In recent discussions, many have commented that larger integrators tends to charge more for the same products and frequently have lower caliber / skilled employees? This, of course, begs the questions: How did they, then, get that large? and Why can they stay that large?
I think this is worth discussion and I will start by throwing out 2 common justifications for buying from large integrators, despite their deficiencies:
Customers Over Large Geographic Areas
Small integrators generally can only serve small areas - a single city, state or at best region. By definition, they cannot service customers with sites across a large country (like the US) or across continents.
By contrast, large integrators typically have offices in many, if not every large city in the countries they serve. This makes it far easier for them to support installs and services for large customers.
Of course, there are limits to this. Quality can vary substantially across large integrator offices, creating problems for these multi-site end users. Also, smaller integrators often band together to offer broad geographic coverage by using partner offices to service/install remote sites (PSA is one example).
That said, large integrators tend to have an advantage for customers who want a single organization to handle everything across wide areas.
Large Single Site Projects
Airports are a classic case. While they are in a single physical place and can be reached / services by local small integrators, typically the requirements for these projects are tough (though not impossible) for a smaller integrator to meet (references of similar projects, insurance/bonding, employee certifications, etc.). By contrast, those are fairly easy for large integrators to meet, even if the local office does not have such experience, they can submit / use experience of other projects across the country.
What do you think?