Products are the building blocks of systems and solutions. How those products are combined, and where the integration happens, is a variable in the physical security market. Before the advent of open systems, a single manufacturer typically combined his own products, using proprietary connections, into end-to-end solutions for customers. Open systems undermined that paradigm to some degree and made it possible for customers to pick and choose products from multiple manufacturers to be integrated into a solution. Lately, the pendulum has again swung toward “system solutions,” or end-to-end systems provided by a single manufacturer … Or has it? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is the industry shifting from a focus on products to emphasizing end-to-end solutions? How is that a good (or bad) thing?
Customers buy end-to-end systems, not individual products. Or even more to the point, they buy solutions to their problems, not technology. But what is the most cost-effective and efficient means of providing an end-to-end solution? Should it be integrated at the manufacturer level or by an integrator and based on open systems? Our Expert Panel Roundtable offers several views on the subject, all focused on the need to provide customers with exactly the systems they need. Does the best solution come pre-packaged from a manufacturer or should it be assembled by an integrator using best-in-breed solutions? The answer may depend on the market or even the individual customer. In our large industry with its range of use cases and technology approaches, it seems both options will remain in play for the foreseeable future. Choice is a good thing.