While working with a customer regarding a major IT deployment, we were asked to help resolve an IT problem they had encountered elsewhere in their estate. Two vendors were given the same specification to deliver solutions in two different parts of the estate. The assumption from our client, was that given it was the same specification, the two systems would work together.

Pretty much anyone who works in IT wouldn't be surprised that it didn't. However as this project was being run by a Property team, they thought the specification was solid. Unfortunately it wasn't - both vendors had delivered to the specification, but there was enough ambiguity in the specification that meant they had both delivered valid solutions, albeit incompatible.

Rather than spend a considerable sum to rip out one vendor's solution and replace it with a single vendor solution, Maui Systems did a quick technology evaluation and discovered a way to make both systems work in harmony. As both vendors saw an opportunity to make more money with a refit, neither wanted to offer a middle ground.

Working with Maui Systems, the customer ended up with the solution they wanted, and in the process, we learned lots about Mifare and NFC cards, programming them and the kind of tricks that door access companies play to lock a customer into their solution. Our deliverable ended up as a small embedded microprocessor powered unit, testing our electronics and soldering skills - all for less than 1% of the lowest proposed vendor cost. Happy customer and yet another technology to add to our 'have worked with' list...

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