Early Bird gets the worm

About three years ago, Cisco signed a collaboration agreement with EllisDon—the first in a series of exciting strategic relationships that have contributed to a visible transformation of the Canadian construction and real estate landscape. With an increasing pace, IP networks are finally becoming the fourth utility of today’s real estate developments. The pervasive expectations of available ultra-high speed Internet, and the proliferation of devices and systems that depend on open access and standardized communication protocols are driving the demand for consolidated and converged building networks. (Hey, and it’s cheaper also).

Now, it never is as simple as it seems. Building out secure and redundant building networks for the sake of building a network will not provide the anticipated value to building owners and operators (operational cost savings, energy reduction, optimized space utilization, enhanced safety and security, improved workforce productivity, future flexibility, etc.). Instead, the value lies in the integration and added intelligence of as many possible building systems and applications. This integration requires new levels of coordination, cooperation and collaboration.

Convergence of IT and building systems requires equal convergence of the human network that is ultimately responsible for building optimized architectures and designs. Partnering must start early in the process. The impact of implementing single converged and integrated networks are profound on the traditional mechanical and electrical systems of buildings. This is even more true as we see the emergence of Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices. To do this right, and to capitalize on all the benefits of networked buildings, we need innovative collaboration and open dialogue between contractors, engineers, mechanical and electrical contractors, vendors and suppliers of the latest technology.

Only when we see the parties put aside their own individual objectives and make place for joined and aligned goals and aspirations, do we see true innovation in construction and real estate take place. It all starts with the people and the processes…very early in the process. When this discussion takes place early enough (before decisions and procurement limits further innovation), together we can make a difference.

About Rick Huijbregts

Rick Huijbregts is Vice President of Industry Transformation where he is responsible for Cisco Canada’s IoE strategy and industry business development. The members of his team are industry subject matter experts and each engage in the transformation of their respective industries (healthcare, oil and gas, financial services, education, real estate, and industrial sector). Huijbregts is also General Manager for Cisco Canada’s Smart + Connected Communities practice, including Smart + Connected Real Estate. Huijbregts holds construction and architecture degrees from Tilburg Polytechnic University and Delft University in the Netherlands, and a doctorate from Harvard University. Huijbregts is currently a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education where he teaches classes on Smart Buildings and Smart Cities. He also serves on several boards of Canadian academic institutions and not-for-profits. Rick Huijbregts est vice-président de la transformation sectorielle dont les responsabilités comptent la stratégie de l’internet multidimensionnel et le développement commercial du secteur industriel de Cisco Canada. Les membres de son équipe sont tous des experts dans différents domaines et œuvrent à la transformation de leurs secteurs d’activité respectifs (santé, énergie, services financiers, enseignement, immobilier et industrie). Huijbregts est également directeur général du segment des communautés intelligentes et connectées, dont le volet immotique des immeubles intelligents et connectés de Cisco Canada. M. Huijbregts est titulaire de diplômes en construction et architecture de l’université Tilburg Polytechnic et de l’université Delft aux Pays-Bas ainsi que d’un doctorat de l’université Harvard. Il est actuellement professeur de Harvard à la faculté d’études supérieures pour les cadres en aménagement urbain où il donne des cours sur la gestion intelligente des immeubles et des villes. Il siège également à plusieurs conseils d’administration d’universités et d’organismes à but non lucratif.
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