One of the most anticipated parts of attending the AHR expo is the opportunity to brainstorm with a variety of HVAC automation industry leaders. This year’s Expo provided that and more. Steve Jones, Managing partner of the S4 Group, Inc., was invited to be part of the Connection Communities panel sponsored by Ken Sinclair of automatedbuildings.com. The event was designed to showcase the progress of the Connection Community initiative within the industry. Representatives from a diverse group of technology companies were asked to speak about the changing face of the Connection Community to which they belong. A number of new ideas were presented as well as new facets of preceding ideas.
Steve talked about the need for technology to create open systems for the end users. How will the customer be able to access the “best” solution for his needs if he is locked into one or two manufacturers? This is not a new idea; however, Steve continued to highlight new initiatives, such as Project Haystack, that continue to seek new ways for technologies to exist in a harmonious system. Before technology can truly become compatible, connections need to be made between people at the various corporations. “The challenge is to identify common points of entry into systems for multiple vendors to access. Competition is healthy and valuable to continuing to push for new technology. However, it should not encourage the customer to be held hostage by a closed system.”
The Connection Communities event was well received, partly due to the diversity of ideas highlighted by each of the panelists. Along with Steve, Graham Martin, Marc Petock, John Petze, Barry Haaser and Ben Dorsey provided their views on Connection Communities and the changes they have witnessed over the past year.
A review of the event written by Ken Sinclair is available here.
Steve is looking forward to participating in the Connection Communities group on LinkedIn and in the next Connections Communities event at AHR Expo 2015 in Chicago.