IP video growth update
IP this. IP that. I'll admit, we're as much a part of the hype machine as anyone else, especially since the launch of IPSecurityWatch.com. And it's for good reason that we promote the value of IP-based technology, since the network allows us to do a number of things with security data (video data, alarm data, access control data, etc.) that we could never do before. Integrated security solutions that were just pipe dreams 5-10 years ago really are now realities, even if most of the market still is doing coax and using traditional security low-voltage I/O connections still.
However, there was a research report released by IMS Research earlier this week which reported that growth in the IP video market for 2008 wouldn't be as high as 2007 for the United States. Now before anyone jumps to a conclusion that IP video is still too immature and that it was all hype and no traction, let me say that wasn't the reason at all. There were, as I see it, other factors at play here.
First, you had a slowing U.S. economy. That makes people hesitant to spend (and the cost of fuel isn't helping either). Secondly, retailers were some of the first businesses hit by a slowing economy, and according to Simon Harris of IMS Research, this started in Q4 2007 (translation: holiday shopping season). Thirdly, retailers decreased the number of new stores they were planning to build and open. Fourth, IP video has been quite strong in retail, because the technology seems to make the most sense in "Greenfield"/new construction projects where existing analog cameras aren't already in place. Fifth, you had the economy take a hit on many small- to mid-sized businesses, many of which budget for security projects off of current revenues, rather than annual capital expenditure budgets.
However, all-in-all, the report says that they're still expecting 30-plus percent growth for IP video in 2008, and while that may not be the 40-plus percent estimated for 2007, it's still a strong number.
Additionally, Bob Banerjee, who heads Bosch's video security products, said that he's seen the slowing economy affect both analog and IP video (the company is well-established in both spaces), so it's not just network-based security which is seeing decreased growth. So, what do you do to keep your CCTV business in strong growth as the economy cools? The general consensus is to buffer yourself with projects from companies not being affected by the economic slow-down and to look for government-funded projects in the areas of homeland defense, transportation and maybe even municipal security.
Additionally, most of the sources we spoke with on this topic seem to think that this reduced level of growth is only very temporary, so stay committed to this technology trend, weather the storm, and you'll come out sailing when the wind fills the high-growth sales of IP video technology again.
Fiber optic products company ComNet launches
Former IFS founder creates new company to go head to head with GE/IFS
International Fiber Systems (IFS) is a company that has been around since 1986 and was one of the early companies to offer fiber optic transmission solutions aimed at what was then a very fledgling world of video surveillance over fiber optics. Since then, that market has grown tremendously, and along the way IFS built a strong name for itself, eventually being acquired by GE as part of the company's security portfolio earlier this decade. Now, IFS founder George Lichtblau is back with ComNet, which offers a somewhat similar product line and a commitment to both new product research and development, as well as offerings for Ethernet/IP-based video surveillance transmission. The company is positioning itself to go head-to-head with IFS.
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