Recently in an industry blog, the author wrote, “The enterprise market is no longer as attractive as it used to be. The upside was that enterprise was first to transition to IP but now that it is largely done. It is harder to get the easy growth of years past.”
What this says to me is that the large early adopters of IP technology are now fully IP, and that the remaining 95 percent of the business is in the hands of mid-market customers who need help in making the transition.
Many integrators need a little help in easing their mid-sized end-user customers in the transition from analog-based surveillance systems to IP. They really do need a greater variety of choices to accomplish the migration while maintaining a realistic budget.
Here are a few angles to consider adding to your sales tool kit in these circumstances.
Complete Cable Replacement
For decades, millions of analog-based CCTV cameras have been connected to recording and control equipment via coaxial cable; in fact, about 80 percent of analog cameras were installed with coax; and, many of those cable runs are greater than the defacto Ethernet standard of 328 feet — it is more like 500 feet on average.
Many integrators/installers and end-users in the market are being told that the only way to lay out an IP video surveillance network is to remove the coax cable and “flood wire” the project with Cat 5/6 structured cabling, and connecting (expensive to install) IDF closets and/or mid-span Ethernet extenders at 328-foot intervals. Further, per National Electric Code (NEC), all the old cable has to be removed, which is not very green and basically just another expense.
A Viable Alternative
An alternative to the time-consuming and costly scenario above is to utilize the existing cable — yes, basically whatever is in good shape and available, whether it is coax, UTP or some other copper wire — and use it for the IP migration. There are IP migration transmission systems on the market today that enable installers to take advantage of the extended PoE power and Ethernet distance benefits using that legacy wire.
This robust IP migration technology enables installers to approach their customers with a whole new tool kit of migration benefits that include:
• The project facility can usually stay open during the IP migration process, which means no lost revenue;
• Using existing legacy cable means they can leverage their original cable investment — no recycling, and it saves on cable and installation cost;
• Long transmission distances are no problem, and thousands of feet are capable with no IDF, main power supply or repeater costs;
• Use one existing cable to supply IP and PoE connectivity to multiple IP cameras/devices, which again, leverages the original cable investment, saving install time, and wire tray and conduit space.
Leveraging Existing Investment
The flexibility of these IP migration solutions provides cost-effective, simple and seamless migration while avoiding wholesale “forklift upgrades.” If one were to install an entirely new Ethernet infrastructure, the project would be done in one pass, forcing a large, expensive, operationally disruptive, flood-wire network retrofit.
Using legacy coax and/or UTP allows the luxury of migrating from analog cameras to IP cameras in the timeframe chosen by the end-user via cable that is already there; thus allowing them to control their budget and get the surveillance or IP devices deployed when and where they need it without disrupting revenue-producing operations.
This is especially important for facilities such as hospitals, prisons, schools, airports, retail establishments and others where downtime must be minimal. Because this technology takes advantage of reusing legacy cable and reduced labor, it can, depending on the application, substantially reduce the cost and implementation time of an IP upgrade.