Government Business Is in the Cards

Providing access control systems to government facilities may initially appear intimidating. However, closer inspection reveals the market is not that different from commercial clients. The trick is grasphing standards such as HSPD 12 and FIPS 201, and offering solutions compatible with both legacy and future systems.

[IMAGE]12087[/IMAGE]Federal mandates tend to have a cascading effect, so this directive ultimately has a huge significance because state and local governments, as well as first responders, will become major buyers of FIPS 201-compliant smart cards as they follow the federal initiatives. Private contractors must follow suit and are doing so, including Boeing and others. If you are getting the projects in the federal facilities, you should be getting the majority of the referrals for the following projects. At worst, you will have the best references among your competitors.

Remember, a mixed population of old proximity credentials and new PIV II credentials will often be unavoidable during the government’s upgrade path to FIPS 201 compliance. No customer is thrilled with having to install two different types of readers. Ask if this is the case. If so, select multitechnology readers that are compatible with both FIPS 201 PIV II credentials and popular proximity and smart card technologies.

Reading multiple existing card types and PIV II cards simultaneously is a tremendous benefit to those agencies looking to painlessly transition in a seamless manner.

One last tip: You can’t afford to sell security solutions to the government in a legislative vacuum. Being aware of federal standards and regulations that affect government and nongovernment entities alike will help you gain the trust of your government customers. This will guide them toward solutions that will meet their needs today … and tomorrow. It will also keep them in compliance with the latest laws and regulations that affect them.

Raj Venkat is Vice President of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Commercial, Americas.


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