The last 5 years have been monumental for the smart buildings industry. Major building automation vendors have repositioned themselves as tech companies, a flurry of startups have entered the market, and building owners have become increasingly aware of the business value of integrating energy and operations management technologies. Navigant Research expects to see a shift from the rash of acquisitions that dominated the smart buildings news a few years ago to partnerships shaping the market’s near future. Companies are coming together to help customers overcome the challenges of enterprise awareness and integration and to make energy service offerings even smarter.
Even as the economy improves, many customers resist investing in energy efficiency. The upfront capital costs of systems integration and equipment upgrades can be a daunting proposition for building owners and managers still learning the business value of intelligent energy and operational management. Yet, a growing number of startups are finding new ways to bring cost-effective solutions to market that will help deepen the market penetration of smart building technologies.
In August, for example, Panoramic Power and Lucid announced a partnership to help customers capitalize on enterprise efficiencies through wireless energy monitoring and analytics. Panoramic Power’s self-powered micro-sensors and Lucid’s BuildingOS software help customers aggregate building data and generate useful data across diverse systems and facilities. In October, GridPoint and MicroStrategy announced a new partnership to enhance the software platform and visualization capabilities of GridPoint Energy Manager for cost-effective insight across light commercial building portfolios. These two examples epitomize the partnering activity in the market that’s helping customers realize the benefits of smart building technologies at lower costs.
Enhanced Energy Services
Energy and engineering service companies are also seeing the benefits of partnering to bring smart building technologies to their customers. AtSite is now enhancing its smart building professional services with the BuildingIQ Predictive Energy Optimization software. The collaboration converges cloud-based software analytics with engineering expertise to elevate the service offerings to their customers. ForceField Energy has partnered with Noveda to enhance its energy service company (ESCO) offerings with the IntelliNET Luminaire Management System (LMS) offering. These partnerships illustrate how smart building technologies can generate new efficiencies and insights for professional service providers and differentiate offerings to customers who increasingly demand data-driven decision support.
Navigant Research will continue to track how new partnership models unfold in 2015 and whether these companies can successfully utilize their individual core competencies to deepen market penetration and expand the market for smart building technologies.