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Getting FM and IT to Cooperate
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Security and Reliability of Wireless BAS and Lighting ControlsPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Health Care Facilities Utilize Wireless Inventory and Distributed Antenna Systems
It's essential for FM and IT to work together in implementing and managing wireless building networks. Many facilities will already have WiFi networks or distributed antenna systems in place, and the IT department will be concerned about building networks interfering with those signals. Facility managers should assure the IT department that the BAS will be on a separate isolated network, says Thompson. "The only place the data network and the BAS touch is a single point under IT managerial control," he says. Reassure IT that the BAS is not going to flood their network with building information, and that the BAS system will not be flooded with e-mails.
Bringing FM and IT together is especially important in health care facilities where there is often a convergence of wireless systems onto one network. Public safety, cellular, WiFi and telemetry (for patient vital sign monitoring) may all be on a single distributed antenna system, says O'Connor. Bringing together teams from facilities, IT and the biomedical staff can help ensure everything runs smoothly.