Industry Influencer: AMAG Technology Looks to Sullivan to Expand Its Future (Sponsored by AMAG)

March 8, 2023
The new president is a veteran of the access control industry and ready to meet the challenge

You could almost say that David Sullivan and the access control industry grew up together. The freshly minted president of AMAG has spent his entire career in Security and/or Identity Management technology companies. Starting as a Fire and Security salesperson, then homing in on Access Control as a salesperson at a security integrator. Sullivan eventually became part of the founding management team of HID Global and later had a brief stint outside of the security industry in Animal Identification. Subsequently, Sullivan returned to the security industry as a senior leader for Ingersoll Rand, now Allegion, learning the Door Hardware side of the business. Dave is currently the President of AMAG Technology, where he started in August of 2022 coming over from ACRE, and has been President there for the last 3 years.          

Security Technology Executive (STE) magazine recently caught up with David Sullivan and he shared his views on the industry and his new role.

STE: What are your goals for AMAG Technology?

Sullivan: With a long product history, AMAG is one of the oldest access control companies in our industry. At one point it was the number one provider of access control solutions available on the market. While today we are still among the leaders, we are no longer the only choice for enterprise access control. My goal is to become the top choice by providing an expanded product portfolio and advanced services.

As systems become more technically complex, it increases the functionality and applications that users can apply to their security needs, however with technical complexity also comes challenges. Our goal is to provide our customers with broader solutions that are also easy to use. Our next generation of systems will be designed for operational simplicity, but with greater functionality. Users though are seeking solutions that go beyond solely access control, and it is our intent to design open platforms that require minimal work to integrate with other customer systems.

Through a robust API strategy that is coupled with SDKs, we intend to become a system that is easy to integrate, providing the customer with the ability to integrate multiple systems that can operate through a single pane of glass. Our Symmetry CONNECT identity management product already meets much of this objective, providing us with a head start.

While our systems will provide the user with broader functionality, we additionally believe that our channel partners need enhanced tools that improve their ability to support and service their customer base. We are developing tools to increase capabilities by providing them with ways to anticipate service needs and provide enhanced end-user benefits.

STE: You bring a wealth of industry experience to AMAG. How is your experience and leadership style going to impact AMAG and its customers?

Sullivan: I could never have predicted my career path, and deeply appreciate the experience that it has provided me. Along the way, I have had the pleasure to work with some amazing people both as colleagues and customers, and I have been a part of some fantastic companies. Spanning from being an integrator to a manufacturer both domestically and internationally, I have had the chance to see the industry from multiple perspectives. As a result, I have a unique understanding of what our channel partners are seeking, and what their end-user customers expect from them and our systems. I hope to convey these experiences into a vision for AMAG, by sharing my ideas with our team and with our customers.

Our customers can expect a refreshed company with a modern approach to the application of technology and services. We will transform as a company over the coming years with the goal of becoming an industry benchmark.

STE: Few other manufacturers in the industry offer such a robust and complete product line from one manufacturer. That is one of AMAG's differentiators. That said, what changes are you planning to make to the product line, if any? Why?

Sullivan: It is true that AMAG’s product portfolio is broad, providing access control, video management, mobile credentials, visitor management, identity management and data analytics to name a few; we truly are an exclusive one-stop shop. I do not intend to change our products, but rather improve and expand the functionality of each aspect.

To some, the vastness of our portfolio may come as a surprise, and we need to do a better job of communicating its strengths. Our portfolio of solutions forms an “a la carte” menu of modules that can be interconnected into a multi-functional solution for the user. We will continue to develop these modules with the broader portfolio in mind. While our individual solution modules can run on their own, they can also operate within the broader solution portfolio. If the user purchases one element to start, say our Symmetry Access Control solution, they can later add on Symmetry CONNECT and GUEST for added functionality in the future, providing them an integrated Access Control/Identity Management/Visitor Management solution. We will not move away from this approach but rather plan to build upon it.

Last November we conducted an in-depth customer survey which informed us of what changes our customers would like to see from us. We are taking the results seriously and are in the beginning stages of establishing our next development roadmap. I look forward to sharing our vision in the coming months.

STE: Cyber, analytics and machine learning are all the buzz right now. How does AMAG address these concerns and are there any plans to make changes or improvements in these areas?

Sullivan: I think that everyone in our industry is considering each of these factors in their next generation of products, and AMAG is certainly doing the same. We must take cyber security seriously in everything we design and deliver. We are SOC 2 compliant, which specifies how organizations should manage customer data. So not only do we ensure that our products are designed to resist cyber-attacks, but our organization also operates in a secure manner that protects the customer from cyber risks.

As for analytics and machine learning, our Symmetry Access Control system already has analytics and machine learning tools incorporated today. Although somewhat basic in their structure, we are working to provide expanded analytics and AI as a core part of our future solutions. I believe that we are ahead of many of our industry colleagues in this area today.

STE: We hear a lot about how having an open system is important to end users. What is AMAG's stance on open and how do you address this with your Symmetry system?

Sullivan: There are a number of definitions as to what open truly means. I think that when it comes to security, we need to be careful about what we mean by open. Some parts of a security system should not be open, as it leaves the system open to compromise. We believe that our approach provides the system integrity that is needed for higher security applications. The development of all of our hardware and software is under our control, providing the user the assurance that it will all work together securely. We do also operate with industry standards such as OSDP, meaning that we provide the user with interoperability to readers and biometrics that include this open standard.

Our perspective changes when we consider broader solution interoperability. Our products today are open, and operate with a number of third-party applications, giving the user the ability to integrate with adjacent systems to create a single-user interface for broader solution operability. As I mentioned previously, our strategy is to continue to provide open platforms that can be easily integrated into and with, giving more integrated solutions to the user as we continue down our development path. We see increasing opportunities for integrations and look forward to announcing new partnerships in the near future.

About AMAG Technology: AMAG Technology, an Allied Universal Company, is a world leader in unified security solutions that help organizations mitigate risk, ensure compliance and reduce the overall cost of a security program. AMAG manufactures open solutions under the brand of Symmetry™ that include access control, visitor management, identity management, command and control, video management, analytics, mobile, intrusion management, and incident management. AMAG is headquartered in Hawthorne, California with sales and support located throughout the Americas, EMEA and APAC.