I'm not an AMAG fan boy, but the obsoletion of the MicroNode is something that has been known for quite some time, AMAG has had the newer 2150 series hardware for over 8 years, past the useful life of the product in most cases, why were these integrators and customers not replacing hardware failures with 2150s, that's what we were doing for the last 8 years or so.
I see far more other reasons to look negatively at AMAG:
1. The primary UI has not really seen any development outside of a few feature changes in over 8 years. This includes lack of a viable web client unless you count 3rd party.
2. Rollout for the new M4000, their only OSDP capable controller was a disaster. The product itself introduces a higher level of complexity at a time where those gaining market share have been focused on reducing complexity.
3. Lack of a cloud based option, when more and more customers in their target market are looking towards cloud options.
4. Poor rollouts of Symmetry Guest and Symmetry Connect, the feature sets in these products were extremely lacking, there is a lack of consistent interface between the two interrelated products, they are supposed to be modules of a cloud offering but are not necessarily managed or interfaced that way. With Jonathan Moore as the product manager, I expect this will change though.
5. Even in V9, their install process reflects an old school, non-cybersecurity mentality requiring escalated privileges that some IT groups don't feel comfortable with.
6. Hit and miss call in support. I generally don't complain about AMAG support because I have enough personal relationships in the company that I been able to avoid the normal tech support process.
I like AMAG as a good basic access control platform, but the need for OSDP without the headaches of working with the M4000 panel means I most likely will be recommending other platforms.
I have several depending on use case, most of my preferences though line up with the winners in the favorites article.
Enterprise -- CCure 9000, they have solid hardware, continuously work to improve the product, good support and integrations. Only downside is they do not have a true edge single door controller as I would define it.
Cloud --I do a lot with Brivo but I think there are a number of good cloud providers including Feenics, BluBox and OpenPath.
Small/Medium on prem -- Honestly I don't know if I would do an on prem solution for these anymore but if I did I would probably look at RS2 or Open Options. AMAG was my favorite in this category but the new M4000 controller is not something I can feel comfortable having a tech that normally works in this space to install and the 2150 series doesn't support OSDP which is a non-starter for a greenfield deployment for me anymore.
Total Agreement with CC9000 as a solid enterprise choice. I would love to see an uplift on the GUI and to see some integration with Zoom and Microsoft teams and even a report dump to some other vendors such as Splunk all the way to google docs.
The hardware options are fine, but I would love to see a full MAS/SAS deployment in the cloud and modulate the GCM service to the cloud(as it's own server) and just sell the reader packages by hardware footprint or singular instances where one Cloud GCM can support up to 250 readers per cluster.
A mobile GCM would also be nice to support small remote deployments either by cellular or satellite communications, again using cloud technology to beat out all that legacy mercury E-waste panels all the other overnight access control software companies write their SDKs to in a constrained manner.
As far as Lenel...for the last time, overhaul that drop down click modify big ass Buick you have been rolling since 3.1. Are you stuck with too many custom integrations on large deployments? Lenel, please find a way to phase out Onguard or simply deploy a new option model, try some smaller footprint hardware and make mercury your second place option for those that like to flip their systems back and forth from Genetec to Lenel each time a new security director gets wacked.
Everyone (all you ACP manufacturers), look at your cloud options seriously. If you do not build it now Verkada will.
In regards to cheap systems, you get what you pay for. You may find a 400K mile Corolla or two out there, good luck.
overhaul that drop down click modify big ass Buick you have been rolling since 3.1. Are you stuck with too many custom integrations on large deployments? Lenel, please find a way to phase out Onguard or simply deploy a new option model
My understanding that S2 / Magic Monitor is or will be a new option for Lenel users as a front end, would that help?
I also love Axis A1001 for Small/Medium on prem. If you can spare some development, it can easily expand to an enterprise solution if integrated via the open API. Quite inexpensive, UL294 approved and battle tested.
Interesting ICT comment. We just had a WX install that has a firmware bug relating to time. Tech validated that schedules can drift a few minutes. Beta firmware fix if you want to deploy it. Solid schedules aren't optional in access control. Makes me wonder a bit.
As a Lenel VAR I understand the frustration that people have expressed with Lenel as I have had many and more of these same frustrations. BUT, in my opinion, Lenel constantly receiving this criticism is very similar to Microsoft receiving constant criticism. Lenel is without a doubt the industry leading access control company by far. I just don't think anyone else is even in the same ballpark. Because of this they will always get the most or close to the most "Worst" ratings because it is used by so many VARs and customers. There are some many things I don't like about the Microsoft Windows OS but am I going to use Linux or switch to an Apple OS...never. Lenel, is just like that. They are the only ones that can really handle anything, that comes with a price, and that comes with a mixed bag of frustrations. But I'm not going to just through Lenel away because of those challenges because I would be cutting-off-my-nose-despite-my-face. Lenel is here to stay just like Microsoft. I don't see that changing over the next 20 years.
Lenel is without a doubt the industry leading access control company by far. I just don't think anyone else is even in the same ballpark. Because of this they will always get the most or close to the most "Worst" ratings because it is used by so many VARs and customers.
If your theory is correct, why is Axis integrator's favorite by a large margin every time we have run these surveys? See 2020, 2018, 2016, etc. Presumably, integrators should beat up Axis just because so many use them. Or, maybe, Lenel has real issues of its own.
If your point is that Lenel is better than ZKTeco and ZKTeco does not get on this list because ZKTeco is so much smaller, that's reasonable. But Software House, S2 (also now owned by UTC), and Genetec are all sizeable players fairly close to Lenel's size but without the high negativity that Lenel receives.
#3, video is different but #2 is making a market share theory, e.g., he did the same with Windows / OS / Linux.
I am saying if the market share theory holds, you would expect for Axis to get similarly criticized as Lenel but Axis does not get so criticized; ergo, some other factor must contribute to Lenel's position.
I think it's a function of size of operation and then complexity of product. Lenel can be a very complex system especially when it's deployed at the enterprise level with integration. They have a pay to play model and expect their dealers to have a high level of competence and expertise and be compensated for it. Axis is a device on the system in most cases, the complexity comes into play with the VMS and I think you'd find less favorable results at the VMS level and frustration equal to the product. There is certainly room for improvement at Lenel, but you'd be hard pressed to find a product that can do what it does and at the level it typically is deployed at.
CCure and Genetec both play in the large complex Enterprise world and consistently get better ratings. CCure also requires the dealer to have a high level of technical expertise.
I have some specific examples with Lenel which is why I rate them less than other similarly sized operations:
1. Pro Services is generally a hit or miss. I have seen them mess up what should have been a straightforward upgrade.
2. On the sales side unless you are in the golden circle, they are incredibly difficult to deal with combined with an arrogance I have not seen from any other manufacturer.
3. We seem to have more problems with integrations involving Lenel then similar large and "complex" access platforms like Genetec or CCure.
At the end user level, I can understand why they'd prefer Lenel but I have seen many users give up when their integrations don't work, upgrades cause days of chaos and Lenel is unable to resolve to their satisfaction.
Lenel and CCure can be large complex enterprise systems and have large customer bases. Genetec is almost to their level as well. So those are not the reasons Lenel is flagged as bad.
Not making any comment of any of the companies, just emphasizing that difference between system and device. Microsoft is the system, as is Lenel. Axis largely are the devices on the system, not the system itself.
I think it's much easier to be a dominant brand in devices* without getting the complaints than it is to be a dominant brand in systems.
* easier but not easy - Axis does deserve credit for that strong brand with positive associations
Both Genetec and SWH CCure are systems per your definition, both are similarly sized and support similar features and integrations. Both also were voted as top access control systems so it is very much a like for like comparison to Lenel.
So LenelS2 are the same company (merged), part of the Carrier Group that will be split off from UTC along with Software House. Eventually the Lenel and S2 software and hardware will be coalesced together. Software House to me is like Novell Networks, overly complicated and just doesn't get the job done when it really is needed. I don't know many end users that "like" Software House because it is so clunky. In my experience, after showing Lenel to existing Software House customers many are like, "I had no idea access control could be so easy to administrate." Lenel has some internal corporate issue that are effecting quality control and overall communications out to VARs but the product is still very solid, otherwise Lenel wouldn't be installed in 92 of the Fortune 100 companies (data from 2015.) I'm not saying that there aren't issues with Lenel but it is frankly all we have that is good enough to handle these high-level customers.
Very interesting if we could see if the opinions of system operators and security departments in comparison to integrators.
In other words - are the opinions of the results of products/solutions similar to the opinions about the process of deploying similar?
Are products that integrators say they are from the "worst manufacturers" also have the "worst outcomes" for organizations that use them? Is there a strong correlation, weak correlation, or none at all? Or even an inverse correlation for certain products or industries?
Agree. I am sure there are systems that are hard to setup and maintain versus their usage, and vice versa. You don't see a lot of UX/UI (user experience / user interface) executives on security companies like you do name brand software and cloud services companies that have much significant more revenues to afford a high amount of focus on the end user.
I have been in this industry for over 30 years. Customers only leave a Platform when their installing integrator is not an expert in the solutions they sell.
All Access Control Platforms boil down to Who goes Where and When.
If Access control vendor's do not insist on training their authorized dealers regardless the platform no customer is going to be happy. Company's that only train their field staff and not their internal support staff "which is most commonly done" puts their entire success with that product "in the field in a truck".
This will fall short of any customers expectation's 100% of the time.
Successful Integrator's always-
Experts in the solutions they sell
Keep their installation staff "Installing"
Programming staff "Programming"
and their support staff "Supporting"
Installers are not nor should ever be programming in the field- You will lose your reputation in this industry very quickly- and your customers will seek out experts in their field to replace-
I agree with your comments on training and supporting the integrator, especially support staff who are generally the first to get a customer call.
Poor integrator support of a platform definitely is a reason (I've taken over installations from other integrators where the customer was going to abandon their current platform but saved it because we were able to resolve their issues when the other integrator couldn't) but not the most common I've seen when doing takeovers. Generally it boils down to this:
1. Poor/confusing UI makes it hard for the customer to use (especially for customers with high staff turnover or outsourced guards).
2. Customer needs have evolved, the platform hasn't kept up (Customer outgrew existing system, desire for new features etc.).
3. Customer sees benefit and moves to a cloud based system.
4. Customer has obsolete hardware and faces rip and replace situation to ensure software compatibility. Generally when this happens the customer decides it makes sense to take a look at what's out there not always do they switch.
Feenics- Their product line doesn't make sense to me. They only use a few of the mercury boards, not the entire line, and they don't explain their mobile-friendly readers/products very well. Also, their licensing structure doesn't sit well with me. Very confusing.
That statement is not accurate. Feenics supports the LP and EP series hardware plus 3rd party integrations as shown.
As for describing the mobile-friendly readers well I can't speak on this. As with most access control companies readers are from HID, Allegion, and FarPointe Data.
In my opinion pricing for Feenics is pretty easy and straight forward. Feenics can be deployed as a cloud based solution or an on premise solution and the pricing model is different between the two deployment methods. Also some integrations may require an appliance. Example integrations with active directory for a cloud deployment require the appliance. This appliances communicates with the customers active directory and the appliances communicates with the Feenics Keep Cloud for a secure connection.
Good comments on Lenel here. Beyond what has already been discussed, I want to emphasize that we 'net' out favorite and worst votes to determine who is 'worst' (company X gets 3 worst votes and 8 favorite votes would be net +5). This directly addresses the concern that Lenel or Genetec or Axis or Hikvision would be 'worst' simply by being bigger.
For example, Axis gets more worst votes than ACTi but Axis gets far, far more 'favorite' votes than ACTi so we do not naively conclude Axis is 'worse' than ACTi.
That Lenel is so frequently in the 'worst' category is because it has many more worst votes than favorite votes. Indeed, this year was a better showing for Lenel in that it's worst votes declined to the point that it matched their favorites, ergo us being relatively more positive about Lenel.