Government activity on the rise

Demand increasing for software applications and security solutions

With high security needs in the military and government space especially, the levels of integration continue to see importance. End-users don't want to just depend on one system to make decisions but instead want information from an integrated and unified solution.

"We're building a system that is completely integrated from the ground up," explained Edulbehram. "It has access control, video and video analytics, VoIP all integrated into one standards-based appliance. We're in the process of developing that and that's certainly going to be a trend in the industry."

For others, the growth of technology partnerships is one clear way that the security industry will continue to grow and provide government verticals, among many, with applications and technology solutions. "The key is that one company is likely not going to be able to do it all," said Beliles. "That doesn't say that over time different companies won't try to do it themselves. From a software perspective, you see a lot of integration going on now amongst systems. Partnerships between physical access control, network access control, logical access control and to some degree device access control will enable enterprises as well as the government to achieve these higher level objectives in terms of what they want these systems to be able to do in working together."

Efficiency in Software Applications
By Van Page

Software programs used in access control security applications are undergoing three major trends: utilizing conversions and integration; providing mobility; and creating the opportunity to generate revenue.

The most efficient software applications and access control systems will integrate with other customer applications to, at a minimum, make it easy for the customer to move data from one program to another. There is no task more daunting than the requirement to export data from one program for use in another program.

Access control technology such as RFID, smart badges or even bar codes will only be as secure as the level to which they are integrated into a company's existing security software. Integration prevents a facility or corporation from having to enter information in two different places and also prevents the facility from having to remove information from two places in the case of a deletion. Failure to deactivate an employee or resident's access control device means that it will continue to function long after the employee or resident has moved, traded a vehicle, or left the company or community.

Today's requirement for mobility means much more than the ability to take your work home at night. A successful software application/system must not only meet the need for a user to log in from various locations and access data outside of the area in which the software is hosted, but to do so through a wireless application. Consider a private community where a patrol officer roams the grounds with a portable handheld, adding in data from any given location. This mobility allows the guard or security personnel to record data onsite, such as take pictures of a traffic violation. If the software is integrated, those pictures and the data recorded are synched with the main software in real-time, providing seamless security. Mobility makes data accessible through many different types of devices, such as Tablets or PDAs, which can function in real time, or as part of a local database that syncs with a host periodically.

A PDA may be used to: securely process visitors, employees, contractors, and vehicles; read an RFID tag or bar code to visually admit someone; activate a new visitor credential such as an RFID device or bar coded badge; or take a photograph and store it with a transaction.

A Tablet PC may be used in much the same way as a PDA with the added benefit of a larger screen, onscreen keyboard and attached device reader for scanning driver's licenses or mag stripe cards. Tablets can be used for one part of a transaction, than placed in a docking station to complete the transaction with a full-size keyboard, monitor, and mouse.