How Control and Automation Impact Every Aspect of Your Company
Control and automation can help you manage building resources.
Learn how data from control and automation systems can help you understand how people are working.
By Joy Zaccaria

Once an institution is on the grid of a control and automation system, a world of opportunity is opened to streamline its various functions like audio/visual, lighting, security, and HVAC. The data stored by the machines controlling and automating all these functions is very valuable for the organization as a whole. Once the use of control and automation systems becomes second nature, then it is possible to track usage of various systems, and make predictions. This is where the rest of the organization gets involved. Decisions are made regarding space planning, how the systems should be used and how to accommodate new occupancy. The votes are cast for the future by way of usage in the existing space.

Making the Raw Data Useful

The access the AV or IT specialist has to all the various systems also provides him or her with reporting analytics on a regular basis. How often is the DVD player used and when? How often are people in a room? What’s the energy usage relationship to the sun that’s shining in through the windows? Are the shades dropping? How often? When are people overriding automated signals? What’s my demand response to the utility company?

These questions are all answered by examining the data provided through control and automation systems. “The CIO and the facilities managers want to know the answers to all these questions,” says Cheryl Krasho, Crestron Regional Sales Manager. “The end-user wants to know the room is always going to be working. [They don’t want to] have to fiddle with the technology, and can automatically turn on the projector. By studying and predicting the patterns of usage, everybody is impacted in a positive way.”

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When an AV or IT specialist buys new equipment or allocates new spaces, they run a report that generates usage summaries. “What are decision makers looking for in a system? Data,” says Titus Sam, AMX Director, National Accounts. “How do you manage and consume that data to make an intelligent decision? That’s what we’re looking at in the future.”

Managing resources in one usable and discernable system has become a priority as opposed to having different systems manage themselves. “We’re taking all the disparate systems out there and allowing users to make decisions on that data,” says Sam. “Data is useful, it’s out there, but if the data does not get presented in a form that makes sense, it is difficult to make decisions. We allow those decision-making processes to become a lot easier.”

Leverage and Property Value

In terms of property value, a functioning control and automation system will provide owners of commercial real estate with a great amount of leverage when working out a deal. The

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Since most colleges have their physical security down pat, then that should mean their cybersecurity is under lock and key, right?