Mercury and Lenel settle

Long-term agreement said to give market ‘more choice’
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

LONG BEACH, Calif. and ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Lenel and Mercury’s recent settlement of a year-long lawsuit not only renews a 16-year partnership between the two companies, but means more growth opportunities for the two manufacturers and their integrator partners, president Joe Kirmser told Security Systems News.

“The market only benefits from more choice and more compatibility,” Kirmser said.

The agreement, announced July 30, resolves the lawsuit, filed last summer by panel manufacturer Mercury against access control provider Lenel. That lawsuit alleged breach of contract and copyright infringement.

While terms of the agreement were not released, Kirmser said it ensures that Lenel and Mercury products will remain compatible “for at least 10-plus years and probably for a lot longer.”

Specifically, Lenel’s UIOs will continue to be supported by OnGuard. And while Lenel will not actively quote or market Lenel Universal’s IOs (UIOs) intended to work with certain panels (LNL-500, LNL-2210, LNL 2220 and LNL-3300), Lenel and Mercury will continue to support the compatibility of these products for those who installed them before the agreement or who are actively working on projects where UIOs are installed.

What propelled the resolution was the realization of the importance of the relationship between the two companies, Kirmser said.

Shortly after taking over as president of Lenel in March of this year, Kirmser said he flew out to Mercury headquarters to meet with Mercury executives Frank Gasztonyi and Hing Hung.
 
“I said we have got to get through this, we built this business together,” Kirmser said.

“When companies go through significant organizational changes what gets lost are people and relationships,” Kirmser said. It was very important, he said, “to get back on track with our most important partner.”

In a statement, Gasztonyi said that Mercury and Lenel “look forward to working together to enhance and improve existing product lines and to provide the industry with new, innovative and highly competitive products into the next decade. After a successful 16-year relationship, we are thrilled to enter into a long-term agreement that allows us to collaborate closely with the industry’s premium access control systems brand.”

The July 30 agreement was announced jointly by Mercury and Lenel during a Lenel ‘Paradigm’ event.

About 60 consultants attended the annual event, which provides information about the company’s present product and its new technology roadmap. “It’s interactive. We roll up our sleeves and ask them to challenge us,” Kirmser said. He said the event is attended by all of Lenel’s engineering leaders and is “influential in deciding what we do with our products.”

Kirmser said that Lenel just completed a 14-stop road show with key integrators across the country. Look to see “much more” integration between access control and video, he said.