It wasn’t that long ago that access control was pretty standard and lacked bells and whistles. A lot has changed – quickly – over the past few years. Technology decision makers can now choose options such as wireless, cloud-based access control that offers myriad benefits including better cyber security measures.
Jeff Perri, president and COO of cloud-based access control provider ProdataKey, chatted with MyTechDecisions about how options have evolved and why cloud-based access control opens up possibilities to truly leverage access control.
ProdataKey’s pdk.io cloud platform allows for complete system management and control through any web connected device, with the flexibility of networked, PoE (power over Ethernet), and its WiMAC (Wireless Mesh Access Control) technology that communicates wirelessly between doors for up to one mile, saving up to 75 percent over traditional wired systems, according to the company.
Here are some takeaways from TD’s interview with ProdataKey’s Perri:
On Access Control’s Migration from Security to IT:
Perri: What we’ve seen as an evolution in access control and the reason that it’s really switched to the IT director side of things is that it’s a lot more focused on this whole concept of IoT, the internet of things. Now you can take an access control product and really hang it on the network, connect it to the internet and have a full experience from there. In the past it was much more difficult to integrate and to install.
On What Access Control Now Offers Beyond Security:
Perri: In the past, in a commercial environment, integration really delved into doing dry contacts. I want to turn a light on, so I connect some dry contacts to manage that platform. I want to connect a wireless lockset. Now I’ve got to make connections through some sort of hub or communication device to do that. It didn’t have a lot of integration into software management platforms.
Today with ProdataKey, the key to our access control platform is this integrated solution. For instance, we integrate with Assa Abloy’s Aperio locksets. Now I can have a hub in the ceiling. Again, it’s an IoT device. You plug it into the network. Now those locksets are wireless locksets that have up to a three-year battery life can look like a controller on our platform.
Whereas before I would have had to run wire to those devices. Maybe it wouldn’t have made as much sense to install access control on [certain doors] but now that access control management makes more sense.
Related: Top 5 Access Control Trends
Another one is visitor management through a company called Savance. We’ve got full visitor management platform. We’ve got printing of badges. I can print a badge and put it on the visitor’s chest as they walk through.
Again, we’re not talking about some dry contact integration, which is where most of the integration lay in the past — very expensive integration. Now Savance has got a seamless integration into ProdataKey’s cloud platform, PDK IO. It makes all of these things available right through the cloud platform.
Another one could be lighting automation. We’ve got a fantastic integration into daycare management through a company called SmartCare.
HR management now becomes easier. I add somebody to my HR management, and they can add somebody to the access control platform or vice versa, so you’re more tied in with information you’re already gathering. now it’s more feasible to unite these platforms.
On ProdataKey Cloud-based Access Control and Cyber Security:
Perri: People expect, “Hey, it’s a security product number one”. Well, we also expect things that are not security products to be secure. We’ve got some great documentation that talks about the cyber security aspect of ProdataKey and how we make those connections to the cloud and how the data is managed. People need to expect that the platform is secure.
On the Benefits of ProdataKey Cloud-based Access Control:
Perri: There are many other platforms out there where they may have a cloud function of the platform itself, but we’ve focused on providing this seamless platform that gives you anywhere, anytime, any device access that includes your computer, your tablet, your phone. That can be Android or Apple. It doesn’t matter.
We want that seamless experience delivered to the integrator but also to the end user. We see this accelerated adoption because there’s decreased training time to the end user.
An end user I’ve heard multiple times saying, “Hey, I was able to pick this up and start using it. I granted access to somebody who manages a building that we’re involved with the other day. I didn’t give any training, and I logged into the platform and saw that he had already added people, added their profiles, gave them rights and all that.”
On Benefits of a Wireless Access Control Solution:
Perri: We’re a network and POE [power over Ethernet] connected platform and, again, following the pace of this whole IoT platform. Our wireless platform is rated at a mile line of sight, 450-foot average indoors. It depends on obstructions and that type of thing.
The wireless is a fantastic solution to get from A to B where you can’t get a wire or it’s going to be too cost prohibitive.
Look for MyTechDecision’s entire interview with ProdataKey’s Jeff Perri in an upcoming TD Podcast.