ACaaS: Why residential sector sees pickup in deployment

ACaaS: Why residential sector sees pickup in deployment
Access control as a service or ACaaS carries various advantages, one of the biggest being all doors are secured and managed centrally, saving the end user the need to monitor everything onsite and invest in related devices and equipment. It is due to this reason that ACaaS is seeing deployment in various sectors, including residential.
 
Within the residential segment, deployment is seen more in apartments and condominiums rather than single houses, where users have less access control needs. “People usually don't use access control in their homes. What we’re seeing in residential homes that's similar to access control are wireless door locks with very simple management packages that are designed to control access for a family, with flat permissions across the family and pin codes instead of access control cards,” said Steve Van Till, CEO of Brivo. “They are not nearly as sophisticated as a commercial access control system with multi-tier administration and the notion of multiple sites, schedules and holidays and all of the other software features that you need in a full-strength access control system. Practically speaking you don't really see access control in private residences.”
 
Things are a bit different in apartments and condos which can benefit more from access control as a service. “Multi-tenant housing (apartments) provides good opportunity for ACaaS solution providers in the Americas. There are many large residential property companies, which have properties that include offices, weight rooms, computer rooms and game rooms, all of which could be managed centrally and professionally,” said Jim Dearing, Senior Market Analyst at IHS Markit. “Although there is onsite maintenance, these employees are generally trained in maintenance and facility management and not IT.”
 
“Once you've given access control to everybody who lives there for all these common areas, now what people are doing as an additional amenity is putting in a compatible wireless device on each individual condo or apartment door, so that the one credential that you issue to the people for the common areas can also work for their own individual apartment door,” Van Till said. “That reduces management costs for the property manager, and it is perceived as a high-tech amenity by customers.”
 
In fact, Van Till mentions Brivo's single biggest vertical market is property management, which tends to have multiple properties across a region and can benefit from centralized ACaaS management. “If you're a property manager in a city like Washington D.C. where I am, and you've got 50 to 100 properties that you're managing, having a single system to manage all of them greatly reduces your workload in terms of keeping credentials updated for the tenants in the building,” he said, adding besides residents, property managers can also manage contractors and other vendors using ACaaS. “Property management companies tend to use the same companies for janitorial services across all of those buildings, for engineering services across all of those buildings, for heating and ventilation services across all of those buildings, so from a vendor management standpoint, if they can have one set of credentials to manage their vendors and allow them access into whatever property they need to work on, that also has a huge benefit,” he said.
 
And the benefits of ACaaS can extend beyond the residential sector. In particular, SMBs can capitalize on access control as a service. “Many small- to medium-sized businesses lack the resources, such as robust IT departments, to house a comprehensive security solution in-house. Either they lack the monetary resources or the manpower to ensure the network is sound on a day-to-day basis,” said Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. “Additionally, many IT leaders balk at the idea of having too many devices or functions on the network for fear of vulnerability to outside threats. With ACaaS, businesses can build a robust access control solution without having to stand up a dedicated server, instead running a full application in the cloud with the ability to manage from anywhere. Many of these businesses require this level of flexibility, as they don't have dedicated security teams available to monitor incidents around the clock.”
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