As a result of many Picture Perfect, Secure Perfect™ and Facility Commander Wnx (FCWnx) customers approaching us and explaining their frustrations and concerns with the manufacturer’s decision to sunset the products, we resolved to create a better solution instead of a complete rip and replace. We listened carefully to their requirements, likes and dislikes and eight months later introduced the Symmetry SR Retrofit panel series as a quick and simple migration solution. This pin-for-pin replacement allows customers to easily and affordably upgrade to the SR solution, yet keep their existing infrastructure, including wiring, readers and badges. They only need to swap out their old panel for an SR panel, which takes literally less than two minutes per panel to complete.
The Proof is in the Pudding
Five years later, many customers are using the Symmetry SR Retrofit solution, enjoying the feature rich system and are pleased with the money they saved. They are happy with the support and forward thinking they receive from AMAG, and understand they are getting an open and secure access control system from a company that will support them - always.
Some argue that a direct product upgrade is a more cost effective because an SR DBU is not needed in each enclosure. What they are failing to disclose however is that in order to upgrade, the user must change their entire wiring structure from F2F to RS485, which also means new card readers must be installed to operate. This calls into question “What is more expensive? Buying all new readers and paying for the labor for new wiring? Or a few new DBUs?”
The Picture Perfect, Secure Perfect™ and Facility Commander Wnx (FCWnx) products use F2F readers which is a proprietary Casi reader. AMAG’s Symmetry SR series supports F2F wiring communications. AMAG also offers its own F2F reader and the Symmetry Blue F2F / bluetooth reader for users who need to expand or upgrade. This keeps in the spirit of preserving the customers initial investment, while still allowing a much more feature rich and modern platform.
To date, AMAG has converted over 140,000 readers to the Symmetry SR Solution, and saved end users countless dollars.
It has been announced that the support for the legacy products officially ends in one year. It appears as though many customers are finding it difficult to get parts or technical support already. It is likely that there are not enough people left in those phased out teams to support the existing systems that are still deployed.
Here are a few reasons why an upgrade is not the best option:
Pushing firmware upgrades has a high failure rate in the field, which means in most cases customers will still need to swap out their panels.
Even though an upgrade is available, it is just pushing the date out a short time as opposed to switching to a supported product with a long term lifecycle.
I would worry about the possibility of this occurring again. Why would a manufacturer choose to abandon its customers without providing support? AMAG strives to ensure our customers are not left in a predicament like this. We have current customers running systems with hardware that is over 20 years old and still receive support as needed.
AMAG was the first to market with a retrofit solution. We have the most experience with retrofits, and we are the first to have a second generation retrofit panel - demonstrating our commitment to our customers.
The Symmetry M4000 is our next generation controller. We have designed this to utilize the same form factor as the SR panel, and it will download faster, include a secure and open onboard OS, OSDP, and real time monitoring with remote diagnostics capability. It allows customers to migrate from F2F to a different communication protocol without having to swap the panels. If companies want to implement OSDP, this is the best possible solution and it will work side-by-side with the SR panel.
As always, all versions of Symmetry, today and moving forward, will support the Symmetry SR, M4000 and M2150 panels. These will continue to be supported as standard practice, and this includes all new software versions, which will remain backwards compatible with the panels.
Are you tired of no support? Contact me and let’s discuss how you can upgrade to Symmetry SR and start your journey with AMAG.
By Jody Ross, Vice President of Sales, AMAG Technology email@example.com