In the classic movie and the remake of "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," a humorous story evolves based on preconceived notions about culture and character. The news of major IT firms Cisco and Hewlett-Packard (HP) sponsoring part of the BuilConn Europe event in Amsterdam reminds me of the likely reaction that may occur in our industry at the thought of these giants coming to our dinner table.

These IT folks are enterprise masters. What CIO can run an enterprise without the aid of these two giants? This cultural clash heralds the start of our true convergence with the enterprise. Most of the action and talk in the past has been about our industry becoming part of the enterprise. This is one of the first events where the enterprise giants have indicated acceptance and desirability of our industry and as an integration partner. To share my understanding, read through the portion of press releases that I have extracted from our October issue of

"As the leading IP connectivity solutions provider, Cisco Systems Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) is supporting BuilConn Europe by sponsoring the general session where Cisco's Robbert Kuppens, EMEA managing director of IBSG will present Cisco's vision of ‘Connected Real Estate' as well as sponsoring the ‘Value of Buildings to the Enterprise' educational track. Both proceedings are dedicated to exploring the inherent benefits and revolutionary changes that result from enterprise-building connectivity enabled by IT convergence.

‘Cisco's sponsorship of BuilConn Europe gives tremendous validation to the trend of Building-IT convergence,' Anto Budiardjo, BuilConn organizer, said. ‘As an industry giant, Cisco will provide perspective on the challenges and opportunities that are in store for the next generation of smart buildings.'

Hewlett-Packard Joins BuilConn Europe as a Platinum Sponsor

IRVING, TEXAS -- IT industry giant HP has enlisted as a Platinum sponsor of the upcoming BuilConn Europe, the premier European event for the integrated and intelligent buildings community being held November 8-10, 2005, at the Amsterdam RAI, Clasma Events announced.

HP's Intelligent Building Solutions group will demonstrate their open, standards-based, scalable suite of Intelligent Building Solutions, enabling rapid deployment and delivery of cutting-edge technology services tailored for hotels and resorts, commercial office buildings, educational campuses, and public access areas. The platinum sponsorship by HP demonstrates a deep understanding and strong commitment to the needs of today's commercial, institutional and educational organizations to provide value-added technology services.

"Hewlett Packard's commitment provides a strong message that Building-IT convergence is happening right now," Anto Budiardjo, BuilConn organizer, said. "Additionally, their support further strengthens BuilConn's role as the venue for Building-IT convergence."

The HP Intelligent Building Solutions group works with industry leaders to provide clients with total solutions, and as such is joining forces with BuilConn Gold Sponsor Plexus Technology, a software company specializing in enterprise automation systems for commercial buildings. Together the two companies will display a full-scale, Web-based enterprise management system.

I have extracted the following words from my article in this issue of ES titled, "Integrating Intelligence:"

If we can corral our industry's energies to work together intelligently we can all greatly profit from our experiences. Old-style thinking can be dangerous. Let me quote some startling words from an anonymous article on our website titled "A View From The Outside Looking In":

The major controls groups will not change until market pressures force them to.

There is no doubt that TCP/IP and IT technology is the only way for true building integration to occur. In the near future, manufacturers of IT-based building systems will lead the way.

We now may just have the catalyst we need to cause the major controls groups of our industry to morph into true IT thinking. The talk by our industry has not been followed up with action, and unless we get to the job at hand of integrating intelligence and showing our stuff, we are in danger of being consumed by IT culture without demonstrating the importance of our own cultural differences. By the time you read this, the BuilConn Europe event in Amsterdam will have passed, and I am sure that we will have published more information about our exciting new dinner partners. ES