Migration Strategies THE EXODUS BEGINS

The name of the game in surveillance systems installation today is moving end users to new technologies so they can benefit from network-based devices. Seems like a simple concept but it’s been difficult to get customers to make the move—especially in this long-winded recession and with the bulk of current deployments still analog.

Enter hybrid video surveillance. With the majority of systems still residing in an analog world, it’s darn tough to get the end users to commit to a rip-and-replace strategy, unless you are talking about new construction, where it’s a given and most customers concur they only want IP as they move into the future.


The benefits of gradual migration

Systems integration companies Convergint Technologies LLC, Schaumburg, Ill., and Advent Systems Inc., Elmhurst, Ill., are keen about the value proposition hybrid technology brings to the table. Both have been beta-testing the new Sony Electronics line of IPELA HYBRID solutions, introduced at ASIS International 2011 and set for distribution the end of first quarter 2012.

Mark Collett, general manager, Sony Security Systems Division, said this is a new value equation for those users who felt constrained by their coaxial infrastructure. “The arrival of the IPELA HYBRID solutions changes the longstanding discussion of how and when to migrate legacy analog installations to IP systems,” he said. “We have an obligation to offer our customers products and solutions that fit their needs—as the IP migration continues, a hybrid camera offers features and capabilities beyond the typical analog camera but uses the infrastructure already in place—cutting time and the cost of the installation.”

The new hybrid cameras will be equipped with IC chips that use Intersil’s SLOC (Security Link over Coax) technology and, according to Collett, are the industry’s first network cameras capable of simultaneously transmitting both analog SD and IP HD images over a single coaxial cable. The SD image signal also provides near zero transmission latency, avoiding the common problem associated with IP and PTZ controls.

Convergint Technologies is focused on providing IP solutions to customers, but Tony Varco, vice president of the Security Division said helping customers navigate the move is based on driving down costs of ownership. “Many of our customers have to do more with less and that seems to be the new norm now,” he said. “They are asking us to figure out how to help them reduce the cost of ownership of physical security so the Sony hybrid product fits into that sweet spot. We can drive costs down by being able to reuse the existing infrastructure, leveraging coaxial rather than ripping it out. Electrical and wiring costs represent 30 to 40 percent of an installation and when we can eliminate electrical runs back to a switch or a distribution room that’s a tremendous savings. Also, when you don’t have to run cable and you can use what’s there you mitigate risk by not having to rip out the ceiling—because you don’t know what you will find.”

Advent Systems is also on board with hybrid and the value-add it brings to the customer. “When Sony showed this camera to us, we thought it would be perfect for our legacy customers, those with a lot of analog cameras,” John W. Lothrop CPP and vice president of Sales for Advent Systems. He added that it’s a great way to go back to existing customers with a new value proposition.

“It made sense for us to get on board with it in so many ways. Our customers can use their existing cabling infrastructure. Strategically, they can start going IP when and where they can, and go completely IP when ready. It makes sense for the customer to go IP in increments and we can assist them with this type of technology,” Lothrop added.