Sielox CEO Talks AC Future

Karen Evans is the president and chief executive officer of Sielox LLC, Runnemede, N.J. Her security industry roots run deep and she has been with Sielox (or its predecessor companies) for 21 years. Evans is not afraid to step out of the “box” of access control or make changes for the betterment of the company. In December 2010 she and a group of outside investors acquired Sielox through a management buy-out ( Taking it from public to private company gave her the ability to be more agile and responsive in making changes, and she’s made short work of that mantra.

Since then, changes at the firm have been fast and furious. Continuous development initiatives created new features for the 1700 controller, adding the ability to interface with an array of solutions, most recently those from Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies and Salto Systems. Sielox Pinnacle server customers can integrate Schlage wireless AD-Series electronic locks and Salto Sallis wireless locks to create a scalable access control solution.

Pinnacle is Sielox’s access control and event management system, with the Pinnacle 9 software entering the market in 2012. This version of Pinnacle features a time and attendance event database export, support for virtual environment using VMWare or MS HyperV and a lock/block and unlock feature.

One major focus for Evans and the company has been technology partnerships and OEM relationships.

“When we enter into business partner (VAR) agreements, we make sure these companies are truly going to be our partners actively promoting our solutions and making sure high expectations are mutually achieved,” Evans said. “They need to be forward thinking and innovative and they need to listen to their customers and design integrated solutions to meet their every changing environment,” she said. The future is definitely going to be browser-based, she said. “There will be more hosting for software and storage in the cloud,” Evans commented, adding that IP centric services will continue to have a dramatic effect on access control. “In the past, you may have had one dedicated computer to run access control, but now you can run it on an appliance or virtually,” she said. “When you run access control in a virtual environment, you can fail over to a second or third server without the cost of multiple software licenses or the limitations of legacy hardware that were tied to a specific proprietary network.”

And while there is still a large installed base of legacy access control equipment that Sielox continues to support, that is beginning to change. “Customers are upgrading and expanding their systems—taking advantage of the latest technology that utilize their existing infrastructure while eliminating additional keys with the expansion of wireless locks to previously non-controlled doors,” Evans said.

If the recent past is any indication, change will continue, and Sielox has hinted at a groundbreaking announcement first quarter 2013.