3 Reasons Why Integrators Should Embrace Open Source Systems
Thanks to the flexibility provided by open source systems, integrators can create individualized solutions tailored to their client’s unique needs.
The security industry has come a long way in the past decade. As companies strive to make their products more accessible to cater to end-user demands, system designs are changing. One of the most significant advancements we’ve seen is a migration from proprietary systems to systems that have the flexibility to work seamlessly with other equipment, regardless of the manufacturer.
Open source systems are impacting all aspects of physical security, from development to installation. Thanks to the flexibility these systems provide, integrators can create individualized solutions tailored to their client’s unique needs. While the benefits are many, there are three key reasons to embrace open source systems to ensure you are providing your clients with the tools they need, now and in the future.
Open Source Systems Are Flexible
Open source systems provide a level of flexibility that is unmatched by other options in the market. Instead of choosing a single manufacturer and getting locked into purchasing products and services from only that vendor, users can instead mix and match to create a true “best-of-breed” solution.
An open system means being able to use equipment from a variety of companies to customize the solution to a user’s unique needs. For example, there is no cookie cutter approach to access control, and open systems provide the means by which integrators can create solutions tailored on a case-by-case basis.
As a result of this flexibility, users can start small and add more system components as their company grows. With no vendor lock-in taking place, users can ensure they are choosing equipment to stay at a price point they are comfortable with, while also remaining on the cutting edge of new technologies.
This is necessary as users grow their businesses and in turn require additional physical equipment. An open source access control system can also easily integrate with video management systems (VMS), human resources and HVAC to provide a full operational view of a facility.
Open Source Systems Promote Innovation
As open systems become more and more prevalent, manufacturers are forced to really focus on their differentiators. As a result, start-ups and veteran companies alike can allocate resources to innovation. We can only expect technology to continue to grow at a rapid pace as more industry players recognize the value in an open approach. When competitors become collaborators, we see the true value of a relationship.
As an integrator, this is an important consideration to make. Do you want to partner with manufacturers that are proprietary and will make it difficult to meet all the individual and unique needs of your clients? Or do you want to partner with manufacturers that have products with open source capabilities and, as a result, can continuously develop new offerings to respond to a changing technology landscape?
With proprietary systems, users are forced to make up-front commitments that do not allow for variance as new technologies are developed. Open systems ensure users are at the forefront of innovation, on whatever scale works best for them, while also providing the freedom of choice to make security decisions based on functionality and security preferences, rather than manufacturer agreements.
Open Source Systems Are Easier
From an integrator perspective, open source systems are simply easier. Most of the legwork is done for you, but there is still the flexibility to modify features on a case-by-case basis. Gone are the days of the “build once and maintain forever” mindset. Integrators who embrace open source can combine systems seamlessly to provide users with a unified system designed to accomplish their business goals.
As user demands become more defined, it will be important to work alongside a manufacturer that allows you to modify their API for unique client needs. Every client deserves a customized solution that will allow them to add new technologies as they become available; the open source pathway enables exactly this.
As an integrator, it is important to make recommendations with both longevity and security in mind. With technology continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, it is necessary to embrace options that will allow you to easily pivot to accommodate changing needs.
As more manufacturers embrace the potential of open source systems, it is imperative for integrator partners to realize the benefits to help bring the industry into the next decade.
Jeff Bransfield is National Sales Manager of Munster, Indiana-based RS2 Technologies.
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