SIW: What advantages come with an appliance model to building access control? How is this different from how facility managers have handled access control historically?
RC: For RedCloud, a network appliance consists of a bundled or preconfigured server that provides out of the box program readiness in minutes, much like a Linksys router. This is true if the appliance is in a metal dedicated purpose server or as a software appliance. We do both. Simply put, an administrator or operator merely needs accessibility to a web browser of choice, and a secure login ID to utilize the building access control system.
Getting technical, by using Open Source technology such as Linux operating system and OpenLDAP database, we eliminate upfront and ongoing operating system and database license fees. Adoption of Open Source technology is a widely accepted practice for leading enterprise IT development, delivering high quality products, rich feature sets, flexibility, and better control. By the way, over 90 percent of world's top 500 supercomputers run Linux and it has a majority of market share (on an increasing basis) in the web server market.
Historically, and in most cases even today, facility managers, or their integrators, would be faced with installing and configuring Windows and a database like SQL Server from Microsoft. They would be prone to dealing with a myriad of security patches and viruses, which at times can be overwhelming. Also, in many cases they have to install proprietary client software on operator workstations. In addition to this unwarranted activity, they typically have to spend more money on added upgrade license fees and face time spent away from doing their core business of security system administration vs. IT system administration.
SIW: You're billing this as the "logical choice in access control," and there is an implied positioning that this product is designed both for IT and physical security. Can you explain that for SIW, as to why your product line fits IT needs?
RC: The logical nature of RedCloud Convergence Platform, our overall architecture, indeed provides unique value for IT and physical security.
On one hand is the logical nature of the design which entails appliance and private cloud computing attributes, anywhere-anytime, browser based accessibility, and our commitment to being open, especially on the field hardware side. On the other hand is the logical integration with Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems. In the same way that IT departments use IAM to provision trusted identification for employees and contractors with access to logical assets, RedCloud enables clients to extend such logical provisioning to physical doors. This integration is accomplished through RedCloud's IT Collaboration Software which supports native LDAP and all other common data exchange formats. Integrators and customers can attain this functionality through a user interface instead of requiring additional scripting and professional services from a PACS provider in order to accomplish this.
SIW: Besides undertaking this major rebranding at ASIS, how is the company investing?
RC: In two words: people and product. We continue to add new team members in engineering and sales support operations. Our development team has been very busy adding new capabilities being unveiled here at the show. Some of our new software features include: data-partitioning which allows customers to partition identities, system parameters, and access control field hardware for tenant-landlord or large applications; and enhanced graphical map monitoring that can indicate real time device status, annunciate alarms, and provide detailed zoom capabilities; and global input-output programming to enable any inputs to automate a set of outputs; and threat level automation which supports system parameters to change based on a set of event or input variables. In example, based on a fence alarm, a warehouse of chemicals changes to PIN + card mode for access from just card mode before the event. We are also investing in partner integration projects such as Codebench's development of a RedCloud PACS plug-in to their GSA FIPS201 complaint PIVCheck suite of products.