The S4 Group
- 1 About The S4 Group, Inc.
- 2 Steve's Blog
- 3 Case Studies From The S4 Group
About The S4 Group, Inc.
Delivering seamless open systems integration solutions for non-IT and building automation systems (BAS)
Any OPC or BACnet-based automation system (Factory Floor, Process Control, Industrial Automation, etc.) can be integrated into your enterprise management capability, enhancing the value of automation and improving the operational efficiency and profitability of your organization.
With the rapid adoption of Industrial Ethernet and IT infrastructure to support automation systems, it’s critical to manage these systems as effectively and efficiently as possible. The S4 Group can bring any SNMP-manageable device into your automation arena, where it and its associated data are seamlessly integrated.
Our unique automation solutions enable new system architectures, compartmentalization of component upgrades, clean integration with existing BAS, as well as seamless integration with IT & enterprise management systems.
With S4 Group technologies, channel partners deliver better value to their clients. Our primary business model is to engage design/build teams, resellers, and mechanical, electrical, and HVAC contractors to extend systems’ lives, enhance buildings’ value, and create cost-effective solutions for the industry.
Views from The S4 Group's founder and owner on the company, the industry and anything else that's on his mind.
An Invitation to Past and Current Johnson Controls Authorized Building Control Specialists
When the vision for The S4 Group and our products was formalized, Authorized Building Control Specialists (ABCS) were one of the primary targets of our initial outreach efforts. JCI branches were another target. In fact, we were so serious about building these relationships around the JCI ecosystem that we signed up for what JCI then called the Metasys® Compatibility Program and these two groups were our exclusive initial marketing focus. Somehow, that didn't work out quite as we had planned. We made the classic mistake of focusing on the technological aspects of the products, fell into the "build it and they will come" trap, and missed the bigger picture that considered everyone's business goals. Collaboration to the rescue!
Niagara Momentum Continues To Grow
Last month I wrote about our first time participating in the Niagara Summit. I knew that it was going to be a lot of activity packed into just a couple of days, and I also knew that I was going to be exposed to a level of detail about the Tridium product that I had not experienced before. I found everything that I expected, and more!
I spent a lot of time on the exhibit floor talking with members of the integration community as well as Tridium employees. For many years, our products were almost locked out of projects using Niagara because there was a belief among the Niagara integrators that in order to be a valid integration, code needed to be implemented as a Niagara Driver. I found something very refreshing in these discussions. A lot of this stigma seems to be going away. Integrators have become much more sophisticated and are looking for solutions, not just pieces and parts. Best of all, they are finding out that the functionality provided by our S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router far exceeds what could be provided in an on-board Niagara driver.
Case Studies From The S4 Group
Case Study: VA Home Integration
Assemble the Right Team and Achieve Success!
The Honeywell Project Manager, Shari Jacobs, did a fantastic job of assembling a great team to complete this project using resources from both inside and outside of the company. This project demonstrates the ROI of taking the time to analyze the project, determine what skills are needed to complete it, and ensuring those skills are represented by the team. Quite often the difference between a smooth project and one that lingers is the upfront planning and analysis, core technology selection, and identifying key personnel required to get the job done.
About The Customer
Barstow Veterans Home of California
Located in the high desert (baking!) of Southern California, VHC-Barstow is midway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Opened February 1996 VHC-Barstow has 400 beds, providing options for Independent Living, Intermediate Care, and Skilled Nursing Care. Primary medical care is provided to domiciliary residents at the on-site clinic.
The customer identified two major goals for the project. The first, that the new Honeywell EBI will monitor and control all the existing JCI points, followed by the second, that the existing JCI computer will still be running in the background and be used as a backup system and JCI maintenance tool. To achieve these goals the Honeywell team needed to update the outdated Building Automation and Control system, install new controllers for the central plant, install new state of the art front-end, all while keeping the existing AHU and zone controllers running and communicating with the existing Johnson Controls supervisory controllers and operator workstations. In summary, VA Home management wanted better graphics, better plant control, more extensive alarm capabilities and an overall more modern system.
About The Project
The project included several major technical components. The Honeywell EBI system is the new head end, as well as new Honeywell CP Open Controllers. The project team used the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router to gather information from the Johnson Controls Legacy controllers and publish them to BACnet within the building.