When we installed B&G chartplotters in 2013, a B&G AIS send/receive went in as well, thinking it would facilitate things.
I have since learned that there was no need at all to go with the B&G AIS.
First of all, the B&G AIS communicates with the B&G chartplotter via NMEA2000. There is nearly zero integration between the AIS and the chartplotter. For practical purposes, call it none. The chartplotter sees a bunch of standardized AIS messages on the NMEA 2000 net and puts them on screen as graphics. These messages could be coming from the moon and the plotter would be happy with them.
Second, I have since learned that most "big brand" AIS boxes actually come from only one or two specialist companies. So for example my B&G NAIS-400 looks all pretty in black and looks similar to the other B&G boxes... but it is an outsourced product, made by someone else.
Third, I have since enabled AIS on our iPads, on both the MaxSea TZ chartplotter and on Weather4D. What did I do? Literally simply tell them the internal IP address of the boat's B&G WiFi station, and select "enable" on the iPads. Instant AIS on iPads running software that could not care less what brand the AIS is.
Lesson: go with an AIS you like, and forget about the "big brand" AIS devices. I always thought the Vesper from Australia (or is it NZ?) offers very nice AIS boxes with extra functionality, and in retrospect, that's what we should have installed.
SM2K N. 350