When the CASI (now a UTC company) access control product recently reached its end of life and support was no longer available, many alarm dealers and systems integrators threw up their hands, asking: ‘Now what?’ and rightfully so. There are about one million of the card reader controller boards installed around the world, according to Matt Barnette, executive vice president of Sales & Marketing for AMAG Technology, based in Torrance, Calif.
AMAG quickly understood the opportunity in the marketplace, and turning on what seemed like a dime, began manufacturing and distributing a plug-in controller that replaces existing CASI controllers and takes less than one minute for installers to swap out. Named the Symmetry SR Controllers, the pluggable backplane architecture can be used to seamlessly upgrade the legacy equipment to a state-of-the-art Symmetry solution.
AMAG actually previewed the solution at PSA-TEC in April 2013 and also announced the SR Certified Dealer program, recruiting integrators who want to partner with the manufacturer and once certified obtain a list of leads from the company of end users who have the legacy access control controllers currently installed. For those integrators already certified in the AMAG product line, there’s a free online course to bring them up to speed on the program and how to quickly swap out the older legacy CASI controller boards.
“With this solution, dealers and integrators keep the existing CASI infrastructure and can use existing readers, wiring, backplanes and enclosures already installed,” said Jody Ross, AMAG’s vice president of Strategic Accounts. “The retrofit boards easily slide into the existing enclosure making installation quick and easy.”
Ross said AMAG made the decision to ultimately benefit the end user as well as systems integrator and installing dealer. “These controllers have a significant user base,” she continued. “Some of the largest corporations in the world are using the legacy access control platform.” UTC made a series of announcements earlier this year that it was sun setting product and moving it to end of life. It encompasses three software versions: Secure Perfect, Picture Perfect and Facility Commander.
Dealer program unveiled
“This is one of the largest land grabs in access control history,” commented Matt Barnette. “We have taken on the heavy lifting with this new program, but now we need to get the end user involved to let them know we have a solution,” he said. “We want to sell them on the idea and bring the integrator in through the SR certified dealer program. The company also has a video on You Tube that shows how easy it is to replace the controller. Dealers committed to the Symmetry SR Certified Program must commit to follow-up on all leads and opportunities, complete the training and purchase a Symmetry SR Demo kit.