New Schneider Electric & Cisco partnership bridges IT and OT for building management systems

Schneider & Cisco

Schneider Electric and Cisco announced today a new partnership aimed at bridging  operational technology and information technology in building management systems. As part of the partnership, the companies are offering a joint solution that brings IT and operational building control together in a secure and efficient IP network solution.

The new solution has already been implemented at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana where it’s helped improve operational efficiency.

“The need for separation between IT and OT networks is an important topic and was part of our decision-making process to proceed with the Cisco-Schneider technology partnership at UND,” Whitey Reed, Director of Automation & Integration at Havel, An EMCOR Company, a Schneider Electric master-level BMS EcoXpert™ partner, said in a press release. “This project at UND has opened the door to broader horizons for Havel to understand the difference between information technology and operational technology. IP solutions in the building automation industry are here now and we need to be a part of it. Customers are loving that we get it, and Schneider Electric gets it. And we partnered with a company such as Cisco that carries a lot of weight in the cybersecurity business, and it certainly has helped our customers immensely.”

Schneider Electric and Cisco’s solution enables multiple Schneider Electric EcoStruxure™ Building IP architecture topologies to integrate with existing building layouts using Cisco Industrial Ethernet switches to connect to Schneider’s SmartX IP Controllers. This promises to save customers time and resources by meeting system availability requirements upon deployment.

“Schneider Electric is leading the digital transformation of smart buildings with EcoStruxure™ Building, a secure and open platform, making it possible for IoT enabled solutions to seamlessly connect, collect, analyze, and act on data in real-time,” Kaynam Hedayat, VP Product Management, Digital Energy, at Schneider Electric, said in the release. “It is exciting to see our solutions, coupled with Cisco IT expertise, deliver results. It lets our EcoXpert partners deliver the best solutions to their customers, while helping them grow their businesses, differentiate their companies, and be more profitable.”

The new solution helps connect building management systems to IP networks with a secure, scalable and resilient architecture that is easy to manage. With this solution organizations can identify, segment, and mediate anomalies or cyber attacks as they occur, and enforce consistent identity-based security policy on network infrastructure. It also enables organizations to easily scale from small to large deployments while managing an increasing amount of data from IoT applications.

“Cisco is excited to partner with Schneider Electric, delivering comprehensive IP-enabled Building Management System solutions to enable the seamless migration of the University of Notre Dame’s infrastructure to a converged architecture. By combining Cisco’s IT innovation with Schneider Electric’s OT innovation, we are uniquely positioned to deploy this solution in a highly scalable and secure manner,” Mike Austin, Senior Director, Cisco Global Partner Organization, said in the release. “Our joint solution, along with the capabilities of Havel, allows us to meet and exceed the University’s needs to have a distinct Smart Building design, significantly reducing operational costs, and optimizing energy consumption.”

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