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IBM working in building energy management

The traditional big name in computers -- IBM -- is now promoting its services in the building energy managemen...


The traditional big name in computers — IBM — is now promoting its services in the building energy management sector.
In the past IBM has not been a name readily associated with building systems management. However, it has a product called Tivoli Maximo that works with other proprietary building automation systems and integrates them for monitoring and control.
Chris Mallon, regional manager of the Tivoli software in Canada, admits that IBM is “not the usual suspect” when it comes to building systems, but says that they have been working in this area and others since they acquired a company called MRO in 2006.
A recent press release from IBM announced that the Calgary Catholic School District is using IBM’s system to track the schools’ power usage, track its maintenance costs, and transform its 100+ buildings into “smart” buildings.
The IT giant partners with some of the big building controls and automation equipment manufacturers, while the IBM Tivoli software is a “manager of managers,” Mellon explains. Say there is a problem with the heating in a building, it may not be related to the building automation system, but rather a result of a factory door being left open. That would be a security related issue, but with the IBM technology, the two “silos of management within the physical infrastructure of a building” could be automatically coordinated, monitored and could instigate corrective action.