Securing the enterprise

There are so many considerations when securing an enterprise wide facility with access control. There’s integration and coordination with IT and others who are stake holders as well as risk assessment and systems management procedures. The facility has to be safe yet still accessible and unencumbered by restrictions that effect free movement within.

It’s here that access control can get complex and run deep into layers and levels of security and even incorporate a wide array of technologies including cards, biometrics, proximity and integrated video. At the enterprise there’s also the incorporation of wireless readers and access points and the addition of remote buildings to the mix. There’s often a mix of different types of facilities within the enterprise, for example, a pharmaceutical plant with a warehouse on site and corporate offices at the same location.

Energy management is also a big selling point for users and a great offshoot for systems integrators doing access control. When facilities management can control the environment and save energy and HVAC costs with occupancy sensors and detectors, thermostat setbacks, lighting controls and other methods—end-users suddenly perk up.

It’s within this complex environment that the security reseller has a chance to make a difference. They can offer a wide range and mix of services and earn recurring revenue with managed and hosted access control services and Web-based software and controls. Best of all, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach—they can offer a range and variety of service levels.

Jacky Grimm, Diebold’s director of Security Solutions (and leader of the Diebold Event Monitoring Center) in Canton, Ohio said the enterprise access control market represents additional opportunity for integrators and added value for their customers.

On the enterprise

“People are doing things they’ve never done before in their facilities, like linking with video and tying that to log-on access for computers and human resource systems,” she said. Last year, Diebold began a new program called the Diebold Advanced Dealer Network, opening its Event Monitoring Center to the systems integrator market.

Grimm said that for the most part end-users don’t want to manage the overall access control system and badging, which gives integrators a perfect opportunity to provide these services.

“There’s an element of RMR for the dealer in enterprise access control, and also, the dealer is then constantly connected to the customer when they are providing these services. That’s been a challenge for the integration community--how to stay in front of the customer, stay connected and learn about their environment,” she said.

Grimm said managing enterprise access control takes a dedicated staff and may require more time then the end-user can devote. “It all depends on the customer; some users want to run their own show,” she said.

According to Alan Kruglak SET and senior vice president for Genesis Security Systems LLC in Germantown, Md., with enterprise access control there’s more integration between the facility’s databases, such as human resources and the likes. “The corporate climate is more complex the larger the customer,” he said. “The more integrated the systems, the more complex they are. We have to make sure we are careful of the products we install and develop a strong relationship with the vendor, which helps us ascertain if the system will work as intended.”

In the enterprise security plan, the end-user has to sit down with the integrator and talk about what they want to accomplish, Kruglak said. And, while managed access may be palatable for some of these users, it’s certainly not for all.

“With some large corporations, they don’t want to outsource the access control management,” he said. “They don’t want anyone messing with their network,” he said.

“For these larger corporations and enterprise locations, I don’t see that Web-based services are driving the market.”

As access control systems get more complex in enterprise locations, users expect a higher level of support and may opt to have integrators manage their services or even host applications. Managed access will definitely be a growth market in security but as with other customers, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Think RMR

When you think of enterprise access control customers, put yourself in their shoes. Consider offering:

• Service, maintenance and regular upgrades
• Hosted servers and browser-based software
• Managed access services
• Building controls, energy monitoring and wireless sensors
• Card administration and management
• Integration with human resources and other databases

Sidebar: Paving the Road to a Managed-Services Business Model
By Sharon Shaw, vice president, Integrator Support

Recurring monthly revenue (RMR) has become a buzzword in the physical security industry. As time goes on, companies with RMR streams become wealthier, more stable and more competitive on hardware and installation pricing. It is evident that the industry is shifting toward the managed-services business model; a business model where the money made on services provided following project completion is the most vital to the company.

Technology has recently made it possible for systems integrators to generate RMR through remote video monitoring and hosted access control. Remote video monitoring combines traditional fire and burglar alarm monitoring with live video streaming, two-way audio communication and integrated access control solutions to provide end-users with an interactive and protective approach to physical security; transforming forensic video into eyes on the scene.

“Managed services provide a means for systems integrators to generate recurring revenue while providing high-level services to their customers,” said Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network. “With equipment and installation margins shrinking, managed services provide a way for systems integrators to maintain profitability, and even increase the company’s value, while increasing cash flow and lowering credit risk. Systems integrators must establish a managed services business model and Integrator Support is the vehicle to get them there.”

Hosted access control allows systems integrators to log in to a Web-based program, remotely manage the access database of their customers and provide their customers with valuable reports and data; all without any access control servers or software on site or in their office.

These services are attractive to end-users who are looking for the safety of a security guard onsite or minimizing their involvement in access control database maintenance. The upfront costs are less for the end-users and the integrators generate revenue on an ongoing, contracted basis--bringing the Software as a Service (SaaS) model to the security industry, now being referred to as Security as a Service (also SaaS).

The integrators are left asking, “Now what?”; “So the services and technology are available, but how do I get started?” Integrator Support LLC is dedicated to solving these problems for the physical security integrator community. Integrator Support provides integrators with the remote monitoring and hosted access control services, sales tools, training for business owners, training for sales teams, and service presentations for end-users.

The only company of its kind dedicated to making the physical security integrators more successful, Integrator Support does not sell directly to end-users and exclusively provides the systems integration community with state of the art monitoring services from the G4S Monitoring & Data Center, top-of-the-line hardware from PSA Security Network and PSA Distribution, and sales tools, cost analysis, setup forms and monitoring agreements. It’s everything the integrator and security reseller needs to succeed in this evolving security landscape.