I attended a reverse trade mission event recently, and had the opportunity to speak with foreign delegates representing nations in South America and the Caribbean regarding energy efficiency. Everyone attending was asked to introduce themselves to the delegates, speak a little about their company, and offer some advice. We were all given three minutes to speak, most took that or more. I only took 45 seconds.

I thanked them and the event host for the opportunity, introduced myself, and gave my standard explanation of what Datakwip is and does. Fifteen seconds tops.

Then my advice…

My advice to the visiting delegates was this, “When evaluating any technologies to advance your nations goal of achieving smart buildings, smart cities, any type of smart technology, openness should be priority number one. If proprietary systems are installed, you will not only be committed to that particular brand or manufacturer for years or decades to come, you will also risk missing out on the benefits of new technologies that could enhance or benefit from those proprietary system, due to an inability to integrate.”

After the event, one delegate approached me and expressed how happy he was to hear what I had to say. He said that the group had recently met with representatives from large USA based corporations, who showcased their products for energy management systems, high efficiency equipment, and general “Smart Building” products. He told me that in all of their conversations, there wasn’t a single minute dedicated to the topic of “openness”.

To successfully commit to any smart technology initiative, numerous technologies must be implemented, working seamlessly together to achieve the “smart building effect”. The only way that’s possible is with open, non-proprietary communication protocols, which will allow the many technologies from numerous manufacturers to work together.

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to offer my humble advice, and would hope any decision maker or stakeholder in the commercial and industrial sectors, from the single building owner to the Chief Technology Officer of a Nation, consider openness as a top priority when evaluating “smart” technologies.

Resource for understanding and implementing open protocol Energy Management Systems – http://www.facilitiesnet.com/buildingautomation/article/Laying-the-Groundwork-for-Open-BAS-Systems-Facilities-Management-Building-Automation-Feature–6483

Contact us to learn how your existing systems can be leveraged to gain greater efficiency, in a single building or across an entire portfolio.

Sam Wilson, LEED GA, FMC

Director, Business Development

Datakwip, Inc.