Can Your Small Business Benefit From PoE?
Business owners consider Power over Ethernet (PoE) as a technology that belongs only to large enterprises and smart buildings. However, in reality, PoE offers great benefits for all organizations — big or small.
Forward-looking small and big businesses have already used Power over Ethernet to cut installation costs and improve business efficiency. Furthermore, companies have used PoE to cut energy bills and improve data analytics.
Read along to get the motivation to spur you into implementing Power over Ethernet into your small business’s day-to-day operations.
What is PoE?
Power over Ethernet is a technology where a cabling network serves two functions — it provides data connectivity and electricity. Businesses use this technology to power devices that need electricity and data to function.
Such devices include IP cameras, VOIP phones, WIFI printers, scanners, clocks, routers, next computing units, or gaming consoles. There are near-infinite devices that use PoE in a modern business setting.
Though gaining fame in today’s innovative world, Power over Ethernet is not a novelty. It was first invented around 1973 by Robert Metcalfe, a computer scientist and electrical engineer. IEEE standardized the technology in 2003.
The Many Benefits of PoE for Your Small Business
The Global Market Insights report that the use of Power over Ethernet keeps increasing yearly. For instance, in 2018, the PoE market exceeded $700 million, and experts project that by 2025 the spending will increase by 15%.
Businesses are increasingly using POE primarily because it eliminates the need for separate data connections and electrical wiring. Besides reducing installation costs for cabling, PoE comes with several benefits, including:
Combining Various Building Networks
An average business runs on several networks, including computers, wireless internet connections, automated lights, security systems, VoIP phones, and point of sale kiosks. Also, the businesses operate digital signage, door lock systems, occupancy sensors, and other networks.
Typically, these systems must run on two circuitries — one supplying electricity and the other for data connection. That means businesses have to spend more on cabling materials and associated labor costs.
With the Power over Ethernet technology, multiple building networks can run on a single circuit providing electricity and data connection. PoE reduces installation costs by 50%, a significant saving for businesses with several data and electrical networks.
Enhancing Employee Wellness and Comfort
While there are several ways to enhance employee wellness, using the Power over Ethernet stands as one of the most suitable. The technology makes it easy to use automated systems that adjust light, temperature, and air quality.
For instance, some businesses use Power over Ethernet to sync smart temperature sensors and thermostats with a room’s HVAC systems. In the event of temperature drops, the smart temperature controls signal the HVAC system to heat a room to the most comfortable levels.
Furthermore, businesses can use the power over Ethernet to automate systems that control a room’s light intensity, humidity, window shade, and air quality according to occupancy and time of the day.
The PoE-enabled automated controls not only improve the comfort of workplaces but also make employees happy and more efficient.
Improving Office Efficiency
PoE improves office efficiency in multiple ways. First, it fosters a collaborative working place where employees communicate and share information efficiently. Thanks to the cable network that connects computers, VoIP telephones, and other networks on a single circuitry.
Second, Power over Ethernet interconnects ordinary office systems like HVAC, LED lighting, wireless access points, cameras, access controls, and digital signages. The interconnection helps one command system from a centralized point.
The centralized command enabled by PoE cuts down the time and effort one would have spent operating various business systems separately.
Enabling Data Collection
With PoE technology, all business data flows through one cabling network. As such, businesses can use networked sensors to collect essential data, including occupancy rates, traffic patterns, and use of space.
The data helps predict important metrics like usage, costs, and other vital aspects that help customize workplaces for comfort alongside improving the efficiency of various business processes.
How Can Your Small Business Use PoE?
From security systems, communication gadgets, and advertising systems, Power over Ethernet powers almost all systems used in workplace security, comfort, efficiency, and data collection. Some of the familiar places where your small business can use PoE include:
Videophones are important gadgets in business communication since they help with conferencing and client communication in drive-through windows. Despite the benefits, setting up videophones the old way needs electrical wiring and network cabling, which are quite costly to install.
That’s where Power over Ethernet comes in. The technology helps power the videophones in a single cabling network, minimizing the clutter of using two separate circuitries to power the system and enable data transfer.
In most cases, technicians install security cameras in hard-to-reach places like high up on ceilings, stairways, driveways, and windows. That means businesses would spend more on labor and materials if they installed two cabling systems – one for power and the other for data.
Power over Ethernet reduces labor costs associated with installing security systems in hard-to-reach places. How? Instead of installing an electrical wiring and cabling network separately, businesses require just one cabling network for power and network transfer.
Digital signage displays are a game changer in digital marketing. The displays use the power of videos and other visuals to improve brand awareness, boost revenues, and offer real-time product information.
Though important, setting up digital signage is quite costly. For instance, businesses must install digital cabling to send displays from a CPU to the display and electrical wiring to power up the display.
With PoE, businesses need to install a cabling network that powers the display, alongside sending visual content from the CPU to the digital signage.
PoE lighting is gaining popularity in smart buildings for two significant reasons. One, it cuts down the installation costs since the system is powered by a network cabling that can power other systems.
Two, the PoE-compatible LED lighting uses low power, reducing electric bills by a significant amount. It also facilitates automation, whereby businesses can set the system to switch off/on lights depending on occupancy and time.
Your Small Business Can Benefit From PoE
Small businesses can benefit from PoE just the way bigger companies do. This technology eliminates the need to install a cable network and electrical wiring separately when operating systems that require power and data connection.
Additionally, PoE improves businesses’ efficiency, security, data collection, and the comfort of employees. Small companies using Power over Ethernet spend low energy bills, experience improved employee retention, and make better decisions due to enhanced data collection.