Report: 'Traditional' integrators could lose ground in building automation market

As the integration of more complex building automation solutions becomes more prevalent over the next few years, "traditional" systems integrators could lose business to "super" integrators that have a greater knowledge of multiple systems and IT networking, according to a new report from IMS Research.

The UK-based research firm is predicting increasing integration of building automation and lighting control systems and found that in 2011, an average of 25 percent of installed building automation systems in the Americas and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) markets were integrated with lighting control systems. This is expected to increase to an average of 35 percent in these markets by 2016.

However, IMS noted that not all integrators have the knowledge and expertise necessary to install some of these more complex integrated  solutions, which often include security, heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation systems just to name a few.

"Despite the benefits from integrating building automation and lighting control systems; traditionally, integrating more complex systems has only been the remit of 'super integrators.' These integrators have a robust understanding of multiple system types and strong IT networking knowledge. 'Traditional integrators' often have a good understanding of one building system but may lack wider IT knowledge," IMS said in a statement.

IMS Senior Market Analyst William Rhodes said that traditional integrators may have to bolster their knowledge of these systems if they hope to remain competitive.

"As more complex systems gain increasing mainstream appreciation in the industry, some observers argue 'traditional integrators' are starting to lose business to 'super integrators' when a building owner or management company wants to integrate across building systems. It is likely that if interest in integrated and intelligent buildings continuous to grow, 'traditional integrators' will have to overcome their knowledge gaps to remain in business," he said.

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