'Facebook of building efficiency'?
Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) made ample use of its expo space at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Toronto this week to announce its release of Panoptix, an online community that some on the JCI team dubbed the next "Facebook of building efficiency."
The resilient Midwest company didn't go out and reinvent itself as a Bay Area-like software firm by developing the platform in house; rather, it worked with Jive Software to build a solutiuon for keeping JCI relevant with advancing interactive and social media technologies.
The Panoptix solution includes four key components:
- An open technology (not to be confused with "open source") platform for collecting and managing data from disparate building systems and other data sources, such as meter and weather data;
- A suite of cloud-hosted building efficiency applications that work with any building management system, including Metasys by Johnson Controls;
- Online and by-phone Live Guide support, as well as on-site building and energy services to help customers implement operational improvements and energy-savings measures;
- An online community of peers and experts sharing best practices, news and resources.
According to the 2011 International Data Corporation (IDC) Energy Insights Smart Building Investment Survey, 64 percent of respondents including building management decision makers cite cost as the number one hurdle to implementing smart building technology. Panoptix aims to address that by expanding on existing building management systems, as well as eliminating the need for large initial capital investment with a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription offering. Customers can further manage their investment by configuring their system to focus on their most critical priorities – such as, say, energy usage and equipment performance – by choosing only the applications they require.
In addition to cost barriers, the IDC Energy Insights study revealed that skill-set gaps made it difficult for facility managers to install and use smart building technology. Panoptix applications present energy and performance information through a relatively simple interface.
Initial applications include:
- Continuous Diagnostics Advisor: Detects abnormal energy consumption and identifies equipment fault
- Carbon and Energy Reporter: Tracks energy usage and carbon emissions across an enterprise
- Measurement and Verification Monitor: Creates energy baseline models and tracks savings from energy efficiency projects
- Custom Analyzer: Provides flexible trend analysis to compare facilities, diagnose problems and report performance