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Since the 1980s, companies across the world started thinking and talking about intelligent buildings. However, when you ask a sample of people, organizations and companies, there seems to be a different definition of what makes up or is included in an intelligent building.
This may be because there are multiple stakeholders within an enterprise building that have different sets of challenges. The definition of intelligent building varies between them because they do not share the same vision and have different list of pain points impacting their day to day activities.
The main three decision makers or influencers within any building are real estate managers, IT managers, and facilities managers. Real estate managers focus on workplace effectiveness, cost per desk, as well as space utilization and its proper usage. IT managers are faced with implementing and managing a variety of applications that could include the challenge of BYOD. On top of those challenges, they also have to focus on reducing OpEx. Finally, the facilities managers are asked to reduce the power spend and meeting sustainability goals. Blend the three roles, responsibilities and goals together and you can see a disconnect. But this also presents an opportunity for all three to start thinking differently about how they can work together to create an intelligent building.
For many years, CommScope has focused on helping customers and stakeholders implement their intelligent building strategies and help ease their pain points. We call this a Connected and Efficient Building approach. Two major elements in the approach address the major issues faced in every building:
- Connectivity: Wired and wireless infrastructure is required to support the myriad of networks, devices, sensors and applications that are being deployed today, but companies also need think about the future. The CommScope platform supports wired LAN, Wi-Fi, in-building wireless and more.
- Efficiency: This is a key to providing infrastructure and applications that help the stakeholders meet their goals addressing OpEx, workplace, energy and IT efficiency challenges. From utilizing Power over Ethernet, to allow users to power, connect and manage their devices over a single cable, to Automated Infrastructure Management systems, which track the physical layer and all connected devices, greater efficiencies are required by all stakeholders in the building.
With all the revolutionary changes to technology, it is hard to say that an infrastructure can be “future-proof,” but it can be “future ready” if the design is there to be able to adapt. CommScope continues to help end users drive more value out of their building infrastructures.
If you want to hear more about intelligent buildings and how to get them ready for 2016, look me up at the seventh annual IT Leaders Africa Summit at Vodacom World in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa on March 15-16.