Subscriber Discussion

Can A Lenel System Be Supported Easily?

We have a prospect we may be proposing some work on for access control and surveillance. They are using Lenel for the AC. We have never worked with this. I have a pretty sharp tech, so I think we can learn it. Can this be supported easily or are we going to have to commit to sales quotas if we partner with Lenel?

 

I know they are unhappy with the response from their current vendor.

 

Run or pursue?

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How many doors do they have?  One option if you can't become a Lenel parter is the switch them to another system.

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I would not touch your proposal if you were not already a Lendl VAR and with certified techs or didn’t commit to becoming a VAR and get certification. 

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Michael, I have not been on site yet, but from the report I saw, it appears to be 31 doors.

 

EU2, just curious, are you using Lenel? How many doors?

 

 

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31 doors isn't huge.  If you find another access control system which uses compatible hardware you can flip them to another solution.  This is really your only option if you not a Lenel house.

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Lenel is really good about not providing support to systems without a certified VAR and even better at not providing assistance to systems without an SLA/SMA in place. 

Unless the customer wants to replace the head end you are asking for trouble. 

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As an enterprise Lenel customer I occasionally come across non-certified vendors bidding on installations or attempting to service our sites.

Long ago, our certified internal support team provided support to several non-certified vendors that wasted many man hours. In the last 5 years, I began verifying vendor and technician certifications with Lenel.

There is a world of difference between Lenel certified and non-certified companies and technicians. In my opinion, no matter the product, non-certified vendors only dilute product quality, service and the industry.

Pass on the bid and take the time to train and certify.

https://www.lenel.com/support-resources/customer-support

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I tend to disagree a little. I worked for a "Lenel Certified Company" which was actually owned by UTC, and I feel like there were some non Lenel Certified companies in our area that did it much better than we did. The training was sub-par, the best part of it to me was just getting to play around with the software, and I felt like after I worked on Lenel a bit, I was answering my own questions when I called into Lenel Tech Support.

Lenel is not that tricky of a system to learn, the training can help to give you the basics. Really I felt the only upside to being "Certified" is at least tech support would talk to me when I called in, not that they were always of much help.

I think it just comes down to experience with the product, plus the certification. In my limited experience it seemed like Lenel would hand out training to anyone, and then companies tout their "Lenel Certification" while installing maybe one system a year.

I will add that I had petitioned to my employer to send me for more training, but they were cheap and felt like the first week long introductory course was sufficient. Perhaps if I had been granted the additional training I would have felt it was more worthwhile.

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Here's the thing and the Lenel haters will disagree but Lenel as far as access control goes is rock solid. I have systems in place that have run for well over 10 years without any issues. Typically the issues, especially for smaller systems, are hardware related. Most of the time it is the field hardware or wiring and occasionally the Mercury hardware. Sure the software looks like a 90's throwback but OnGuard just runs. Some systems are only updated due to having operating systems no longer being supported and thus can't be on the network. Lenel tech support for VAR's is usually really good when it comes to the AC side but not as good for the video side unfortunately. The problem with lots of manufacturers and say long tech support hold times is techs calling in for issues they should already know thus wasting tech supports time. Many times now software related issues are often the result of much more stringent network security policies and this isn't a Lenel only issue either. So back to your question, could try and support the system, sure but you could ultimately hurt your reputation as an integrator if and when you need support and can't get it from Lenel because you are not a VAR with certified technicians. 

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Switch them to S2, two birds, one stone’s throw away from their product being SoftwarehouseJohnsonControlitized.  In all seriousness though, coming from a completely agnostic design engineer’s perspective (for those non-integrator folks, that means we don’t “sell” or install devices), I would take a close look at Genetec.  PM if you would like the long version response.  

 

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So unless we want to commit to Lenel, which at this point I don't, then I am going to screw myself and the client trying to support this. It seems like a lose/lose situation. Nothing against Lenel, I just have not done enough research on the product, nor do we have enough business in that space to support committing to a product like Lenel.

 

The second dilemma is we really do not have a partner we can use to replace Lenel unless we swap all the control panels. Most of our access control is basic, and we use DoorKing, ZK Access, alarm.com, and have been looking at Isonas for something a little more higher end. I do not think any of them can reuse those Mercury boards.

 

Thanks for all the comments.

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