It’s Time to Show Your Customers the Benefits of Smart Card Access Control
Find out how to effectively match the correct single access control card to customers needing to secure campuses and other areas.
Keep Solutions Flexible
A common concern of many clients is that the system they select today will not be flexible enough to be upgraded and expanded over time as their needs change. Integrators are challenged to provide a viable, integrated security system that can meet current safety and security issues, as well as accommodate emerging technologies that will allow the system to expand and adapt as needed in the future. Such solutions should be able to operate current technologies, as well as those under development, without compromising or risking investments in their present systems.
Open architecture electronic locking systems are the solution to meeting the security and technology needs of today and tomorrow. Your clients are unlikely to be familiar with this terminology and will often rely on your expertise to understand what it is and why it makes sense for them. Open architecture will allow them to customize door openings with the right solution for each door, including credential readers and network communications, to create a perfect fit.
Your role is to help them understand how they can upgrade readers and network modules from an offline program to a networked solution, change credentials at any time and use future innovative technologies as they emerge. They may even be surprised to learn that, in many cases, upgrades do not require replacing all the locks or even taking locks off of doors.
Implementing a New System
As the smart card credential is used for more and more transactions beyond access control – such as vending, transit and logical identification, for example – the encoding process will require more forethought and expertise on how to integrate credentials with back-end software, financial/billing programs, ID systems, vendors and more. Cards can either come pre-encoded from the factory, or compa
nies can choose to manage their own card issuances, with or without the help of an integrator.
Matt McDaniel, CEO of identification and security integrator Multicard, says the planning of card encoding should start well before the actual process. “Before you can encode cards – let alone select the type of smart card – you must first go through a thoughtful process that evaluates how the cards will be used, whether that’s access control, vending or printing, etc.,” he says. “Then you have to figure out what needs to happen on the back end to allow the various transactions, as well as how the transactions will be managed on an ongoing basis.”
With so many technical details to work through, the entire process can take 12 to 18 months to implement. While arduous, McDaniel says companies are motivated to go through the process and implement smart cards because of their many benefits.
“The bottom line is that a smart card is like having a computer chip on a card,” says McDaniel. “Even when customers may feel like the process is long and cumbersome, they stay the course because they realize the significant advantage of using a card with massive data storage. Smart cards allow organizations to enhance security, reduce fraud, consolidate services and save money over the long run. They are more than worth the time investment upfront to fully maximize their functionality.”
Bio: Minu Youngkin is integrator marketing manager for Allegion.
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