Creating a new website

Website

BSRIA’s new homepage

If you haven’t noticed already, BSRIA has a new website. If a website is a company’s shop window, then BSRIA’s diverse range of services makes me think of us like a department store.

For anyone who has done it before, you’ll know that specifying and building a website is not an easy task….

Firstly, we had to consider how to communicate everything we do; from selling thermal imaging cameras to reports on the German air conditioning market? ‘I didn’t know you did that’ is a regular comment from customers so presenting as simple a site as possible for browsing and searching was paramount.

Next, we all love the web (where would we be without it?) but we all have our own subjective opinions on what makes a good or bad website. So, how do we go about building a site that truly works for users; both long term members and first time visitors?

Finally, we had to consider that BSRIA is not purely an e-commerce company. Okay, we sell things online but much of our site is about promoting our services and supplying information for our members.

To address these points, we started with a detailed consultation process with our members and customers consisting of surveys, discussions, presentations and articles of what we planned. From this, we made these fundamental decisions:

  • To bring our three sites together (BSRIA, Members-only Infonet and Instrument Solutions) so people could easily find the products and services we provide as well as all the information we hold on any subject.
  • A change to the memebers log-in system from corporate to individual passwords (with permissions based on email domains) to give users control rather than relying on people to tell them
  • To make public the top level (usually titles only) members-only information, while leaving the valuable detail and the ordering/download options secure. This enables members to find more information from BSRIA through search engines. It can also show non-members what they’re missing!

During and after the building of the site we conducted a programme of testing. Not only, internally to test funtionality, links etc. but with members and customers to ensure the site is user-friendly and delivers value for them.

More information on our new website and how it works is available here. We hope you like it but please let us know (good or bad) – post a comment on this blog or email bsria@bsria.co.uk.

Threats to the Building Automation and Control Systems Market – or Opportunities?

My smart technologies team within BSRIA’s Worldwide Market Intelligence division have been looking at the threats to the traditional building automation and control systems market. But of course, what is a threat to one is an opportunity to another and we are looking at both angles of the changes currently taking place. We will shortly be publishing our findings and conclusions in a new report to be launched later this month.

The global BACS market is currently worth more than $20 billion and is continuing to grow year on year, having pulled through a global recession quite robustly. Not surprisingly, this market has in recent years been attracting new entrants. Now, new technologies, innovations and novel business models are threatening to disrupt the traditional business.

New technologies that utilise the “Cloud”, developed by relative newcomers such as BuildingIQ and Mios, as well as established multinationals like Johnson Controls and Schneider Electric are providing energy management, self-diagnosis and adjustment functionality not previously available in a Building Automation and Control System (BACS). Suppliers are now faced with the reality “If I am not in the cloud, my competitors probably will be.” There is a growing assumption that all key services and solutions should be accessible via “the cloud” but there are concerns and these are explored in our report.

As building automation becomes more IT-based, software is growing in importance, within both targeted applications and in detailed analytics to identify areas where performance may be improved. BACS suppliers need to be proactive in this area or risk becoming more commoditised and marginalised.

Suppliers of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and DX systems are also entering the BACS market with integrated controls and rudimentary energy management functions. The market for VRF based systems has overtaken chillers globally and VRF systems are gaining market share fastest where the markets are expanding most rapidly. We have looked at how the BACS equipped VRF systems in the $9bn VRF market are affecting the HVAC and BACS markets. We analyse whether they pose a great enough threat to change the BACS market altogether or whether they are a factor that could help the BACS market. Since VRF-based systems are becoming ever more ‘intelligent’ this changes the scope for building automation. Incumbents must be asking themselves, “how long until they start offering the same sort of capabilities as high level BACS?”

Residential smart home systems from the low-voltage electrical equipment suppliers such as Jung, Busch-Jaeger and Berker are being used in light commercial buildings; interestingly 60% of such systems sold in Germany are used in the light commercial market and demand is increasing. So here too, it is smart residential controls that are posing a threat to traditional commercial building solutions.

However, is the residential value add market at risk of be snatched away from the current players by the telecoms operators and utilities, bundling remote monitoring and energy management as just further services in their offerings? And could this be the way things will go in the non-residential market too?

Threats to BACS – or Opportunities?

Threats to BACS – or Opportunities?

However, opportunities exist in numerous areas, including in integration and convergence of diverse systems. BACS and in particular, building energy managements systems and services (BEMS) penetration in to the existing building stock is still very low and the opportunities for refurbishment are simply staggering. Perhaps the good news is that for the most part, these new markets remain highly fragmented. We are witnessing heightened activity in the areas of partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. This is enabling companies to broaden their scope of offering and to leverage their core skills and follow the rapid evolution of the market.

Our new report analyses these changes and provides information on how the BACS market is coping with the changes and the wider opportunity to expand “beyond BACS”. Supported by facts, figures and enlivened by charts and illustrations, it will be presented in an accessible PowerPoint format of some 60-70 slides. It draws on BSRIA’s long standing expertise in built environment.

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