The supply chain crisis in the U.S. is affecting businesses of all types and sizes. There is a staggering pileup of cargo at major ports all around the country as freight companies are abandoning their cargo in shipping yards. Shortages of parts and labor have left ports across the county, such as the Port of Savannah, with 50 percent more containers than usual. Worse still, this is not showing any signs of going away. The manufacturing and delivering of products is becoming increasingly difficult for many businesses — security companies included.
This specific problem has left system integrators scrambling for hardware that usually arrives in weeks. Instead, delivery now takes months — if it arrives at all. Unavailable product has disrupted many deployment projects, and software has been directly impacted by the reduction in hardware deliveries, leaving end-users wondering when they can complete their technology project. Being at the end of the supply chain, they are often left holding the check. They’ve likely paid upfront for products or services and can’t get much-needed solutions to their problems.
Freedom of choice within the technology stack continues to prove invaluable. It is critical for end-users and system integrators alike. This open and technology partner-centric choice always powers flexibility and growth, especially during times like these. For example, open platform video management software (VMS) helps mitigate supply chain lockout. With an open platform, companies can work with thousands of vendors that supply cameras and IP devices, rather than being restricted to one manufacturer through an end-to-end or more restrictive platform VMS. As a result, end-users benefit from hardware component flexibility. At the same time, system integrators can complete their project on time, which is a game-changer during a prolonged period of supply-chain issues, late deliveries, and missed deadlines.
System integrators and end-users who choose an end-to-end technology solution from a single manufacturer for their security needs may encounter risk and disappointment as they wait in vain for specific parts to arrive. With an end-to-end technology solution, system integrators can only use specific components that fit into the bigger picture, like a dedicated key that fits into a lock. With an open platform solution, system integrators have flexibility of choice in the technology stack, possessing a “master” key that works with whichever lock they choose. If system integrators lose one lock (or if it gets tied up in a global supply chain crisis, for example), it is not a big deal — the master key will work on any lock.
In addition to being a lifesaver during a supply chain crisis, an open platform VMS is agile. End-users don’t have to be concerned about being backed into a corner when choosing a solution that only works with specific components and integrations. Utilizing an open platform VMS, end-users are able to utilize technology that is readily available, which results in a level of efficiency that end-to-end platforms are simply lacking. Instead, they have the freedom to choose the integrations that they know will best suit their needs, and make the best financial investment. This is not just true at commissioning; it is true throughout the entire lifecycle of the investment.
An open platform VMS prioritizes flexibility with components and complementary technology solutions. This allows system integrators to continue working to meet client demands on time without the hassle of dealing with supply chain disruptions. System integrators will have to be flexible enough to meet the objectives of end-users and understand how to navigate these conversations with a solution-focused mindset.
Unfortunately, these supply chain issues are now present day reality. With no end in sight, companies and customers must somehow adapt to continue their regular business operations. By choosing an open platform video management solution, both end-users and system integrators can rest easy knowing they have invested in technology that seeks to solve issues instead of creating barriers, not only in the short term, but also in the long term. Open platform solutions encourage and support a rich community of innovators, while seeking to solve complex end-user issues. The current supply chain issues have reminded us of an important lesson that we’ve always known to be true: flexibility in the technology stack should always be prioritized for the best long-term solution, value, and return on investment.