Unified operations centers

Jeffrey Woodward and Mark Naese of Panduit have deployed an innovative UOC at its world headquarters facility

Strategic Approach

The EBS methodology is part of a larger strategic approach to "smart buildings". The "S" in EBS is indeed "strategic". This underscores the importance of strategy right down to the system level. EBS makes actual system purchase decisions based on essentiality, business case AND now strategy. It's the issues of our day that have caused building and facilities issues to rise to the level of "C-suite" involvement.

The most notable issues are:

1. Sustainability
2. Smart Grid
3. Government Regulation
4. Technology Changes

Many corporate, government and institutional real estate owners have publically stated sustainability goals which often are not measurable and manageable. This requires technology and connectivity involving multiple building systems including security. The smart grid is coming faster than expected due to stimulus and the necessity of increased capacity and more reliable distribution, but is incomplete without interaction from the buildings that consume the electricity. The prospect of Cap & Trade laws along with other existing and proposed government legislation or regulatory requirements are a reality for building owners that presents risk and likely increasing operational expenses. Finally, technology changes are causing increasing need for organizational alignment as systems such as security, BAS, lighting and A/V merge functionally, pull from disparate budgets and force new types of decision-making across departments and even geographies.

That decision-making and the aforementioned organizational alignment are the key to EBS and smart buildings in general. Without an authoritative champion, an EBS-type methodology and aligned staff any smart or converged building effort will be challenged. Alignment should be both internal with departments and budgets but also importantly with external vendors. Some vendors are risk-averse and sometimes set in their ways and need clear directives from the client to make changes to their traditional process.
Strategy, alignment and decision making methodology will ensure a successful convergence project.

Ray Bernard, PSP, CHS-III is the principal consultant for Ray Bernard Consulting Services (RBCS), a firm that provides security consulting services for public and private facilities (www.go-rbcs.com). Mr. Bernard is founder and publisher of "The Security Minute" 60-second newsletter (www.TheSecurityMinute.com). He is also active in the education committees of the in the ASIS International Physical Security and IT Security Councils (www.asisonline.org). Mr. Bernard is also a member of the Subject Matter Expert faculty of the Security Executive Council.