Advanced Power Management Solutions Creates New Revenue Opportunities
- By Ronnie Pennington
- Jun 06, 2016
Of the many changes that have occurred in the last few years within the physical security realm, perhaps two of the most relevant are based around advances in integration and communication technology. Efficiencies are gained when multiple systems are integrated with communication capabilities, thereby providing a more comprehensive solution.
With network communications added to core power and transmission components, systems designers/installers can now achieve higher levels of system integration. And, with APIs (Application Program Interface) available for customization with partnered suppliers, this new technology opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.
Following are three instances of how power management technology has impacted physical security solutions.
New advancements in networked power management provide critical information from IP devices by enabling the ability to detect potential failures in advance. Power distribution modules as an example can send alerts via email or SNMP to help minimize downtime and eliminate unnecessary service calls. More importantly, this capability also provides servicing dealer/installers and end users with the information they need to take preventative measures before an outage occurs.
Power management solutions can monitor the overall health of a system via the ability to remotely monitor, control and report diagnostics in real time from power supplies and peripheral components. This includes such critical operation criteria as AC presence, battery status and health, voltage output, current load, ambient temperature and more. With today’s advanced power management solutions, end users benefit from knowing that their systems’ integrity, stability and operation are being professionally monitored and maintained resulting in higher overall security and reduced liabilities associated with downtime.
When IP/Ethernet connectivity came onto the professional security scene in recent years, it created two distinctive models for system design and deployment. Systems were either analog, utilizing traditional coax or UTP cabling, or pure IP employing structured cabling. This also influenced products such as cameras, which were previously manufactured for these two distinct types of infrastructure. This presented a quandary for camera manufactures in particular who had little choice but to offer parallel analog and IP offerings, with several manufacturers opting to offer products with hybrid analog and digital outputs.
This left scores of existing systems and their users with the daunting challenge and expense of ripping and replacing coax infrastructure with Ethernet cabling to upgrade their systems to achieve true network functionality. The industry responded with new adaptive transmission technologies such as Ethernet over Coax (EoC) devices that enable the ability to upgrade coax infrastructure for networked operations. These small hardware EoC devices proved to be a game changer, although they’ve been seldom recognized for the impact they’ve made to the advancement of networked systems.
EoC adapters quickly ushered in the ability to cost-efficiently deploy hybrid analog/digital devices controlled by VMS and/or access control management software. This significantly changed the playing field for system designers and installers by enabling the co-existence and capitalization of existing infrastructure or new Ethernet cabling to accommodate myriad system configurations.
Taking the process of integration using hardware-based solutions further is the recent availability of smartly designed equipment enclosures that easily integrate power with access controllers and accessories from leading manufacturers. These enclosures simplify board layout and wire management, greatly reducing installation and labor costs, and provide the versatility and scalability installers need to easily configure and bench test preconfigured system components. The simple yet highly pragmatic design of the enclosure backplanes makes this otherwise cumbersome aspect of integration fast, easy and extremely cost-efficient, – all real benefits to both users’ and installers’ alike.
Evolving Business Models
With capabilities such as remote system monitoring and EoC technologies now available, new business models are available to both users and system integrators. For the end user, managed services can help simplify and reduce investment in a physical security system by providing organizations with fixed monthly costs for system monitoring. Managed services are also available 24/7 which is necessary for mission critical applications.
Another benefit of managed services is that they can augment a company’s technical resources, allowing the organization to focus on supporting its critical business functions. This can be particularly beneficial in an enterprise environment with remote branch locations.
Customers without service contracts can receive technical support as needed using a pay-as-you-go model that typically entails set minimum fees for site visits. The ability to remotely monitor powered devices and systems allows technicians to quickly diagnose and fix or prevent failures without needing to dispatch technicians to the field.
For the system integrator or installer, these new power management solutions provide a potential new source of Recurring Monthly Revenue (RMR). The ability to remotely monitor real-time diagnostics makes it possible to quickly identify potential and immediate problems before technicians are dispatched. Simple solutions, such as rebooting a device remotely, can often resolve an issue. If a service call is required, power management solutions will help resolve the problem faster and more efficiently by identifying the exact source and location of the problem. This allows dispatched technicians to have the parts and tools they need upon arrival to repair the problem benefiting both the end user and the servicing dealer.
Managed power is an essential element in a comprehensive security solution and its continued evolution helps ensure the operational integrity of today’s integrated systems.