Sharing Excellence in Parking & Mobility Management
Blurred Lines: Will You Soon Be Managing Your Facility via Parking Guidance, Cellphone Apps, or LPR?
Just a decade or two ago, nearly every sophisticated parking facility sported a software-heavy Facility Management System (FMS) mounted on a desktop computer. From that desktop, a facility manager could track facility revenue and occupancy.
This was made possible by harnessing input from fee computers, access card readers and in-lane, vehicle detection systems powered by old-fashioned, magnetic induction.
Behind the Closed Door
These inputs were usually captured in a “closed architecture” environment. In this paradigm, the FMS manufacturer coded all data exchanges between input devices and the FMS via proprietary encryption.
Unless an individual device spoke the language of the FMS, it simply could not communicate with the software platform. FMS providers zealously guarded these data exchange “protocols” and with good reason.
Foremost, they sought to ensure the system worked as promised by ensuring the compatibility of all peripheral devices and subsystems. Of course, providers also aspired to charge a premium for their software and sell those peripheral devices and subsystems.
After all, a closed ecosystem is usually more profitable than an open one.
FMS Still Rules the Roost
Make no mistake, the FMS still rules the roost today. A new generation of computing power stokes a late-model FMS into…Continue reading