AMAG 8 Aims to Make Takeovers Easier

By Brian Rhodes, Published Nov 03, 2014, 12:00am EST

In this note, we examine AMAG 8's new additions, breaking down how it impacts their competitive positioning.

Market Impact

Access vendor AMAG recently announced ONVIF S support [link no longer available] for their management software and a new PoE two-door controller [link no longer available], two moves sure to make dealers happy when faced with taking over existing systems or adding access to video.

Overall, neither release is unique or revolutionary, but it may help AMAG dealers be more competitive especially for taking over existing systems that already have ethernet and video deployed.

By supporting ONVIF S, taking over other existing video surveillance systems may be possible, where before it likely would have required new cameras or just pure luck supporting existing cameras. Likewise, rather than proposing video systems limited only to a few directly supported cameras, the full number of ONVIF S cameras can now be used.

With a two-door network controller, AMAG dealers can potentially use existing LAN or PoE infrastructure for access control systems and avoid extra cabling costs. Likewise, if a new access spec is written to use only LAN connected controllers, AMAG dealers can now pitch their own line and still meet spec.

Symmetry V8

The biggest improvement in version 8.0 [link no longer available] is video management support for ONVIF Profile S, where 3rd-party camera support in previous versions was limited to Axis, Sony, Bosch, and Panasonic [link no longer available]. V8 essentially supports over 3500 cameras [link no longer available], where V7 supported a few hundred from specific vendors.

AMAG's Symmetry is the primary management software for AMAG access and video systems, Symmetry is broken into six basic versions from the small (16 reader) 'Business' edition, up to the large ('unlimited' reader), multisite 'Global' version, but core features of every version include:

  • Cardholder Management, Reporting, and Live View Controls: Symmetry includes the fundamental features common to most access management software, with control granularity varying depending on edition.
  • Video Surveillance Management: Symmetry also includes VMS features and integrates video into a single application that also manages access. Features like cardholder verification, mapping, and video playback/bookmarking are standard.
  • Visitor Management and Badge Printing: The base version also includes an integrated temporary credential/visitor management module and a design tool for creating and directly printing ID badges.

The manufacturer's promo/main pitch video for Symmetry is embedded below:

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Base pricing for Symmetry V8 ranges from ~$700 for 'Business' up to tens of thousands for large scale 'Global' systems. Controllers, cameras, and other system devices like intercoms and alarm panels are individually licensed.

Two Door PoE Controller

AMAG also announced a controller that expands the EN single door unit into a two-door device. However, unlike the single door unit, the EN-2DBC [link no longer available] integrates only with Symmetry V8. 

The ethernet connected controller can be powered from PoE or PoE+, passing through a max of 3A @ 12 VDC, meaning most readers, strikes, and other door peripherals can be powered directly from the controller.

MSRP for the controller is ~$650, about 30% more than the single door EN-1DBC listing at ~$480. 

Controller Comparison

The EN-2DBC is very similar to Axis A1001 in terms of features and connectivity. Both units are two door controllers, PoE powered, and independently control a door if knocked offline from the main management server.

However, flexibility is drastically different between the two. AMAG's unit only works with Symmetry, where the Axis unit can work with a range of management systems or even stands alone using the free included Axis Entry Manager software. While Symmetry supports many Axis cameras, the platform does not support the A1001.

Price-wise, the units are essentially equal. While the A1001 is widely available from internet resellers for $580, the EN-2DBC is available only from AMAG dealers. However, with standard discounts, pricing should also run ~$575 - $600.

 

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