Rallying Behind Remote Access Control

With so much attention devoted to the potential and success relating to remote video monitoring and verification, it appears the growing segment of remote access control management sometimes takes a backseat. I’m not sure if it’s because remote video has been such a front-running topic for so long or because remote access control management is relatively new and really not understood by most.

From my standpoint remote access control is a viable and valuable service offering that’s been available for decades. This service dates back to my days of owning an installation company and managing small and large systems through dial-up modems. My company was paid a premium for this in addition to monitoring fees.

What has changed through the years is new technology has increased the value proposition while providing more options for end users and service companies. The combination of broadband availability and economies along with VPNs, and the consumer acceptance and confidence in application service provider (ASP)-type business support models, has opened up a bountiful market for service companies while providing great benefits for users.

Focus on the Value Proposition

Manufacturers such as Brivo and REACH Systems have taken strong positions in   providing hardware and a platform that allows security service companies and central stations to offer complete end-to-end access control solutions to their clients. The greatest benefit to the end user, which also provides the best margins and profits for the service provider, combines the manufacturer’s platform, central station support and managed services along with central station monitoring.

This value proposition allows the installing company to offer a cradle-to-grave solution that provides the user with the access controls they desire without the necessity of incurring the additional internal staffing and overhead required with managing these systems. Most organizations don’t give this enough thought and view this as a passive, minimal expense. This is the most glaring misconception and probably one of the biggest reasons why remote managed access control is not gaining the traction it rightfully should. 

Costs, Training to Consider

Initially, the training involved in bringing a layman up to speed to competently assume the full- or part-time responsibility of managing and maintaining an access control system must be considered. Also, most systems that are managed onsite would require the purchase and maintenance of an additional PC or server. These additional recurring staffing expenses as well as hardware are eliminated when a remote managed system is in place.

With remote managed systems the onsite security hardware is in communication with the remote servers through secure connections. The system data can be accessed and modified or reported anytime through an Internet connection and proper credentials. An all-inclusive service and maintenance agreement with the service company and central station will provide the client all the support, maintenance and monitoring required to assure them that their system will maintain its integrity and operation with minimal effort, all for an affordable and stable monthly fee.

As time passes more manufacturers are expanding their offerings to include remote management. Service companies and central stations that don’t offer this as part of their standard service are really missing out on valuable revenue sources, while their clients are missing out on a great value proposition.

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About the Author

Peter Giacalone
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Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.

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