as those of your providers and supply chain, must be part of the equation. 

This group of disruptors are connecting at AHRExpo in Atlanta to discuss the Future of the “Super” Master Systems Integrator --

Tue. January 15 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM | B311 

This panel session will provide an interactive analysis of the attributes of successful Master Systems Integrators (MSI), the challenges they face and how to overcome those challenges to develop into a “Super” MSI! Staffing is proving to be a growing issue within the industry and the panelists will explore how to find the right people, how to bring them into this industry properly, and how to continue to develop them to build the foundation for the greatest chance of success.

Although in concept an MSI is easy to imagine it is super hard to achieve in a rapidly evolving era of connection. For insight to the scope and speed of integration now occurring watch or listen to this ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for the week ending Nov 4, 2018, featuring Lynxspring's Marc Petock joined by Adam Haynes, Sr Product Owner and Justin McCullough, Chief Innovation and Product Officer, with the Facility Solutions Group, one of North America's top Master Systems Integrators. And yes, I joined in to discuss "Edge-ification" and its implications for the wider industry. I learned lots from the Texas MSI guys at the start of the interview. I jump in at the 42-minute mark. 

Seven years ago a few of us from the industry attending AHRExpo Chicago with the help our contributing editor Marc Petock came to the conclusion that we are all in the connection business. That is all we do, connect things to things, so we created the first ever Connection Community Collaboratory.

Please come and join the discussion of industry leaders in Atlanta  at AHRExpo and help us better define our human role in the connected-building era.

Exploring Our Human Connection: 7th Annual Connection Community Collaboratory

Tue. January 15 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM | B311

How do we best "Look" with rapidly evolving video analytics, "Listen" with natural language interaction and learning, using the personal assistants that are evolving as part of our edge-bots? Use our history of "Feeling" temperature, humidity, occupancies etc. and best combine this all with "Thinking" that will come from self-learning. Once complete we need to work a lot harder on returning that "Mindful Reaction" in the creation of an Anticipatory Humanistic Relationships.  We will build on last year's Sixth Annual Connection Community Collaboratory — A Panel of Industry Thought Leaders Deliver a Successful Session Moderator Ken Sinclair, Automated Buildings, was joined by a panel of veteran industry experts: Marc Petock, Trevor Palmer, Troy Davis, George Thomas, and John Petze at the Sixth Annual Connection Community Collaboratory held at the AHR 2018 in Chicago. The session was very well-attended by a mixed audience of Manufacturers, Building Owners, Engineers, System Integrators, and HVAC Contractors — and began with each panel member giving an overview of their perspectives on a range of current industry topics such as IoT, Edge Devices, Edge Processing, and the impact of IoT micro-controllers — advancing into several highly interactive discussions. Ken Sinclair summed up the success of the collaboratory best: “In the past, our sessions have primarily focused on software, analytics, and protocols. For the first time ever, hardware started to enter into the conversation with the likes of Raspberry Pi’s, Beagle boards, Amazon Echos, and Hey Google’s; a very interesting transition, which led to some extremely interesting discussions.”

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