Systems integrators, are you making the most of wireless access control?

Systems integrators, are you making the most of wireless access control?
With the rapid advancements in technology, wireless access control systems are becoming more and more common in the market. However, despite the convenience they claim to bring in, these systems are yet to become popular among many systems integrators (SI). And even when they are put to use, wireless access control solutions are often used only for doors inside a site and not the main entrance. 
 
Some manufacturers promote wireless access control systems pointing to the increased acceptance of mobile solutions among end users and the potential to further innovate in the field. Adding to this, the technology appears to have developed quite a lot in the recent times. While several SIs may have had bad experiences in the past with wireless field, the key would perhaps lie in knowing where and when to use them. 

Getting over the myths

In a report from Assa Abloy, David Ward, Business Development Manager for Wireless Access Control at the company, had pointed out that several myths associated with this. First among them is that wireless systems are more expensive compared to their wired counterparts. 
 
“Many of our customers using wired access control are unaware that wireless systems use much less energy,” Ward noted. “Because wireless locks are battery powered and only ‘wake up’ when a credential (badge, keycard) is presented, they consume a tiny fraction of the power used by ‘always-on’ wired magnetic locks.”
 
There are also concerns that wireless solutions will not work seamlessly with already existing wired systems. This too is not true, as the manufacturer pointed out that not only can they be integrated with wired systems but can even work with video surveillance and energy management systems. 
 
Other misconceptions in this field include wireless solutions are always costlier than traditional systems and that they work only with single credentials. Both of these are not true, according to Ward, who pointed out that even small facilities could save quite a lot of money by going wireless. 
 
However, it must be noted that Transparency Research had recently pointed out high costs of installing wireless systems could slow down its growth. 

Knowing which solution to go with

A key advantage of wireless solutions may be the ease of installation, being able to do away with difficulties associated with getting wires from one end to another. However, this doesn’t mean that going wireless is always the best option. It also doesn’t mean that all wireless solutions are made equal and one can be used in place of another. 
 
In a recent media report, Derek Arcuri, Product Manager at Genetec, had touched upon this aspect as he indicated that SIs should take a close look at the product features. A lot of development has taken place in wireless access control systems and there are various products in the market now that vary in their functionalities.

Where to from here?

There is no doubt that wireless technologies will become even more popular in the coming days and access control manufacturers will be keen to make use of the advancements. With the advent of 5G in the horizon, solution providers would be exploring more possibilities in this field. 
 
However, researchers also point out that the industry is still quite fragmented. According to a recent report from Transparency Research, the global access control market is expected to grow to US$1,657 million by the end of 2025 at a CAGR of 7.9 percent. 
 
For SIs, moving forward, expanding their product and service offerings to wireless solutions would become inevitable. They key, then, would be to gain a greater understanding of the solutions in the market and knowing what fits where. With the right knowledge and products, wireless access control solutions could go a long way in augmenting an SI’s business. 
 
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