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Saturday, August 05, 2017



CCTV has traditionally used analog transmission to move pictures from cameras to displays. Currently, this technology is slowly succumbing to IP oriented technology although analog-like SDI uncompressed digital systems are gaining traction in some specialised applications.  In all cases, copper based technology has limitations in terms of distance and interference immunity so that fiber is often the preferred, sometimes the only, way of distributing signals around CCTV networks.  In this technical corner will discuss fiber optics in CCTV the best ways to make effective use of the technologies now available.
Over the past 10 to 15 years CCTV has become ubiquitous and while many applications are related to security almost as many are related to operational and safety matters.  For example, road operators have been using CCTV for well over 30 years for monitoring traffic flows in many cities and large towns with fiber first being used in this application well over 20 years ago.
Until fairly recently, CCTV used technical standards derived from broadcast television and characterising quality performance of systems likewise derived from the techniques and equipment typically used in the broadcast industry.  The advent of IP based CCTV and newer technologies related to High Definition (HD) TV have considerably widened the scope of surveillance systems.  Consequently, we now see a mix of both analog based and network based technologies, the former using coaxial cable and the latter using Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable, typically so-called Cat-5 cable.
While coaxial cable is very easy and convenient to use, it does have limitations:
  • Link distances are typically restricted hundreds of meters unless in-line amplifiers are used
  • Susceptibility to interference from electrical machinery, lightning and other electronic equipment
  • Ground loops can cause major problems
  • Obviously, there are ways of reducing these issues but eventually coax runs out of puff.
Often it can be inconvenient to install coax cable and if UTP is available then there is a great incentive to use it.  However, similar issues arise when trying to use UTP cables to transmit analog video signals.  Typically, passive or active Balanced-to-Unbalanced converters (Baluns) are used and these can provide reasonable transmission over a few hundred meters (even more with active cable equalisation).  The Ethernet systems typically deployed in local area networks are often used to transfer IP based video signals but as with coax and balun based analog systems, these also have severe distance limitations and are susceptible to EMC issues.
Which is where fiber optic technology comes into play: where distance or EMC are a problem fiber is a very straightforward technical fix for many situations.  Fiber has some excellent technical features:
We have spent some time in past issues discussing optical fiber, how it works and the technical parameters of singlemode and multimode fiber so we will not go into all of it here. Please see Technote  – ‘Fiber types and using them effectively’ and ‘Singlemode vs Multimode’.
Over the past 15 years CCTV technology has slowly moved from the original broadcast industry analog technology based on coaxial cable to systems in which the video is digitized, compressed and transmitted via local network technologies, typically using Ethernet running Internet Protocol (IP) over UTP cabling.  The digitization and compression may occur within the camera or externally in a local video encoder or perhaps back at the control room within a DVR.  The quality of IP cameras and the schemes used to compress and transmit the video signals has improved dramatically over the past few years but it is still the case that almost all the highest quality cameras are analog output types.  Due to this and the (for now) lower cost of analog cameras as compared to equivalent quality IP cameras, analog systems are still popular for general use while in specific applications such as highway or tunnel traffic monitoring many systems engineers are still specifying analog units for reasons such as video quality, zero latency and ease of control.  A further “back to the future” wrinkle on this progression has been the application of the broadcast industry’s SDI (Serial Digital Interface) technology to high end CCTV systems over the past few years.
Analog Systems
Transmitting analog television signals through fiber has progressed through three phases:
  • AM (Amplitude Modulation ) systems
  • FM (Frequency Modulation) systems
  • Digital systems
The first commercially available fiber CCTV systems were AM.  They offer good video performance over several km but the signal does degrade with distance.  This technology is still widely used for simple video only links on multimode fiber where it very economically provides more than adequate performance.
FM systems came next and overall technical specs are usually better than AM, they tend to have more constant performance with distance and they operate happily over both MM and SM fibers.
Finally, uncompressed digital systems can have very high performance which does not change with distance (until it falls off a cliff) and is probably best with SM but is also commonly used with MM.
Pricing does increase a little going from AM to FM to digital but not excessively.  For example, Figure 1 shows two small transmitter modules that plug onto the camera: the AM unit retails for less than $100 whereas the digital equivalent is about 30 to 50% more expensive.  Of course, the digital’s performance is vastly superior!
Figure 1: Small AM and Digital Video Only Transmitter Modules
Figure 1: Small AM and Digital Video Only Transmitter Modules (OSD365A)
A key issue in this improvement in technology from AM to FM to digital is that the bandwidth requirements do increase fairly dramatically .  An AM system needs just the video bandwidth, ie 5 to 10MHz which means that with standard MM fiber operation over about 100km might be possible if it wasn’t for the fiber attenuation.
A basic FM system will require 30 to 50MHz so can operate over around 10km of MM.
On the other hand, digital systems operate at bit rates somewhere between 100Mbps (very basic 8-bit systems) to over 350Mbps (high end) which means optical bandwidths of 90 to 300MHz are needed.  Therefore, it is difficult to be able to guarantee reliable operation over much more than a few km on MM fiber for most such products.  Consequently, digital modems and multiplexers are best suited to SM fiber. For more on fiber bandwidth issues see Tech Corner “How far can you go?”.
IP CCTV systems have started to dominate many areas of video surveillance for many good reasons such as the flexibility in placement of cameras and the theoretical ease of integrating the surveillance of a building, campus, etc into the existing IT local area network.   Clearly, there are differing viewpoints about the practicality and/or advisability of incorporating CCTV into an existing IT network but it can be done successfully provided due allowance is made for both average and peak transmission requirements of the CCTV.  Typically, the video image quality seen at the control room rarely approaches that of well designed analog systems because:
  • Basic camera optics, sensor and analog processing are sometimes inadequate
  • Video encoder (within camera or external) and software decoder are not of high quality
  • The transmission rate has been choked in order to allow the network to breathe a little, which typically results in noise, blockiness, reduced frame rates and excessive latency.
All these issues are being addressed by system vendors so that excellent quality is now possible, provided the network can handle the increased data rates required for high quality equipment and software.  For Standard Definition (SD) video this could be an average of 0.3 to 1.0Mbps with peaks of 10Mbps or even greater.  However, megapixel cameras can increase this dramatically with average rates of 5 to 10Mbps for some types.  Most networks will operate at 100Mbps out of the camera or encoder and feed either directly to a switch located in a central equipment room or to that switch via a backbone network.  This backbone will sometimes be 100Mbps but more usually it will be Gigabit Ethernet such as the redundant ring network shown in Figure 2.  Clearly the number of megapixel cameras that can be supported on any network will be a lot less than is possible with standard cameras.  Alternatively, larger networks may need to move towards 10Gbps backbone technology.
Figure 2  Typical Redundant Ring Gigabit Backbone Network
Figure 2 Typical Redundant Ring Gigabit Backbone Network
Unfortunately, most backbone networks use MM fiber which really isn’t all that good. As has already been noted, the fiber used has changed from the original 50/125 design to 62.5/125 and back to 50/125 over the past 20 years or so:
  • Most legacy fiber has been supplied to meet the old FDDI specification (Fiber Distributed Data Interface, an old standard for token ring based backbone networks) and is usually known as OM1. This is 62.5/125um and has serious limitations in terms of fiber bandwidth, ie @ 850nm and @ 1300nm. This is fine if you are running Fast Ethernet over a few kilometers but starts looking a bit shaky once you have Gigabit speeds and really problematical once we are talking 10Gbps.
  • OM2, OM3 and now OM4 50/125um fibers have been developed to improve the performance at 850nm when using VCSEL light sources and these enable 1G and 10G operation over hundreds to several hundred meters. Still somewhat limiting when networks move outside buildings.
Operation at 1300nm over multimode fiber is sometimes needed, eg when using SM oriented equipment and some care is needed to ensure reliable operation. We have covered some of the issues in Tech corner that can arise in such situations and the consequent need for Mode Conditioning Patchcords (MCP).
Of course  the other solution to the limitations of MM fibers is just to completely replace them with singlemode fiber and singlemode equipment. This enables you to move seamlessly from generation to generation of technology without touching your network backbone cabling.  In fact, to be absolutely sure that your infrastructure does not need any upgrading, also install APC (Angled Physical Contact) connectors on all your new SM fiber with all the benefits APC technology gives you. In Technote,  “Selection of Optical connectors” goes into some detail on the different connector types and their features.
Given the enormous emphasis placed on IP systems by vendors, consultants and end users over the past several years it would be reasonable to assume that this is the ultimate technology for CCTV.  Both the original analog technology and then compressed digital technology on which IP systems are based came out of the broadcast industry.  Now another broadcast originated system is being applied to CCTV: Serial Digital Interface (SDI).  This is a series of standards that started with uncompressed Standard Definition (SD) video running at 270Mbps over coaxial cable and which is also now available for High Definition (HD) at 1485Mbps and at 2970Mbps.  It is very likely that the next SDI standard will operate at around 10Gbps.
The great thing about SDI is that it is about as pure a digital video signal as it is possible to get so that with good cameras, lenses and transmission technology there are very few impairments in the pictures.  Thus, for a minority of higher end CCTV applications it is a very useful technique.  An example might be where centralised video analytics are being used in high risk sites such as airports where there is little margin for the distortion and noise that might accompany even high quality IP systems.
In some ways the SDI solution looks like an analog solution: camera, 75Ω coaxial cable and BNC connectors and can, theoretically, use the same copper cabling infrastructure already in place for conventional analog CCTV.  There are now many surveillance oriented cameras that have a native HD-SDI (1.485Gbps) or 3G-SDI (2.97Gbps) interface. Unfortunately, the distance these systems can transmit over the coaxial cable is somewhat limited: from 140 or so meters using HD-SDI, to as little as 70 metres using 3G-SDI – somewhat similar to the old analog technology.  In fact, this compatibility with existing coaxial cable infrastructure is often touted as the key motivation for the move to HD-SDI technology: just replace your cameras and a few components at the control center and “Bingo” – HD zero latency images without the hassle of an IP network.
Note also that these numbers assume good quality coaxial cable: attempting to make SDI work with rubbish cable is contra-indicated.
Such transmission distances are too short to be practical in many CCTV networks, so fibre optic systems are often essential and a growing range of SDI products is available for the CCTV industry.
It is certainly best to use SM fiber with these systems but operation with MM fiber is often practical, although it may be necessary to use MCPs.
There are many different cable types which tend to be divided into those most suitable for either indoor and outdoor deployment.  Most cables used in conventional commercial or industrial outdoor sites do not move once installed so designs such as the loose tube are ideal.  Figure 3 illustrates the cross section of a 6-tube design.  It has great flexibility in that the individual tubes can each carry from 1 to 12 individual fibers or, in some designs, from 1 to 6 or more 12-fiber ribbons.  The cable’s central strength member will usually be dielectric (for example, fiber reinforced plastic, FRP) but can also be metallic.  The FRP core is usually quite stiff so bending radii of 500mm or so are quite common which means that this design is not so suitable for in building use where a fair degree of flexibiliity is needed.  Some sort of filling is often used inside the tubes to prevent water migration up the cable.  Such fillings can be gels or dry powder that expands in contact with water.
Figure 3 Loose tube outdoor cable cross section
Figure 3 Loose tube outdoor cable cross section
Distribution (or riser) cables used within buildings need to be flexible, strong and must often meet stringent requirements such as low smoke, zero halogen flame and flame retardancy.  The most common design is the tight buffer illustrated in Figure 4.
Figure 4  Tight buffer distribution cable
Figure 4 Tight buffer distribution cable
The fibers in tight buffer designs typically have a secondary plastic coating (hytrel or nylon) that takes the diameter up from the usual 0.25mm to 0.9mm.  The fibers are then just bundled together and surrounded by Kevlar for strength and then an outer jacket such as PVC or polyurethane is added.
Single tube variants of the loose tube design are also used in buildings as distribution cables.  Such cables have up to 24 fibers in the central tube that will be surrounded by Kevlar and then a plastic jacket and are flexible enough for indoor use.
Usually, cables are terminated in Fiber Optic Breakout Trays (FOBOTs) with the terminated trunk fiber appearing via a through adapter (SC in most Australian installations).  Connection to the equipment is via a patchcord which will be SC at the FOBOT end and commonly ST, SC or LC at the equipment end. This was earlier discussed in detail in  Tech Corner – “The selection of optical connectors”.
When a cable is installed and terminated the installer will normally test his work.  This should include loss measurements using a power source and an optical power meter and very often will include bothway OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) measurements which give a very good picture of the loss of all components of the cabling: cable(s), connectors and splices.  Such “certification” is highly recommended in all but the most straightforward installations as it not only establishes the real loss performance on Day One but gives you a reference for any future issues that might arise.   Do note that all such OTDR measurements should be carried out at both 850 and 1300nm for MM and at 1300 and 1550nm for SM.  Good results on a SM link at 1300nm do not guarantee good results at 1550nm:  small imperfections in fiber handling that barely affect SM fiber at 1300nm can cause major problems at 1550nm.
After the link has been installed and the fiber installation specialist has been long gone what do you do if you have a problem with the system?  The first and most obvious action is to check if the fibers are still working correctly.  Many transmission equipments will have some sort of indicator for the received optical signal: it may be a simple “OK/NOT OK” LED on the front panel or it may be embedded in the GUI software and actually show the received optical power level.  Or, you may have nothing obvious to look at.
We would strongly recommend to anyone with more than a few fiber links in their plant or network or to anyone involved in installing fiber systems that they consider buying a simple low cost (less than $800) optical power meter: it is a great investment which can save you a lot of wasted time.  With an optical power meter you can measure the output of transmitters, check receiver sensitivity and overload problems and measure the optical loss of cables, connectors and splices.  A power meter is all that’s needed for 90% of organisations.  A visual fault indicator which injects intense red light into the fiber is also handy for identifying breaks or fractures in fibers up to hundreds of meters away.  Of course, if your operation cannot tolerate any downtime at all and/or you are in a remote area then an OTDR and fusion splicer might also be advisable.
Fiber is a well established technology that can offer enormous benefits to end users in enabling interference free transmission over almost any distance of high quality video, whether it be in analog, IP or SDI formats.  The fiber type used will often have been already decided due to factors outside the user’s control but if not it is recommended that singlemode be looked at very seriously.  Using APC style connectors for such SM infrastructure is also recommended.  Factors such as the type of cable to be used will be determined by site conditions, eg typically loose tube types for the longer outdoor runs and tight buffer (aka distribution) within buildings.  It is always recommended to use FOBOTs to interface between the cabling and the equipment.  Various standards either recommend or mandate the use of the SC type connector for this building cabling but please note that the standards do not specify which connectors should be used on the transmission equipment: this is up to the manufacturer.  Consequently, much use is made of patchcords with an SC on the FOBOT end and an ST or LC or whatever on the equipment end.
It is recommended that OTDR based testing of new installations other than the most simple be carried out and a record kept of these results.  It is also suggested that an optical power meter be readily available for quick checks in case of any issues.


Friday, August 04, 2017


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Jangan lupa monitor UPS, HVAC dan CCTV Anda

How Network-Enabled Devices Escape Your Attention: Don't Leave UPS, HVAC, and CCTV Cameras Blind and Powerless

Enterprises monitor most network-enabled devices by design. However, some devices come with networking protocols such as SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) disabled by default for security reasons. Some systems such as UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies), HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), Physical Access Control Systems, and CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) cameras have traditionally fallen under the purview of groups such as facilities, operations, or physical security. IT may not have direct access or oversight of these systems.
Where electrical engineers are responsible for UPS systems and power distribution, for example, it may not occur to them that they should involve IT. They probably aren’t familiar with TCP/IP or SNMP and don’t know the benefits of network monitoring. Where an outside security provider is responsible for CCTV cameras, they may have no contact with IT, and the subject of network monitoring may never come up. IT may not know whether they can or should monitor these devices.
The devices above should fall under IT for network monitoring. The degraded function of any of these devices negatively affects IT uptime and security. It’s important to know why IT should monitor these devices and what your options are for doing so.

The Criticality of UPS Systems to IT

The importance of UPS systems and power distribution to distribution network cabinets and the datacenter, in general, is clear. UPS systems ensure datacenter uptime where power is at risk to maintain business continuity. UPS acts as a buffer between IT assets and the unwieldy nature of public utility power.
UPS keeps hardware running in the absence of primary power until devices shut down properly. UPS protects devices against electrical surges and sags that damage components. You can use UPS to determine a pattern for turning ports back on so that you don’t overload servers. Without UPS, systems would go down, and the enterprise would lose critical data, IT workloads/jobs, and hardware. Downtime and data loss would cost the company time, money, person hours, and profits.

Monitoring IP-Enabled UPS Systems

Most UPS vendors such as APC, Eaton, and Emmerson offer IP-Enabled UPS Systems that support network-based monitoring using SNMP. PRTG Hardware Sensors and Custom Sensors enable you to achieve robust monitoring with the SNMP protocol. IP-Enabled UPS systems are compatible with SNMP v1 through v3.  
IP-Enabled UPS systems support monitoring and reporting on various metrics. Parameters include current, input/output voltage, and battery status indicators such as the state of charge and temperature on a per socket/port basis that can signal deteriorating performance and overheating batteries.
UPS systems can alert IT when the system switches to battery power, when you overload the system, and when it’s time to get a new battery. UPS monitoring can include line quality metrics for your electric utility, failed self-test notices, and alerts when the battery is too hot.

By implementing a PRTG sensor for your UPS, you can monitor battery capacity, temperatures, voltage, and historic data so you can model data over time. By adding available custom PRTG sensors, you can use SNMP to monitor readings such as temperature thresholds, line input/line output data, remaining battery runtime, whether you need to replace the battery, and other useful metrics.
You may find the following Knowledge Base threads useful when using the Paessler PRTG UPS sensor template to collect UPS metrics:

HVAC Systems’ Role in IT
HVAC systems keep datacenter servers and hardware below temperature thresholds, enabling optimal performance. HVAC equipment prevents overheating, which can lead to heat buildup, hardware malfunctions, and fried hardware. Proper placement of CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioner)/CRAH (Computer Room Air Handler) units and proper management of air flow ensure that datacenter HVAC systems use power efficiently.These HVAC efficiencies play an important role in the datacenter’s effective use of power overall.
Datacenters need to watch airflow and temperatures, ensuring that cold air flows through datacenter equipment while hot air aisles send hot air into the intakes for the CRAC/CRAH units. Without these efficiencies, too much of the datacenter’s overall power bill goes to resources other than servers, the PUE ratio deteriorates, and the data center spends too much on power. If hot and cold air mixes, this dilutes the cool air and makes the CRAC/CRAH units work that much harder.

Using the Internet Protocol, TCP/IP, and SNMP to Monitor HVAC systems

Using IP-enabled communications over TCP/IP networks, and the SNMP protocol, the data center can monitor and report on HVAC system metrics that provide visibility into CRAC/CRAH unit performance, room temperature, hot spots, and airflow. For example, devices designed to monitor and alert on temperatures for HVAC systems, using SNMP and TCP/IP, like those from vendors such as Kentix can take these metrics for you.
Paessler offers some Environment Sensors, which you can use to pull temperature and humidity readings from servers and key locations in the datacenter server room. Your HVAC stakeholder will be happy to hear that you can retrieve temperature and humidity data at the server rack-level air intakes, outtakes, wherever there are potential hot spots, and at each HVAC unit (to confirm proper function of the unit). This will enable you to alert the HVAC stakeholder to metrics that fall outside acceptable ranges.

Physical Access Control Systems

Physical access control systems are necessary to datacenters and IT to prevent unauthorized system access that is only possible within a given physical proximity of devices inside an industrial campus, building, datacenter facility, or computer room. Physical access control systems prevent information breaches that are possible even when access via shared networks is impossible due to network segmentation.

Monitoring Physical Access Control Systems

Physical Access Control Systems are typically IP-enabled, but might not be SNMP ready. Where SNMP is available on these systems, you can use it to monitor device uptime and many other properties. There may be a number of types of physical access control systems and supporting devices to monitor. Make sure to configure monitoring for the device the user interfaces with whether a card reader, keypad, or biometric system and the control panel that compares the data the user entered with records in an access control list.

IP Based CCTV Systems

IP-enabled CCTVs connect using Ethernet ports and communicate over TCP/IP. CCTVs use UDP as the communications protocol for video streaming. CCTV systems usually use RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) for streaming. You could add a custom channel for monitoring RTSP traffic using packet snifferand NetFlow sensors in PRTG.
You will want to monitor the NVR as well as each CCTV camera and any network devices on the CCTV network. A digital Network Video Recorder (NVR) can take the form of a computer or PC-based hardware appliance on a CCTV IP-based network. The NVR records live image/video streams from CCTVs to hard disk.
To confirm SNMP support, see if the CCTV responds to SNMP queries. If it does, use SNMP to enable monitoring for uptime and status. You can use SNMP to monitor the NVR disk for metrics such as available disk space and disk health. You can use SNMP to detect whether devices are up, online, and working and to log events and send alerts using traps.
You could use a bandwidth monitoring tool such as PRTG Network Monitor to alert on thresholds where the CCTV network switch bandwidth is greater than X to determine whether the cameras and network have sufficient bandwidth to do their jobs.
If SNMP is not available, you can use ICMP to confirm that the IP camera is up and available as a node on the CCTV network.

Make Monitoring Easy on Everyone

monitoring with prtg.png
With monitoring tools offering increasing amounts of freedom of customization, you should be able to enable a degree of automation to remove some of the more tedious steps.
Before implementing IP-based or other communications protocols for monitoring or making any changes to any systems, contact the stakeholder for these technologies.They need to know what’s changing on their systems, sign off on it, and participate as your trusted adviser while learning their role in enabling the new monitoring technology.
Using PRTG’s comprehensive and granular alerting and reporting options, you can support stakeholders with relevant information about events and statuses. If there are accidents or issues, ask how you can improve protocols and monitoring to alert on these in the future. 

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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

VUCA World


(Mempersiapkan diri menghadapi dunia yang penuh ketidakpastian)

Saat ini , pada saat anda bekerja di industri apapun, dan menekuni profesi apapun , apakah itu sales, marketing, supply chain, finance atau HR, anda pasti merasakan . Dunia business saat ini sedang dilanda ketidakpastian. Tidak ada satu perusahaan pun yang terjamin aman dari gelombang VUCA yang saat ini sedang melanda dunia.
Perusahaan-perusahaan besar seperti Kodak, Nokia dan lain-lain menunjukkan bahwa "menjadi perusahaan kuat" bukan jaminan bahwa perusahaan anda akan selalu aman dan berjaya.

Dunia berubah, ekonomi berubah, politik berubah, bisnis berubah, kompetisi  berubah, perilaku konsumen  berubah. Dan kalau anda atau perusahaan anda tidak berubah, bersiap siaplah bahwa anda akan hilang ditelan jaman. Padahal masih  banyak yang perusahaan atau individu yang sombong atau arogan dan terlalu percaya diri.
Merasa mempunyai strength dan competitive advantage yang kuat.
Dan ternyata strength di masa lalu sering kali tidak relevant di masa depan. Dan justru strength di masa lalu sering kali membuat kita complacent dan lupa diri, lupa untuk being humble and keep learning. Often, your strength will kill you.

Hal ini sudah terjadi pada beberapa insinyur perminyakan yang sekarang mulai menganggur, kehilangan pekerjaan, meratapi nasib dan tiap hari menunggu kapan harga minyak naik.
Hal ini terjadi pada beberapa profesi yang berjaya di masa lalu, dan sekarang terlanda krisis. Tetapi hal ini juga berlaku bagi beberapa perusahaan yang merasa jagoan di masa lalu, tetapi karena terlalu arogant, sekarang mulai tersesak kompetisi.
Bayangkan bahwa sebuah aplikasi online yang dibuat oleh 3 anak muda ternyata berpeluang untuk mengganggu bisnis anda, apakah anda adalah perusahaan taxi besar, perusahaan retail supermarket besar, atau apapun bisnis anda. Saat inilah anda menyadari betapa rapuhnya perusahaan anda atau kompetensi anda. 

Pertanyaan yang sekarang paling popular adalah "What if , whatever we knew, is wrong"
(Bagaimana seandainya saja, apapun yang kita ketahui ternyata salah).
Dan pertanyaan itu ternyata sama sekali tidak exagerate (melebih-lebihkan).
Better safe than sorry. Lebih baik waspada daripada celaka!

Jadi, bagaimana dong? Tunggu dulu, pertama kita harus mengerti ketidakpastian apa yang kita hadapi. Jadi kita bahas dulu, apa sih dunia yang "VUCA" . Lets discuss ...

VUCA berasal dari kata "Vulnerable, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity"
(Rapuh, tidak pasti, rumit dan rancu!)

Kita bahas satu persatu yuk ...

1. Volatile (Rapuh)

Tidak ada lagi bisnis yang stabil. Kompetisi makin kencang, ekonomi makin tidak pasti. Kalau dulu business growth anda flat, atau naik terus perlahan lahan. Bersiaplah bahwa sekarang business growth anda akan menjadi roller coaster. Siap siap, jaga stamina, jaga jantung. Karena kalau tahun ini bisnis anda naik dan growth  ya positive, bisa saja tahun depan growth nya negative dan menukik tajam. Kemudian kalau anda bekerja keras dan berinovasi mungkin tahun depannya naik lagi. Persis sama seperti roller coaster!

2. Uncertainty (Ketidakpastian)

Tidak ada lagi yang pasti. Pada saat sebuah perusahaan taxi di China berinvestasi banyak-banyak membeli taxi merecruit driver dan mentraininh mereka dengan   biaya besar, ternyata sebuah aplikasi online menghancurkan growth mereka, dan membuat mereka harus mengaca diri.
Ketika sebuah retail supermarket besar di Taiwan berinvestasi besar besaran menambah toko, menambah gudang dan menambah karyawan, ternyata bisnis mereka diganggu oleh maraknya toko-toko online.
Pada saat sebuah perusahaan consulting services  perminyakan berinvestasi ternyata beberapa tahun kemudian harga minyak turun drastis, dan mereka sepi order.
You dont know the future anymore, you cannot predict it, nothing is certain. Get ready!

3. Complexity (rumit)

Business anda semakin lama semakin rumit. Dulu kita hanya memikirkan profit. Kemudian nambah harus memikirkan customer. Kemudian nambah lagi , you need to hire, motivate and develop your employee. Sekarang anda harus juga memikirkan CSR, stakeholder engagemeng, kontribusi perusahaan anda pada pelestarian lingkungan dan pengembangan masyarakat. Belum situasi hukum (local dan internasional) yang makin tidak menentu. Bisnis tidak lagi semudah beberapa belas tahun yang lalu di mana anda menciptkan product, memproduksi dan menjualnya, dan mendapatkan keuntungan.
Wake up and welcome to the real world. Now it is much more complicated than that.

4. Ambiguity

Semuanya makin rancu. Kita gak jelas lagi dengan aturan bisnis kita karena peraturan yang terus menerus berganti.
Pada saat kita pikir kita sudah memenuhi semua yang diatur dalam regulasi, ternyata ada saja yang interprestasinya berbeda.
Pada saat kita sudah memasang strategy terhadap competitor kita, ternyata datang pemain baru yang masuk. Bahkan perusahaan yang tadinya kita pikir tidak berkompetisi dengan kita ternyata menjadi alasan customer kita meninggalkan kita.

Pemilik bioskop bersaing dengan pengelola TV kabel. Pengelola bus malam bersaing dengan pengelola kereta api. Dan perusahaan kereta api bersaing dengan pesawat terbang. 
Taxi bersaing dengan aplikasi online.
Supermarket dan pengusaha retail bersai ng dengan perusahaan online. Dan makin banyak lagi yang akan terjadi.

Terus apa yang harus kita lakukan?
Ternyata kita bisa menghadapi VUCA dengan menjadi "VUCA".
Tapi kali ini VUCA yang harus kita lakukan singkatannya lain. Singkatan yang baru, yang menggambarkan apa yang harus kita lakukan adalah
- Visionary Leader
- Unleash the (hidden) potentials
- Change agent
- Agility builder

Kita bahas satu persatu ya ....

1. Visionary Leader

Seorang leader mem-balance antara short tern and long-term success. Anda harus tetap consistent untuk deliver business success saat ini, sambil terus menerus mengembangkan visi untuk masa depan. Visi masa depan adalah pandangan tentang ..
* Why will they continue to exist in the future
* How they will contribute to the society in the future
* Why the customer will continue to choose them
* How they will build and improve their emotional bonding with customers

Dengan cara itu dulu Garmin sukses mengembangkan alat alat navigasi GPS, tetapi tetap berfokus pada masa depan. Sehingga pada saat GPS bisa diunduh gratis dengan aplikasi online, mereka sudah siap dengan product berikutnya: alat-alat gadget untuk anak anak muda yang fitness.

You see, one way or another your product will decline, you cannot avoid that. What you can do is prepare the organization (and yourself) so you are ready and come up with new competitive advantage.
This is the job of CEO, HR and all the leaders in the organization. Are you ready to take the challenge?

2. Unleash the (hidden) potentials

Kita ini sebenarnya punya dua tangan. Tetapi dari kecil kita sering kali menggunakan hanya satu tangan, biasanya tangan kanan. Jadi kita jarang sekali menggunakan tangan kiri. Akibatnya kita hanya menggunakan 50 persen dari potensi kita. Dan mungkin banyak sekali potensi (tersembunyi) yang dimiliki tangan kiri. Dan mungkin sampai sekarang anda tidak menggunakan dan menyia-nyiakan potensi itu.

Sama dengan analogy itu. Kita pasti punya banyak potensi dalam diri kita (atau di perusahaan kita). Sayangnya perusahaan kita (atau kita sendiri) terlalu sibuk focus pada apa yang harus kita kerjakan untuk mencapai business objective quarter ini. Akibatnya kita suka tidak menyadari potensi kita sendiri. Padahal mungkin saja kita memiliki potensi di dalam bidang yang lain.

Selain jago membuat alat navigasi, ternyata Garmin mampu membuat Gadget fitness.
Selain jago membuat film photography ternyata Fuji juga mampu membuat ramuan kosmetik.
Saya sendiri dulunya adalah insinyur komputer yang ternyata mempunyai potensi dalam bidang Human Resources.
Apa yang harus anda lakukan?
* Find your hidden potential
* Explore new opportunities from your hidden potentials
* Develop new competitive advantage based on your potential
* Go on and attack the matket

- Change agent

Kalau anda (atau perusahaan anda) sudah terbiasa untuk hanya berfokus pada delivering current objective, akan sulit sekali untuk tiba-tiba pindah "gigi persneling" dan harus balancing masa depan juga. You  need to have a good change management process in place. And again, CEO, HR and every single business leader need to play the role as change agent.
Ingat, it is about change. anda harus mengubah fokus orang orang dari masa sekarang ke masa depan.
What you need to do?
* Set and 6 the Objectives
* Visualize the success (How the success would looks like?)
* Motivate your team
* Implement the change with discipline
* Reward the supporters and communicate to the resisters

- Agility builder

Mempersiapkan anda ke VUCA world juga berarti mempelajari hal hal yang "baru". Learning "new" things. Padahal mungkin beberapa di antara kita sudah lama tidak belajar lagi. Banyak karyawan yang waktu saya tanya kapan mereka terakhir kali belajar, jawabannya adalah waktu mereka masih kuliah. Which is like belasan tahun yang lalu.
Otak anda perlu  memiliki learning agility, kemampuan mempelajari hal hal baru, the ability to learn new things.
How to do ...
- Learn new things everytime (bidang baru, olahraga baru, bahasa asing baru, hobby baru ... or anything, as long as you learn new things)

- Read , observe, learn and analyze the trend that is happening in the world today
- Hang out with agile and open-mind people
- But most importantly, being "open mind", understanding that we may not be the best in everything. There is a risk ahead. And our competences may not be relevant in the future. Hence, keep learning is the key to your future success.

Jadi ingat, untuk mempersiapkan diri menghadapi dunia yang VUCA (Vulnerable, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), anda juga harus menjadi "VUCA" (Visionary Leader, Unleash the hidden potengial, Change Agent and Agility  builder)

Salam Hangat

Pambudi Sunarsihanto

Fanky Christian