The pit falls of using a proprietary security system.

Some security providers of video surveillance systems, access control systems, intrusion detection systems and systems integration services offer an all-in-one service, including all system components and the service contract. These are called “proprietary systems.”

These systems can look very attractive by providing one stop shopping. Additionally, the initial purchase price can appear to be very cost effective.  

Proprietary systems do have a major flaw. Once purchased, the client loses the advantage of competition regarding maintenance contracts, along with the cost of future upgrades or replacement equipment. If, for example, the maintenance service is bad, the client may be stuck with it.

Also, their components will usually be incompatible with products made by other manufacturers.

The alternative to proprietary systems is called “open architecture.” These systems allow substitution of compatible products from different vendors. If a maintenance provider turns out to be sub-standard, they can be easily replaced. 

Then there is equipment with extremely high proprietary in both the product and those that can work on it. A good example is Gallagher security systems. If you elected to have a Gallagher system installed or inherited one, you can only call a Gallagher partner company to service their equipment.

Company’s like Gallagher will make exclusive guarantees to their authorised service providers that they will not authorise other dealers in the area to keep competition to a minimum. This often leads to the sales tactics where they will submit a low bid to entice you in, then after the system is installed there is no pressure to keep the prices competitive as they have almost zero competition, not to mention the ongoing software licence fees that they will charge you.

Just like buying a car, you don’t want a “lemon” security system. Maybe it just doesn’t fit your needs or is too complicated for you. The higher the proprietary, the harder your exit strategy might be.

Take your time and find the right security professional and the equipment they use. Ask questions and do some of your own research on the brands they are offering. Security systems might be complex but due diligence often leads to better decisions. Lastly, many security systems are meant to last, so make sure you find something that fits your needs.

Adox Security is proud to provide open architecture solutions and is confident that you will be totally satisfied with us and after sales service and maintenance.