Letter to the Editor

C-SE NewsWatch provided special-edition coverage of this year's ASHRAE show and AHR Expo, and our Jan. 28 story on today's open-protocol issues drew some attention. Echelon Corp. has responded with a letter to our editor. Read on to see what they have to say.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff February 18, 2003

The message we are taking to the market is that somewhere in the battle between BACnet, LonWorks, and LonMark the real benefits are being lost to the end-user. Rather than focus on differences, as significant and non-negligible as they are, we should be focusing on what an open system is, its tangible benefits to end-users, and methods for identifying, specifying and implementing open systems. As noted below, we believe that educating the end-user and specifying community will aid them in determining the best choice for their project by first choosing to go with an open system, and then choosing among the palette of choices for realizing the benefits that they seek and the tradeoffs among those choices.

It is in these latter steps, when one chooses the delivery and implementation of an “open system” that the real differences between BACnet and LonWorks based solutions really standout. Far from negligible, they are in fact profound and far-reaching in their impact. At this stage, the end-user should be able to identify if their system is really open or really closed/proprietary sub-systems held together by custom glue and whether or not the proposed solution uses open technology in a manner that ultimately locks them into a single vendor for upgrades or changes.

As I stated, we are confident that given the knowledge and understanding about the benefits and characteristics of open systems, the end-user will win, as will both technology camps.


Steve NguyenEchelon, Director Corporate Marketing+1-408-938-5272+1-408-790-3837 (fax)qnguyen@echelon.com

(See our February issue for a more detailed news story on the state of interoperability.)