Access control specialist Nedap makes the leap into video management, marking a tradition of excellence since 1929.
Nedap has evolved into a security management provider from its access control background, expanding its portfolio. “We went from mechanics to electronics and now it's mainly software,” said Hans Schipper, GM of Nedap Security Management. “We still produce our own hardware in-house for quality and we don't want to be dependent.”
About 10 years ago, Nedap set out to create an open source-based system that was Java-based and used generic hardware. It would build functionality and integration for all security systems. “You talk about integration, you have the box for access control, you have the server on top for intrusion. With your DVR, you have a server on top for your cameras,” Schipper said. “Then you make all the connections on the server level to make it all work together — that's the current situation in security.”
Rather than use multiple servers, Nedap integrates on the controller level. “We handle the storage, network camera, infrared detector, intercom and card reader directly from our controls,” Schipper said. “Then you have one solution and one single server.”
A single platform for security management simplifies the operator's job. While this is the long-term goal for Nedap, it enables third-party integration for a best-ofbreed approach. “Most security is moving away from utilities, it's becoming an IT subject. IT managers understand what we're trying to do,” Schipper said. The Nedap solution utilizes existing servers by installing its controller software to them virtually, instead of requiring controller hardware.
Nedap bucks the trend of consolidation in a fragmented industry. “There's a lot of acquisition and little innovation,” Schipper said. “We don't acquire. We grow organically. We put effort into innovation.”
This insistence on in-house production has paid off, with Nedap's access control software opening doors 37 million times. Research and development remains a core competence for Nedap, designed with physical security professionals in mind.
While the economic downturn slowed construction and hurt the financial sector, Nedap has expanded into other markets. “Business partners who joined us three to five years ago have really contributed,” Schipper said. “We have compensated for the downfall.”
The company has grown in locales far from its Dutch headquarters. Its main market is Western Europe, but it is increasing its footprint. “We opened an office in Dubai five years ago, then Shanghai three years ago,” Schipper said. “We have business partners on each and every continent.”
Multinational customers with a worldwide presence deploy Nedap's solutions. “We have a total system for that,” Schipper said. “Our international approach outside of Europe and the Middle East is mainly global customeroriented.”