S4, ICONICS, and Global Connections in the Building Automation Industry

Russ Agrusa, president of Iconics invited The S4 Group to participate in the ICONICS World Wide Customer Summit 2015 in Boston, MA, Connect 365 June 29, 30, and July 1. Steve represented S4 at the event and wrote this article on his positive and productive experience at the Summit.

It became very obvious very quickly that this is not the same Iconics that I worked closely in the past. They still have all the same capabilities to develop HMIs that provide a great user experience. But, they have added multiple new capabilities to their portfolio of applications and services. Iconics is pushing very aggressively into big data and analytics, both of which are hot commodities today. They realize the value in turning huge amounts of raw data into actionable information with which their customers can make critical business decisions. Iconics has always been a Microsoft partner. However, they have taken the Microsoft connection to a new level. Darrell Smith, Director of Worldwide Energy and Building Technology for Microsoft, was a featured speaker and shared the successes Microsoft has had using the real-time automation, visualization and analytics software solutions provided by Iconics in improving the efficiency of their buildings.

We have always had a close working relationship with Iconics and as a result of attending this customer summit that relationship is getting even stronger. I spent a considerable amount of time with Brady Nations and other Iconics senior leaders discussing how the S4 technology could be used to bring all of the advanced capabilities Iconics offers to buildings with legacy BAS installations. He has been chartered with the task of working with S4 to educate Iconics staff and integrator partners on these capabilities. He and I worked together at JCI so he is a perfect person to take the lead on this as our advocate within the Iconics ecosystem. That process will be ramping up in mid-August. The first deliverable of this joint effort will likely be the introduction of a Lunch and Learn program.

Some time ago we did a project with Iconics integrator Wunderlich-Malec. They implemented a large pharmaceutical project with FDA validation requirements where S4 technology enabled the data access and control from a legacy JCI Metasys® system. Wunderlich-Malec provided the user experience through Iconics technology. This case study is available on The S4 Group web site.

S4 distributor AFDtek president Ashraf Ali also attended the conference. Before forming AFDtek, Ashraf headed up the JCI Toronto design team. So, he and his staff have a wealth of JCI Metasys® expertise and have also had a long term relationship with Iconics. AFDtek is a great resource for anyone needing to bring the power of Iconics solutions to legacy BAS installations with the enabling technology provided by The S4 Group.

There are also activities ramping up across the pond in the U.K. After returning from the Summit, we introduced S4 distributor PES4 managing director Rob McConachie to Clive Walton, director of Iconics U.K. operations. They are working together to realize the power that bringing these two technologies together brings to their marketplace.

It was a very exciting event which served as the launch pad for a lot activities that will benefit everyone involved. I can’t wait to see where this investment in time to attend the Iconics Customer Summit leads us.