Surprises me how many of the respondents favor Software House. Familiar lines I suppose breeds complacency. Or does it? They do indeed have a large installed base and that is fact. Too expensive to forklift..although I know of some end users that did just that. Some people do not take kindly to extortion.
I have a long history (20+ years) with SH...when they were actually a "software house" - no hardware that they called their own. I could write a whole long post on how the "APC" or originally "DPC" and reader interface hardware came to be, but not now.
As any SH dealer knows, the almighty SSA is the big stick installing companies have over the end user. If an end user is reading this now, your head is certainly nodding yes. Expensive too, ha? Again, the head nod.
Unfortunately, you have NO choice but to keep that SSA current.
While attending a certification course for SH (10-12 years ago maybe), the instructor proclaimed that they write a date code into an .ini file tied to the SSA. If the server keeps running past the date in the .ini file, no problem. But if the server gets rebooted after the date without a new SSA and subsequent .ini file, the program will not start!!! rendering the system stalled.
I loudly voiced my opinion in the class. "you have to be kidding me"? What kind of BS is that? Every integrator in the class looked at me...hey job security. Its a source of recurring revenue others said. I created an analogy - Go buy a car, drive it for a year but opt not to purchase the warranty. On the 366th day, you turn the key..but nothing. Same thing, right? The instructor moved on. No more discussion on that issue. I got the feeling he felt like a smacked ass ;))
Even as an integrator that stands to benefit from such a tactic, this disgusted me.
End users who do not renew should not receive tech support past the SSA expiration. I get it. But shut them down??? Extortion.
Ironically, I just ran across a site where the property manager was livid and wanted the Access Control system out. He felt the incumbent was raping him on costs. Low and behold, CCURE. 36 Reader multi tenant office bldg / parking garage. The PCserver would not boot so he could not add or delete cards.
Wow, what a shock.
Now in all fairness, maybe things have changed. Maybe someone will shed light on that very dark practice....