Energy Manager

COLUMN – 15 years in the Collaboratory

May 5, 2014 - It has been a labour of love providing you a new way to explore While we wallowed in the memories of the last 15 years it reminded Jane and I that this is not our story but the story of industry giants helping us create an online collaboratory of their powerful thoughts.

May 5, 2014  By  Ken Sinclair

In these never before seen timeline presentations, the new medium is the message. This cloud web service provides an anywhere any device graphical interaction that allows you to fly in 3d in an amazingly fast navigation of our over 150 past issues, yet allows you to click on the info you wish and drill down and step back in history.

In celebration of our 15th anniversary on line we requested fresh eyes to extract the evolutionary stories of our industry.

Therese Sullivan, our newest contributing editor, took on the task to provide a new perspective and insight as to why these articles and interviews are important, and carefully represented them in a timeline to show our Automated Buildings industries’ evolution. In her own words she connects timelines, and provides fresh comments on major events of our history in her “15 Years in the Collaboratory”.

I am sure you will be amazed at the early thoughts attached to cloud thinking by our industry authors.

A great way to understand the depth of our online resource while quickly catching up on the theme of each event and issue. With a quick read of the editorial you can catch up with the buzz of that time and decide if you wish to read more. One click provides direct connection to the still online original information or issues.

A click on the wrench icon allows you search just the timeline and of course we still have our google powered site search engine to quickly find what you want. We hope the visualization will help you to know what to search for.

Please give it a poke, it is good fun and will provide you memories of the last 15 years in a few seconds. The blur moving quickly through the presentation in 3D depicts well how we remember it. Please take the time to view and wallow in the memories to help us celebrate our 15th Year anniversary with this gift to you.

No we are neither dying nor retiring again, just planting a milestone. goes on into its 16th year with lots of great articles about how all the last 15 years are playing out in the cloud.

From this article, Why It Was Time for a Timeline – Therese Sullivan of, comes this insight:

“The backstory prepares us for and increases appreciation of the present,” says wikianswers about the meaning of the above quote from The Tempest. It’s hard to argue with Shakespeare. So when I read our own Shakespeare’s March Obix review and was pointed back to ‘dinosaur bones,’ I clicked and I read. Writing in 2002, Eric Craton and Dave Robin of Automated Logic described a path that is still ahead of us. My take was “Dinosaur Bones? No, This is Thought Leadership!” They knew what had to be done; the industry just hasn’t been in the position to implement yet. I was glad that Ken had pointed me back to their Information Model: the Key to Integration article. Which led to my next thought, “If these are dinosaur bones, maybe it’s time to build Jurassic Park!”
I shared my ideas with Ken about a Timeline Infographic and about new Cloud Applications that result in easily-shared, responsive-design (i.e. graphics-filled, digital content that stretches and contracts per device screen size). Ken shared with me that the time frame was 1999 to the present and that, as it happened, May would mark the 15th anniversary edition of as an online magazine. Then the bigger idea that we should launch a campaign to celebrate that milestone and to recognize the building automation and facilities management visionaries who outlined the journey to connectivity convergence in the pages of Engineering Systems (ES) and from 1999 to today. The “15 Years in the Collaboratory “ timeline embedded above is just a first and an incomplete element of the campaign. As you can see from complementary “Over 150 Past Issues” timeline embedded in Ken’s May editorial, there is so much more content available in the archives. The approach I took was to curate a handful of articles from each year to reflect some of the most influential writings, events and announcements in terms of how they paved the way to today’s world of building automation.
The fact that the Collaboratory timeline is not complete—it certainly doesn’t include all the important commercial product introductions—leaves ample opportunity for you to get involved. Let me know if you want me to help with your own corporate timelines or insertions to this. More than that, let’s use this look backwards to help us move forward. How would you advance the conversations that these pioneering thinkers started? Other than vocabulary, what adjustments to the roadmap are necessary now that we’ve entered an age when the Smart Device reigns and the IT and Communications industries are striving to put a new “Internet of Things” framing on the topic of building connectivity. The Building Automation industry should lead the dialog, especially on the core convergence topics of HVAC comfort through data analytics, energy efficiency management, smart grid connectivity, wireless infrastructure, lighting control, building performance visualizations, BAS data security etc.

Next big industry event is this co-located in two events:

Two Events at the Epicenter of Innovation and Real Estate IBcon and Realcomm – Jim Young of Realcomm

Want quick insight to event? Watch this video IBcon’s Young & Berger by Control Trends @ Summit

Global industry event that focuses on ALL aspects of the Intelligent Building required to facilitate the smart integration of key business processes into the high performance building ecosystem. The conference features a dynamic education program, a Solution Providers Expo, Live Interviews and networking and a Smart Building Best Practice Showcase featuring 35+ of the world’s most progressive, next generation and successful implementations of smart buildings, portfolios and campuses. These things make IBcon a unique, must-attend event. For the third year, IBcon will co-locate with Realcomm 2014, the conference and expo on Automated Business Solutions that brings together the commercial, corporate, government, institutional, education and hospitality real estate industry.

Please join us in Vegas and help us celebrate 15 Years in the Collaboratory.

Ken Sinclair is the publisher of and can be reached at

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