Bernhard Connect Modernizing Energy Data Management with Customers in Mind

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Throughout its storied 100-year history, Bernhard has consistently shown a commitment to innovation with the ability to adapt and evolve to best fit the industry’s needs. Innovation and improvements big and small have created the expertise and talent we know at Bernhard today.

Recently, facility managers have truly began to harness the power of energy and performance data and analytics, but are burdened with outdated tech and a cumbersome user interface. Bernhard leaned on their willingness to innovate and set out to modernize the available technology.

“This hasn’t been a traditionally high-technology industry,” said Stephen Heard, Senior Director of Software Development at Bernhard. “We hope by modernizing the services we’ve performed for decades, we can be the driving force for a technological revolution.”

Bernhard Connect is the culmination of years of experience in engineering analysis, measurement and verification, and automatic fault detection. Developers have taken their experience and built a scalable, performant platform that executes at a level not previously possible. Bernhard Connect is modern software that has been built using underlying engineering techniques that have been honed over the last decade.

How Connect Works

The real-time cloud processing power of Connect provides data in a centralized hub, giving facility owners and staff direct access to energy and performance analytics with the push of a button. To enhance user experience, the platform offers multiple views of energy usage and equipment operation data that can be shown from an entire system perspective, for one building, or even drilled down to one data point. Services available through the Connect platform include measurement and verification, data collection and archival, utility management and automatic fault detection.

Connect receives data from outside sources such as third-party hardware, utility websites, client databases, manual entry, and automated data collection processes. The ability to automate these data collection processes allows for seamless integration with existing workflows without disruption to operations. Another key component of Connect is the Bernhard Data Collection Device (BDCD). The BDCD is securely installed within existing Building Automation System networks to collect massive amounts of equipment performance data.

“By really utilizing the power of Connect, each user obtains a customizable gateway into the most impactful data analysis for their facility to operate at its peak,” said Rachel Poff, Bernhard Connect Product Manager. “Connect was truly made with the client at the forefront of the design process because it more tightly aligns with what our customers actually need.”

Security First

Understanding that security measures must be at the forefront of any software design in a rapidly-changing digital world, Bernhard engineers built Connect with a hyper focus on security from the beginning of the process and even utilize a third-party security assurance report to back it up. The system is vetted through IT professionals at each facility to ensure the system is good to go and compatible with their standards.

The Bernhard business model is unique. Varying teams within the company need data for differing
uses and because those teams use this data in the facilities they operate in Energy-as-a-Service
partnerships, the engineers know exactly which data points make businesses better. The first-hand usage of these technologies every day in the systems being managed lends credit to the notion that the developments in building automation and control systems being made simply work better – for Bernhard and for clients.

Data at Your Fingertips

The data within Connect provides clarity for clients and removes any guesswork on what their energy bills will look like. Clients can use the detailed analytics Connect provides to find and focus on an issue in order to take action sooner. Bottom line: By using Connect, managers have direct access to data that is most important and useful to them.

“Connect was built to be better than what had been used for decades,” Heard said. “There was a need to develop it so that we can execute our advanced engineering techniques at a large scale. Existing software packages simply couldn’t produce a good enough result, and manual techniques weren’t agile enough to use on massively large projects like Energy-as-a-Service,”

Greatly improving on navigation and overall user interface of previous platforms, Connect uses modern software design vs. relying on outdated technology that greatly hinders the user experience. Instead of forcing users to understand different applications for each data point, Connect brings it all together under one platform. Clients can find trends, faults, invoice data, and savings reporting in the same place. Connect also reduces false alerts. Previous technology and platforms would routinely inundate users with false alerts and make it difficult to spot the actual faults and focus in on issues.

Information That Teaches and Learns

Once the data has been received, it begins processing within Connect’s highly scalable data pipeline, which is able to perform millions of real-time calculations on the incoming data. This device is the foundation of Bernhard’s energy, analysis, and automated fault detection systems. Our energy engineers continually analyze data trends to identify operational issues. If an issue is identified, they will work with the facility management staff to troubleshoot the problem until it is quickly resolved.

“Data provided by Connect offers better insights into equipment performance, which correlates to better informed decisions,” Poff said. “Better informed decisions lead to more efficiency, and more efficiency ultimately leads to better business.”

To learn more about how Connect can improve your data management, visit Bernhard.com/connect.

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