What do they have on the mobile side?
In this note, we profile access control provider DSX. This is the second installment of a series leading to an access control vendor comparison report.
We examine DSX's overall strengths, ideal customer market, pricing, and biggest gaps in this note.
DSX is an independent access company based in the US. The platform is typically used by larger, multi-site end users looking for alternatives to platforms like Lenel or CCURE. The DSX platform is only available through a dealer resell channel, and pricing and maintenance support is limited to those dealers and their customers.
The table below contrasts DSX versus relative competition based on common differentiation factors like system size, platform 'openness', ease of video integration, and how the product is sold or available:
What do they have on the mobile side?
Funny. We are a DSX dealer and their solution to a mobile app is to RDP to the commserver via your mobile phone.
I believe this is how they show off the system in their trade show booth as well.
They recommend these apps for 'iOS compatibility'.
Does it look like this?
Low price or software from the 21st century - pick one...
I was an old Fox Pro Rushmore database developer and this smacks of that application interface. Client / Server applications like these need to die a quick death - they are clumsy and do not take into consideration CUA (Common User Access). They are cumbersome and increasingly not supported under modern operating systems unless run in emulation mode. I made the transition to Security Sales / Consulting 10+ years from software development and am constantly amazed at the lack of refinement in the applications being pushed by "old-school" access control providers - ugly and somewhat unusable. I suppose, as an industry, we have just become "accepting" of this kind of crap. Come on - get with the times. It's probably 32bit as well - or possibly running in 64bit wrapper with 32bit calls under emulation. Sorry for my rant - just hate bad interfaces.
I actually remember the first DSX system I ever saw. I was on site for a video surveillance project at the time and they asked if we could add onto their system. So I took a bunch of notes and started looking at updating the DSX system. I saw that software and thought, "Wow, and I thought WIN-PAK looked dated..."
That was 6-7 years ago. The software seems to still look the same.
Many companies in the access control and burglar alarm sector are first and foremost hardware manufacturers. They make their money selling panels and devices, and software is given away for free or sold at a very low cost.
Because of this, very little resources are put into software development. Often times a hardware engineer is given the task of coding the software as a 'side job", and uses the software development skills (and tools) that he might have been exposed to back in college. The end-product produced provides basic functionality and is just good enough to get the hardware out the door, but is by no means elegant.
I suspect that DSX may fall into this category, but to their credit, they have a large following of extremely loyal end-users and integrators who feel that the product is "rock solid". I can't tell you how many times I have specified something like Lenel or Software House and one of the integrators submitting proposals has asked to use DSX as a substitution. (the answer is most often "no").
DSX's UI definitely needs a refresh, but it is the most reliable access control system I've ever used. We have installed many DSX systems that have gone 5+ years without a single service call or down time. That can not be said for systems utilizing Mercury or HID hardware.
Apples & Oranges, friend. Things that do more, require more maintenance than things that do less.
The ornamental rock in my front yard requires no maintenance, but my lawnmower certainly does. It doesn't mean I think less of the lawnmower.
I am a DSX dealer and I agree the windows 3.1 feel is old and antiquated. I hate the interface, but once you figure it out, you can make the software do just about anything you want it to. I have a DSX system controlling a jail, we figured out how to make it work for vehicles on a farm with the dual authentication (vehicle fob activates pump for that vehicles preferred fuel source, driver punches his pin for authentication) we have done some real off the wall stuff with DSX because it can, and its just very customizable. The hardware is rock solid, and has out lasted a lot of other pieces of hardware. One of the few places that you can actually call their tech support people and the main software programmer answers the phone (Rusty). Its a little pricey, it feels like the best 1999 had to offer, but its rock solid.
I'm going to make a note to stop at their booth at the next ISC West just to see the Windows 3.1 interface with my own eyes. I'm a kid of the 90's but yikes! I know we almost became a DSX dealer back in the day but ended up not going that route since we had to fly down to Dallas for their training.