This month, ACE IoT Solutions celebrates our 4th birthday. In this post, we reflect on the evolution of our company, identify several key lessons-learned during our first four years and give a shout-out to the many industry leaders who have provided guidance and support along the way.
Finally, we invite you to celebrate with us by offering four free pilot deployments. If you have been on the fence about giving ACE IoT a try, visit our newly revamped website during the month of September and sign-up to win a free 3-month pilot.
From Software Developers to Data Plumbers for Buildings and other Facilities
We launched our business in September 2018 based on a successful deployment successful deployment of the open-source VOLTTRON technology in 60+ buildings in the City of Washington DC. Since this initial deployment, ACE IoT has helped our customers in 20 states and 3 foreign countries leverage VOLTTRON to disaggregate data acquisition from Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) products and other soup-to-nuts building optimization solutions. Our corporate mission remains unchanged: advance energy efficiency and building optimization efforts by making available open-source software tools that commoditize smart building data acquisition and management in a manner consistent with IT network data collection and management in environments such as data centers.
Over the last 4-years ACE IoT has made a notable shift in our target customers and the challenges we help these customers solve. Our target customers are no longer building-owners. Now our customers include an array of vendors to building owners, including:
Building optimization specialists
Commissioning and retro-commissioning firms
Energy engineers and Certified Energy Managers
Net-zero, ESG and sustainability advisors
For our customers, we both enable and maintain data flows. In many cases we provide an end-to-end solution delivering key data directly to our customer’s preferred data analytics system or data lake. In addition to offering valuable open-source software tools, we act as data plumbers for our customers offering an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) product that alleviates our customers’ data acquisition headaches. We have adopted this “data plumber” moniker to the degree that we had some buttons made!
Three Key Lessons Learned Help Distinguish ACE IoT Solutions from Competitors
ACE IoT is an on-going partner to our customers. We have learned that the most effective support for smart buildings is on-going support. As building data plumbers, we see our job as establishing the data flows that provide our customers with actually actionable data. To do this, ACE IoT maintains a multi-tenant data lake and a data enrichment platform thru which we ingest available metadata and make available easy-to-use tools designed to extract value from time-series energy and operations data–even if the data are not fully tagged using an ontology such as Project Haystack or BRIC. We are committed to our customer’s success. Via our Infrastructure as a Service offering, customers say goodbye to headaches related to network segmentation, VLANs and VPN access requests. ACE IoT is a reliable and persistent partner to our customers–akin to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for Operational Technology (OT) network assets.
ACE IoT offers a new business model – one that presumes that our customers want ready access to all the facilities and energy data, all of the time. From our customers, we have learned that per-point pricing and use of proprietary technologies are regressive taxes on projects that seek to employ data-rich building optimization and energy efficiency strategies. Per point pricing is a relic of a time when data storage was expensive. Smart Building projects built upon proprietary technology and software languages perpetuate support models where building owners and their Smart Building vendors are locked-into a single company for technical support. Our customers are neither limited by per point pricing and nor locked into our support plans. After an initial commitment, ACE IoT customers can cancel their service at any time – the acquired data is theirs and the technology we use to stand-up an Independent Data Layer (IDL) is open source and well-documented. An organization with Python developers can provide effective technical support.
ACE IoT’s data acquisition and IDL architectures are future-ready. We have learned that many of ACE IoT’s customers are preparing for a future where data from HVAC, Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and other IoT networks are key inputs into innovative applications and new value streams for organizations (e.g., advanced demand management, digital twin applications and AI/ML-enabled building optimization. To support these customers and their current and forward-looking objectives, ACE IoT’s technology solution must be both reliable and resilient. ACE IoT’s standard gateway provides robust compute power at the edge and reliable SSD storage sufficient to store at least 1-week of data. We have concluded that a hybrid cloud-edge hybrid cloud-edge deployment provides the flexibility and resiliency that best supports our customer’s use cases both now and in the future.
No small business celebrates its 4th birthday without a lot of helping hands along the way. We are grateful to the following folks for their guidance and support: Osman Ahmed, Bora Akyol, Matt Blount, Mike Bradshaw, Sam Delay, James Dice, Jereme Haack, Joe Hagerman, George Hernandez, Terry Herr, Justin Hill, Marcus Jones, Rick Justis, Matthew Knight, Teja Kuruganti, Tim Pryor, Liam Randall, Tyson Soutter, Chuck Thomas, Brenna Walraven, Derek White, Zach Wilson, Chris Winstead and Joe Zhou.
Also, a huge shout out to ACE IoT’s team. We need to encourage skillful software developers like Sevaughn Orr and Cristian Romo to apply their talents to the Smart Building space. Thank you for your contributions, Sevaughn and Christian. Onward and upward!
Join ACE IoT’s 4th Birthday Celebration
Let’s celebrate! During the month of September, ACE IoT is offering 4 free pilot deployments. For qualifying sites, the free pilots will include an ACE IoT gateway, deployment support and 3-months of access to the acquired data via ACE IoT’s Managed Cloud Platform. To register to win one of the free pilots, please complete the simple form on our website. The winners of the free pilots will be notified by Wednesday, October 5. Good luck!!
IF you have questions about the free pilot, please contact Bill Maguire (firstname.lastname@example.org.).
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