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Accudata Enters IoT Space With Honeywell Wireless Gas Detection Solution

Accudata Systems has teamed up with Honeywell Analytics to sell the ConneXt Pro, which combines readings of toxic gases with location information from portable monitors.

Accudata Systems is making its first play into the Internet of Things (IoT) space with a wireless gas detection offering.

Houston-based Accudata, No. 169 on the CRN SP 500, has teamed up with vendor Honeywell Analytics to sell the ConneXt Pro, which combines readings of toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide with location information from the portable monitors that are attached to a wireless network.

That toxic gas data -- along with the location of all operators -- is instantaneously displayed on a graphical overlay of the drilling site or refinery. The additional information is used by workers in the safety shed to undertake preventative maintenance and craft a more effective response in the event of an emergency, according to Accudata CEO Patrick Vardeman.

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Without the ConneXt Pro, only the operator would know if his or her gas monitor was going off, Vardeman said.

Accudata began talks about collaborating with Honeywell 18 months ago, Vardeman said. As far as he's aware, Accudata is one of the only solution providers authorized to resell the ConneXt Pro, which was released in June.

"The more we talked [with Honeywell], the more we liked what we heard," Vardeman said.

The ConneXt Pro was the first offering for which Accudata had to work with more than the vendor's IT department. Building an integrated application required talking with plant managers and employees focused on health and safety issues, Vardeman said.

"The big change for us is who's the audience," he said.

Most of the ConneXt Pro sales are expected to be to exploration or refining companies in the oil and gas vertical, Vardeman said. Accudata is in talks about the ConneXt Pro with everyone from small exploration companies to supermajors such as BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total.

Much of the demand for more interactive gas monitoring products is being driven by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a horizontal drilling method for natural gas. Fracking, Vardeman said, has opened up more opportunities for drilling without reducing the risk of releasing toxic gases that exist in the earth.

"The risk that exists before fracking still exists today," Vardeman said.

Pricing for the ConneXt Pro will vary based on the size of the operation and the nature of the monitoring environment, he said. Accudata will be able to capture recurring revenue from end users that use the solution provider to host the ConneXt Pro system, Vardeman said.

The ConneXt Pro agreement is Accudata's first step into IoT, which Vardeman expects to be a core part of his business going forward.

Accudata held off on launching its IoT practice until bandwidth and computing costs fell to a point where this technology could flourish, Vardeman said. He said the development of advanced smartphone apps was also critical in making IoT investment worthwhile.

To grow its IoT practice, Accudata has both brought on more workers with electrical and mechanical engineering experience and invested in training its existing workforce.

IoT solutions should enable Accudata to both strengthen its relationship with existing customers and talk to new customers in new markets, Vardeman said. Accudata hopes to develop IoT offerings based off sensor data for the healthcare vertical, he said.

PUBLISHED OCT. 20, 2014

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