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Meridian IT Modernizes Large University Campus Using Modern LAN Principles

A large American Midwestern University with over 16,000 students and 2,500 faculty was relying on a legacy Centrex communication system in many of their buildings. The aging system was extremely costly and difficult to maintain. When the Centrex system was no longer being supported, the University turned to Meridian IT to help modernize the entire campus to IP phones.

Many challenges were uncovered during an assessment of the customer’s environment. The legacy phone system was supported with a CAT3 infrastructure and the customer was extremely concerned with the potential high costs, long deployment times, and the environmental impact of ripping-and-replacing the existing infrastructure to support the new IP platform. In addition, many buildings on the 200+ acre campus were well over 50 years old and considered historical landmarks. This would further complicate the upgrade process as the University would need to obtain permits to make any changes to these buildings. Assuming permits were granted, strict modification guidelines for construction work on these buildings would result in significantly higher labour costs and extended timelines.

The customer was also challenged with long reach requirements to provide Power over Ethernet (PoE) connections to the new IP phones exactly where they were needed. The customer did not have the required space or budget to install intermediate repeaters or server closets to extend connectivity to all areas of the buildings.

Modern LAN Innovation

Due to the restrictive nature of the upgrade, Meridian IT was confident in recommending Modern LAN design principles and the NVT Phybridge PoLRE® (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) solution to the customer. The PoLRE switch, with patented SmartPathPoE™ technology, transforms existing point-to-point voice infrastructures into robust and secure power-packed IP platforms; capable of supporting new IP phones up to 1,200ft away – that’s 4Xs the reach of standard PoE switches. The customer immediately related to the value proposition. However, given the complexity, risk, costs, and disruption associated with ripping-and-replacing the existing infrastructure, the University was skeptical that PoLRE would work in their environment. Meridian IT assisted the customer and organized a no-obligation proof of concept to test Modern LAN design and the PoLRE switch in their live environment.

The University tested the PoLRE solution in several of their buildings with great success; the customer was astonished at the simplicity of installation and the robustness of the solution. Thanks to the Meridian IT team, the University had found the modernization path that best fit their needs; leveraging Modern LAN principles 2, 3, and 4 to achieve incredible results.

Principle #2: Create a secure and robust local area network – Meridian IT helped the University establish a secure and robust PoE backbone for their new communication platform using their existing and reliable voice infrastructure. PoLRE’s patented SmartPathPoE™ technology allowed the customer to maintain a secure point-to-point IP network for voice, ensuring zero disruption to the core network.

Principle #3: Use new long-reach PoE innovations to maximize ROI – by leveraging the existing CAT3 voice infrastructure, the PoLRE solution allowed the customer to reduce infrastructure costs by over $8 million and accelerate the deployment time by 90%.

Principle #4: Modernize to IP using IoTG environmentally responsible framework – by avoiding the traditional rip-and-replace upgrade model, the University prevented over 12 tons of e-waste from their digital transformation. The University also avoided installing over 100 IDF closets thanks to PoLRE’s long reach capabilities; reducing the organization’s ongoing energy consumption. IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) measures and recognizes organizations that modernize to the Internet of Things with an environmentally responsible process. The University has received the highest rating, 5-stars, for their exceptional transformation.

Meridian IT used Modern LAN design principles to support the customer’s modernization objectives. The University was able to establish a new comprehensive IP communication solution; deploying over 4,000 new IP phones throughout the entire campus.

“The customer was obviously very satisfied with the accelerated deployment. Modern LAN design and the PoLRE solution allowed Meridian IT to modernize an entire building in one day, compared to the initial forecast of 20 days”, said David Morefield, Central NA Regional Sales Manager. “Now multiply that by 100 buildings and you can imagine the time and cost savings”.

A Better Return on Investment

Meridian IT took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways to support their customer’s IP modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner; creating better outcomes for them and their customer. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative technology, Meridian IT helped the customer:

  • Reduce infrastructure costs by over $8 million and reallocate the savings to more IP applications; improving the customer’s ROI
  • Eliminate risk and disruption
  • Reduce the project’s impact on the environment; avoiding over 12 tons of e-waste
  • Accelerate the deployment by 90%
  • Build a secure and robust PoE platform for the enhanced IP communications solution

Change the Conversation; Improve the Outcome

Meridian IT and NVT Phybridge have partnered to help more customers replicate the success of this project. We are committed to helping organizations accelerate their IP modernization, reduce infrastructure costs and eliminate risk and complexity; resulting in a better ROI for Meridian IT customers. Ask your Meridian IT representative about the program and the many benefits available to support your successful IP modernization project.

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Cisco Helps Global Cruise Line Prevent Over 15 Tons of E-Waste During Communication Upgrade Using Modern LAN Principles

Save the Waves®

Save the Waves is the philosophy by which the cruise line operates as it corresponds to environmental stewardship. Starting as a company-wide recycling program, Save the Waves has become a holistic approach to environmental responsibility guided by four key principles: reduce/reuse/recycle wherever possible, pollution prevention, go above and beyond compliance and continuous improvement through innovation. As a global leader in the hospitality industry, the cruise line recognizes the tremendous responsibility they have to the communities they visit and the oceans they sail in, which are at the very essence of their business. When it came time to modernize their fleet to IP phones, environmental impact was top of mind as the cruise line was concerned with the potential amount of e-waste that the project would produce.

Aligning with the Four Key Principles

Additionally, the customer was concerned with the high costs, long deployment times and business disruption associated with the traditional “rip-and-replace” approach to IP modernization. Given the infrastructure challenges, the customer required an innovative approach to overcome their concerns and modernize to IP. The customer was introduced to Frost & Sullivan’s Modern LAN principles and discovered the award-winning PoLRE® (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) PoE technology. Cisco was confident that Modern LAN design and PoLRE innovation was the perfect solution for the customer. Cisco assisted the customer in organizing a no-obligation proof of concept to test the PoLRE switch in their live environment.

The cruise line tested the PoLRE solution in one of their cruise ships with great success. The customer was astonished at the simplicity of the installation, as it transformed the existing voice infrastructure into a secure and robust IP/PoE backbone. Thanks to the Cisco team, the customer avoided the traditional rip-and-replace approach and achieved incredible results:

  • The customer deployed over 6,000 Cisco IP phones across two cruise ships without installing a single IDF closet
  • The simplified solution reduced infrastructure costs by over $3 million across the two ships
  • The new Cisco IP communication platform, along with the supporting infrastructure, was deployed within the originally scheduled one-month dry dock period, an accomplishment that the customer never thought was possible
  • The cruise line was able to 100% reuse their existing voice infrastructure, preventing over 15 tons of e-waste while upgrading the two luxury liners. Leveraging the existing cables will also reduce on-going fuel consumption with every trip, as the proposed replacement wiring was approximately 3Xs the weight – equivalent to the weight of about 400 passengers

IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) measures and recognizes organizations that modernize to the Internet of Things with an environmentally responsible process. The cruise line received the highest rating, 5-stars, for their exceptional transformation.

A Better Return on Investment

The cruise line took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways to support their IP modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative switch technology, Cisco and NVT Phybridge helped the customer:

  • Reduce infrastructure costs by over $3 million
  • Eliminate risk and disruption
  • Reduce the project’s impact on the environment by preventing over 15 tons of e-waste
  • Deploy over 3,000 new IP phones in each of the two ships within the originally scheduled one-month dry dock period
  • Build a secure and robust PoE platform for the enhanced IP communications solution

Congratulations to Cisco’s Rob Collins for winning the IoT Pioneer Award for helping this global cruise line use Modern LAN principles to overcome their barriers to IP communication.

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Global Cruise Line Prevents Over 15 Tons of E-Waste During Communication Upgrade Using Modern LAN Principles

Save the Waves®

Save the Waves is the philosophy by which the cruise line operates as it corresponds to environmental stewardship. Starting as a company-wide recycling program, Save the Waves has become a holistic approach to environmental responsibility guided by four key principles: reduce/reuse/recycle wherever possible, pollution prevention, go above and beyond compliance and continuous improvement through innovation. As a global leader in the hospitality industry, the cruise line recognizes the tremendous responsibility they have to the communities they visit and the oceans they sail in, which are at the very essence of their business. When it came time to modernize their fleet to IP phones to provide a better guest experience, environmental impact was top of mind.

Aligning with the Four Key Principles

The cruise line is continuously innovating and retrofitting their ships to operate more efficiently and with less impact on the environment. However, the customer was concerned with the high costs, long deployment times, business disruption and potential e-waste associated with traditional network design methodologies.

Unsatisfied with the traditional approach, the customer discovered Frost & Sullivan’s new Modern LAN design principles and the PoLRE® long-reach PoE innovation. By leveraging Modern LAN principle #4, a project plan was designed to minimize the impact on the environment.

  • The cruise line was able to 100% reuse existing infrastructure, preventing over 15 tons of e-waste while upgrading two luxury liners to IP communication. Leveraging the existing cables also saved on-going fuel consumption with every trip, as the proposed replacement wiring was approximately 3Xs the weight
  • By using new long reach Power over Ethernet innovations, the customer eliminated the need to install new server closets, which will reduce on-going fuel consumption with every trip
  • Over 6,000 legacy phones were modernized to IP across two cruise ships. These smart devices have energy saving capabilities that will reduce the customer’s carbon footprint even further
  • The simplified solution allowed the customer to deploy over 3,000 new IP phones in each ship during the originally scheduled one-month dry dock period, an accomplishment that the customer never thought was possible.

IoTᴳ (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) measures and recognizes organizations that modernize to the Internet of Things with an environmentally responsible process. The cruise line received the highest rating, 5 stars, for their exceptional transformation.

A Better Return on Investment

The cruise line took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways to support their IP modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative switch technology, the customer:

  • Reduced infrastructure costs by over $3 million
  • Eliminated risk and disruption
  • Reduced the project’s impact on the environment; preventing over 15 tons of e-waste
  • Deployed over 3,000 new IP phones in each of the two ships within the originally scheduled one-month dry dock period
  • Built a secure and robust PoE platform for their enhanced IP communication solution

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Success Story: Avoid the Disruption of Hospital Renovations while Modernizing to IP

The Internet of Things is being adopted by organizations all around the world, of all sizes, and in all industries. In healthcare, upgrading to IP telephony often results in extremely disruptive hospital renovations that negatively impact patient care. By applying Modern LAN* principles, healthcare organizations are eliminating fundamental barriers to IP adoption.

The Unique Challenges of Hospital Renovations

A University Medical Center located in the United States was looking to create an IP-based emergency phone network that would remain operational in the event of a network outage. However, renovations required to rip-and-replace the existing wiring infrastructure to support the new IP phones would be extremely disruptive to patient care. In any medical facility, areas under construction need to be closed and sealed off to prevent contamination from airborne pathogens. As renovations in different areas are finished, these containment zones are taken down and set back up at the next renovation area. This process is extremely time and cost intensive.

Hospital renovations also decrease the amount of space for patient care, as any area under construction is not accessible. Foot traffic also needs to be re-routed around the renovation areas, and the alternative routes are often inefficient and frustrating for staff, patients, and visitors. To complicate the project even further, the University Medical Center operates in a building over 100 years old. To maintain the building’s historical integrity, the renovation process would be more complicated, take longer and create even more mess and disruption.

Modern LAN Innovation

Using Modern LAN principles, the medical center established an upgrade plan that would prevent the extremely disruptive and time intensive renovation process. The medical center discovered that by using the PoLRE™ switch, they could avoid the entire renovation headache. Modern LAN principles state that network design should be approached from an outside-in perspective. By first evaluating the needs of the endpoints, it was determined that by using new long reach switch innovations, the customer could leverage the existing CAT3 infrastructure to provide the exact power and bandwidth requirements up to 1,200ft (365m).

The University Medical Center’s commitment to health, safety, and innovation allowed them to:

  • Avoid months of disruptive renovations, ensuring the safety of all staff, patients, and visitors
  • Create a separate and robust IP backbone for the emergency phones, maximizing the security of the core network
  • Deploy over 400 IP phones across the emergency network over just a few nights
  • Save over $300,000 in infrastructure costs, accelerating the project’s return on investment

Environmental Responsibility

By leveraging Modern LAN principles, the University Medical Center significantly reduced the project’s impact on the environment. The hospital was able to reuse 100% of their existing cabling infrastructure, which prevented approximately 240,000 feet of cable from ending up in a landfill (equivalent to the weight of 14 hospital beds!). The long reach capabilities of the new switches also eliminated the need to upgrade or install new IDF closets, further reducing material and energy consumption. IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) awarded the University Medical Center with a 4-star project rating for an environmentally responsible modernization to IP.

Learn more about Modern LAN design principles

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Success Video: Kansai International Airport Successfully Deploys Over 250 Person Tracking Sensors Using Principles of the Modern LAN

Located near Osaka, Japan, Kansai International Airport (KIX) is one of the busiest airports in Asia and is now used as a gateway to Japan. In 1994, the airport was constructed to alleviate overcrowding at Osaka International Airport. Today, around 25 million passengers use KIX every year, which prompted the need for Person Tracking Sensors to increase operational efficiencies. The sensors would support passenger traffic flow, queue management, and service delivery management applications. Every modernization project is unique, with unique obstacles to be considered along the way, including time and budget constraints, business disruption, visitor and staff safety, and reach requirements of standard PoE switches. Using the Modern LAN principles, NVT Phybridge along with project partners were able to overcome these obstacles.

First Consider the Unique Characteristics of Each Physical End-Point

Each physical end-point in the Internet of Things requires a different amount of power and/or bandwidth to operate. Modern LAN principles state that these requirements should be the first consideration in any modernization project. The requirements of the end-points should drive network and application requirements of the entire system.

For Kansai Airport, the sensors range would cover 100 square meters and needed to be mounted into the ceiling. The international departure terminal ceilings had exposed steel beams as opposed to a closed ceiling, and even though the sensors could be mounted on the beams, there was no place to locally provide power or a switch to relay PoE. With the vast open spaces of an airport terminal, installing IDF closets every 300 feet (100m) would be complex, costly, and disruptive to business.

Consider the Environmental Impact of IoT Modernization Projects

There is incredible awareness about the end-state environmental impact of IoT upgrades. There’s no doubt smart lights that turn off automatically when no one is around will save on electricity, but what about the environmental impact of the process of achieving that end-state? Do the ends justify the means, and what is the net benefit of the IoT upgrade when you “scorch the earth” to get there? IoT to the Power of Green is designed to fill this gap; to measure and certify IoT projects that consider and reduce the impact of the upgrade process on the environment. In our experience, we have found that environmentally responsible IoT transformations have a strong correlation to time and cost savings, both initially and on-going. Reducing IDF closet requirements and simplifying physical network infrastructures is both cost-efficient and environmentally responsible.

Maximize Efficiencies to the Physical Network with Long Reach PoE Switch Innovations

It may come as a surprise, even to many in the business of the Internet of Things, that IP/PoE switches are no longer constrained to 300 foot (100m) reach limitations. NVT Phybridge offers IP/PoE switches with reach up to 2,000 feet (610m), six times farther than traditional switches. To put that into perspective, NVTP switches can reach up to 5.5 football fields in length. This was exactly the solution that Kansai Airport needed to overcome their obstacles.

The NVT Phybridge FLEX24 IP/PoE switch transmits network connectivity and power up to 2,000 feet, which reduced the IDF closet requirements for this project at Kansai Airport by 90%. This reduced the deployment time and minimized business disruption of the airport’s 24-hour operation. 90% less IDF closets compared to traditional PoE switches also resulted in less network complexity, less network maintenance, and a more secure network. The FLEX24 solution saved Kansai Airport over $75,000 and facilitated a more smooth and efficient deployment.

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