Integration Projects

What to look for when hiring an Automation Solutions Provider

By Natalie Jacobs | January 9, 2017

6 Tips to Keep in Mind Before you Hire Someone

Technology continues advancing at astronomical rates and key words like “business intelligence,” “big data” and “analytics” are thrown around more now than Nolan Ryan’s fastball ever was. The bottom line is, it’s important to know what’s happening in your business, in our case, your building, so you can make informed decisions about how to cut costs and reduce consumption. While we can all agree on that, there are some particulars that you’ll want to look out for when determining the best way to accomplish this goal. Here’s where I recommend you start:

  1. Choose a product from a trusted source that has a real software company behind it (ideally, one that strictly sells that software product, like Niagara) and make sure the company is an RIA (rich internet application) provider.
  2. Use an automation system that includes a data warehouse.
  3. Focus on the integration framework. The platform is so important for scalability because you’ll want to bring in multiple devices of different makes and models without getting lost in a sea of black boxes and lots of custom programming.
  4. In thinking about the integration framework, make sure the one you choose allows for integrating data points in a logical structure, to account for simple and complex calculations, searches and indexing from the front-end.
  5. Consider the platform’s control engine and its ability to execute both pre-configured and custom logical problems. Flexibility is key here.
  6. For the dashboard, make sure the system is supported by a standard browser. You may also want some customization options, but primarily you will want to make sure the dashboard gives you the ability to chart, report, trend, view and control any of the systems you’ve linked to the framework.

From there, it’s a matter of working with a company you trust to execute your unique project. But by following these tips, you’ll get started on the path to finding a solution that provides real building intelligence without hitting some common road blocks right at the beginning. To put our solutions to the test, check out controlco.com and contact us with any questions.

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