It was 2009, and I, Radu (co-founder), was a 27-year-old London-based BMS engineer trying to use Niagara to complete a project my director had sold to a prestigious hotel. I wanted to find the right products to complement the Niagara BMS system, which the client wanted. But I had no support from my suppliers regarding Niagara integration.
I wanted to offer the End Client a Niagara solution that achieved exceptional integration with all the other hotel systems.
I wanted to meet all the requirements the BMS consultant had as he was on a mission to push the limits of the technology. Going the extra mile set the hotel chain apart from its competitors.
I struggled to find the right products that work with my Niagara system. I needed IO modules, fan coil controllers, and great-looking room displays. And finally, I had to find some door locks that I could integrate into Niagara.
The consultant's specifications said I had less than one minute to heat or cool the room from when a guest came to the reception.
For this to happen, I needed the hotel booking system to be fully integrated into the Niagara system so I could know when the guest was about to arrive at their room.
The access card integration was needed so that the BMS system would know when the guest came and left the room.
In addition, the hot water had to be at just the right temperature before the guest would turn on the taps to avoid unnecessary waiting times.
More so, each room had presence sensors and bespoke FCU software, which I had to fine-tune in over 30 different room types...
But not having the right products and the support meant I couldn't pull together the promised Niagara solution, let alone finish off all the requirements the consultant had.
To make things worse, I felt terrible because I knew nothing was impossible with a Niagara system. So having all these issues, I felt like I was failing as a BMS engineer.
The problem was that the manufacturers were not interested or not capable of helping me integrate their products into Niagara.
I asked them for help because my job was to make the BMS consultant specifications possible. The suppliers were growingly annoyed with me while I became even more frustrated.
I realised I had to find a way to solve it all, as I couldn't disappoint the End Client, the BMS consultant, and my boss, who all put their trust in me.
Then, as if by chance, something amazing happened...
That's when I realised all I had to do was to do my job! Being a BMS engineer is all about problem-solving! And I had plenty of that on my plate!
And sometimes, I must push the boundaries to find the solution.
It was now crystal clear to me how mighty Niagara was if I could figure out how to integrate various third-party manufacturers into it.
I also learned that pushing technologies to the boundaries is not as common as I thought.
As a result, my wife and I founded Innon. We quickly searched for third-party manufacturers willing to push the boundaries and enhance the power of Niagara.
Soon after, we started offering complete BMS solutions around the Niagara Framework, which were both innovative and not that complicated to use.
Suddenly, I was able to help more BMS companies cater to very diverse types of projects...
It was also rewarding to see the manufacturers we promote becoming more successful and driving innovation.
That's when I realised that the secret to creating comfortable and efficient buildings was to put the right technology to use and the proper support behind the BMS System Integrators.
So in 2015, Innon started promoting and selling the first Open Protocol Distributed IO modules manufactured by @Isma Controllli that were fully compatible with Niagara. But we didn't stop there.
We then became Tridium Distributors so we could support our clients End to End.
After that, we began looking at introducing even more third-party manufacturers into the Niagara ecosystem. This way, we could help BMS System Integrator companies cater to more complex projects.
But there was still a problem...
For most System Integrator companies transitioning from a Single Brand to a Niagara, Multi-Vendor, Open Protocol solution took considerable time and effort.
Most directors and engineers were busy and lacked the time and resources to keep up with Niagara.
We got so frustrated that we decided to create a self-paced interactive and easy-to-digest Niagara 4 online learning platform.
We thought of creating something that would allow BMS and IoT companies to embrace Niagara in very little time and help them make more money and save time.
After investing 12 months and every penny we made into our online learning and another three months testing the content and tweaking, we launched the Innon Learning Platform in 2018.
With the right commitment, we could get any BMS and IoT company to go from zero Niagara to full speed in less than one month. It used to take our sales and support team more than a year to achieve the same result.
We then started to let all our Tridium Partners use the Innon Learning Platform for free to help them adopt Niagara and be more productive.
As a result of all this, we were able to achieve the following:
Fast forward to 2022, our online learning platform has over 2000 members learning Niagara.
Today we are proud to serve over 126 System Integrator companies helping them make more money and save more money using Niagara and third-party technology.
After creating Innon and changing a bit the BMS industry, I am happy to see fewer engineers struggling with a lack of support and great products.
Our work never ends, and we are excited to help your BMS / IoT company claim your success in the Niagara world.
We help you get things under control.