Today Adder Technology releases the results of a commissioned survey of communications executives.
On a con call this morning with Adder VP Tim Conway and UK-based PR/Marcomm manager James Wood we batted the data around a bit.
The survey turned out to be more relevant than expected for our market; while 39% of respondents were focused on video editing, command/control applications were a close second at 37%.
A critical data point? 82% of respondents said their systems were more than four years old; 46% of the systems were more than six years old.
A significant 71% of the respondents said they would be replacing their systems over the next three years.
What else jumped out? "The seniority of the respondent titles," Wood replied.
"We started it before NAB," Conway explains, "to get some confirmation on what had been a gut feeling for us from talking to customers and from seeing year on year growth for a number of years. We knew something was going on, but we wanted to get beyond anecdotal stories and beyond just our own product trends and understand what the hot points were for the installed base."
Those hot points turned out to be scarcity of space and power. "Customers can put a dollar figure on every 1RU of rack space," Conway says, "And server rooms aren't growing."
This consideration had led Adder to develop what they are calling a "zero RU" USB-powered IP KVM transmitter, the ADDERLink INFINITY 100T (ALIF100T) which they brought to NAB. With a unique dongle form factor, it is a quarter of the size and consumes a quarter of the power of a conventional rack unit yet delivers up to a maximum of 1920x1200@ 60Hz through DVI or DisplayPort interface. It plugs straight into the back of a computer and can be retrofitted into existing applications.
In addition to this response to space and power concerns, Conway says that while some customers are simply looking to replace their existing KVM infrastructure, others are ready to take advantage of new KVM capabilities, including the ability to decentralize and support enterprise- and campus-wide deployments. The trend towards USB from PS2 is also opening up possibilities.
"One of the things we're discovering is that with these aging systems, people's understanding of what KVM can do may be based on a reference point that is five, even 10 years old. So for some, it's eye-opening to understand that they may not just be replacing but actually reimagining their KVM infrastructure."