ACaaS: How it’s influenced by IoT

ACaaS: How it’s influenced by IoT
Due to the benefits it provides, ACaaS or access control as a service appeals to users in various vertical markets, including residential. At the same time, a migration towards IoT has also driven demand for ACaaS.
 
Vertical-wise, ACaaS is now seeing more deployments in the residential sector where operators of multi-tenant apartments use ACaaS to manage access control to rooms as well as common areas such as parking garages and swimming pools. But residential aside, users in other verticals are also realizing the benefits of ACaaS and have begun using it. “There's really been more of a demand for ACaaS within the enterprise and commercial markets as a result of the need for businesses to seek out cost savings on capital investments (such as access control hardware) and central management of alerts and security-related issues. With ACaaS, users gain more mobile and remote monitoring for their facilities, expanding their ability to respond to and investigate threats,” said Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries.

Professional offices – those held by doctors, dentists, orthodontists, layers and consultants – have been cited as an example. “It's very popular there, because those offices don't usually have a technology officer or perhaps even a network management staff. They don't want to have another server in their office, as they wouldn't know how to take care of it, don't want to pay for it and don't have room for it,” said Steve Van Till, CEO of Brivo. “If you had to put a server in your house to take advantage of that mesh thermostat or the Dropcam cameras, you probably wouldn't want that, because it's one more computer in your house that you have to take care of. People running professional offices look at that the same way: they don't want another server in their office. They just want the service, not the server.”
 
Van Till also mentioned ACaaS benefits for retail. “Retail is a great example of a highly distributed organization, and by that I mean high geographical distribution. A couple of our largest customers are in retail and they have over a thousand different locations under management,” he said. “All of the same benefits I described for property managers also apply to large retailers that have multiple facilities in multiple states or even multiple countries. What they want is to have a single security management system that is spreads over all of those.”
 

IoT’s influence

 
Another catalyst that’s driving ACaaS is IoT, which makes integration between access control and other systems possible. “ACaaS is actually based on IoT. Cloud access controllers and intelligent locks are fundamentally IoT devices. Critical communications are IoT communications. IoT is the name of the game. So understanding and mastering IoT technologies is the key to ACaaS,” said Andrija Pušić, Director of Product Management at Spica, which offers ACaaS under the brand of Door Cloud.
 
“Probably the biggest thing it's doing for us is making a lot of inexpensive sensors available, that we can integrate with the rest of what we're doing,” Van Till said. “If you look at the industry 20 years ago, access control was a standalone product, video was a standalone product, alarms were a standalone product, intercoms and voice were a standalone product. Today what's happening is that every platform needs to have all of those capabilities. So when you look at motion sensors that are traditionally used in alarm systems … now the security system is becoming a single service that encompasses access, video and alarm. They are relevant to access control because access control tends to be the centerpiece of any one of those integrated security systems.”
 
Integration between access control and building automation can further set ACaaS providers apart from others. “This would mean adding building automation capabilities through integration such as turning on the AC/lights in a certain room following a successful badge swipe at the door. With regard to ACaaS specifically this could help ACaaS providers develop better data analytics or utilization software to enhance their offerings. Offering building automation products and IoT integration is also another potential avenue ACaaS solution providers could use to differentiate themselves from the competition,” said Jim Dearing, Senior Market Analyst at IHS Markit.


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