4 barriers to tech adoption in the healthcare industry

Are you equipped to deliver the healthcare of the future? In our new blog series, we explore key areas of consideration to help you make the decisions that will improve the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses.

Whether it’s the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), virtual reality, AI or blockchain, new technology promises to revolutionize healthcare from the ground up.

To stay competitive, implementing these technologies is no longer optional for providers, it’s a requirement. But, saying and doing are two different things; digital transformation is not that straightforward.

As we discussed in our previous blog, Can your cabling support the demands of the future, wireless networks – and the infrastructure working in the background – are a necessity to support the latest medical technology. Added to that are four huge challenges for healthcare providers looking to adopt new tech.

Interoperability

In her 2018 study published in BMC Health Services Research, Anabel Castillo, a researcher from Carnegie Mellon University, found that “without interoperable systems, the full potential benefits of adopting electronic health records cannot be achieved,” adding that “patient-centered treatment requires collaboration, coordination and accountability.”

Whether it’s patient-facing technology or back-office operations like supply chain, finance or HR, the ability for systems to ‘talk’ to each other are crucial to the adoption of new technologies. This demand isn’t solely on healthcare organizations, of course. Third party software providers need to fall in line, allowing data and information to flow between their solutions and others. Interoperability needs to be friction-less to truly improve operational efficiency and patient experience.

Upkeep of old technology

Digital transformation is not an overnight solution, it’s a constant evolution, driving organizations towards innovative ways of working. This means new technology inevitably must work side by side with the old, and legacy systems still need care, attention and investment to keep them operational in the short to medium term.

Often these older products still work well and have been integrated into the facility’s workflow over several years. As time goes on, however, the original vendor may no longer support the tool or develop patches for it. As systems get older and support dries up, it becomes more expensive to keep these systems fit for purpose. Investment in new tech, then, also needs further investment in the old.

Culture

Tech solutions don’t replace staff, they’re there to help them. But all too often, transformational decisions are made from on high and cascaded down to a front line that hasn’t been involved in any decision-making or testing of new tech.

In Deloitte’s “Future of risk in the digital era” report, Carey Oven, a partner with Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory, says: “Technology is definitely a part of digital transformation, but unless leaders can ‘win hearts and minds’ throughout the process, efforts can stall or not be as successful as they could be.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge for digital transformation in healthcare is getting staff to embrace new solutions and use them to their full potential. Fail, and that investment will barely see a return.

Cabling

There is no digital transformation without physical infrastructure, and the cable plant of many hospitals is simply unable to handle the demands of new healthcare technologies.  

Organizations won’t enjoy the full benefits of expensive software and hardware upgrades if they don’t consider the strength of the cable plant that supports them. A transformational program can leave hospitals with cost overruns and quality of service issues if attention isn’t paid to both the physical and digital demands of the changes.

Choose an agile, future-proof partner

The partner you choose for your infrastructure design will directly impact the success of your future technology investments. As time goes by, technology vendors may no longer support products that have been integrated into your facility’s workflow over the course of several years. This can result in a ‘rip and replace’ situation, which can be costly and highly complex.

Panduit and their fully vetted and trained ecosystem of installers, integrators, and specifiers have collaborated with numerous organizations to achieve near-perfect reliability, which is critical in healthcare environments. They can help organizations quickly scale up to accommodate additional users, computers, and new technologies. The powerful network provides standardization across the networking environment, and a foundation for continuous technological advancement.

Constant evolutionary change requires a foundation with the ability to evolve with you and a partner that can facilitate those changes.

To discover more about how ‘Generation Data’ is shaping the future of healthcare IT, download our new healthcare eBook.

Panduit Accepts Three 2019 Innovators Awards

Innovation is one of those words that gets tossed around a lot. A. LOT. In fact, an expert just recently included it on a list of words that should never be used to describe yourself. However, for companies like Panduit, where our first focus is on scientific research and the development of new products to solve problems, that word – innovation – is a perfect fit.

Yesterday, Cabling Installation & Maintenance announced the honorees in the 2019 edition of their Cabling Innovators Awards. For five years now, CI&M has been recognizing innovators in the structured cabling space. And, for five years now, we’ve been proud to bring some of those awards home to our trophy case.

Without further ado, presenting Panduit’s 2019 Cabling Innovators Awards:

PoE Extenders – Platinum honoree

PoE Extenders are a new offering from Panduit that extend Power over Ethernet (and data) beyond the 100-meter channel. If you’re looking for a way to connect and power a remote security camera or access gate in a parking lot, or perhaps a suite of devices within a building entrance, this is the solution you’re looking for. PoE Extenders will extend the reach up to 610 meters. This solution solves huge connectivity issues for our customers while being simple and inexpensive to install.

Panduit and Atlona representatives accepted Cabling Innovators Awards during a reception in Las Vegas Tuesday night. Shaun Burnette (left), regional sales manager for Atlona, accepted the Gold award for Lucas Oil Stadium; Panduit Product Line Manager Frank Straka (second from left) accepted the Platinum award for PoE Extenders; and Andres Vicente (right), business development partner with Unitedtec IoT, accepted the Gold award for Codisa Data Center’s intelligent lighting solution by Panduit and Igor. Patrick McLaughlin (second from right), chief editor of Cabling Installation & Maintenance, presented the awards.

Lucas Oil Stadium – Gold honoree

Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, upgraded their digital signage recently with a solution from Atlona, a Panduit company. OmniStream™, Atlona’s AV over IP solution, is the foundation of that installation. OmniStream delivers the performance and dependability of traditional AV distribution, plus the unrestricted scalability and cost-efficiency of integrating over data networks. The upgrade project is highlighted in the Lucas Oil Plaza, a public congregation area for events and concessions. OmniStream, paired with Velocity™ control, now delivers content to 13 single displays and a 16-screen video wall within the plaza.

Codisa Data Center – Gold honoree

Located in Costa Rica, Codisa is a highly-regarded technology partner throughout Latin America. Last year, Codisa began development of their latest data center, in San Jose, Costa Rica. One of their key drivers was to build an environmentally-friendly and sustainable building. So, Codisa partnered with Igor to introduce a PoE lighting solution throughout the Network Operations Center and office space. Igor’s flagship product, Nexos, is a PoE Internet of Things smart building platform that incorporates hardware, software, and cloud analytics to form a digital building backbone. This system was layered onto Panduit physical infrastructure.


Both of these case study honorees exemplify the great work that our customers and partners do in this space. When Cabling Installation & Maintenance first introduced the Cabling Innovators Awards in 2015, Panduit jumped at the chance to submit stellar projects that we were part of, to shine a spotlight on the great, innovative work that our partners and customers are doing. Since that first round in 2015, we’ve continued down that path, choosing – more often than not – to highlight our partners and customers for their projects.

We know that we can’t do this alone. When we combine our innovative products with the ideas and expertise of others – like Igor – the sum is always greater than working alone.

We’re proud to be called innovators by CI&M. And, we’re not done innovating yet. Some of the industry’s best and most curious minds are already hard at work developing innovative solutions to tomorrow’s problems!

Trends Shaping the Future of Connected Smart Buildings: Sustainability

Part 3: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

In the final part of our three-part blog series with building innovation Research Director, Casey Talon of Navigant, we explore the challenges of implementing today’s technology in yesterday’s buildings and look to the future of sustainable smart buildings.

There is a rapid uptake of wireless, what impact does this have on the energy efficiency of a building?

Wireless has a lot of appeal to building owners because of the low cost, low to no disruption installation. The sheer volume of wireless devices projected to be deployed in commercial buildings with IoT begs the question of how to manage the energy requirements in light of energy efficiency expectations for sustainability.

Why is it vital to have an infrastructure that seamlessly delivers data and power, in a size that makes the most of the available space?

The vast majority of commercial buildings we will use in the next couple decades are already built; in many cases, these buildings are old and operating without cohesive smart building solutions. So, while PoE has a value proposition in new construction, it can be a critical component of infrastructure design in retrofits. PoE also offers higher data transfer rates than wireless and data reliability without the concern of interference that can come with using Bluetooth or cellular. Data velocity and reliability are important considerations in the smart building context and especially for solutions deployed in facilities that support critical operations such as healthcare or financial services. Operational savings are another benefit of PoE that can help drive investment in retrofit scenarios, particularly in budget-constrained markets like healthcare and education.

What trends are you seeing in energy efficient technologies being created and adopted by commercial and residential buildings?

Navigant Research has been exploring the future of smart buildings in the broader ecosystem of digital transformation and our view of the emerging Energy Cloud. Optimizing systems within the building to perform in coordination with other onsite resources such as solar, EV charging systems, or energy storage is the next frontier for the smart building.

This next stage is positioned to shift the building from an energy end use to an energy asset, from a cost center to a low carbon profit generator.

PoE lighting controls, as an example, allow for load shedding that can be used for a demand response program. Utilities can engage building owners to shed their energy use during peak periods that risk grid outages in exchange for financial incentives.

Additionally, DC power systems are gaining popularity as distributed energy resources (DER) become more widespread.

Benefits of sustainable smart buildings

In addition to collecting actionable data, creating a better customer experience, and a more productive workspace, sustainability will continue to drive business gains in a connected enterprise. In a recent article, Navigant explores how companies can use sustainability to strengthen financial resilience: How Climate Risk Mitigation is Changing Corporations.

Panduit would like to thank Casey for taking the time to chat with us and helping to inform our readers about the trends shaping the future of connected infrastructure – few things move at the speed of innovation, and we hope Casey’s insights help prepare you for future technology trends that will shape the layout of smart buildings.

Trends Shaping the Future of Connected Smart Buildings: Power over Ethernet

Part 2: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

Power over Ethernet. Automation. Wireless. The future of connected infrastructures and smart buildings are being shaped today. What do building owners and managers need to overcome to convert commercial facilities into smart buildings? In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. In the second part of a three-part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Question for Casey

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is poised to become the new power grid in modern buildings. How will your clients benefit from PoE? What infrastructure considerations should they make as they adopt PoE?

Casey’s response

PoE holds a lot of promise for the smart buildings market. The reduced installation costs, real-time data, and scalability of PoE makes it an attractive technology for smart buildings. While PoE first entered the commercial buildings scene with VoIP phones, the IEEE 100W standard opens the door to more compelling applications relative to smart building goals that benefit from integrating point of sales machines, digital signage, smart lighting, cameras, and other devices as IoT becomes mainstream. Integrating the data streams from smart lighting and cameras, for example, can offer building owners new insight into space use that can inform decisions around leasing or safety.

Building owners will rely on their IT staff or technology partners to define the requirements for their network as they look to implement PoE smart building solutions. Choosing the right cabling and management strategies will help future-proof their buildings as they look to an era of exponential growth in IP-connected devices that need to be integrated for the data analytics that come with IoT. Again, many organizations will struggle to manage a cohesive strategy across their IT and OT systems with existing staff, but understanding the importance of data and the opportunity of smart buildings opens the door to new engagements with service providers.

Benefits of Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet promises flexibility for growth, operational efficiency, improved network control and easier, more cost-effective installation. Customers that deploy PoE will also benefit from devices that operate ongoing without the worry of unexpected failure when batteries need to be replaced. To learn more about its significance in today’s smart buildings and how to navigate the opportunities and obstacles of adapting PoE, read our eBook The Role of Power over Ethernet (PoE) in the Modern Connected Enterprise.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and tech in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss wireless, retrofitting and the emerging Energy Cloud.

Trends shaping the future of connected smart buildings

Part 1: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. As the first part of a three part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Navigant Research’s Building Innovations program focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of efficient commercial and residential buildings. As Research Director, Casey manages Navigant Research’s Intelligent Building Management Systems research service. This service is focused on assessing market opportunity for data-driven tools for energy and operational efficiency in commercial buildings, go-to-market strategies for intelligent building solution providers, and other major market dynamics.

Question for Casey

 As buildings become more automated, new systems and technologies are finding a home on the network. In what ways does your research suggest this will optimize building functions?

Casey’s response

Best practices in network design and cybersecurity are critical elements of a successful smart building strategy. Deploying individual smart systems that run in isolation can only deliver so much benefit. Facilities management is transformed when systems are integrated, data is accessible, and analytics deliver real business insight and direct automated improvements.

IT/OT convergence is a necessity for smart building success. The market is still maturing when you consider the people side of the equation—this is where the significant challenges lie. A secure, seamless, and future-proof network requires cross-domain knowledge, a bridge between legacy facilities and IT teams. Many building owners and managers struggle with this change management process. There is a lot of room for new partnerships and services to support the conversion of commercial facilities into smart buildings.

Today, building owners look to two core value propositions for investing in smart buildings: optimizing system performance and customizing the occupant experience. New applications translate data from diverse building systems, occupancy, weather, energy, and IoT and building equipment into actionable information on strategic business challenges.

Smart building solutions offer a unified approach to deliver energy savings and other business goals such as tracking customer flow in a store, occupancy rates for rented offices, and time for locating shared assets in healthcare to maximize asset value; these are often challenges that may be even higher priority than saving energy.

There is an important link between optimized building systems and the occupant experience. Optimized performance delivers metrics that satisfy demands for sustainability and occupant-centric operations that increasingly represent brand, thereby connecting investment in smart building solutions to the bottom line. Loyal customers equal sales, happy employees equal productivity, and healthy students equal school success.

Benefits of smart buildings

Advantages of smart buildings go beyond energy savings and optimized building operations. For many organizations, the true benefit of a highly connected building is a more satisfying customer experience, higher employee productivity and satisfaction, better student performance, or even improved patient health. To learn more about the key systems found in digital buildings, the benefits of converging systems onto the IP network and the infrastructure that supports it, check out our eBook The Agile and Efficient Digital Building.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and technology in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss Power over Ethernet.

Thanks for checking out our new expert Q&A series. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook or sign up for Panduit’s mailing list to get alerted when our next conversation with an expert goes live.

Planning for Wireless Growth in Buildings

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the number of wireless devices in the world is increasing. Five years ago, digital analysts declared that the number of devices had officially surpassed the number of people in the world. And, by 2025, analysts predict there will be 6 to 10 networked devices per person.

wireless demands strain building infrastructure
The number of wireless devices continues to grow, pushing the evolution of wireless access points, as well as Wi-Fi standards and technologies

To keep up with this demand, wireless access points (WAPs) have evolved. Today’s largest WAPs can support up to 200 client devices. This sounds like a lot, until you think about a large office building, university lecture hall, convention hotel, or airport. In facilities like these, large numbers of employees, students, and travelers are connecting multiple devices: a laptop computer, wireless phone, tablet, smart watch, handheld game console, or any number of other connected devices – potentially all at the same time! And, don’t forget building functions: many of the sensors and devices that connect and control lighting, HVAC, and security systems connect wirelessly. Suddenly, those 200 client devices are accounted for pretty quickly.  

Wireless standards and technologies have also evolved to meet demand. In a span of just 10 short years, wireless technology has seen Wi-Fi 4, 5, and 6. The newest standard, Wi-Fi 6, offers improved data rates, better performance in high-density applications, and reduced latency over previous versions, and is poised to become the fastest growing wireless standard in history. And, while Wi-Fi 6 is not yet commonly deployed, engineers are already working on the next evolution: Wi-Fi 7.

This ongoing evolution of WAPs, standards, and technologies makes it imperative that the layer 1 physical infrastructure also evolve. The move to bigger and faster WAPs has put a strain on the underlying network and the cabling infrastructure that supports it.

Install Wireless with an Eye on the Future

Whether you’re looking to add or upgrade WAPs in your building to support your wireless needs today, when it comes to the infrastructure connecting those WAPs, you should consider not only what you need today, but tomorrow, as well. Because, as we can all see, wireless demand isn’t going to decreas.

For two key reasons, Category 6A cabling is the cabling of choice for WAPs:

  • Category 6A supports 10GBASE-T, a requirement for Wi-Fi 6 and 7
  • Category 6A has optimal PoE performance

To ensure your cabling plant can support wireless growth in the future, Panduit recommends the installation of four Category 6A cables per access point. Why four?

  • Many buildings often need to increase Wi-Fi density, and having additional cables in the ceiling makes upgrading Wi-Fi density quick, easy, and cost-effective
  • The Wi-Fi 7 standard is expected to require two 10GBASE-T links, both running over Category 6A cable
  • Therefore, 4 cables are recommended for both increased density and future Wi-Fi 7 needs
  • Installing the 4 cables upfront provides the lowest possible cost

Learn More!

The impacts of these latest Wi-Fi advances are spelled out in greater detail in our new white paper, Wi-Fi 5, 6, and 7: Insights and Impacts on Cabling Infrastructure. Download it today to learn more about the improvements and advances in wireless technology and how to make sure the cabling plant you install to meet today’s wireless needs will grow with your building.

Can your cabling support the demands of the future?

Are you equipped to deliver the healthcare of the future? In the first of our five-part blog series, we explore key areas of consideration to help you make the decisions that will improve the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses.

Technical innovations are driving faster, more accurate diagnoses, streamlined care and better outcomes for patients. By 2021, the health technology sector is expected to reach $280 billion, according the 2019 US and Global Health Care Industry Outlook report by Deloitte*.

What’s more, Deloitte suggests the US healthcare industry is moving towards a model based on value rather than volume. This means keeping people healthy and out of the hospital will be key. Rather than seeing people as patients, healthcare providers should treat them more like members – a shift that could result in greater customer loyalty. The successful deployment and management of wireless technology can ease this transition by providing a reliable, always on network which is critical to the success of future digital tools, workflow and patient care.

But wireless data transfer is only as reliable and fast as the infrastructure that supports it. Data has to be funneled through a cable at some point, and you may find that your existing cabling infrastructure can’t keep up with the demands of the modern healthcare organization.

Too often, cabling is neglected when planning for new technology investments. The reality is that robust cabling is essential for the success of wireless technologies. It provides the reliability and performance that always-on healthcare networks demand. A 10G infrastructure provides the bandwidth to support the most demanding technology, delivering high-resolution imaging across a hospital in moments, while keeping patients and staff wirelessly connected, and medical records secure.

Not investing in physical infrastructure, may mean not getting the best from the wireless technologies that help deliver competitive patient care. Here are four use cases.

Fast and efficient data collection

Wirelessly connecting medical devices to Electronic Health Records systems has reduced the time it takes to enter vitals from 7-10 minutes to less than 1 minute per patient, according to Becker’s Hospital Review**. What’s more, having access to up-to-date test results and medical records electronically enables staff to provide more streamlined care.

Reducing errors

With the help of wireless technology, patient information no longer has to be interpreted and uploaded to a hospital database manually, significantly reducing the risk of errors.

Location tracking

Wireless technology offers the ability to track a patient’s location, providing a sense of freedom and security for those with long-term illness living outside a medical facility. For example, if a patient with Alzheimer’s diseases goes missing, they can be easily located.

It also provides better care in medical facilities. Wireless, wearable sensors track patient movement, alerting nursing staff when someone leaves their room or suffers a fall.

Remote monitoring

Wireless smart devices allow doctors to monitor patients remotely. Medical devices such as vital sign monitors and infusion pumps transmit data to electronic records, giving doctors remote access to critical information. What’s more, doctors can provide patients with advice via video conferencing.

These examples simply scratch the surface of what’s possible with wireless technology powered by high-performance cabling. Our solutions can serve as the backbone for platforms that improve the quality of care today and beyond.

Discover how Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare relied on Panduit’s Enterprise and Data Center Solutions to create a home for high-level medical services to grow and thrive. Learn more now.

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/us-and-global-health-care-industry-trends-outlook.html

**  https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/the-connected-hospital-wireless-technology-shapes-the-future-of-healthcare.html

Can your infrastructure meet the requirements of MiFID II?

With GDPR still a prevalent concern across the financial services industry, financial institutions face another major regulatory challenge in the form of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). In the UK alone, the Financial Conduct Authority received 1,335 notifications of inaccurate transaction reporting under (MiFID II during 2018*).

The directive is multi-faceted. Ostensibly, the EU designed it to offer more protection to investors by introducing greater transparency to asset classes, whether they’re equities, fixed income, exchange traded funds or foreign exchange.

But this has consequences for your underlying networking infrastructure, which is required to support greater and more timely data transactions. This is especially pertinent for trading firms in the High Frequency Trading (HFT) sector, where trimming network latency by nanoseconds results in increased profits and competitive advantage.

With this in mind, MiFID II mandates latency standards across global banking networks. It also requires communication across those networks to be captured and recorded in real-time, and time-stamped accordingly.

Time stamping is a critical factor, requiring correct handling, with uniform latency across a network helping to create a consolidated view of network transactions which all carry accurate time-stamps.

There are certain technical standards for time-stamping that firms must meet under the new directive. Among these are: choosing the clock that you will use as a reference; indicating the type of organizations involved in a trade; defining the type of trade; and the level of time-stamp granularity -e.g. microseconds or nanoseconds. If you, as a trader, are dealing with a dual-listed, cross-border stock that covers two time zones, your infrastructure needs to be sufficiently uniform so you can document well and timestamp accurately. Once again, latency is the key.

The consequences are even fiercer than with GDPR, as non-compliant companies risk fines of up to €5m, or up to 10% of global turnover**. This is a concern for the 65% of capital market firms across Europe who stated in a 2018 survey that they had no adequate or systematic method in place to monitor trades in accordance with best execution criteria***.

Read this blog to find out how else you should be equipping your network infrastructure to ensure efficiency.  

*  https://www.ftadviser.com/regulation/2019/04/10/more-than-1-000-mifid-ii-breaches-reported-to-fca/

**  https://www.pwc.ch/en/publications/2018/solgari-industry-report.pdf 

***    https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/16488/mifid-ii—one-year-on

Supporting Video Games (and Academics) at Universities

With the ever-increasing popularity of video games, it’s no surprise that there’s a day dedicated to recognizing video games and the gamers playing them. July 8 is Video Games Day, so whether you’re more inclined to crush candies or join friends for a round or two (or 10) of Fortnite, today’s your day!

In the world of online gaming, players want fast upload speeds, even faster download speeds, and low lag. When multiple players are using the same internet connection, the required capacity is multiplied by the number of players.

For most of us, that’s a function of our home internet connection. However, there’s one location where this need for bandwidth is crucial because of sheer volume: the college or university residence hall. Gaming consoles are among the average of eight wireless devices students bring with them when they move on campus. (Curious about the others? Phones, laptops and tablets, as well as smart TVs, wireless printers and wearables are among the other common devices.)

What’s a university to do when the primary gaming demographic is the same demographic as their enrollment … and they all want those fast speeds and low lag rates at the same time? Fear not. There are solutions. And the good news is, when wireless coverage is sufficient to support online gaming, it is adequate to support academic needs also!

Look at Coverage and Capacity

Coverage and capacity provide two approaches to improving the performance of a wireless network.

Coverage: With 100 percent wireless coverage in all areas of the residence hall, students and staff will be able to connect and have Wi-Fi service everywhere they need it. If there are areas where interference and dead zones are an issue, a wireless site survey can determine coverage needs and identify any remediation that is needed. It’s also a good idea to keep an inventory of all wireless devices and their operating frequencies to manage and limit interference between devices.

Capacity: Wireless capacity is the ability of the network to provide reliable, responsive wireless access to the growing number of wireless devices that are competing for bandwidth – in other words, each of those eight devices that students are bringing to campus. This could require more access points in closer proximity, higher power access points, or a mix of both.

Without addressing the wireless needs, you might find that students will take matters into their own hands and bring personal routers, which can wreak havoc with the university’s installed infrastructure. A robust wireless network that meets both coverage and capacity will eliminate these rogue routers before they become a problem.

Increase your Bandwidth

For more than a decade, wireless has been the application driving the need for higher performance cabling infrastructure. The latest generations of WAPs are designed to simultaneously support more than 200 client devices. To get the promised performance, however, the cabling infrastructure that connects the WAP has to perform to those standards.

Wi-Fi 6 (the common name for IEEE 802.11ax) is poised to become the largest and fastest growing wireless standard in history. And, Wi-Fi 7 is fast on the heels of Wi-Fi 6, with significant improvements beyond Wi-Fi 6. If you’re installing or upgrading cabling infrastructure today, you’ll want to be sure it meets the requirements for Wi-Fi 7 at a minimum, so you’re prepared for future generations of access points.

This means Category 6A cabling, to support 10GBASE-T, plus two to four cables per access port. Why four? A minimum of two cables is required to allow for speeds up to 20 Gbps with link aggregation. An additional two Cat 6A cables are then recommended to allow for increased densities over time. It’s easier and cheaper to install the added cables today, than it is to add them later.

Consider Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the new power grid in today’s buildings, with the latest PoE standards allowing for up to 99W of power via the same structured cabling that is moving data to and from the device. Wireless access points are a prime candidate for PoE. With PoE, WAPs can be moved, added and reconfigured at will, without worrying about whether there is an electrical source near the access point.

Once again, Category 6A is the go-to for PoE. The construction of Category 6A cables means they are better equipped to handle the heat rise that comes with PoE. Panduit’s Vari-MaTriX Cat 6A cables are designed with improved thermal capacity, to provide the ultimate in heat rise protection for PoE.

Design for Aesthetics

If you’re adding wireless capacity to existing residence halls, you might not be able to run cabling infrastructure above the ceiling, where that infrastructure typically lives in newer buildings. In cases like this, we’ve seen universities have success using a raceway to contain the cabling infrastructure.

Purdue University successfully added wireless capacity in historic residence halls using a raceway solution plus small diameter cabling. Learn more about the award-winning Purdue project in our Purdue University Case Study.

Game On!

Adding or improving wireless capacity for resident students doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right infrastructure in place, paired with our recommendations above, your students will be ready to game – or study – to their hearts’ content.

InfoComm 2019: Atlona and Panduit Showcase End-to-End AV Solution

In just a couple days, the Pro AV industry will begin to gather in Orlando for InfoComm 2019, an opportunity to learn from industry leaders, see new products, and connect with colleagues in North America’s largest AV show. Panduit, in conjunction with recently acquired Atlona, will be showing a complete end-to-end AV over IP system, featuring Atlona’s OmniStream™ solution, plus the infrastructure and connectivity needed for a quality AV ecosystem.

Visitors to Atlona’s booth (3012) will see everything needed to add collaboration capabilities to a conference room, classroom or huddle space, or to add or upgrade digital signage within their facility. This includes a variety of components from Atlona, no stranger to InfoComm and the AV environment. Panduit, which acquired Atlona in January, will demonstrate its latest enterprise-level equipment racks, cabinets and connectivity solutions for AV, with a focus on helping integrators and end users streamline the installation and management of their core system architectures.

The big change in the Atlona booth this year is the addition of Panduit’s infrastructure solutions:

  • Quality twisted pair copper cabling and connectivity to connect switchers and extenders
  • Equipment racks and wall-mount cabinets that house AV and networking equipment
  • In-room solutions including table boxes that provide connectivity for meeting participants, in-wall boxes to house gear behind monitors, and Above Floor Raceway to safely and efficiently route data, power, and AV cables in rooms where core drilling isn’t feasible

For Panduit, InfoComm provides us an opportunity to close the knowledge gap around how to identify and choose the most appropriate Layer 1 infrastructure for each AV project. We’re excited to speak with Atlona partners and customers about how Panduit can help them deploy Atlona products easier and faster with quality cable management, reliable infrastructure, and secure connectivity.

Panduit AV Infrastructure

Panduit will emphasize key solutions at its dedicated station in the Atlona booth:

  • Panduit Two-Post Rack System: This dual-column data rack offers a reliable foundation for mounting AV and data center equipment and is ideal for installation in enterprise-wide IT distribution closets. Its modular design offers side access with plenty of space to efficiently install, manage and organize cables, patch panels and other accessories, reducing installation times by up to 15 percent compared to competitive solutions. The display will feature a wide variety of Panduit cabling and connectivity, as well as cable management solutions.
  • Panduit Wall-Mount Cabinets: Offering the same foundational strength and systems integration efficiency as Panduit’s two-post racks, these compact cabinets provide a secure and reliable solution for facilities requiring infrastructure and patching solutions in open spaces, or in equipment rooms with limited real estate.
  • Panduit Field-Terminable Plugs: These modular plugs allow contractors to run horizontal cable direct to equipment, eliminating the need for jacks, surface-mounted boxes and/or patch cords – reducing installation times and upfront costs by up to 40 percent, while eliminating multiple points of failure.
  • Panduit In-Room AV Solutions: In-wall and in-table boxes, while not the central point in any AV system, make it easier for users to connect and collaborate. And, Panduit’s award-winning Above Floor Raceway is easy to install, easy to use, durable and ADA compliant – everything you want in your conference rooms or huddle spaces.

Panduit will populate the two-post racks and wall-mounted cabinets with Atlona equipment, including OmniStream AV over IP devices – a springboard for a broader conversation about how quality infrastructure and connectivity will ensure that video, audio and data signal integrity is maintained across the ecosystem. Panduit representatives will also be on hand to discuss other infrastructure concerns, including the benefits and ideal scenarios of applying unshielded cable versus shielded cable, for example.

Beyond offering a robust and reliable infrastructure, we look forward to demonstrating how our systems provide the generous headroom and bandwidth required to support the higher resolution of 4K/UHD and HDR signals moving across the enterprise. Quality infrastructure directly relates to the quality of the AV signals being deployed. The better the quality of the cable and connectivity you have, the less you need to worry about pixel drops, discoloration, and other undesirable visual artifacts.

InfoComm 2019 takes place from June 12-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. If you haven’t already secured a free pass, you can register for a free pass using code ATL175.