Paxton recently announced it would be providing its Net2 access control software for free. Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Dan Drayton, Paxton’s country manager for South Africa about the change; we wanted to know what the catch was. Is there a subscription to pay or a once-off cost?
Drayton explains there is no catch. “I’m very proud to say our software is 100% free. There are no subscriptions, no licences and no one-time purchases.
“From its inception Paxton has aimed for engineering excellence. This means designing and manufacturing intelligent and innovative security products that are simple and straightforward to install,” Drayton continues. “We pride ourselves on responding to the needs of our customers and our installers and integrators have consistently told us of their dislike of multiple licence software. It’s expensive, needlessly complex, and so we’re happy to remove another problem for them.”
When taking a core part of your market offering and making it available for free, one expects there to be some impact on revenues. And in a world where profits seem more important than anything else, the question to ask is how the move to free software will impact Paxton’s finances. Will the decision affect its ability to develop new products or keep improving its existing kit?
Drayton takes the view that the move is a strategic investment in the market. “The desire of Paxton is to be recognised as the easiest company to do business with and this move supports that strategy,” he explains. “I see our approach to training [Paxton offers free training on its products] in the same way. We are enabling installers to experience the Paxton solution and become certified installers. This is a strategic long-term investment in the South African market.
“I also believe this enables more customers to experience the Paxton value proposition of being easy to quote, easy to fit and easy to deal with, and will continue to build our business in the country.”
Paxton is clearly making an effort to differentiate itself from the rest of the access control market, as it has in the past by providing free training as well as a 5-year swap-out warranty. This move may spur competitors to follow with their own business boosting changes. Drayton believes the complex licence structures that exist within the access control market put a strain on installers, making projects more complex and expensive. “If this move promotes a positive change across the whole industry, I would welcome that.”
It’s not all about changing the way it does business however, as Drayton says, the company has exciting new products that will be hitting the local market before the end of 2016. “It’s a little too soon to go into detail; suffice to say we’ve been listening to the market and the next iterations will be of huge interest to existing and new customers.”
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