Uncle Sam Begins to Fancy Managed Access Control

Much continues to be written about managed access control and the promise it holds in generating new streams of recurring revenue for installing security contractors. It’s common we hear from dealers and integrators they are experiencing the most success in market niches such as multitenant commercial facilities, small to medium businesses, daycare centers, even places of worship.

A ginormous vertical market in particular you don’t much hear associated with managed access control is the government space. But that may soon be changing, at least for those installers who are prepared to do business in this oftentimes rigid, bureaucratic environment.

I recently spoke with Donald Woody, senior technology executive, Tyco Integrated Security, Federal Systems Division, for a story I reported on innovations in physical and logical access control, which you can read in the current issue of SSI. Woody explains the General Services Administration (GSA) recognizes the many advantages of a cloud-based or hosted access control solution, and the agency is increasingly becoming a proponent to use the technology and related services in the public domain.

As an example, GSA Region 5 is using Tyco Integrated Security and Brivo managed access in its facilities in the Great Lakes region. “It depends on the agency. Obviously some agencies are not that fond of the cloud yet and others are very fond of it,” Woody says. “GSA is an organization I see going down that road all in. This is a nationwide initiative for them. They’re absolutely going in this direction.”

Here’s the crux: GSA manages the perimeter for all federal facilities that are under its control and then the agency allows its tenant agencies to opt in to that program.

“So, for instance, if SBA has space within a GSA federal building, and they say, ‘how about you guys manage access for us,’ boom, it’s going to be there. They’ll have it. It’s included in their lease agreement already because that’s the way GSA leases space,” Woody says. “It’s going to be done and it is going to be a hosted environment. It’s going to live out there in the cloud.”

While the majority of electronic security initiatives common in the government market today are conducted via Schedule 84, you can expect managed access control jobs to be on Schedule 70, an IT-centric schedule.

Schedule 70 is relatively new as far as electronic security is concerned, but that’s where GSA has elected to put the majority of the HSPD-12 smart-card initiatives. Hence, dealers and integrators now have to move toward getting their own Schedule 70s. RFIs [request for information] from the government — a precursor to the issuance of RFPs [request for proposal] — are coming from agencies such as the Veterans Administration, Health and Human Services, among others.

“The small and midsized integrators need to be cognizant of that, they need to go ahead and start moving in that direction if they want to play in this space,” Woody says. “If they don’t have access to Schedule 70, they’re going to get painted out of the picture unless they partner with someone who does have a Schedule 70.”

Rodney Bosch | Managing Editor



About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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