InBuilding - Volume 2, Issue 1 - 11
MASTER SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS
of industry trends, best business
practices and the growing value of
What follows is a compilation
of feedback pulled from each
interview, as well as links to the
WHAT IS AN MSI?
Scott Cochrane, president/CEO, Cochrane Supply & Engineering:
MSIs are service providers.
They typically provide a common
data view for the systems they
control within a building, campus
or enterprise. Their purpose is to
connect the building stakeholders
to their systems and provide useful,
meaningful and important information and control.
They make sure all systems communicate properly, collaborate with
building owners to ensure systems
information will be accessible and
usable, and they develop software
layers responsible for integration,
aggregation and communication of
the building systems.
To achieve this, it is an MSI's
responsibility to educate the construction team, look for synergy to
save money, review progress, collaborate with IT Departments and
connect subcontracted systems,
and provide the interfaces required
to run and advance the building.
We work with MSIs, and many
are contractors that have evolved
from mechanical, electrical, data/
telecom, process and now database
companies that are getting into
analytics. For more of the interview, go
ALLOCATION OF TIME
Geoff Hunter, president and senior principal, Palmer Conservation Consulting:
* R&D, 15 percent: Keeping up
with technology changes can
be a daunting task. Many of
our clients lean on us to guide
them with regards to technology trends and market needs.
We see the good, bad and ugly
and are paid to keep our clients
from making costly mistakes.
Our clients don't expect us to
get paid on their dime to learn,
so being on top of new technologies, software options and
ever-changing building codes
are of critical importance.
* Consultation, 40 percent: Our
responsibility is to provide our
clients with "good" information so they can make "good"
business decisions. It is in
consultation where an MSI
pays for itself. Establishing
trust and technical credibility is
* Software programming, 25
percent: Setup and startup is
a vital role in any successful
system architecture, but we
also focus on user training.
Our best clients are those who
can easily access, control and
operate their systems with
minimal effort. (We call it the
* Field commissioning, 20 percent: This area of service has
grown tremendously in the existing building market. An MSI
inspects and validates system
functionality, ensuring the owner received what he paid for.
This also provides the opportunity to implement analytics
and continuous commissioning,
while developing cost-effective migration paths based on
existing field conditions. More:
SELLING MSI SERVICES
Jason Houck, chief information officer
of Hepta Control Systems:
While there are starting to be
more and more advanced customers out there who already know
the benefits of working with an
MSI, we find that there is still a lot
of work to be done in explaining
the difference between integrators
Volume 2, Issue 1 inbuilding-magazine.com 11