And Vice Versa. In other words, is it a good thing for the parking industry to have a common interface between equipment supplied by different companies. That way, if Designa or Zeag came up with some hot new software you could switch to it without replacing costly hardware.
What is being proposed is that gates, dispensers, pay on foot machines and other peripherals are just that, peripherals, much like displays, keyboards, disk drives, and printers are on the systems you have sitting on your desk.
Since the basic operating system is the same companies can provide software that does exactly what you want it to do. Do you focus on graphics, then purchase Quark or Photoshop by Adobe. Data base your thing — how about Filemaker or Oracle. Should parking systems be the same?
Consider the small company that struggles with building gates, dispensers, and money collecting machines, but provides dynamite software that blows everything on the market away. What about companies that build state of the art gates or beautiful P and D equipment but haven’t found the right software. Is software and hardware manufacture mutually exclusive?
Then there is my buddy in China who makes high quality gates, dispensers, and POF machines but isn’t in the software business. Can he enter this market and if he does, how will it affect existing ‘full spectrum’ manufacturers.
You know the names of companies that provide primarily software. They are household words. You also know the names of companies that provide both hardware and software. And you know that those software companies are running their systems on the back of the ‘hardware/software” suppliers.
I see the next decade, or maybe less, as a ‘shakeout’ period for the parking industry. Something is going to happen. If a number of manufacturers begin to develop top of the line, state of the art gates, dispensers, and POF equipment my guess is that a number of companies you see every day will “shakeout.”
Is this industry too small to support high end ‘peripheral’ manufacturers? What with job shops who do extremely high end work and cad designs that can be provided in a ‘direct to mill’ manufacturing process, I wonder.
Once the peripherals start to hit the street, and the costs drop. Watch out. Change will definitely be in the wind.