Here are 4 big considerations for integrators choosing lines:
- Product Competitiveness
- Market Fit
How good is the line compared to its competitors, based on both features/capabilities and pricing. Some manufacturers are just flat out better than others, e.g., see Favorite IP Camera Manufacturers 2014, Favorite VMS Manufacturers 2014, Market Guide 2014: Video Analytics, Favorite Wireless Video Surveillance 2014, etc.
Lines can vary in their ability to deliver profits to integrators, typically because:
- Manufacturers vary in how much discounts they provide and to what integrators they will provide them to.
- The number of rival integrators who use / have access to a product varies depending on how tight or loose a product's channel is (e.g., Restricting Resales of Cameras Important to Integrators)
Integrators need to talk to multiple manufacturers and research what their top local rivals are offering.
Manufacturers vary in how good and timely their support will be. Equally importantly, this can depend who the manufacturer has in your region. In NY, their RSM and rep firm might be outstanding but in Texas, they both good be crap.
You want to get a feel of how willing the manufacturer is to help you answer questions, resolve broken products, solve difficult integrations, etc.
Last, and most obviously, you need to figure out which manufacturers best fit the types of customers you are going after. For example, if you are targeting local small businesses, Genetec, regardless of its overall quality and support, is likely to be a poor fit but if you were going after airports, the situation would be much different.
Overall, it's a balancing act. The 'best' product in terms of features / pricing might not have good support or might have a lot of competitors already in your region, etc. As such, it's hard to posit a single best answer but if you follow these factors, you should optimize your decision.