In buildings, access control-video integration never goes out of style

In buildings, access control-video integration never goes out of style
A main feature of a smart building is operational efficiency, enabling the user to do more with less. In this regard, access control and video integration plays a major role, providing a single, unified platform for the building manager to run various operations, in particular security.
 
Video and access control have long been separate systems, making the building manager’s job quite ineffective especially during a security event. “In the past, access control logs are recorded in one database while video is recorded in another database. If there is never any ‘wrong-doing’ in the building, then having two disparate systems isn’t a big deal. But unfortunately, it’s quite unlikely that a theft or impropriety will never occur,” said Larry Reed, CEO of ZKAccess. “And without hard evidence, it’s near impossible to prosecute or fight off a lawsuit. Evidence of impropriety is essential. But with the evidence potentially residing in two disparate databases, it calls for a lot of research time going back and forth between the two systems to find the evidence you’re looking for.”
 
That’s where the integration between the two systems comes in, a convergence that makes the building manager’s job easier and more effective. “The integration between video and access control is a natural step in strengthening a company’s overall security posture, as access points are best protected when security practitioners know who is coming and going at any given time,” said Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt.
 
“Key in the access control-video space is unification – the idea of a single operator interface for monitoring and configuring both access control and video equipment and functions. Once unified, the building’s response to alarms becomes that much tighter, resulting in smarter alarm assessment and increased safety for the occupants. Video also helps reduce false alarms, and today’s analytics engines, including facial recognition, can provide even greater security for the building,” said Rick Focke, Senior Product Manager at Tyco Security Products.
 
Other benefits of the access control-video convergence include more effective bandwidth management across the building. “For example, a forced door in one part of a building may trigger camera frame rates to increase temporarily, while normal operation may be at lower frame rates, transferring less image data back to the video storage server in day to day operation,” said Daniel McVeagh, Senior Product Manager at Gallagher.
 
As for whether the user should integrate access control into their VMS or vice versa, that is really up to the user’s own needs and demands. Jeroen Harmsen, Product Manager at Nedap Security Management, mentioned the integration between his company and Milestone. “The real question isn’t about which system is used as the front-end. The importance lays on the specific needs of the end-user and the way they can be filled. For example: when you are a receptionist sitting behind the reception desk, and you are receiving customers, then it would be more convenient to have Nedap’s AEOS as the front-end. But on the other hand, if you are a guard and you want to identify the images and analyze them, then Milestone’s XProtect would be your front-end system.”
 
“Today, security admins can choose to either have their video records stored in their access control systems or have their access logs stored in their video management system. Whichever system they spend the most time in becomes their choice of where the access/video records are stored,” Reed said. “Having one centralized reporting mechanism for both access and video records is a tremendous time-saver for security admins and provides a far more positive user-experience, especially when a criminal investigation is called for.”
 
Beyond security, video and access control integration can provide other data needed for the user to manage their building more effectively. “Facility managers can count the number of people in the area and based on those metrics, allow additional admittance. As a result, user rights can change based on what is visible in the environment, which can help make real-time decisions or supplement those being made by proactive users,” said Robert Gaulden, Director of Aftermarket and Electronic Sales at Allegion.


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