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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Non-proprietary networking of access control systems

31 July, 2007
Abloy security recently announced its move into open platform access control and we examine the significance of this.
Proprietary systems lock users into one vendor which, you might argue, is a good thing for the vendor because, having made a significant investment in a corporate access control system, the last thing the client is going to do is put it all in the bin when its time for an upgrade.

Abloy Security's move into open platform integration means the system user will be able to choose other providers and add their equipment onto the network, picking and choosing the best to suit changing corporate needs â€" this is the best of breed approach.

To make a move like Abloy has done takes vision and confidence. The vision refers to the knowledge that the market is changing and proprietary systems will soon be deemed "legacy", a word that every vendor dislikes with vehemence when its used in reference to their own products. It takes confidence because in a best of breed world, you need to be able to provide what the customer wants and adapt the product range quickly to meet changes in demand or lose out to the competition.

Providing an open platform can be achieved on several levels and although Abloy Security are not providing an open platform system on which other products can sit, they are making their own products operate in an open environment. They're doing this by conforming to IP standards and using non-proprietary operating systems and programming languages. For other manufacturers to conform, they will also need to provide drivers and API's to make them knit together.

There is a difference therefore between making your products compatible with open architecture as Abloy has done and providing the open platform which Milestone has done for example in the video surveillance market.

In a market where integration is a key element to future-proofing security systems, both approaches are necessary and mark a welcome step forward away from proprietary lock-ins.

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