Access control sees continued push towards mobile capabilities

Subject matter experts offer varying opinions on NFC, hosted solutions and interoperability

Much of the buzz around access control in recent years has centered on the potential held by near field communications-enabled devices, which many people have pegged as the credential of the future. The reason for the excitement around NFC is well-founded as the majority of smartphones already have NFC functionality built into them. And while the viability of the technology has been proven in numerous case studies, widespread adoption has yet to take place. However, manufacturers are continuing to focus much of their efforts on developing products with mobility in mind.

Innovation is also continuing to take place at the enterprise-level with advancements in access control management software. Just as video side of the industry has been focused on the migration to IP, access control companies are also looking into how they can make their products more interoperable with the network and with other security devices. There has also been steady demand for managed and hosted access solutions as organizations look to reduce their security infrastructure costs. SIW spoke with several industry experts at this week’s ASIS show in Chicago, to get their take on these and other trends that are currently taking place in the market.

SIW: What do you feel are the biggest trends taking place in access control?

Peter Boriskin, director of product management, electronic access control, Assa Abloy: The biggest game changer is mobile. We see mobile everywhere, from mobile devices for mobile guard stations to mobile credentials. Security officers are using the corporate mobile networks to connect their devices together. From the perspective of a mobile monitoring station, there is nothing security officers do behind the desk that they can’t do via mobile devices. From a mobile management perspective, a director of security has the ability to modify rights without the need to come back to headquarters.

The mobile credential is a useful tool that is becoming increasingly popular. More and more handsets are being produced with NFC capabilities. The technology and the ecosystem exist out there to support mobile credentials. Mobile operations around the world are starting to jump on the bandwagon.

Steve Van Till, president and CEO, Brivo: The shift to cloud and mobile are still the two biggest trends for the future of access control. This is true particularly if you include what’s happening in the consumer space, which is currently leading the bulk of the commercial market that is still using traditional card access. In the residential space, the phone is now being used as a connector back to cloud management of permissions on the door. This is a very efficient and flexible solution for many situations where traditional methods are currently deployed.

Rick Caruthers, executive vice president, Galaxy Control Systems: We continue to see access control management systems evolve as more of a total facility/site security management platform as users look to migrate their systems to the enterprise. This trend will require access control manufacturers to integrate with many third party applications such as VMS, IDS and various other facility specific needs. We are addressing this trend with new Systems Galaxy Software and a new dual serial interface that deliver innovative features and integration for new and legacy access control systems while protecting users’ investments in existing hardware and infrastructure. This will accelerate the deployment of more truly integrated security solutions.

Fernando Pires, vice president of sales and marketing, Morse Watchmans: The trend towards systems integration continues to gain traction for numerous reasons, mainly the ability to have centralized monitoring and control of previously disparate systems. This provides both operational and cost-savings advantages while increasing overall security. We are working with various technology partners to further facilitate integration of key control systems with access control to best meet users’ present and future needs. We expect to see further advancements in integrated systems as manufacturers continue to enhance their software offerings.

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