Building Management

The BEMS Vendor Shopping List Part 2: Top 5 Execution Questions

The number of players participating in the building energy management systems (BEMSs) marketplace is growing at a rapid pace. Some of these players have been around for years, while others are specialized technology vendors or software startups that recognize the massive potential of smart buildings. According to the Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Building Energy Management Systems, “This intensely competitive environment has led players to invest significantly in both technology and marketing efforts.”

For facility managers (fms), finding the right BEMS vendor will depend a great deal on several questions, including some strategic questions that were covered in the first post. Additional questions to ask include, does the company have staying power? Or will it fade off in the distance as the marketplace matures? Do they offer training? How easily do their offerings integrate with existing building technology, if at all?

In order to help fms answer these and other questions, the Navigant Research Leadership Report evaluated 14 key players in the market and came up with this checklist of execution criteria, which is designed to examine the vendors’ ability to compete. Fms can consider these factors and ask the following questions when evaluating a potential BEMS partner.

  1. User Interface: Is the BEMS user friendly in terms of its aesthetic and functional appeal? How quickly can an untrained user—even a non-engineer—become proficient and what kind of training is available? Is ongoing training offered? How simple is it to set up the BEMS at the beginning, and how long before it will be fully operational?
  2. Breadth/Depth of Applications: Does the BEMS go beyond the basics in terms of energy management, visualization, and analytics? Are there additional features like demand response, commissioning, or other options that can differentiate the offering from other vendors in the field?
  3. Technology Openness & Interoperability: How well does the BEMS integrate with a facility’s existing infrastructure? Will the technologies be compatible or will some sort of transitional approach be required? Does it work with other devices built on open standards?
  4. Customer Acquisition & Partnerships: Who are some of their current big name customers? Can they share any testimonials? Can you speak with some of their existing fm customers to find out what their experience has been like?
  5. Scalability & Staying Power: Is the vendor exploring new markets? Will their modified solutions be suitable for existing customers as well as new customers?

To find detailed information and data about how leading vendors compare, click here and the Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Building Energy Management Systems-Assessment of Strategy and Execution for 14 Building Energy Management System Vendors.


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