Pelco: IP vs. Analog Debate Over

Published Jun 03, 2012 00:00 AM
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Pelco's top executive proclaimed that the debate between IP and Analog is over, at the PSA-Tec keynote speech [link no longer available]. Is it really? Or is this so obvious that it is not even worth mentioning? And what does it mean for Pelco? In this note, we examine the issues in the IP vs Analog Debate.

Pelco Speech Overview

When describing Pelco's own bumpy transition from "analog standard bearer" to remaining relevant in the IP video business, Pelco's executive projected that 2012 will be the first year that Pelco's IP sales will surpass analog.

For Pelco, the issue is no longer "if IP" or "when IP". IP is here and is the mainstream. The executive emphasized that new challenges and defining trends are emerging, so called 'megatrends':

  • "Green": Energy demand is outstripping supply, security needed to protect energy.
  • "Smart": Lots of data out there, too much. Focus in years ahead is going to strip out important data on a custom or individual level.
  • "Safe": Cities and infrastructure is focused on 'safety'. Security must identify it's purpose.
  • "Simple": Make interfaces and systems easier to use.
  • Scariest (biggest threat) megatrend: "emerging" markets, and how that influence affects domestic business methods. Debt leverage will change supply chains.

The Debate Long Over?

For many, the debate has been long over. For instance, we argued a year ago that the market had already tipped to IP with 89% of poll respondents agreeing. Especially among those doing leading edge and larger scale projects, there really has been no meaningul debate for a few years.

Indeed, PSA themselves, in 2011, released a video confirming that IP video were over half of their new projects sales and 'growing faster than what they originally thought'.

Even IMS, within the last month, has accelerated their global tipping point for IP video to 2013.

Pelco's Proclamation Significance

However, Pelco's statement is significant, given its long term standing in the analog market. By comparison, a similar Axis pronouncement would carry little weight as they only sell IP cameras. Yet, for decades, Pelco's business has been built around analog sales. As the Pelco executive noted himself, his company's transition to IP has not been without incident nor challenges. Even for companies like Pelco, who might have a vested interest in slowing down the migration, IP has become so central that they publicly recognize the shift.

End of the Frontier

We have reached the end of the frontier for IP cameras. While IP will certainly imrpove and expand, it is no longer novel nor a matter of interesting debate. The opportunity for new entrants to make big money or huge growth are disappearing but the ability of the mass market to benefit has arrived.