Smart Building Managed Services: The Next MSP Opportunity?

Global spending on smart-building managed services (SBMS) will top $1.1 billion in 2020, up from $291 million in 2012, according to Pike Research. The bulk of those dollars will involve building energy management systems (BEMS) but you can also imagine some of the spending to involve video surveillance, security and sensor monitoring. Should traditional MSPs give the SBMS market segment a look?

I'm not so sure. SBMS is all about building maintenance and energy efficiency -- not exactly a sweet spot for technology-focused MSPs that support SMB customers. Key players in the market include everyone from AIMNet Smart Building Systems to Vigilent, which makes intelligent energy management systems for data centers, telcos and buildings.

Still, the line between data center management and facilities/building management has been blurring.

  • Energy consumption at data centers is growing at an annual rate of 15% in the U.S. – a doubling of energy use every five years, Vigilent estimates. In fact, power is the single largest operating expense for most data centers, almost half of which will run out of cooling capacity or power within the next two years, the company adds.
  • Meanwhile, typically 40% of a building's utility bill is for heating and cooling, and those utility bills are only getting bigger, Vigilent adds.
Lump all that together, and there are opportunities for MSPs to help customers monitor, control and cut their energy costs. But I suspect only a small percentage of MSPs are equipped to jump on this opportunity...
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