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INSIGHTS

ASSA ABLOY offers full range of wireless access control solutions to meet users’ needs

ASSA ABLOY offers full range of wireless access control solutions to meet users’ needs
ASSA ABLOY offers full range of wireless access control solutions to meet users’ needs
A major trend in access control these days is a movement toward wireless solutions. To better understand the wireless access control market, ASSA ABLOY conducts an annual Wireless Access Control Report, in conjunction with IFSEC Global. In this article, Russell Wagstaff, EMEA Platform Director at ASSA ABLOY, discusses findings from this year’s report (which will be cited throughout this article) and how the company’s wireless access control solutions meet users’ various needs and requirements.
Wireless access control, which operates without communication and power cables, has seen increased adoption over the years. According to ASSA ABLOY’s Wireless Access Control Report 2021, 37 percent of respondents now have some form of wireless technology within their physical access control systems, compared to 31 percent two years ago.
 
The report intends to gain further understanding of the wireless access control market. In total, over 400 respondents, including end users, systems integrators and consultants, shared their insights into this particular segment. Some of the key findings from the survey, as well as ASSA ABLOY solutions that address certain user needs and concerns, are discussed as follows.
   
Russell Wagstaff,
EMEA Platform Director,
ASSA ABLOY
 

A move toward mobile

 
A clear trend in the wireless access control sector is a movement towards mobile credentials, whereby users use their smart devices to open doors. According to the report, 39 percent of respondents intend to replace traditional credentials with mobile ones within two years, while 26 percent are already offering mobile credentials.
 
Mobile credentialing is driven by its various advantages. Convenience is an obvious one, as users always carry their smart devices with them. Security, meanwhile, is also seen as a benefit. “Mobile credentials can be more secure than smartcards or keys. Security managers can react fast when credentials are mobile. Access permissions can be cancelled or amended over the air without any need for updaters. Almost every modern handset has a built-in failsafe if it is lost or stolen: Biometrics, fingerprint or face ID screen-locks keep casual thieves out,” said Russell Wagstaff, EMEA Platform Director at ASSA ABLOY.
 
Yet certain barriers still keep users from adopting mobile credentials. One of them is the concern that door hardware may need to be replaced. According to the survey, the “need to replace existing readers” and the “need to replace existing locks” were cited by 45 and 35 percent of professionals, respectively.
 
In this regard, ASSA ABLOY has solutions that render hardware replacement unnecessary. “Our wireless locking and access control devices Aperio and SMARTair are already compatible with smartphone keys via a range of standard mobile technologies including BLE, NFC and/or Seos. Existing or new customers do not need to add accessories or replace hardware: A firmware update at most is all that is required,” Wagstaff said. “In most cases, the extra cost is zero. Indeed, switching to mobile credentials should save you time and money in credential management, reduced plastics use and more.”
 

Integration/open architecture

 
Integration and open architecture are also demanded by more and more access control users. The ASSA ABLOY report shows 92 percent of security and building management professionals consider open architecture to be either “somewhat” or “very” important. The survey further identifies the following as top security systems that users want to see integrated with access control: video surveillance, alarms, door entry systems, visitor management and mechanically locked doors.
 
Yet challenges also remain. According to the report, these include cost (59 percent), a lack of available technologies developed to open standards (27 percent) and a lack of knowledge or expertise (26 percent).
 
Regarding this, Wagstaff stresses that ASSA ABLOY’s wireless locking and platform solutions are built with openness in mind, making integration easy and simple. “Our Aperio wireless, battery-powered locks are built for seamless hardware integration with almost any security system — over 100 OEMs and counting. An intelligent key-based CLIQ system is also integration-ready, via its Web Manager software,” he said. “Our new platform-based ecosystem Incedo is designed around compatibility. End users can choose the combination of locks, readers and credentials which suit them best. Everything is managed together from one Incedo control panel, including selected third-party solutions. The Incedo ecosystem is growing fast: Our roadmap of device and third-party solutions integration expansion going forward includes CCTV.”
 

Cloud gaining traction

 
There is also a clear trend towards cloud-based access control, which offers various benefits, for example lower capital expenditure, remote management and scalability. Indeed, the report shows that 35 percent of respondents are using some forms of cloud-based solutions. It should also be noted that users have different cloud needs and preferences. Of the 35 percent, 24 percent were using local and cloud-based management, while 11 percent had moved to third-party hosted software.
 
In this regard, ASSA ABLOY has solutions that provide enough flexibility to suit users’ different cloud needs. “Many of our solutions offer the advantages of cloud management. A CLIQ or eCLIQ installation, for example, can be managed conveniently from anywhere with a web connection,”Wagstaff said. “The ‘menu’ of cloud options is even more extensive for the Incedo ecosystem. Incedo Business Cloud works out of the box with a cost-efficient subscription service. Onboarding is fast. Security managers can feel confident their data is safeguarded with an Information Security Management System certified to ISO/IEC 27001. End-users always have the option to switch management between locally hosted, an off-site cloud solution or full access control as a service offering. It’s the ultimate in flexibility.”
 

Sustainability

 
With sustainability becoming a topic of global importance, security users also seem to have caught up with the trend. According to the ASSA ABLOY report, when asked how much respondents’ choice of access control technology will be affected by sustainability, 36 percent answered “to a great extent” and 53 percent “to some degree.”
 
According to Wagstaff, wireless access control can play a major role in sustainability. “We focus on wireless access control devices, including battery-powered door, cabinet and server locks. These devices consume much less energy than equivalent wired locking devices. Energy consumption savings in operation may average around 70 percent, according to a benchmarking study we carried out in 2019. Wire-free installation makes retrofitting less intrusive — and therefore less energy intensive,” he said. “We take our responsibilities seriously, from minimizing waste and packaging to ensuring transparency for our devices’ life-cycle environmental impact via audited Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) across many ranges. Because of this, we are confident our wireless access solutions can play an important role in an organization’s sustainability strategy.”
 

Winning out in the market

 
Today’s access control users have more complex and sophisticated demands. They want their access control to not just open doors, but also support mobile credentials, integrate with other security systems, enable cloud management and contribute to sustainability. Solutions providers that clearly respond to these demands will win out in the market. In this regard, ASSA ABLOY has succeeded, offering a range of wireless access control solutions that meet users’ various needs and requirements. We can expect ASSA ABLOY to continue to roll out more innovative, cutting-edge solutions down the road and retain its leadership position in the access control market.
 
ASSA ABLOY’s Wireless Access Control Report 2021 is free to download here.
 
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