Understanding How the Access Control Ecosystem Has Evolved

We all use access control. As employees in a secured building or as visitors to an organization or hotel, we touch badges to readers multiple times a day, moving in and out of doors or zones, subconsciously complying with the rules. The assigned key cards or fobs are our first touch point to hundreds, if not thousands, of interconnected devices and software that are all part of a widespread access control ecosystem.

Access Control Ecosystems Thrive within an Open-Architecture Environment

First, there were good-old locks and keys. Then came proprietary access control systems with hard-wired devices and serial communication. These proprietary access control systems might have offered a new way to manage access in a facility, but that model locked facility managers into a single solution and vendor, limiting options for system growth or enhancement.

Today, network-based access control software and hardware offers greater interoperability that provides users with more choice. Vendors of access control devices such as Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connected access control hardware and wireless door locks, are introducing Application Programming Interfaces (API) that simplify installation and integration with various access control software.

Similarly, open-architecture IP access control software offer software development kits (SDK) to broaden the list of supported access control hardware devices and vendors. Because the integration work is mostly done by vendors who see value in offering interoperable solutions, customers can freely choose from compatible devices and software. These first steps toward greater interoperability expand the options for access control for both existing and new customers.

Taking another step in the same direction, customers can incorporate existing or future hardwired readers, including I/O door interface modules with proprietary serial connections, with IP door controllers and wireless/PoE locks-from a variety of vendors. This is possible using a single intelligent controller that supports all these devices. This controller provides an easier way to evolve your access control ecosystem at your own pace, and in accordance with your yearly budgets.

Open Access Control Software Streamlines Integration with Devices and Systems

An open IP access control system combined with an intelligent controller (when necessary) can allow customers to intermix many different access control devices and systems in their ecosystem. This can include a variety of different components such as:

  • Existing or future hard-wired readers including I/O door interface modules
  • Standard IP-enabled readers and controllers that offer more control and security at the door
  • All-in-one locks that provide a more simplified installation
  • Wireless locks that are ideal for hard-to-reach locations
  • Biometric readers or handheld readers that suit more critical restrictions or policies
  • Various other access control-related software and hardware including elevator control systems, intrusion detection panels, badge printers, RFID tags, and more, that allow for a more customized access control installation.

The point? An open-architecture IP platform will help you create an expansive access control ecosystem, giving you the flexibility to add devices and systems that meets your requirements, today and in 10 years from now.

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