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INSIGHTS

How can integrators make cloud access control offerings better?

How can integrators make cloud access control offerings better?
For access control, the interest from the commercial sector could just be beginning.
Cloud-based access control solutions are becoming increasingly popular, but understanding how best they can serve their customers is critical for integrators. This begins with knowing what the customer wants and how their changes evolve with time and context.
 
Cloud solutions have become ubiquitous in many industries, from personal emails to even high-end industrial applications. Its adoption in physical security is seen more in the surveillance segment, starting with residences and now in commercial segments.
 
For access control, the interest from the commercial sector could just be beginning. This makes it all the more critical that integrators take a proactive approach to offer solutions that meet customers’ requirements.
 
According to James Segil, vice president of Access Control for Motorola Solutions, the best way to ensure a frictionless, secure, and safe office environment is to look at spaces holistically.
 
“New access control technology trends point to security strategies that include knowing who’s unlocking doors, who are accessing the network and how data is being shared across devices,” Segil said. “This means organizations need visibility into real-time activity, as well as access and security trends over time. For enterprise organizations, multi-site management will play a crucial role in adapting to hybrid work.”
 
Having all IT, cybersecurity, and physical access controls and data in a single, unified platform ensures a better understanding of the way spaces are used and how to improve both security and safety.  This may require different teams of the end user to work together. It would also necessitate the integrator remains up to date with the tech and business that different departments handle.

Best Practices for Integrators 

Integrators who become increasingly tech-savvy will benefit as the industry’s adoption of technology is starting to accelerate at a faster rate than it has in the past. Understanding the value of new technology is one thing but being able to communicate that value to customers using the right vocabulary and talking points is another.
 
“Integrators who can sell the tech-side of the story and communicate the value of new products and services have a major opportunity in this space,” Segil continued. “Integrators who have the right understanding of data can find opportunities to analyze that data on behalf of customers. The same goes for new hardware products, software features, and integrations.”
 
Communicating how a solution would benefit the customer would also require integrators to understand the vertical they serve. For instance, the needs of a retail store will differ from that of a hospital. While both will benefit from cloud-based access control solutions, their nature of operating the product will differ.

Challenges to overcome

Although customers are more receptive to cloud solutions than before, there are still several challenges ahead for the industry. More education regarding its benefits is necessary at this point, and this is something that integrators can help with.
 
“While the cloud is not a new technology, it is just starting to see mass adoption in the commercial real estate industry,” Segil said. “As with any disruptive technology, it is essential to educate customers and ensure they are comfortable in their journey on adopting cloud-based technologies.”
 
It is also critical to meet customers where they are. Understanding what specific security needs the customers have, and then educating them on how to meet those needs using cloud-based tools and services requires patience and perspective.

Conclusion 

Systems integrators play a key role in helping customers understand the benefits of a solution, especially something new like cloud-based access control. With the advancement of technology and the integration of more devices, the work of the integrator has become increasingly complex. Following the best practices while understanding the customer requirements becomes crucial.
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