The transformation of a facility into an intelligent building creates lucrative business benefits. The efficiency gains achieved with this kind of optimized building translate into lower operating costs, higher sustainability performance, and greater occupant satisfaction. Intelligent building software, or a building energy management system (BEMS), is the keystone of this transformation—the brains of the intelligent building and the engine that translates better data into actionable information. It has been over a decade since this category of business software first emerged, but the market landscape remains diverse and competitive.
Commercial customers are faced with options that vary in functionality and are introduced by companies of very different pedigree. Innovative startups compete with multinational technology providers, and vendors in either category can offer options that range from streamlined data aggregation and reporting to sophisticated modeling analytics for predictive maintenance and system improvement.
What makes the BEMS market interesting is the unique competition between nontraditional rivals, the emergence of innovative solutions to business challenges, and the opportunity to bring sustainability forward with sound economic investments. BEMSs give executives insight into their portfolios as never before, and this market is only becoming more dynamic due to current innovations in data collection, communications, and analytics.
IoT and Innovation for Intelligent Buildings
The Internet of Things (IoT) has moved from a buzz to a force in the building management industry. Inexpensive sensors, controllers, gateways, and secure communications are turning the black box of the commercial building into a data-rich network for business improvement. The IoT platform feeds directly into the business case for BEMSs. The BEMS software layer utilizes better data from IoT and generates actionable insights with bottom-line benefits.
IoT completely changes the outlook on business value from real estate. The capacity to get data, act on information, and automate system improvements across portfolios of buildings large and small opens the door to unpresented opportunity. The paradigm around building management can shift from reactive processes to keep cost centers functional to technology-enabled predictive management that minimizes costs and creates new revenue. IoT and BEMSs give building owners insight into equipment performance, occupancy trends, grid pressures, and historic costs, and new offerings are expanding these benefits through integration with broader business intelligence tools such as work order management systems or billing. Some of the resulting business impacts of IoT and BEMS include:
- Streamlined operating expenditures (OPEX) through efficient (and even predictive) repair and maintenance processes and reduced utility bills by proactive operational efficiency for reducing peak demand and aligning energy consumption with occupancy demands
- Productive capital expenditures (CAPEX) through insight such as benchmarked equipment performance across portfolios
The IoT is expanding the use case for intelligent building investments, from energy and operational efficiency to financial improvements, by enabling customers to optimize their whole portfolio—buildings large and small—with BEMSs and integrated business intelligence tools and services.
Navigant Research has published a new Leaderboard Report to rank the competitive positioning of 15 major players in the BEMS market. The positioning in the Leaderboard Grid below reflects a multidimensional assessment of both vendor strategy and execution. The companies assessed in this report have distinct strengths and weaknesses, and the analysis highlights the overall position of these 15 key industry players.
Schneider Electric and Honeywell are the current leaders in the BEMS market. Their scores reflect their positions as major global technology providers with offerings that can meet the wide range of business demands presented by the commercial building market.
Despite this complexity, there is a boundary that characterizes the BEMS market. Navigant Research provides the following definition of a BEMS to help characterize this intelligent building technology category:
“IT-based solution that extends the capabilities of sensing, control, and automation hardware to direct automated and/or manual improvements to system operations utilizing the data from multiple data streams.”
Chart 1.1 The Navigant Research Leaderboard Grid
(Source: Navigant Research)
The intelligent buildings market is expanding on a global scale. Major corporations are relying on BEMSs to maximize the business benefits of efficient operations while individual building owners are benefiting from new insight into their facility costs. Navigant Research has mapped the competition position of 15 major industry players and continues to track the dynamic and shifting BEMS landscape.