Subscriber Discussion

Software House Vs Lenel Vs Genetec

Has anyone got a good product comparison chart that shows the main capabilities for SWH c-cure 9000 vs Lenel On Guard vs Genetec Synergis?

I have never seen anything like this. Do you have a list of features you are looking for? If you are looking for a large scale enterprise access control system Genetec Synergis isn't in that category yet in my opinion.

Duncan, all, what are the key differentiating features for large scale access control management?

Hello Nancy.

Interesting question! That comparison covers a bunch of ground. Which aspects are you most interested in comparing - Management? Cost? Design/Implementation?

A few clarifying details will help get you a better answer.

Thanks for the questions. I am mainly looking for objective product functionality comparison from a user's perspective. Things like: type of Server / Client operating system, scaleability, maximum cardholders/ readers / inputs & outputs, ease and cost of integration with video, relatinal database type, maximum readers per controller, type of encryptin, core competitive controller administrative features that differeniate them in Access, alarm managment, reporting features, ..... Total cost of ownership over time may be good if it is available. For example, one article published showed that Lenel runs about 8 - 12 % cost of the system for annual maintenance. What about support?

What is the ability to scale based on size of project thresholds and contrast between large or small projects. For small projects that want to grow over time... vs large projects, how large can we go? What about multiple sites?

Each product may have their own benefit based on size of project and / or user functionality desired. I really am looking for a chart that will focus on the end user or customer experience. What capabilities or functions are different and may drive selection based on the size of the project - for some, that means the need for robust functions and for others, it may be over kill and investing in functions that you dont need. For cost - it is more about cost of ownership as a comparison only - rather than direct cost.

Hope this helps. I know it is the Magic list that everyone wishes they had in their back pocket. I am trying to develop this list, but run into the problem of manufacturer spec sheets that are confusing and not really always transparent.

Wow this is quite a hefty order :) We were a Software House dealer so I'm quite familiar with that. Software House is pretty complex with different panels, memory levels, software licensing, etc. I can say that Software House was not good for small projects. They had some special products geared towards that but there is too much custom configuration involved. You may want to try with the inside sales/reps for each product and see what they have for comparisons though I'm not sure how far you'll get with that.

Working with most of these products, its difficult to pin down one and say this is the best. It all depends on your needs, how much time you want to spend on learning / setup, and how much money you are willing to spend.

As Jason mentioned, Software House is really good for medium to large scale deployments. As a Genetec is good for medium to large scale as Software House but may not offer as many whistles and bells. But Genetec does offer some small scale options.

There are also other companies that may suit your needs.


An EU/German comparison of different systems, including Softwarehouse and Lenel.

We worked with both systems in the past (until C-Cure 800). LNL is very software driven as they don't really make any hardware.

Perhaps you don't know but Lenel was founded (mid 90's) by Rudy (+) and Elena Prokupes (former CCCP) with some core Softwarehouse people (as well as former KODAK Edicon people, joining after Edicons business unit stopped). So the Lenel Onguard platform was build from scratch with deep knowledge of the Softwarehouse specs.

Until the company was sold to UTC they were always very advanced. Entry System (ES) without options are not expensive at all, however the moment you add options there pricing is based on the benefit an end user could make (and I say "could" because smaller end users can not always get those benefits and at that point prices are very expensive, not to say overcharged. Especially the price gap if you want to go over 64 readers. Because at that point you will have to upgrade licenses as well.

Positive side :

  • a fantastic and very very robust product
  • very high end features
  • cheap software support

Negative side :

  • pricing policy
  • expensive certification
  • slower product development since part of UTC

Hope this helps.

Great details - thanks for your help!

I find it very interesting that they are a little slower in development now that they are integrated with GE.

We have compared Lenel with AMAG, S2, ProWatch and found that they have many similarities.

AMAG appears to have a more robust reporting feature (something we are interested in) however the flexibility of the Lenel platform is attractive to us as well.

"Things like: type of Server / Client operating system, scaleability, maximum cardholders/ readers / inputs & outputs, ease and cost of integration with video, relatinal database type, maximum readers per controller, type of encryptin, core competitive controller administrative features that differeniate them in Access, alarm managment, reporting features, ..... Total cost of ownership over time may be good if it is available. For example, one article published showed that Lenel runs about 8 - 12 % cost of the system for annual maintenance. What about support?"

I focused on the Enterprise versions of the three, and built this loose matrix:

Some of the "?" mean the answer is unclear or contradictory in literature, but I'll work to get better answers.

Both Software House and Lenel are Access-centric incumbents, where Genetec originates from the video side. The scope of access experience the typical Genetec reseller and the SH/Lenel reseller could be very different. I have seen many institutional RFPs deciding between CCure9000 and OnGuard, but have yet to see Synergis 'break through' into the enterprise market as a mainstay option.

The support question is a good one: all three options have a generally filled-out service/resell channel, but the situation in your exact region may have it's own limitations.

Also, I have noticed a (at least regional) trend in CCure deployments that if the end user does not update and maintain current version support agreements, they are not supported. (ie: CCure 800 customers are out of luck unless they upgrade to CCure 9000.) This is not the case with the Lenel deployments I've seen, and certainly not with Genetec (due to its newness, no major update has hit the installed base yet.)

As IPVM expands testing, we will be in prime position to give you feedback on usability questions. We are testing Synergis shortly!

[UPDATED 10/7: to include Genetec's feedback on maximums.]

WOW Brian, this is exactly the type of chart i am looking to populate. You Rock!


The CCURE number in your chart are a per server maximum not a global maximum. I have however worked on a CCURE System with more then 2500 reader and doors on a single server. After 2500 readers or doors CCURE requires a custom license.

As for video integration Exacq now integrates with CCURE9000. One problem we are finding is as new versions of CCURE come out the integration partners are not updating there integration with CCURE. After version 2.02 of CCURE both Genetec and Avigilon have both failed to update there integrations. I think now especially since so many VMS companies are venturing into Card Access you will see lots of companies stop playing nice with each other. This was one of the questions I brought up to both Software House and Genetec at the recent ASIS show and neither one of them wanted to comment.

Thanks for that feedback, Duncan, and I'll update the chart. I have to think your hunch about 'not playing nice' with each other based on lines in the sand is a real risk in the months ahead. EAC has tried to encroach into VMS for a while now, with limited success. Now we'll see how well VMS takes on EAC.

Hello Brian,

Here are some clarifications from Genetec's perspective when discussing our Synergis Access Control solution. Some of the entries in the table are related to hardware/controller specs (eg. how many IOs will a master controller handles) versus Synergis software capabilities (eg. how many IOs a Synergis system can support). I hope the following information helps put things into perspective:

  • Architecture: Synergis has an open, client/server-based architecture. The architecture is not based solely on the SMC, but rather the SMC is just one of a number of devices supported by Synergis. We've supported HID EDGE and VertX since 2007 (including legacy and next-gen EVO families) and officially release the SMC in 2013 which further extends our support for Mercury hardware, Assa Abloy and a growing list of devices.
  • Multi-site architecture (master/regional): We support Global Cardholder Management with multiple sites synching cardholders, credentials, custom fields and more in both directions. With this architecture, a customer can install dozens or hundreds of remote/independent Synergis systems and share information automatically across all sites.
  • Server OS is Windows based. Client OS is Windows based as well. Our products support Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2012. The Synergis Master Controller (SMC) used Windows embedded OS.
  • Database is Microsoft SQL-based. Our products support SQL 2008 and 2012. Our products can run on SQL Express.
  • Redundant servers: Synergis supports failover though NEC ExpressCluster LAN and WAN. We also have a feature called Failover Directory to main server (Directory) also
  • Reporting: All reporting is embedded within the product with users being able to create and save custom templates including which columns and fields to be part of the report. External reporting tools such as Crystal Reports are not required so there is no need to export/import when new reports are needed.
  • Maximum doors/readers/IOs: On the Synergis software front, there are no restrictions on the number doors, readers, and IOs. Being client/server, you can add more servers to support a gorwing number of readers. The number you quote above is on a per panel basis and will depend on hardware, eg. each SMC can support up to 64 readers (or 64 doors) at the moment with HID and Mercury modules, and 128 readers (or 128 doors) when deploying locks. 512 IOs is the hardware limit; Synergis can support tens of thousands of IOs per system.
  • Maximum cardholders: Synergis has been designed to support 1M cardholders so there are virtually no restrictions. That beign said, the hardware selected will determine number of cardholders that can be downloaded to a er device, eg. SMC can go up to 100K right now (plans are to increase that), HID at 65K, Assa Abloy locks at 2,400 as per spec.
  • Max schedules: Hundreds to thousands. Synergis os not restricted here as our software will automatically download new schedules on the fly to controllers when needed. So this aspect is transparent to the user.
  • UL listings will be based on hardware (HID VertX/Edge, Mercury, etc.). SMC compliance to UL 294 is pending (currently ongoing and expected in the coming weeks)
  • Reader to controller encryption: Yes, will depend on hardware selected.

Some other features to consider when evaluating "Enterprise" offerings:

  • Unifcation with video
  • Active Directory or LDAP support for users AND cardholders, configuration time and synchronization options
  • Federation or supporting large virtual systems consisting of hundreds or thousands of remote sites. Running centralized reports, alarm management, and monitoring across dozens or hundreds of sites.
  • Built-in threat level management at the controller level (avoiding complicated macros and IO linking rules at the server level)


Jimmy Palatsoukas

Senior Manager-Product Marketing (Genetec)

Jimmy thanks for jumping in. I genunilly appreciate the input and data. shaping up nicely.

Just to chime in, I am currently a Lenel VAR and have been for almost 10 years. I am not sure what you were defining "Video Integration" as (God knows every spec is different), but Lenel does integrate with several other VMS platforms including Exacq, Avigilon and soon OnSSI (I hear). When I speak of integration in this regard I mean that the VMS video can be populated inside the Lenel OnGuard application and inside of the native VMS application as well. This requires additional licensing from Lenel.

Thanks to Dimitri for stating "Cheap Software Support" as I have errantly heard on many occasions that the cost of annual support from Lenel is expensive. I don't believe that to be the case at all, but it all depends on who you are working with as a VAR and the overall size of your system. One last note, there are very specific reasons for moving to the Enterprise level of Lenel, and it does not have to do with total number of readers. I have a client with over 1500 readers that is not on enterprise.

Great post!

Nancy, See Favorite Access Control Software 2014

I have been seeking the answer to this same question for months now. From what I have found all three (Synergis, CCURE, Onguard) are very capable platforms and all would perform well with 99.9% of the access control projects out there. From my experience CCURE is a bit more robust in features, but Synergis has been a better support staff (sales and engineering). Lenel is a bit more flexible (less proprietary) using the Mercury boards. Other companies can take over Lenel installs with a change of software usually (S2 for example).

(This is strictly my opinion on the platforms I have been a reseller of.) I added S2 to list also just to help compare.


Lenel - Flexibility (Non proprietary) with Mercury boards and robust enterprise system. A few options for Video integration.

Software House - Solid (bullet proof) hardware. backwards compatible with legacy hardware. Robust enterprise system. A few options for Video integration.

Genetec - Support (sales and engineering), Clean/solid integration with Omnicast. Price?

S2 - Better price point for smaller systems (< 32 Readers, compared to Software House) Easy web based UI. Sales support. Flexibility (mercury).


Lenel - Cost of the system for annual maintenance, SSAs. Cost for training.

Software House - Support (Software House RMAs are a test of patience)

Genetec - Newer technology, still could be working out some of the bugs for uncommon scenarios, reselling/OEM of their hardware.

S2 - Lacks some of the more robust enterprise features that a Lenel or Software House has. Proprietary server/controller hardware. have to use their hardware for Access control server.


Here is a comparison I'm working on for CCure and S2.

Access Control System Specification Comparison

System Specs

Software House CCure 9000 Version 2.4

S2 NetBox Enterprise Version 4.7

Server OS

Windows Server 2012 Standard

Ubuntu Linux


SQL 2012 (32 or 64) - SQL 2014 (32 or 64)

NAS or FTP for backups



Schedulded for 2016 deployment


Thick Client; Web Client; Mobile

Web Client; Mobile

Client OS

Windows 7 & Windows 8.1

Any OS


2 Licenses Included

Client Requires Windows 7

Video Integration

Exacq - Video Edge

Exacq - Video Edge


Windows Active Directory


Compatible with Mercury Boards



Readers per panel

Istar Ultra - 16 wired and 16 wireless; Istar Pro - 16; Istar Edge - 4; apC - 8

Network Node(NN) - 14; Micro Node(MN) - 2

Additional Reader Options

Istar Pro utilize (1) or (2) 8 Door ACM boards

NN utilize (2) door expander cards.

Inputs per panel

Istar - 192; Istar Edge - 40; apC - 96

NN - 56; MN - 4

Input supervision

(2) 1K Resistors

3 modes, unsupervised; (1) 1K Resistor; (2) 1K Resistors

Other System Integrations



Bidirectional Interface



Visitor Management

VM built into CCure Version 2.4; IVisitor; Easy Lobby; Passage Point

IVisitor; Easy Lobby


Very good info Daryl! What were your findings on price between S2 and SWH?