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Choosing single-vendor solutions

by Geny Caloisi
Planning any new security installation can be daunting. It must be entirely fit for purpose not only at the time of installation but throughout that system’s life – a period which could last 10 or more years. It will need to be maintained, upgraded, and potentially expanded to grow around its target business, and therefore must be built on a pillar which perfectly matches its recipients’ requirements.

David Needham, from Axis Communications, maintains that single-vendor solutions and open platforms can live in harmony – and, indeed, must coexist to create systems perfectly fit for purpose.

Closed and proprietary platforms can be restrictive. Integrators can choose between a single-vendor approach that uses hardware and software solutions from one company, or a best-of-breed approach that selects hardware from multiple vendors. The choice may not be clear as no two installations are the same.

Whichever route an installation takes, an open platform approach – one which employs flexible, transparent hardware and software – helps to create a solution which perfectly matches more complex requirements through open development, and leaves room for system upgrades without the need for clarity about the form that future expansion may take.

Benefits of single-vendor solutions

Axis proposes the concept of a single-vendor solution, which it calls ‘The Power of One.’ The company sustains that this is a powerful way to plan, install and maintain a security system – and one which brings a great deal of simplicity to what might otherwise be an overwhelming process.

From the very beginning, narrowing one’s choices down to a single vendor’s catalogue can make planning a functional surveillance and security layout straightforward – particularly so if that vendor also offers its own intuitive design tool.

According to Axis, a single-vendor solution also ensures compatibility between each and every component and, if there are questions to answer, expert advice is on hand that knows the ins and outs of all potential hardware and software interactions. For smaller businesses, inexperienced teams, or less challenging locations, a one-and-done solution like this makes a lot of sense. There is little to learn, few fires to fight, and working with a single point of contact for support, ongoing licensing and security upgrades makes management of a single-vendor platform extremely straightforward.

Working with open platforms

Open platforms promote transparency, collaboration, and trust. In a world where data is fast becoming the most valuable commodity that any business has on hand, the philosophy of being open about one’s technology and giving others the freedom to access and build upon it creates stronger products which allow for creative design and flexible use. If a surveillance system is required to go beyond the basics, an open platform forms the perfect base to do so – whether that be running third-party software packages to add new smart features, finding new ways to utilise the multiple data points which hardware like cameras provide, or meeting a customer’s requirements by incorporating niche hardware or using a specific VMS.

An open platform allows for security systems to make use of all available software and hardware options, regardless of installation size. They also offer complete transparency on security methodology and allow for expansion. As regulations like NIS2 become more important, customers will seek products that demonstrate their credentials onboard and in the supply chain.

The importance of blended thinking

Single-vendor and multi-vendor solutions can complement each other when based on open technologies. A single-vendor solution is ideal for businesses with limited resources, while a multi-vendor solution is suitable for those with complex requirements.

Open platforms allow for easy transformation of a single-vendor solution into a multi-vendor solution. The collaborative nature of open technology ensures cross-platform compatibility and problem-solving among suppliers.

Every customer’s installation is different. Building a smarter, safer world demands working with a vendor that is focused on partnership and providing the best end result. Creating the perfect solution and building a strong customer relationship is a case of finding a balance and selecting the right framework for the task at hand – whether that be exploiting the power of one or the flexibility of multi-vendor solutions.

Axis is organising a webinar about ‘The Power of One’ on 15 March 2024, 10:00 GMT.

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