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Customer Success Story: Large Healthcare System Uses Modern LAN Principles to Deploy Over 900 IP Phones

Legacy communication networks suffer from limited functionality, which in turn results in frustrations and inefficiencies for management and staff. These frustrations can have an extremely negative trickle-down effect on the customer or patient experience. A large healthcare system decided it was time to solve this issue; to modernize their communication network in several locations across the Northwestern US, including multiple medical centres, critical access hospitals, and medical clinics. In this case, one of the top concerns was operational efficiency, and the legacy CS1000 platform was becoming increasingly inefficient and extremely costly to maintain.

The major challenge in this modernization to IP was the physical network infrastructure upgrades. The process would be extremely costly, time-consuming, and complex, as each location would have to rip/replace/rebuild the existing CAT3 infrastructure with Ethernet. Additionally, extensive power and cooling upgrades were required in hundreds of IDF closets to support even more standard reach PoE switches. Upgrading the cabling and IDF closets would be extremely disruptive to business and would result in a significantly lower quality patient and visitor experience. These network upgrades left the customer frustrated and uncertain how to proceed, forcing the project to be delayed indefinitely.

The customer learned about NVT Phybridge, and the PoLRE® (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) switch. The PoLRE switch was the perfect solution. Not only does the PoLRE switch transmit data and power over CAT3 cable, it can transmit data and power over CAT3 up to 1,200ft (365m). This meant that the customer could leverage the existing reliable and proven cabling infrastructure to support the modernization to IP phones. Now each of the customer’s multiple locations could take full advantage of VoIP and PoE capabilities, fast-tracking the modernization to their new UC/collaboration solution.

This large healthcare system deployed over 900 IP phones without replacing the existing cabling infrastructure and without installing any new IDF closets, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and eliminating operational disruption. IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) recognizes this project for preventing e-waste from ripping/replacing/rebuilding the network infrastructure, along with eliminating the need for extensive power and cooling upgrades to the IDF closets – and awarded the project a 5-star rating.

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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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