The IP-based access control panels automatically connect to the hosting site where they receive their programming updates via a simple outbound Internet connection. The end-user administrator accesses the application by using any Web browser to log into their account. As with embedded and appliance-based solutions, eliminating the server and software frees up the user's IT department to focus on the enterprise's core business. A SaaS solution also eliminates the need for an established network or VPN configuration between multiple sites, facilitating the administration of multiple buildings and remote facilities at a greatly reduced cost. With the proliferation of GSM cellular connectivity to the Internet, Web-hosted panels can be deployed almost anywhere, whether there is an available broadband Ethernet connection or not.
The Web-hosted model is particularly appealing to security dealers and installers with limited IT experience as it greatly limits their exposure to and impact on the customer's network. Web-hosted access control allows IT-savvy systems integrators to offer a high level of service to their customers by providing live system support without being at the custome r's site. Whether you are IT savvy or not, consider Web-hosted solutions for your customers—they are most likely already using the SaaS model for many of their other business applications. Once they are presented with the Web-hosted choice for their security applications, they will want it because they've already seen the value of SaaS. This means the dealer realizes higher margins at a lower risk, while providing a service that has greater value to their customers.
Security dealer managed applications
While the Web-hosted services outlined above provide users with ultimate flexibility when managing their access control system, some customers prefer to rely on their security dealer/integrator entirely. Security dealer-managed applications provide the ultimate in security services by allowing the customer to submit access system change requests to the installing security dealer. With security dealer-managed applications, traditional installation dealers utilize Web-hosted applications to offer a “concierge” service for their customers that provides system redundancy, disaster recovery, and managed services on a level not available with traditional server-based access control applications. The ongoing service provides value to both you and your customer.
Your next step
As we've seen, IP-based physical access control gives plenty of options in selecting the solution that's right for your customers. Once you understand the capabilities and constraints of the different options, you are now in the position to recommend the best system for your customers' needs, resulting in greater end-user satisfaction, more productive relationships and enhanced prospects for future business.