Each new security project at a college, school or hospital is unique and requires security managers to make different considerations.
After hearing some comments about end user misunderstandings in our Access Control survey, Campus Safety
thought it would be useful to hear from vendors at ISC West about the most common mistakes they see customers making.
Over the course of the show last week, we asked four companies the same question in hopes of gaining insights from the vendor’s side of the table. Below are answers from top officials at Sielox
, Code Blue
, AMAG Technology
Question: What’s one of the most common mistakes you see customers making when selecting vendors for a project?
Some of these answers have been lightly edited for brevity.
Code Blue Director of Experience Katie Petre:
“Establish relationships with manufacturers that you can trust now and for years to come. By getting to know the company, their quality and their process, you can avoid working with organizations that are only interested in the sale. There is nothing worse than buying a product and finding out afterwards that there are additional fees or no technical support.”
AMAG Technology VP, Global Sales & Business Development, Jody Ross:
“One of the most common mistakes customers can make when selecting vendors for projects is not factoring in all aspects of the big picture. They need to review both business AND security needs and how they correlate and must work together. A siloed approach can lead to difficulties and additional costs down the road. All key stakeholders within the organization need to be brought to the table and provide input on their specialties.”
Sielox CEO Karen Evans:
Inovonics VP of Sales Craig Dever
“The biggest problem we see is when customers focus on brand or cost over technology. When using wireless systems for commercial projects, it’s vital that the customer understands the technical specifications of their chosen solution. Wireless systems vary greatly with regard to specifications, and choosing the wrong system can be devastating to the long term reliability of the solution. Customers should instead begin the process with an analysis of the facility, taking into account such factors as building and campus size, building construction and application requirements such as fixed vs. mobile end points. Then, they should do their due diligence, including a site survey for RF coverage if possible, to make sure that the wireless system they choose can meet the need.”
- Thinking about the future - ensure the software or hardware is backward compatible so as the capacity grows, so can the system. Many organizations expect access control systems to be in use for fifteen years or more.
- Understanding the vendor’s technical support program - what criteria and costs are associated for contacting tech support.
- Added features should not incur exorbitant costs to be enabled. Understand the necessity for any feature as most access user want advanced features but never use them.