Trends Shaping the Future of Connected Smart Buildings: Power over Ethernet

Part 2: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

Power over Ethernet. Automation. Wireless. The future of connected infrastructures and smart buildings are being shaped today. What do building owners and managers need to overcome to convert commercial facilities into smart buildings? In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. In the second part of a three-part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Question for Casey

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is poised to become the new power grid in modern buildings. How will your clients benefit from PoE? What infrastructure considerations should they make as they adopt PoE?

Casey’s response

PoE holds a lot of promise for the smart buildings market. The reduced installation costs, real-time data, and scalability of PoE makes it an attractive technology for smart buildings. While PoE first entered the commercial buildings scene with VoIP phones, the IEEE 100W standard opens the door to more compelling applications relative to smart building goals that benefit from integrating point of sales machines, digital signage, smart lighting, cameras, and other devices as IoT becomes mainstream. Integrating the data streams from smart lighting and cameras, for example, can offer building owners new insight into space use that can inform decisions around leasing or safety.

Building owners will rely on their IT staff or technology partners to define the requirements for their network as they look to implement PoE smart building solutions. Choosing the right cabling and management strategies will help future-proof their buildings as they look to an era of exponential growth in IP-connected devices that need to be integrated for the data analytics that come with IoT. Again, many organizations will struggle to manage a cohesive strategy across their IT and OT systems with existing staff, but understanding the importance of data and the opportunity of smart buildings opens the door to new engagements with service providers.

Benefits of Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet promises flexibility for growth, operational efficiency, improved network control and easier, more cost-effective installation. Customers that deploy PoE will also benefit from devices that operate ongoing without the worry of unexpected failure when batteries need to be replaced. To learn more about its significance in today’s smart buildings and how to navigate the opportunities and obstacles of adapting PoE, read our eBook The Role of Power over Ethernet (PoE) in the Modern Connected Enterprise.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and tech in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss wireless, retrofitting and the emerging Energy Cloud.

Trends shaping the future of connected smart buildings

Part 1: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. As the first part of a three part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Navigant Research’s Building Innovations program focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of efficient commercial and residential buildings. As Research Director, Casey manages Navigant Research’s Intelligent Building Management Systems research service. This service is focused on assessing market opportunity for data-driven tools for energy and operational efficiency in commercial buildings, go-to-market strategies for intelligent building solution providers, and other major market dynamics.

Question for Casey

 As buildings become more automated, new systems and technologies are finding a home on the network. In what ways does your research suggest this will optimize building functions?

Casey’s response

Best practices in network design and cybersecurity are critical elements of a successful smart building strategy. Deploying individual smart systems that run in isolation can only deliver so much benefit. Facilities management is transformed when systems are integrated, data is accessible, and analytics deliver real business insight and direct automated improvements.

IT/OT convergence is a necessity for smart building success. The market is still maturing when you consider the people side of the equation—this is where the significant challenges lie. A secure, seamless, and future-proof network requires cross-domain knowledge, a bridge between legacy facilities and IT teams. Many building owners and managers struggle with this change management process. There is a lot of room for new partnerships and services to support the conversion of commercial facilities into smart buildings.

Today, building owners look to two core value propositions for investing in smart buildings: optimizing system performance and customizing the occupant experience. New applications translate data from diverse building systems, occupancy, weather, energy, and IoT and building equipment into actionable information on strategic business challenges.

Smart building solutions offer a unified approach to deliver energy savings and other business goals such as tracking customer flow in a store, occupancy rates for rented offices, and time for locating shared assets in healthcare to maximize asset value; these are often challenges that may be even higher priority than saving energy.

There is an important link between optimized building systems and the occupant experience. Optimized performance delivers metrics that satisfy demands for sustainability and occupant-centric operations that increasingly represent brand, thereby connecting investment in smart building solutions to the bottom line. Loyal customers equal sales, happy employees equal productivity, and healthy students equal school success.

Benefits of smart buildings

Advantages of smart buildings go beyond energy savings and optimized building operations. For many organizations, the true benefit of a highly connected building is a more satisfying customer experience, higher employee productivity and satisfaction, better student performance, or even improved patient health. To learn more about the key systems found in digital buildings, the benefits of converging systems onto the IP network and the infrastructure that supports it, check out our eBook The Agile and Efficient Digital Building.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and technology in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss Power over Ethernet.

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Building Systems Convergence – Are You on Board?

When you think of all the systems your building operates it can be an overwhelming list!  You typically have communication, computing, power, lighting, security, HVAC and fire life and safety systems right?  All of these systems help a facility function on a day to day basis by providing a means to communicate with one another, power the building, maintain climate and lighting control, and basic engineering and maintenance. But typically, each of these systems run on a dedicated network with various protocols, which aren’t integrated, increasing complexity, staff, and not to mention points of control.

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