Historically, utilization of software for managing employee and visitor access privileges to facilities was restricted to specific enterprise PCs and workstations. This not only limited the ability of enterprise security decision makers to quickly respond to critical and day-to-day security events in real-time and from any location, but also came along with high cost burdens associated with these client/server-based access control systems.
Today, executives and security decision makers are more informed on alternatives to legacy access control systems that can provide greater flexibility and scalability. Notable among these emerging solutions is Web-based access control, which delivers feature, functionality and cost benefits to the enterprise relative to client/server environments.
Effectively communicating the key benefits of Web-based access control outlined below to existing and prospective customers presents security integrators and resellers with a significant opportunity to grow their business, improve recurring monthly revenue (RMR) and generate a more consistent revenue stream.
Extended mobility continues to rise
In a 2012 Forrester Research report, Cambridge, Mass., 52 percent of surveyed workers indicated they used three or more devices for work purposes, while enterprise mobility services firm iPass, Redwood Shores, Calif., estimates that 64 percent of mobile workers now carry a tablet. There is little doubt the increasingly mobile workforce is transforming enterprise end-user expectations on how, when and where they can access and interact with both critical and day-to-day business applications.
The mobile enterprise shift has implications for access control. Legacy client/server-based access control systems limit user access to a small handful of authorized PC and laptop workstations. This is not only an inconvenience for administrators who spend less and less time tethered to the office, but security vulnerability in the event that an administrator is off-site and needs immediate access to the system to adjust employee or visitor access privileges.
Web-based access control enables security and facility managers to interact with and manage employee and visitor access privileges quickly and easily from any location without being tied to a dedicated client workstation or paying for software licenses per user. With a 100 percent browser-based Web application, security integrators and resellers can now offer customers the flexibility to securely manage access privileges from a broad range of devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop), from any location (home, office, road) and via any standard Web browser (Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer).
For administrators, Web-based access equals freedom: The freedom to access a Web application at home via a secure virtual private network connection when unforeseen incidents occur. Or the freedom to utilize the organization’s secure wireless network to manage privileges on an iPad or smartphone while on the move—particularly valuable for enterprises with multiple, dispersed facilities. No longer are users anchored to specific buildings simply because a PC loaded with access control software happens to be at that location. Finally, organizations have the technology freedom to seamlessly adjust permissions from, for example, a user’s iPad to an Android phone.
Cloud-enabled for rapid deployment
Security integrators and resellers who have traditionally delivered physical access control systems may question their “cloud readiness” to provide Web-based access control and how quickly they can deliver it. The fact is that integrators that already sell access control are fully prepared to offer cloud services. Web-based access control exists on the front end, so it can be quickly and easily integrated with door controllers, hardware, readers, wireless locks, switches, and wiring. As a result, Web-based access control that is cloud-enabled can be implemented in a matter of hours.