Genetec started with and is best known for its video management software. However, the company is now imploring its partners to lead with Synergis, its access control software, as this LinkedIn post and video clip shows:
Why would a 'VMS company' advocate this? Inside this note, we examine Genetec's software offerings and explore the logic of leading with access control over video surveillance, including its potential advantages and downsides.
Just small comment regarding Lenel/UTC video management. In Europe and the Middle East, they are also selling Lenel Ultraview Video Management System alongside their access control as part of their "Unified Management" strategy with their main SMS being Lenel Onguard.
It has worked exceptionally well for us in terms of starting off projects with Synergis (most of our Genetec projects actually start as access control projects). Even if the end-user is currently using another VMS, or does not have video currently, going into the potential of unifying that video with access control (along with the significant benefits of that) makes it a lot easier to standardize on Synergis right off the bat and then add Omnicast in later on.
The very wide variety of access control hardware that is supported in Synergis also makes it easier to select exactly the right hardware for the project, rather than "the best of the limited supported options." Having all open architecture hardware also makes it easier to show the end-user how they are protected against being "locked in" to one vendor or specific solution.
How does it end up with vendor lock-in with all of the hardware being open architecture? You've got selection with the integrator with multiple VARs in every territory, and the ability to change to different platforms without having to switch out any field hardware
Access control software is an anchor baby. Changing access control software is a big lift from a process, policy, and user perspective... Genetec (and authorized Genetec integrators like you) know it. Shame on you for being coy.
There isn't anything coy about that; that isn't anything specific about Genetec- every access control software is not an "easy" replacement. However, in the several dozen major access system replacements that I have done there is a HUGE difference in difficulty and cost in replacing a proprietary system like Continental compared with replacing an open architecture system with only software (I have completed access control replacements for open architecture systems in a single day before by just exporting out everything from the old system and importing into the new; compared with several weeks/months of replacing hardware for a non open-architecture system).
The article is titled "Genetec Declares Lead with Synergis Access Control" which de-emphasizes their VMS platform and emphasizes their access control which is exponentially more difficult to migrate away from compared to the VMS platform.
BluB0X’s unified access and video solution should be added to the list of competitors. We've always lead with a unified platform of access control, alarms/intrusion, video, elevator, destination dispatch elevators, visitor/vendor management, biometrics, integrated wireless locksets, and intercom. All in the Cloud, all non-proprietary hardware and WITH YOUR CHOICE of Milestone, Salient, Exacq and Avigilon VMS recorders.
But if all platforms aren't running the same software source code, it's integrated, not unified right? If BluBox updates their software, or the VMS manufacturer updates theirs, there is a chance of interoperability between systems until plug-ins are updated? I am not very familiar with BluBOX, so I don't know the structure or what level or how the systems come together. The way I see the differentiation between "unified" and "integrated" has to be adoption and modification on the source code level where unification is actually a unified source code, not multiple regardless of cloud based or on-premise? Am I out of line in my thinking?
We generally agree with your distinction between integrated and unified with the caveat that at some point a system needs to integrate with the software or firmware of devices. For example, Genetec, Avigilon and BluB0X all use third party Mercury panels but in order to use them you have to use Mercury’s firmware and hardware. Same holds true for cameras, intercoms and other devices. But we would not say a system is not unified because of that. In this regard, BluB0X’s integration to NVRs is similar to that of Mercury panels. We use NVR’s to interact with cameras and store and retrieve video for BluSKY, BluB0X’s platform. But you are using BluSKY to view cameras locally or in the Cloud, in either real-time or pre-recorded. In addition, upgrading the NVR software does not break the integration in the same way that upgrading the Mercury firmware does not break the integration. The structure of BluSKY is a single code base that runs in redundant Microsoft Azure datacenters. There is also BluSKY software that runs on-premise on the NVR’s and our other offerings such as Elevator Destination Dispatch processors and biometric readers that is all part of that code base. BluSKY uses a single database, user interface and event clock across all applications; access, alarms, intrusion, video, visitor, vendor, elevator, intercom, biometric and power management. It is all HTML 5 based and is available on any device, anywhere, anytime using any web browser so every person uses the exact same code base. When we upgrade, every customer is upgraded instantly. In addition, we think there are major differences between on-premise and Cloud unification and source code management/upgrades. In the case of BluB0X our software is Unified Everywhere. No matter where you are, no matter what device you are using. In the case of on-premise systems, you are only unified where the software is loaded and generally not on a mobile device. This is a major limitation of the power of unification for on-premise systems, especially in our mobile world. Secondly, many “unified” systems from the same manufacturers are actual separate code bases, written at vastly different times, using different technologies, different engineering teams, evolve independent of one another and have different versions. In this case you have to worry about compatibility of different versions, multiple logins, different interfaces, diverging capabilities among different versions, etc. From this perspective we would argue that BluB0X is more open and more unified than our competitors.
Of note, the IHS report states dealers 'leading with Synergis' have taken marketshare from incumbents, and expanded partnerships with market vendors have been the source of gains:
“The advanced analytical capabilities of Genetec Security Center software have led Genetec to take market share from competitors, and several traditional access control equipment manufacturers have partnered with Genetec to take advantage of their superior software capabilities. As a result, the Genetec software business grew nearly 45% in the Americas in 2018 to reach a 7.8% market share in the region.”