All signs point to integration

July 1, 2010
If you're not offering integrated solutions, you're not keeping up with the times

It's unrealistic to think that deploying any type of large security system, whether it be access control, or IP video surveillance or even fire and life safety, in a one-stop shot is possible. These things take time and in large markets such as government, healthcare and education, growth in access control integration is not about installing new systems from scratch but about retrofitting the old ones. Market trends point to growth in access control but some security professionals and systems integrators are skeptical whether the projected market growth will apply to new developments or indeed to product development in what already exists, as some of them think. And as security systems continue to become integrated, it is up to the integrator to have the education on what is available in the market to offer the best possible solution to their customers.

"The integration of access control and video is not a new occurrence," explained Tom Giannini, director of Security and Emergency Communications Marketing, SimplexGrinnell, Boca Raton, Fla. "Ten years ago that was a novel idea. Today, if you're not doing it routinely you are not getting the value of your investment."

This month, we asked systems integrators across the country if they are currently integrating access control with other technologies. And if so, what other technologies are they integrating that customers require? If not, why? Are customers not requesting integrated access control?

Here's what they had to say about the topic:

"Netronix Integration sells integration with various technologies as part of our product offering. This integration often becomes a differentiator favoring Netronix when compared to other VARS. Beyond just a single offering, Netronix integrates access control with CCTV, IP video, VMS, photo ID, visitor management, intrusion monitoring/detection, various database integrations (i.e. HR), key management systems, intercom systems and more. Our goal is to show the end-user the value of having one integrated system as opposed to several disparaged systems which require multiple servers, databases, OS's and system administration." - Steve Piechota, vice president, Netronix Integration, San Jose, Calif.

"We currently have several of our large clients who are integrating both access and CCTV together. Many have started discussions on the next stage of integration with other systems like infant abduction, fire alarm systems and building controls but have yet to pull the trigger. As we work through the ROI's with our clients, we feel confident that more and more systems will be integrated as we show total cost of ownership savings and functionality." - Bill Hapner, director of Sales, Vision Security Technologies, Birmingham, Ala.

Be sure to check our Exclusive Report on access control in our June Access Control Trends & Technology supplement. If you can't wait, here is a sneak peak at what some of our sources shared with us on the state of the access control market and what some market research firms are projecting the growth of access control to be: According to The Freedonia Group, the market for electronic access controls is projected to increase 11.9 percent per year through 2012 to $5.9 billion. The research firm also cites that shipments of access control products and systems from U.S. facilities will rise 11.5 percent per year through 2012 to $6.2 billion. As far as product sales go on the distribution side, majority of the distribution business will come from the smaller scale of the access control market.

Opportunities exist for existing access control transitioning to managed access as 80 percent of deployments in the access control market are comprised of less than 16-card readers;

Results from SD&I's exclusive industry overview research as of 2009 showed that 59.65 percent of respondents grow their business through the sales and installation of access control products; while 54.39 percent grow their business through networked access control products.

All In One-Home Automation, Access Control and Video

At last month's IFSEC conference, hosted May 11 through 13 in Langmeil, Germany, Mobotix showcased their Hemispheric IP Video Door Station T24 with access control as well as additional home automation components that enable the station to be controlled using a smartphone. The T24 captures the entire entrance area without any blind spots, from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. When the doorbell rings, a connection is established with a VoIP video phone, a standard computer or tablet computer via the network. This makes it possible to gain audio and video access to the door station from anywhere in the world. Digital voice messages can be left at the door station and accessed later. Access rights can also be customized conveniently and easily by entering a PIN code or using an RFID transponder. Events outside the building's door can be recorded continuously or on an event-controlled basis with lip-synchronized sound automatically on integrated memory.