Traditionally, the first solutions provider to install the initial temperature controls system in a building would be the provider that implemented upgrades and expansions for a very long time. If the system was running well and a high level of service was being provided, this was beneficial. If a building owner became unsatisfied with the provider or the system was no longer meeting the customer’s needs, owners found it difficult and often painful to change the system, provider, or both.
In the past, the DDC provider would offer an upgrade to the front end, get things up-to-date, and the building owner would be set for the next 5-10 years. This worked well with a provider if the owner was getting the service and value expected. However, workers move on and companies change, and the value and service may suffer because of it, causing customers to lose confidence in the company. Single sourcing a provider that has poor performance brings in to question the value and cost of upgrades.
Building owners finally have a choice in which solutions provider they can use to upgrade their temperature control systems without having to replace all the controllers. The open protocol systems of BACnet and LonWorks have been around since 1995 and 1999. Although some front-end systems have drivers for other vendors, these open protocol systems have set the stage for easy front-end upgrades and replacements.
The individual equipment controllers have had some good improvements over the years, but the front-end systems have experienced the greatest change as computer hardware and software continuously update. Some of these changes are due to software enhancements that makes things easier, faster, more intuitive, and include newer technologies like data analytics and cell phone access, among others. Other changes must happen because of security concerns with older software that is vulnerable to hackers or is not compatible with newer computer operating systems.
In today’s world, building owners must consider the performance of their provider in addition to evaluating systems and products. If the building owner does not feel the provider is meeting their needs, they are no longer locked into that relationship. With multiple front ends, owners now have a choice in which provider to use for DDC upgrades. Building owners should partner with a solutions provider that is proactive in upgrades, quickly responds to issues that arise, and ultimately provides solutions that keep buildings working well so businesses can keep functioning.
LONG understands that building owners have many choices in solutions providers, which is why we have always believed in delivering consistent, superior service over our 55 years as a company. On every job, our first goal is to establish a solid relationship which will allow us to work as a team, building trust and confidence as the dynamic between us evolves. Reach out to LONG today to discuss how a partnership can lead to long-term, consistent service for all Building Automation, HVAC Equipment, HVAC Service, Security Solutions, and Parts needs you may have.