The universal desire to provide new technologies that are more user-intuitive, sleeker and faster applies to all things electronic these days — including access control. There are many new access control and management technologies on the market today that promise dramatic improvements in performance and efficiency.
Although there is no doubt that new technologies are driving system performance and integration enhancements, there are issues to be addressed that impact access control resellers, and ultimately, their customers. Three of the main industry drivers are access control system models; new business development; and training and continued education.
Making New Software Work for Old Systems
In the current marketplace, the concept of maintaining legacy support and the ability to enhance pre-existing security, video surveillance and access control systems continues to gain traction with resellers and end-users. However, this type of higher-level business decision is not being followed by some mainstream manufacturers who are looking to push solutions designed specifically to drive new system installations — a go-to-market strategy that does not consider the financial needs and requirements of their own dealers and customers. The same holds true for new companies that enter the market and want to establish proprietary positions with first-generation products.
Other manufacturers of professional security and surveillance solutions, including Galaxy Control Systems, have taken a different route that maintains integration and interoperability with earlier generations of systems.
The fact is, the availability of best-in-breed access control solutions that enable legacy systems to be upgraded and/or integrated presents a major opportunity for access control dealers and integrators to cultivate new business. There are scores of facilities across America (not to mention across the globe) that currently use outdated access control systems. The ability to cost-effectively upsell these businesses — large and small — with the latest access control functionality and capabilities presents a significant opportunity for new business development.
What’s more compelling is that there is no need for concern regarding the brand of legacy hardware or system topography. New software is the critical system enhancement component, and is by far the easiest component to deal with from an installation perspective. New software also holds the key for future business development with new customers who own old systems. This is especially true as users continue to employ access control systems for business operations beyond security — for example, for time and attendance.
Backwards-compatible access solutions also provide the advanced architecture for dealers and integrators to offer access control as a managed service. Access control software makes this possible with multiple client functionality capable of managing and controlling several systems on a single backbone. Capitalizing on new software-based capabilities increases the potential for new business development as new applications for access control continue to emerge.
Access Control Is Not Just for Security Anymore
In addition to opportunities with legacy access control system users, the potential for new business development transcends traditional security system applications. In one example, a school system in Connecticut was looking for a better way to manage student traffic between a large number of portable classrooms they were using while a new facility was constructed. One of the main concerns centered on children using restrooms and other facilities located in the main school building throughout the course of the day.