Just got back from the OPC Expo at Connectivity Week in Santa Clara. It was a good opportunity to have some good conversations on a wide range of topics. Some great presentations on how OPC, in particular OPC UA, fits into the SmartGrid story and plays in the building automation space. One of the hot topics around connecting the grid is of course security, and the presentation by Tyler Williams of Wurldtech on their Achilles Industrial Cyber Security Certification Program generated some good discussions. This is the Achilles certification program that our MatrikonOPC products are following. As SmartGrid rolls out, the focus on communications security will become increasingly important.
I spent a lot of time talking with folks on the exhibit floor. MatrikonOPC shared a booth with Cimetrics, whom we partnered with for the development of our OPC Server for BACnet. What I did find surprising at the conference, is how many folks in the building automation space are still unaware of OPC and all that it offers. Many of the larger vendors certainly know of OPC, and anyone who’s business models span across industry verticals are on board, but the message needs better penetration at the ‘grass roots’ level. I suspect this lack is mainly due to the image of OPC as a ‘Microsoft’ technology. As OPC UA continues to gain adoption, the cross-platform and web service aspects of the architecture will begin to resound more in this area.
In the meantime, those in the building automation space that ARE aware of OPC have a leg up in connecting their applications to the enterprise, using solutions like those outlined in Extending Building Automation Data Visibility Using OPC. OPC awareness in this space is growing rapidly, and with more OPC UA products coming out every day, and increased focus on energy optimization expect the pace to get even quicker.
If you are one of those folks standing still, you might want to think about getting a move on to OPC J