Product Green: Linked2 Software, Q&A with Richard Blackwell

linked2 software project green avRichard Blackwell founded Linked2 Software in January2012 with the aim to provide a cloud based, open source solution for energy management.

Linked2Software is a sustainable, consistent solution for classrooms and other facilities, saving users money, time and effort.

The company understands that “in pyramid of intelligent room, control software is on the top” and creates flexible solutions that allow customers to choose the hardware they prefer.

We sat down with Richard to discuss the evolution of Linked2 Software, the impact of open source, cloud based solutions on the education market and the sustainability profile of his product.

Why are open source cloud based solutions the answer for energy management in the education space?
Open source software makes a lot of sense for the education market.  It responds to education cuts by giving schools and students more for less.

With our software, we can all step back and say we have common ground, we all want the best and we’re all willing to take a little less profit to enhance the education system.  [Linked2 Software is] one little step that helps enhance, gives better training tools to instructors, and costs less.

What segment of the education market does Linked2 Software serve?
The desire is that it be a universal design that is to overlap across from elementary to higher education.

Methods of moving information are much the same from kindergarten through higher education.

[When it comes to technology in the classroom,] in many cases in higher ed, schools are willing to pay more and expect more so higher ed has higher percentage of intelligent classrooms where [this approach] is established.

K-12 doesn’t have the market for that.  But what district wouldn’t say “we can do for our kids this way– maybe even 1 classroom in each school in district.”

We believe this helps in a small way—schools get twice as smart a meeting room for the same price

If we look at cost of equipment and cabling when looking at the standard classroom, you are going to spend as much installing it as you do purchasing the equipment.

How have clients reacted to cloud based solutions- does that draw their interest to you or is there a learning curve/education component needed to bring them on board?
Users respond to the flexibility of cloud based solutions.  Installers know how to [implement] it and can do so faster and charge less.  [Cloud based solutions] mean money saved overall.  The aspect of saving money is built in from set-up.

The cloud saves money and is sustainable for maintenance and troubleshooting too.  The AV installer is driving to the job site less- and when he does, it is in-out-done.

You define the following markets for cloud-based solutions; what are those and why are they ideal for these solutions:
Old school automation systems required expensive custom-programmed computer systems on every site.  Basing automation in the Internet Cloud allows us to bring cost effective automation to:
Small Buildings
Parking Decks
Campus settings
Green Spaces

What is the most sustainable element of your solutions?
Sustainability is in the big picture.  If you look at the big picture, you are saving one degree, one hour, 10 volts, right down the line.  The portability and the flexibility save money, energy and time to create an overall Green profile.

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