As advancements are made daily in the feature rich world of verification, the integrating process continues to be a hurdle. Integrators and manufacturers look to provide an easier solution to bring access control and video together. As this takes place in all corners of the industry, technology continues to march forward and education remains an important but time-consuming task vital to getting the job done.
Before the engineering can ever get started, Bill Bozeman, chief executive officer of PSA Security Network, Westminster, Colo., said, "there is a whole host of support services integrators should take advantage of. This includes training on products, understanding the inside information and selling strategies of these products." Bozeman's company, PSA Security, is a support organization for physical security integrators. The organization works with those in the field of engineering, installation, maintenance, monitoring of video and controlled access. "We offer and stress these services because the integration of video and access control is so technical," he stated. Brenton Scott, executive director of Business Development, Network Access Solutions at HID Global, Irvine, Calif., agreed.
"Security system components, including access control, are becoming more and more technically complex, whereby ongoing, sustained training is now critical to ensuring successful deployments," said Scott. "As a network-centric access control systems manufacturer, we strive to deliver solutions that are as easy to install as possible, however, as these solutions become more IT-focused and technical in nature, the importance of education cannot be over emphasized."
Not all have jumped on board and others are using, as an industry barometer, product sales, as a way to confirm industry growth. A key indicator for integrating access with video is a rapidly growing request for systems.
"Since we are not biased in what we purchase, we purchase what works and what we are seeing now is nearly 60 percent of products going out the door are integrated systems not just camera or card orders, but an integrated system," explained Bozeman.
Paul Cronin, CEO of 1NService, Bellevue, Wash., an organization comprised of network integrators where most members are on the network side of the industry rather than the physical side, mentions that out of 41 member companies worldwide, which he says represent $ 1.4 billion in economic spending, only six are true integrators of access and video.
"While that number remains small for now, I know that number will grow," explained Cronin. "These members have gone down that path because they had a history of being strong data people and they have built relationships in this area of the industry."
Cronin is also quick to point out that two members have found great success selling and working with the government. "The government is purchasing and supporting a lot of the newest applications."
How it is integrated can be a two-pronged approach, according to Matt Barnette, vice president of Sales and Marketing, AMAG Technology, Torrance, Calif.
"The first approach to integrating video and access control is to integrate to third-party video products and legacy systems that customers have installed including DVRs, NVRs," said Barnette. "The second is to develop and support IP video natively within the application."
Accomplishing this can be a matter of integrating via an established Application Program Interface (API) which will add video functionality directly into the customer's application. Using an API offers a set of programmatic interfaces supporting various functional areas of the DVR. On the subject of using open platform software, AMAG, according to Barnette, is an open software and hardware platform that integrates into third party video management systems. "Our products are built to take advantage of the emerging IP video standards ONVIF, PSIA and RACM," he stated.