With the rise of innovative smart building automation systems and controls, come questions about the new technology. Quality, safety, and security are just some of the concerns building managers may have about implementing smart building management systems. Some organizations may also worry that their older technology is outdated, but don't know how to update it and fear that the systems will quickly become obsolete.
New technology can seem complicated and confusing, and with many new products in the market, it can be overwhelming trying to find the right solution for your organization. We understand these concerns and the complexity of implementing new building technology and hope to provide advice and evaluation tools to overcome these challenges.
Smart Building Technology can be Complicated
Smart building technology is advanced, highly technical, and can be complicated to understand and install. However, picking the right partners can alleviate these concerns.
You need to consider two primary partners: those who provide the technology systems and those who will install and integrate them.
When looking for an integrator for your smart building solutions, it's essential to find a provider that serves as a single point of contact—one contact for you, one contact that can help at any point of your technology's lifecycle.
Quality low-voltage integrators should provide a multitude of services to help implement your new technology from start to finish and beyond. This includes services such as design bidding and building, surveying, and deployments. Having this single point of contact will create an easier flow of communication for your project and eliminate any potential issues that may arise when working with several different partners.
Additional benefits include:
- Streamline Communications - You know exactly who to contact if you have a question, want an update, or need to address a concern.
- Minimize Oversights - Coordinating different vendors and juggling multiple stakeholders can be difficult. With a single point of contact, you have one person driving the process. Since they are "all-knowing," they can ensure things do not fall through the cracks, and the project moves along efficiently.
- Simplify Your Job – Now, you don't have to act like the part-time project manager chasing down vendors for scheduling updates, trying to speak shop talk, or navigating multiple accounting departments. An experienced and reliable project manager will handle all of that for you.
- Build a Relationship – A crucial benefit that we often forget about is establishing a relationship with your POC. Both of you will become familiar with how your organization's work, making the process more effective and enjoyable.
When choosing a technology partner, selecting an organization whose platform controls all devices in your building will help bring together all building technology under an easy to control and monitor system. Using a singular technology platform partner gives you access to valuable data to make smarter building decisions, reduce energy consumption, save money, and improve productivity. With an all-controlling system, you can easily monitor how all building systems are functioning and quickly detect and solve any issues that may arise.
Uncertainty About New Technology
The market is flooded with smart building technologies and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) lighting products, making it challenging to confidently implement this new technology. This makes it imperative you pick the right integrator to be your partner in the installation and use of smart building systems and software.
When evaluating potential integrators, look for companies with a strong track record of smart building integrations; this will help establish your potential partner's credibility. You want someone familiar with the space and well-versed on the multitude of options out there.
A good integrator should listen to your wants and needs, and recommend a solution that works best for your organization, rather than merely trying to sell proprietary systems. As you search for an integrator, assessing their vision for the future is critical. The integration partner will have a tech-forward company vision and will help your organization reach new technology goals.
There are often concerns over the quality of PoE-based smart building systems. With messages about the quality of products coming from an increasing number of companies in the smart building technology space, it can be challenging to evaluate which ones truly provide the highest tier products and services.
First, looking at the company's track record will help determine which other organizations have trusted this partner with their building system and if they were satisfied with their experience. Do not be afraid to ask for references and follow up to ensure these references were pleased with the quality of the products and the service they received. A little due diligence in the beginning will spare you a lot of pain in the long run.
(Related: The Importance of Financially Vetting Your Suppliers)
Transparency and honesty in the sales process are also a reliable indicator of quality in a company. Did you feel you were told the truth throughout the sales process and not mislead? Was the company willing to answer any and all questions you had, honestly and transparently? Knowing that you are empowered to ask these questions throughout the selection process will help evaluate the quality of the potential integrator.
Finally, researching the company culture can indicate the quality of a company. Look for a company culture that helps its people thrive, provides a healthy environment for all employees, and has low turnover rates. These are a good indication of a culture that also values high-quality products and services. Not to mention, happy employees are more pleasant to work with.
Will the Technology Become Outdated?
Technology is ever-evolving and improving. Often companies invest in new technology only to find it becomes outdated in a short period. This can make the decision to update existing technology difficult and cause apprehension in the process. How can you protect yourself against obsolete systems? Invest in future-proofed technology.
Choosing technology from a forward-thinking company that's prepared for the future evolution of smart building technology can ensure your investment will be useful long-term.
PoE technology is just one example of an innovative, future-proof solution. Power over Ethernet lighting uses Ethernet cords to carry data and electric power to connected devices throughout your building. This goes far beyond lighting, with the ability to connect numerous systems, including door locking systems, security cameras, occupancy sensors, environmental sensors, conferencing equipment, and more.
This technology provides many benefits, such as cost savings, easy installation, flexibility and control, social benefits, and peace of mind knowing you are using a safe and secure system. PoE technology has applications in numerous market verticals, including healthcare, office spaces, hospitality, retail, and education.
When choosing a future-proofed IoT platform for your smart building, certain qualities set solutions apart from others. It's important to work with an IoT provider whose software is non-proprietary. This will allow for greater flexibility in building operations now and in the future. An IoT platform should also work with all building systems and protocols to ensure all systems can be controlled under one platform. Choosing a SaaS IoT company will prepare your building for ongoing feature updates, expanded offerings, and confirm the highest cybersecurity measures are in place.
COVID-19 and Intelligent Lighting Solutions
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on building management. There are many proposed solutions to keep people safe as they return to work. However, in everyday life, the challenge is to discern which of these solutions will be beneficial and the right fit for your organization.
In this time, it’s especially important to find an experienced integrator comfortable with coordinating PoE installations and software integrations for numerous device types. To minimize the effects of COVID-19 in your space, you’ll need a robust plan with several moving parts. A great integrator will lead those collaboration efforts to ensure you get an effective system with a painless installation.
Igor's newest solution, Nexos Intelligent Disinfection, combines occupancy safety with innovative PoE lighting and smart building technology to sanitize building spaces. Using UV-C lighting through power over ethernet lighting controls, Intelligent Disinfection kills pathogens in the air and on surfaces bringing peace of mind to building occupants.
With people counting and occupancy sensors, Intelligent Disinfection ensures the space is empty before the sanitation cycle begins. With beacon lights and door locks, this technology helps building occupants know when not to enter a space if the cycle is underway. After the cycle is complete, doors will unlock, and occupants can enter the disinfected area with the peace of mind knowing the space is safe.
Nexos, Igor’s innovative IoT platform, is the ideal single technology partner. Using Nexos, all building systems including HVAC, emergency lighting, people tracking systems, and PoE lighting are all controlled under a single simple-to-use and easy-to-monitor platform. The Nexos platform is user friendly, sustainable, connected, and secure giving you the peace of mind your information and data will be safe. With Nexos, your space can quickly be transformed into an agile smart building that is future proof through a reliable, non-propriety, and high-quality system.
Automated Systems Design, Inc. is a full lifecycle low voltage integrator. From conception to completion through ongoing support services, ASD® serves as a single point of contact for all technology initiatives. We bridge the gap between construction and IoT, ensuring your mission-critical systems are seamlessly installed and integrated. With a nationwide presence, experienced team, and successful track record, you’ll quickly see why organizations choose ASD® as their low-voltage partner. With ASD®, you can be confident in your workplace technology.