ButterflyMX is a smart intercom system designed to manage building visitors in a flexible, modern, and convenient way. Before purchasing, however, it’s important to have a complete overview, weigh the pros and cons, and explore other options to ensure it will best meet you and your tenant’s needs.
In this review, you’ll find an in-depth look at ButterflyMX, including:
- Comparison of ButterflyMX and Swiftlane Video Intercom, including a side-by-side feature comparison
- ButterflyMX Smart Intercom overview
- Cost of ButterflyMX
- Advantages and disadvantages
ButterflyMX vs. Swiftlane – which is better for your building?
Compare the main differences between Swiftlane Video Intercom and ButterflyMX.
Swiftlane: Compact, and easily mountable 3.5″ width. The SwiftReader has a 7.75″ vandal and weather resistant design with robust metal enclosure in matte, dark gray finish.
Swiftlane’s Swiftreader is rated IK07 for vandal resistance, unlike ButterflyMX. While the two have similar touchscreen interfaces and weatherproofing options, the Swiftreader is much more compact compared to the ButterflyMX Smart Intercom. The compact nature of Swiftlane’s solution grants an extreme amount of flexibility and versatility. ButterflyMX hardware is limited to installation sites that will support its robust size.
ButterflyMX: Minimum 7.54″ width harbors bigger constraints on where it can be mounted. 12.4″ – 16.3″ wall mount holds a 7″ or 11.6″ touchscreen with steel casing and large panels.
Swiftlane: Hardware starts at $2000
ButterflyMX: Hardware starts at $3560
As a single solution to visitor management, ButterflyMX is still one of the most expensive options on the market. In terms of hardware, ButterflyMX is several times more expensive per unit than Swiftlane’s complete, comprehensive access control and video intercom system.
Because of the large hardware, ButterflyMX also has much higher installation costs. The company also has limited local support, which becomes more expensive still. Swiftlane’s compact size makes for affordable installation. Swiftlane is also installed by an extensive network of local installers who also provide accessible, on-the-gound support.
Because of the price and the limited operability, ButterflyMX, unlike Swiftlane, is much more difficult and cumbersome overall to scale.
Swiftlane: Two-way video intercom calling through mobile phone app or browser. Calls are received as a regular phone call, so a call can never be missed. Remotely unlock doors via app for visitors within the mobile app or browser at anytime.
ButterflyMX: Two-way video intercom calling through the ButterflyMX mobile app. Incoming calls are received as a notification within the app, which can be easily missed. Remotely unlock doors via app only after a call is received.
Swiftlane: Easily issue single-use PIN codes, with the option to do so on a scheduled basis. PIN codes support security delivery management as they can be shared with couriers and delivery personnel.
ButterflyMX: Issue Virtual Keys for visitors in the form of a QR code. QR codes can be accessed on a mobile phone, but cannot be shared as a special instruction for delivery personnel.
The visitor management experience also looks different for ButterflyMX and Swiftlane. ButterflyMX issues QR codes for temporary access. Swiftlane has taken into account the entire visitor ecosystem by providing the ability to issue unique temporary or expiring PIN codes. With single-use PIN codes, building visitors can now include delivery drivers and couriers who can be provided a unique PIN in the delivery instructions. PIN codes are also inclusive of those without smartphones.
The Swiftlane visitor management experience also allows calls to be received by multiple devices simultaneously. ButterflyMX does not support simultaneous calling. In addition, Swiftlane provides a unique virtual front desk option as a backup should a call go unanswered. ButterflyMX requires a third party service for this function.
Common Area Security
Swiftlane: Swiftlane is a comprehensive common area security platform with the ability to provide secure access to parking garages, fitness areas, business centers, back entrances, package rooms, and more.
ButterflyMX: ButterflyMX is a front entrance solution suitable only for main doors and entryways. The ButterflyMX Smart Intercom operates as a siloed member of a comprehensive and cohesive property experience.
ButterflyMX Intercom is a video intercom solution suitable only for the front lobby or door. Swiftlane is a complete common area security solution, including access solutions for mobile and facial recognition unlock. This also means that Swiftlane can be configured to support any type of building with any number of needs, such a multi-door unlock, parking garage access, elevator integration, etc.
As such, Swiftlane has built both a product, an experience, and a service to simplify the lives of both property management and tenant. Swiftlane combines high security with intuitive, easy to manage interfaces. The entire Swiftlane experience is built to solve problems from the ground up.
Side-By-Side Feature Comparison
For property managers and building owners:
- Ability to see door release event history for up to 365 days
- Manage tenant and visitor permissions remotely
- Integration with property management software (PMS)
- Remote unlock via ButterflyMX app
- Visitors can be sent virtual keys in the form of a QR code
- Two-way video intercom calling to receive calls from anywhere
The ButterflyMX intercom system comes in 4 different hardware dimensions, each increasing in price with increased size:
- 7” Surface Intercom: $3650, with 2 year warranty
- 7” Recessed Intercom: $4150, with 2 year warranty
- 11.6” Surface Intercom: $5650, with 2 year warranty
- 11.6” Recessed Intercom: $6150, with 2 year warranty
ButterflyMX software is priced based on the number of units, starting at $750/yr for residential. Commercial pricing is based on the number of employees and starts at $2400/yr, based on pricing available in September 2020.
ButterflyMX has had many years of experience in the smart intercom industry. Their product, however, lacks a forward-thinking, customer-centric, solution-oriented approach that apartment buildings need now more than ever.
- 10 years on the market
- Multiple integrations
- Many deployments within the major markets with strong traction in Class A buildings
- 6-digit access PIN available if keys or phone are left behind
- Elevator controls through mobile app
- Alexa- or Siri-enabled voice controls
- High cost: ButterflyMX is very expensive compared to other products in the market. Most modern intercoms start at $2000, whereas ButterflyMX starts around $3500, plus requires several additional pieces like an active internet connection, a POE+ switch, UPS battery backup, and door lock power supply components (if not available).
- Incomplete access solution: ButterflyMX is not a complete access control solution. For a complete access solution, buildings need a separate access control system to integrate with the ButterflyMX intercom. This increases installation cost and overall operational overhead including training and managing multiple systems.
- Hardware size: Large panels are a space constraint and increase cost of labor and install in smaller spaces. Additionally, large panels are a limitation to install in all entrances needed. Finally, the larger panel can attract vandals and require expensive replacements and repair in the event of a vandal incident.
- QR codes: The Virtual Key QR code cannot be embedded in delivery instructions, which creates a gap in delivery management
- No cascade calling function: Does not have the ability to set up multiple intercom call recipients in case a call is unanswered the first time
Start Improving Your Building Security
Contact a Swiftlane specialist about learn more about alternatives to ButterflyMX intercom, and find the best access and intercom solution for your building.