As this year's winners of the Vision award at BuilConn in Dallas, my wife Jane and I, editors and owners of AutomatedBuildings.com, were presented an award for our vision of whole building integration and interoperability through advocacy, promotion, educational, and training endeavours. This honor given us, puts the pressure on to keep looking forward beyond the visible horizon and to try to give you the heads up on changes that are likely to shape our industry. I constantly try to bring this information into my ES columns. Digital signage, wireless, the who's and where of good integration solutions - they are all feed stock for my columns and articles.

For this column, I asked Anto Budiardjo, president and CEO of Clasma Events Inc., to provide us some insight into the morphing of his BuilConn show (www.builconn.com/) and what 2006 holds for us. Anto and I have been talking about what changes need to be made to BuilConn to keep it on the forward part of the wave or groundswell in building/IT convergence and intelligent buildings.

This was Anto's reply:

"I've been thinking of what we can say about BuilConn in 2006 in the next couple of days. First, the facts:

  • In three years to date, BuilConn has defined the building/IT convergence subject, and provided a unique venue for stakeholders to meet. There are no other event that does this - period;
  • The building/IT convergence subject is making strong progress as being an acceptable way to look at building automation systems of the future;
  • There is clear evidence that products are starting to become available for true convergence of BAS and the IT infrastructure;
  • There is clear evidence that integrators that are approaching building systems with a convergence view are doing very well in their business; and
  • There is also clear evidence that building owners are starting to get an appreciation of the potential value of converging buildings with IT and the enterprise.

Here is what can be safely said about BuilConn in 2006:

  • To emphasize BuilConn's role as the gathering place of key individuals, BuilConn 2006 will have the theme of "BuilConn: the Industry Summit for Building-IT Convergence;"
  • BuilConn 2006 will be held around the end of February in a yet t to be decided location in California;
  • BuilConn 2006 will continue to be co-located with the M2M Expo & Conference;
  • BuilConn 2006 will focus on up-to-date technical issues related to convergence, including wireless, IT-based standards, tools, and other up-to-date issues of the day;
  • BuilConn 2006 will cover business issues such as selling, specifying, implementing, and otherwise running a business in the new converged building market; and
  • Education and networking will continue to be the cornerstone for BuilConn in 2006.

Here is what can safely be said about other BuilConn activities planned for 2006 in North America:

  • A number of highly focused BuilConn events will be held for specific audiences;
  • Some of these events will be co-located with existing venues where building owners, operators, facility managers, and other stakeholders are already in attendance; and
  • These events will focus on educating and showing owners the technologies, values, and processes in implementing building/IT convergence."

I am very pleased that Anto has decided to take BuilConn on the road, and California sounds like a great place to start. There is no doubt that there are several styles of building/IT convergence, both technically and geographically. BuilConn Said reflect this to keep growing and to keep positioned on the front of the wave.

Wireless is becoming a large part of what BuilConn is about, and it's a large part of the second annual BuilConn Europe to be held November 8-10, 2005 at the Amsterdam RAI. IT convergence, wireless sensor networks, and enterprise integration are all buzzwords of the rapidly transforming intelligent buildings industry.

I am also very pleased that in addition to taking the show on the road, Anto has decided to break it down into chewable pieces, separating the informing and training of the industry's clients from the assembly of partners, products, and concepts that goes on at the industry summit for building/IT convergence. The summit prepares us as an industry to assemble our particular resources, and shows us how to go to market. Assembling, creating, informing, and training this market is a large industry task that we all share. By focusing on the specific audience and co-locating, these goals can be achieved if the industry supports Anto's lead. ES