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Building Management Systems

02 August 2011

SPONSORED ARTICLE: AMX Europe’s Managing Director, Kevin Morrison, explains why the secret to effective building management lies with centralised control...

THERE ARE AN INCREASING NUMBER of technologies and operating platforms in today’s commercial buildings. In most cases, these disparate technologies are deployed, operated and managed independently and rarely complement each other. As more and more of these systems are introduced, the opportunities for system conflicts, user confusion and ismanagement grow accordingly.

However, with a unified approach, it is possible to solve the complexity of managingthis technology in a reliable, scalable and future-ready way. A centralised control and anagement solution is the secret to ensuring that a building, and the systems within it, works in an integrated manner and to maximum operational efficiency and productivity. In short, central control will maximise your company’s technological investment, as well as your time, whilst ensuring that this investment continues to pay dividends over the lifetime of the building.

By bringing together AV systems and integrating these with other platforms such as HVAC, lighting and BMS functions, it is possible to create a truly unified and technologically-efficient building. Having a single point of control enhances full-facility management by maximising the effective use of space, equipment and energy. Today’s advanced solutions, like those from AMX, can automate and control all the electronics and content needed for world-class corporate communication and operation. From audio-visual equipment, media-driven presentation facilities and videoconferencing; to meeting room management, scheduling and equipment monitoring solutions; to HVAC and lighting – the latest control technology can ensure that a building’s systems are centrally managed and easily controlled, all at the touch of a button. And, by choosing a fully integrated solution, you can save on infrastructure costs and lower overall energy consumption, as well as benefiting from a smaller technological footprint and fewer possible points of failure within your systems.

A unified solution also affords an unprecedented level of building management capability. Platforms like AMX’s Resource Management Suite (RMS) Enterprise, can provide IT-like remote management capabilities for AV assets and building systems, all from one intuitive interface. Such solutions make it easy to centralise the management of AV equipment, lights, HVAC and other building functions. Realtime monitoring and problem notifications allow resources and equipment to be maintained proactively, with automatic and routine checks being made to the system’s status.

Imagine being able to remotely monitor and diagnose equipment problems, gain centralised management of disparate systems, improve uptime, increase staff productivity and reduce energy usage and carbon footprint; all from a single interface or web browser, no matter where you are in the building, or even in the world! All this is possible and what’s more, truly intelligent building automation can now be realised by having all components interact according to a range of pre-established parameters for energy consumption, scheduled occupancy, ambient light and even security considerations. After all, working life is changing and collectively we are no longer constrained by the rigidity of the 9-5 working day. A flexible workforce needs a flexible environment where whole floors and associated ancillary services can be turned off and on, based on demand.

Systems like RMS Enterprise will also deliver real ROI through their detailed reporting capabilities; allowing you to access instant, web-based analysis on a range of subjects including Help Requests, Room Usage, Lamp Hours, System & Device Usage and Source Usage. Such reporting gives an unrivalled understanding of equipment, resource and energy usage, right down to device level, for optimum operating efficiency.

Don’t forget that the installation of technology should be an investment and one measure for the return on this investment is by analysing technological ‘uptime’. In a networked, centrally managed system customers can expect an uptime of 97%, with downtime due to user problems at 2% and equipment problems just 1%. Compare this to a set-up with no control system and uptime is only 64%, with downtime due to equipment failure adding up to an unproductive 12%.

Centralised control will also help your colleagues navigate this ‘uptime’ in the simplest

and most intuitive way possible. From an easy to use touchscreen or simple remote, meeting room users can enjoy fingertip control of audiovisual and video-conferencing equipment, as well as the ability to manage their entire in-room environment. By interfacing with room scheduling software such as Planon and PeopleCube, staff will also be able to schedule, book and manage shared rooms and other corporate resources from touchpanel or PC and, thereon in, the system will ensure that a meeting room is technologically ready for business. This will not only improve efficiency by streamlining the scheduling process, but it will also increase the utilisation of corporate assets, eliminate double bookings and improve productivity throughout your entire organisation. So, by adopting the right technology and a centralised approach, it is possible to ensure that your building, and its disparate systems, work together to create a safe, comfortable and productive environment for the employees on the ground, whilst taking the notion of facilities management to another level.

Kevin Morrison

About AMX: Found in some of the world’s most prestigious buildings, AMX’s award-winning hardware and software solutions span control and automation, system-wide switching and audio/video signal distribution, digital signage and technology management. Founded in 1982, AMX operates in 86 countries. AMX Europe, headquartered in the UK, currently provides device, asset and content control products in 14 vertical markets and services including training, sales support and repairs. AMX won Frost & Sullivan’s 2011 Europe Product Line Strategy Award in Building Automation Systems. In giving the award, Frost & Sullivan recognised AMX’s exceptional product line strategy which has enabled it to maximise on its capabilities to address a wider range of building types and applications and consolidate its brand name in the nonresidential buildings space.

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