-> Protocol...does it matter?
Within the fire alarm industry there is often discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of open or closed protocol equipment. The term ‘protocol’ simply refers to the language that electronic equipment use to communicate with each other. In the example of an addressable fire alarm, a system will consist of a control panel and detectors which must communicate with each other as information and data is passed around. Therefore the control panel and the detectors must speak the same language, or use the same protocol, or the components will not be compatible.
Since 2000, we have been Gent by Honeywell System Integrators meaning we are installers of the most comprehensive life safety system on the market. Using Gent protocol is the solution to the long debated argument of ‘open vs. closed protocol’ and in fact gives you the best of both worlds.
What is Closed Protocol?
One company manufactures, supplies, installs, commissions and has sole ownership of the software tool.
- Advantages - One company manufactures the complete range and has fully trained and experienced engineers on the product.
- Disadvantages - Customers are tied in to one company for additions, alterations and often maintenance.
Gent Solution to Closed Protocol Argument – When Gent 24 was launched in 2000, its aim was to make the Gent brand available through a number of companies throughout the UK. Currently 70 companies have access to the full range of Gent Equipment, have received full product training and engineers have full access to the software tool once they have passed appropriate training courses.
What is Open Protocol?
Various companies manufacture components such as Panels, Detectors, etc and anyone can buy the equipment and have access to the software tool.
- Advantages - Easy access to equipment and any company can install, commission and service.
- Disadvantages - Once the equipment is installed, only the same equipment can be used to extend the system. As anyone can work on the system, there is no guarantee that an engineer has received full training on the product thus potentially comprising the integrity of your fire alarm.
Gent Solution to Open Protocol Argument - With 70 accredited companies to choose from, customers have a choice when it comes to Gent Systems. Engineers only receive access to the software tool once they have completed and passed in-depth training courses so customers are guaranteed a trained engineer will be working on their system.