Articles by Brad Aikin
New construction has continued to grow as a result of low interest rates in 2016 and that has positively impacted the security marketplace. Yet the limited availability of skilled labor is becoming a large issue as it leads to higher cost of labor. This also creates a challenge in recruiting, training, and retraining a capable staff in building construction and maintenance activities. As a result, there is a continued desire to improve our efficiency in production, commissioning and the management of buildings. Security Convergence And Integration One accelerating trend is that ownership and management stakeholders of physical and logical security continue to converge. Other developing trends are that cyber security is a topic of increased discussion and concern for those in physical security, and there is an increasing demand for sites to manage more assets, in a smaller space, with a lower budget. Finally, the growing volume of integrated, networked architectural hardware solutions is increasing the need to manage mechanical and electronic competencies. Comprehensive Mechanical And Electronic Security Looking ahead to 2017, the increase in construction and utility costs will place further stress on both acquisition and operating costs. The increased breadth of disciplines participating as stakeholders or decision makers in access control will be another growing trend. The final trend we expect to see is that there is a growing end user request for integrated experiences within the environments where they live, work, and learn. As a result, the “winners” in 2017 will be those who position themselves to coordinate comprehensive mechanical and electronic needs as well as those who are capable of articulating value proposition to their stakeholders. Looking Ahead At Allegion In 2016, we at Allegion continued to takes steps in helping end users utilize a greater blend of electronics credentials and solutions to solve needs more effectively than mechanical products alone. Another success for us was the development and delivery of solutions that helped accelerate the adoption of electronics further within environments, most notably, electronic locks and credentials. Looking forward to 2017, we plan to continue to grow our collaboration with Access Control Software providers and other third parties to help deliver a range of flexible integrated solutions that serve the current and future needs of customers. As it stands, Allegion has more than 50 Alliance Program partners with which we collaborate. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here
Strong electronic access control (EAC) investments by the healthcare and education verticals were a highlight of a very strong 2015 for Allegion. The company saw double-digit growth in multiple categories for its electronics as well as continued strong growth in commercial markets, with further expansion of software provider integration of Allegion-connected devices. Mobile Connectivity & System Integration Nurture Positive Trends Demand for mobile connectivity and integration of multiple building services in both commercial and residential spaces have fostered the positive trends. Customers increasingly expect similar types of experiences where they live, learn and work. We are also seeing increased transition to electronic credentials as a result of increased awareness of credential options and tangible improvements in operating efficiency. The development of these two trends will ideally lead to increased discussion about the importance of industry standards to enable greater value and adoption of EAC solutions. IoT For Better EAC Management Looking ahead to 2016, we expect the market to further accelerate the adoption of secure Internet of Things or IoT devices, driven by their ability to deploy and manage EAC solutions with new levels of efficiency. Business models will continue to expand beyond the historical scope of physical security and the value of service providers to end users will also continue to grow as they expand their ability to manage and deliver actionable data collected from interconnected ecosystems. In 2016 we expect the market to further accelerate the adoption of secure Internet of Things, or IoT devices We also see increasing opportunities to collaborate with Software and Service providers on expanding the value of existing and new PAC systems. This will be achieved by providing end users with clear financial value to electrify access points further into the building beyond traditional security applications. Driving Efficiency Through System Interoperability This is a great time to be in the security market as technology is enabling the deployment of electronics within a building’s ecosystem of services, from physical access control and logical access, to lighting and HVAC systems. This is further driving the interoperability of these previously disparate systems to enable services such as location-based decision making that will provide a new level of value to channel partners and end users in the coming years. As always, those who are successful in internalising these advancements in technology and standards to expand the value they provide their customers will be the clear winners in 2016 and beyond. See the full coverage of 2015/2016 Review and Forecast articles here
Allegion, a globally renowned provider of security products and solutions, will be demonstrating new seamless access products and services at ISC West 2021 (booth #16059), the security industry's one of the most comprehensive and converged trade show, taking place from July 19 – 21, 2021. “With businesses returning to full-scale operations, following the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Allegion is committed to helping security integrators and PACs partners better serve their higher education, K-12, healthcare and multifamily customers in innovative ways that deliver a seamless access experience while promoting healthy environments,” said Brad Aikin, Director of Field Marketing and Training at Allegion. Brad Aikin adds, “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we work together as an industry to create safer, healthier, more accessible spaces for our communities.” Open architecture and interoperability Through the Allegion Alliance Network, Allegion develops collaborative relationships with other companies Allegion's commitment to open architecture, interoperability, improved digital collaboration and to growing with customers as their needs evolve – all without compromising on security – are key ways it is serving the industry. Through the Allegion Alliance Network, Allegion develops collaborative relationships with other companies to provide a broader range of products and services. “Access control no longer exists in a vacuum and offers substantially more value as part of a broader set of solutions,” said Roy Johnson, Product Manager of Connectivity at Allegion, adding “Executing on this requires standardization and interoperability to ensure that everything works together seamlessly. Allegion is leading the way through active contributions in multiple standards bodies within our industry and beyond.” Overtur Allegion, a recipient of SIA's prestigious 2021 Member of the Year award, will be connecting with show attendees and showcasing its latest products and solutions, including the company's Overtur, a cloud-based environment, where project team members can collaborate on the specification, design, and construction of door security and openings from anywhere. It provides a centralized place to capture, maintain and verify door hardware requirements and decisions, with easy options to push information to industry-renowned tools. Existing features like Overtur Mobile, Punch List, and Site Survey simplify the gathering of on-site information by streamlining it all in one platform, eliminating the need for paper and information reprocessing. New to Overtur is the Estimate to Order functionality, which enables authorized partners to create estimates with net pricing using their individual buying programs. Estimates are created with hardware and product sets attached and are saved for future use. Once an estimate is complete, it can be shared or turned into a quote. Schlage RC Reader Controller Allegion recently expanded its Schlage networked product portfolio to include the new Schlage RC Reader Controller. This new innovative device combines the power of the Pure IP access control technology with Schlage's intelligent hardware and credentials, delivering a comprehensive and cost-effective perimeter solution to customers. The benefits of having a panel and reader in a single enclosure eliminate the need for multiple devices The benefits of having a panel and reader in a single enclosure eliminate the need for multiple devices while creating a simplified architecture with the ease of installation. Customers now have the power to leverage their existing infrastructure with this scalable and flexible solution. “Allegion's continued commitment to technological innovation means there is no break in the relentless drive to move the industry forward. We continue to hire the brightest developers, engineers and industry experts and invest in the best technology partners,” said Devin Love, Director of Commercial Electronic Products at Allegion, adding “The result is a constant stream of new products and features hitting the market.” ISC West 2021 ISC West 2021 attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Allegion executives and industry thought leaders, as the company showcases why it is the partner of choice for IT leaders, facility executives, institution decision-makers, architects, and multifamily property executives. For security professionals who will not be attending the show in person this year, Allegion is offering virtual one-on-one meeting opportunities. Additionally, professionals can connect virtually through: Security in 30: This popular webinar series explores industry hot topics, such as interoperability, the mobile movement, touchless solutions, and Overtur. Each session is followed by a live Q&A and offers opportunities for follow-up media interviews. Virtual Training: Allegion offers a wide array of training curriculum for integrators and other security professionals. From online courses that are catered for the access control world to live seminars to continuing education with AIA accredited courses, Allegion is committed to making doing business easier.
The last day of Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Las Vegas proved to be the calm after the storm. But a slower third day could not undermine a largely successful 2018 show for exhibitors and attendees. Sometimes the success of a trade show isn’t measured by numbers of attendees (which were reportedly down again this year). Sometimes it’s the individual successes that make an impression. “Just learning about this made the whole trip worthwhile,” said one GSX attendee at the Johnson Controls booth, referring to the company’s new PowerSeries Pro intrusion devices. It’s the kind of feedback that makes the expense of exhibiting at a big trade show worthwhile. The new PowerSeries Pro is an extension of Johnson Controls’ existing line that is expressly designed for the commercial security market. The ‘hybrid’ (wired or wireless) device offers ease of installation and full cybersecurity including 128bit AES encryption with spread spectrum for no jamming or interference. It employs frequency hopping technology first developed for the Israeli defense force. Wireless Technology For Cybersecurity PowerG eliminates the need for wires by providing ‘invisible wired technology’, a marketing term that emphasises the cybersecurity of the product PowerSeries Pro uses PowerG wireless technology and expands the portfolio of PowerG devices from residential through commercial. For use in a wired solution, the main advantage is ease of installation; terminal blocks ‘pop out’ easily and can be wired and plugged back in. Alternatively, PowerG eliminates the need for wires by providing ‘invisible wired technology’, a marketing term that emphasises the cybersecurity of the product – wireless at the same level of cybersecurity as wired. Johnson Controls addresses three big factors with the product line: cybersecurity, user control, and easy installation and dependability. It’s part of Johnson Controls’ broader approach to provide ‘one-stop shopping’, enabling an end user to control their environments, video and access, and protect their contents, according to the company. Need For More Security In K-12 Schools In addition to reaching end users, lock company Allegion sees the show as an opportunity to meet with technology partners. “It’s great to bring together a concentration of people in the industry,” said Brad Aikin, Channel Led Business Leader, Integrator Channel. “We have had good conversations with technology companies here at the show in terms of partnering, both physical access control and OEM partners. We have also had good conversations with the integrator channel.” From speaking with education end users at GSX, Aikin sees a large unmet need for security in K-12 schools, more so than in colleges and universities. “K-12 is underserved,” he says. “They need to identify their priority of needs, and now they can serve needs they couldn’t before, both layering levels of security and phasing in implementation over time. Now things can be applied and tried out without disrupting the environment.” An example is the Von Duprin RU RM (Remote Undogging and Remote Monitoring) door exit devices, which are being integrated by access control partners Sielox, IDenticard and Vanderbilt. Intelligence is added to the door exit device to enable inexpensive monitoring of secondary, previously unconnected doors. The doors can be monitored and locked or unlocked at various points in the day. Lock company Allegion sees the show as an opportunity to meet with technology partners Bridging The Gap Between IT And Physical Security One exhibitor – ADT – noticed more information technology (IT) professionals accompanying their physical security counterparts at this year’s GSX exhibition. “They come along to kill dreams on the spot,” said Morgan Harris, Senior Director Enterprise Solutions, noting the IT department’s frequent hesitancy to add untrustworthy elements to the network. ADT is looking to transform and expand its 144-year-old brand in the commercial security space and has completed eight acquisitions in the last year to accomplish the goal. Some of the acquisitions build on ADT’s expanding cybersecurity initiative, which is both a fully-functioning stand-alone business and an effort to bridge the divide between IT and physical security. ADT is positioning itself to manage enterprise risk in the broadest sense. Combining IT And Cybersecurity The Internet of Things (IoT) is fuelling convergence but are we missing out on how to talk to each other and communicate effectively between IT and security?" “The Internet of Things (IoT) is fueling convergence but are we missing out on how to talk to each other and communicate effectively between IT and security?” asked Harris. “Projects have failed because information was lost in translation.” ADT seeks to have skillsets, experience and certifications on both sides of the issue. “It enables us to be the in-between,” says Harris. “We can blend the two together and be the translator. It’s great for both sides, advocating for security counterparts and for the network simplifies deployment and processes.” Harris sees a trade-off between cybersecurity and convenience in the industry. For example, if a manufacturer says they have a simplified process and only offers firmware updates once a year, cybersecurity suffers, he said. Lack of third-party testing is another way that manufacturers sometimes trade cybersecurity for convenience, at heightened risk to integrators and end users. Training Courses For Integrators And Partners Milestone Systems is expanding its level of involvement with integrator partners, and now provides Partner Business Reviews (PBR) to assess an integrator’s activities, sales and training, pipeline and marketing initiatives. The partner reviews often uncover issues that can be easily rectified through additional training, says Megan McHugh, Milestone’s Training Marketing Manager, Learning and Performance. Milestone uses a dashboard to track each integrator’s completed training courses and can point out additional courses needed to ensure an integrator partner’s success. Milestone offers a variety of in-person, e-learning and YouTube video courses to train installing partners, systems integrators and self-integrators on best practices Milestone offers a variety of in-person, e-learning and YouTube video courses (in 12 different languages) to train installing partners, systems integrators and self-integrators on best practices. ‘Cloud Labs’ are instructor-led online classes. All courses are linked to a variety of support resources. Sometimes a simple checklist accessed on a smart phone can ensure that every aspect of an install is performed and can instill added confidence in customers. The open platform company’s new agile development cycle – releasing multiple versions of XProtect software throughout the year – creates extra challenges to keep learning initiatives up to date. Along with each new release, various existing courses are updated. The concepts of “training and certification” are being replaced at Milestone with “learning and performance,” says McHugh. Milestone is also looking to hire 170 new R&D staff and open a new center in Barcelona (in addition to current R&D centers in Copenhagen and Sofia, Bulgaria). Making Camera Installation Easy Hanwha Techwin is another company that is seeing more interest in cybersecurity, as well as concern about whether a product is supported professionally. They have doubled-up production in South Korea and added capacity in Vietnam to avoid manufacturing in China. Thinking about their integrators, Hanwha Techwin is putting more emphasis on making installation easy. Installation costs may be up to 50 percent of a job, so easier installation frees up money to buy more or better cameras. With a new design of their cameras, an electrical contractor can now install the camera base and conduit, and then the integrator can easily plug in the camera later. Camera bases are common across multiple models, so a customer could switch out a 5-megapixel for a 2-megapixel camera later on if they want to (same housing plate). ‘Skins’ allow the color of cameras to be changed to match surrounding décor. “We are changing the idea of how people approach selling a camera, and it’s a whole new idea of how to install cameras,” said Tom Cook, Senior Vice President, North American Sales, Hanwha Techwin. Hanwha cameras can include a sound classification analytic to detect sounds such as gunshots Cameras With Sound Detection Technology Hanwha offers more flexibility in the field – interchangeable parts are packed together to enable configuration on site. And there is no need to stand on a ladder to position cameras; stepper motors help with remote camera positioning. Multi-sensor cameras have modules (combining lenses and sensors) that can be switched out at installation. Hanwha Techwin cameras can also include a sound classification analytic to detect sounds such as gunshots, screams or glass breaks, especially useful in K-12 education environments. Unification and the customer journey were a key emphasis for Genetec at GSX 2018. Unification for Genetec means combining multiple functions on one platform, from one vendor and using one source code. The company approaches the market by analyzing each customer’s journey as it relates to Genetec products. A typical customer journey involves (1) a company looking for standalone systems; (2) the need to centralize systems through integration and unification; (3) increasing automation and workflow; and (4) adding intelligence for more informed decision-making. “Genetec wants to get more in-depth with customers, be more comfortable with their business, and understand their challenges,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager. “We want to get naked with our customers.” Machine Learning Engine For Crime Prevention In the city of Chicago, Citigraf detects patterns in crime behavior and determines where a crime is likely to occur There was a big crowd at the Genetec booth, and not because the comment was applied literally. Genetec has divided itself into multiple parts, each focused on a vertical market such as retail or transportation. The approach is to operate as a ‘federation of startups’, with each market sector accountable to fill in the gaps in the portfolio to meet the specific needs of each vertical. For example, Genetec’s Citigraf is an unsupervised machine learning engine with an algorithm to detect anomalies and trends from a large pool of data in a municipal environment. In the city of Chicago, Citigraf detects patterns in crime behavior and determines where a crime is likely to occur. The system alerts operators in a bureau or area that has a higher risk level and should beef up the number of first responders. Chicago has seen a 39 percent decrease in average response time of first responders as a result. In the retail market, Genetec leverages the security infrastructure to analyze shopping trends and provide data for merchandising and operations. “Each customer is getting a portfolio of products tailored to the industry they are in,” says Arcuri. Demonstrating IoT Devices Axis Communications displayed its range of products at GSX, demonstrating its almost total transformation from an IP camera company to a supplier of a full range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “Axis is broadening its portfolio to include more solutions,” said Scott Dunn, Senior Director, Business Development Systems and Solutions. “Our success is driven by continuing to innovate our portfolio. The market is continuing to grow, and Axis is continuing to expand its market share.” Eight ‘Axis Customer Experience Centers’ around the United States help Axis stay close to their integrators, customers, partners and prospects. IP addressable audio speakers from Axis can provide music as a service, and then can be interrupted for audio messages on behalf of physical security Axis has offered access control IP edge devices since 2013, and now has a new A1601 door controller being sold with partner-only software (no embedded Axis software like previous A1001 devices). In audio products, Axis has a portfolio of speakers, intercoms, and public address systems. Acquisition Of IP Door Intercom Company Enhancing the audio line was acquisition in 2016 of 2N, an IP door intercom company headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic. In North America, the 2N team is now fully part of Axis. The line emphasises simple architecture, programmability, and the ability to integrate widely. The products use Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to integrate through the cloud or peer-to-peer. IP addressable audio speakers from Axis can provide music as a service, and then can be interrupted for audio messages on behalf of physical security. Retail, education and enterprise customers are gravitating to IP audio. An IP bridge can tie existing analog components into the IP system. For perimeter security, Axis offers a radar device to help eliminate false alarms, as well as thermal cameras.
Wireless locks offer specific advantages for access control end users and integrators, and some of their value has yet to be realized in the market. Wireless locks expand the range of applications for electronic locks to complement traditional wired systems. They offer flexibility and scalability. They save on integrators’ labor costs. They even provide opportunities for integrators to earn recurring monthly revenue (RMR). A recent Allegion panel discussion highlighted the value, opportunities and untapped potential of wireless locks. Allegion panellists elaborated on some of the many advantages of wireless locks, including the following: Providing More System Flexibility It’s a time of change in corporate and institutional environments. Customers are trying to manage a smaller operating budget with more people and more multi-use applications. Building applications are changing more frequently. Wireless locks can be used to convert more mechanical applications to electronic, but they are not necessarily real-time and/or monitored applications.Customers are trying to manage a smaller operating budget with more people and more multi-use applications For example, a wireless lock could be installed on a seldom-used door, such as a storage closet, to avoid the need to manage keys. The flexibility of wireless locks also would allow that same door to be transitioned to communicate with a network via WiFi, or it could be used for real-time communication in a monitored system. “It’s much more flexible if one product can do about six different things,” says Brad Aikin, Allegion’s Channel Led Business Leader, Integrator Channel. New product approaches enable intelligence to be added after the fact to existing wireless locks, thus further increasing flexibility. Designing Systems That Are Scalable “We now have products that can start from very basic applications, and then build capabilities through systems and integrations all within one device,” says Mark Jenner, Allegion Market Development Director. Offering A Useful Complement To Wired Systems Once you understand how to deploy the wireless technology, the efficiencies of it from a labor perspective are pretty amazing” Wireless is not a “silver bullet” – not for every application, says Aikin. “I think it is an incremental opportunity,” he says, and more likely to drive conversion of existing mechanical locks than to transition wired electronic systems. “You’re just looking to get a more efficient credential, and to get rid of that master key system, or to dramatically shrink it down,” he adds. “Wireless is an example of how the integrator can do more, not just differently, but have more conversations and help their end users. They are not things the end-users are going to ask for inherently; these are latent needs. They are not going to bring it up.” Allegion panellists elaborated on some of the many advantages of wireless locks Less Labor Involved In Installations “Once you understand how to deploy the wireless technology, the efficiencies of it from a labor perspective are pretty amazing,” says Robert Gaulden, Allegion Project Based Business Leader, Electronic Access Control. “Integrators can deploy two additional jobs in a day because they are on and off jobs more quickly. There are huge benefits, depending on what environment you are in.” Labor is a significant cost for integrators – finding, retaining and training good employees. Any new efficiencies in terms of labor – such as the simplified installation of wireless locking systems – is a saving grace for integrators.Providing remote firmware updates is another way to provide ongoing service without being invasive or disruptive to the end user environment “We see a lot more adoption from our customer base once they become comfortable with how to use the wireless technology,” says Gaulden. New Opportunities For RMR There is a shift among integrators away from one-time installations and toward an recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model in which the integrator manages all aspects of the system over time for a monthly fee. Wireless systems can help to simplify that transition by lowering costs. Managing interior doors and locks can add value and incremental revenue, says Jenner. Providing remote firmware updates is another way to provide ongoing service without being invasive or disruptive to the end user environment. “We support that from the product perspective, but developers and software companies need to take advantage of it,” says Devin Love, Allegion Market Development Manager. “It’s an important feature for the end user, but we are still navigating through the world of wireless adoption.” “No one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I am going to buy a lock today,’” says Aikin. “We need to ensure we are having conversations about security needs, but also about how to deploy the technology to make it easier to manage and have more flexibility,” says Aikin.
The concept of door locks means something totally different in our current age of smarter buildings that house data-driven businesses. Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control. Locks can also increasingly be a part of a smart building’s flow of data. The opportunities of these new technologies and approaches are significant, but there are also pitfalls. I heard an interesting discussion about these topics presented by several business leaders from lock company Allegion at a press event at ISC West earlier this year. Here are some highlights from that discussion. Q: What new developments in emerging technologies do you see in the coming years? There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems" Mark Jenner, Market Development Director: Connected locks, other types of sensors and all the data being aggregated inside buildings provide opportunity for data analytics. The buzzwords around technologies can cause confusion for integrators and end users, such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning, and what’s the difference among all of them? My opinion is that they are important, but the big theme across them all is opportunities for new business models for the integrator, and opportunities to solve problems for end users. And it’s not just technology for technology’s sake. There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems. Devin Love, Market Development Manager: You can’t just have a solution looking for a problem. You see a lot of people who understand technology in their own lives, and they want to translate that into their businesses. That’s where I think it’s exciting. You now have all this technology, and people understand it to the extent that it improves their daily life. They go through their day with less friction, with more ease, and technology fades to the background. There are two levels of value. One is the longer, bigger, broader scope of what the technology can bring to a company using it, but on an immediate basis, there is the value of tracking how a business is running. These sensors are collecting data. For example, if you are a multi-tenant property, you can look at how amenities are being used. What do my residents really care about? That informs future decisions. Robert Gaulden, Project Based Business Leader, Electronic Access Control: I have been studying the multi-family space for the last couple of months. The customer experience is really driving a lot of that technology adoption. What you’re seeing today, whether it’s a mobile device or some other device, is the ability to move throughout the property, and gain access to the perimeter and to your tenant space. All of this adoption is around that experience. There’s multiple players coming into the space, from Amazon wanting to deliver packages into the tenant space to residents who don’t want the inconvenience of using a key. Technology adoption to solve problems, and also to drive experiences, is where a lot of the balance will play out. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently" Brad Aikin, Channel Led Business Leader, Integrator Channel: From an integrator perspective, there are two things. One is how they can approach end users, and the scope of what integrators consult with them about is wider. I think we as an industry are getting beyond those high-traffic, high-security applications. Those are still critical, but the value we bring around security and convenience is opening a new incremental opportunity. Also, the experience of the integrator and how they conduct their business is important, from generating quotes to communications to proactive servicing. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently. Gaulden: We as an industry, and we as manufacturers, need to understand what data we are generating so we can run our businesses more efficiently from every aspect, whether you’re the property manager, the building owner, the integrator, or whether you’re the manufacturer. These devices and technology are being pushed out everywhere and will generate the data. How we learn from that – especially when you apply security to it to be more proactive – provides huge opportunities. Jenner: What data is important and what’s not? Folks get overwhelmed with too much data at some point. What’s important for an application at the end user level? What do they really need to solve the problem? Love: Privacy gets involved as well, especially with consumer products. The attitude is “stay out of my private business.” But if you’re an employee now, all bets are off. Now you have a professional relationship with the people you work with, so there is a different lens that you look through when tracking data. You use the data to everyone’s benefit, and it’s a different paradigm than in your private life. Aikin: Also, where does that data create a better experience for the person? That’s what drives the money and value: What level of information sharing makes my experience better? The technology is also getting smarter in terms of “how do we sort through the valuable information?” Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control Q: As facilities connect more devices and sensors, the cybersecurity threats increase. We have already seen Internet of Things (IoT) devices being used as the attack point of cyber breaches. What are the vulnerabilities that make those attacks possible, and how can integrators protect their customers? Love: Certainly, this is an extremely – maybe the most important – piece of our industry. What is the point of everything we do if we can’t instill that trust? But what we need to solve here also comes with opportunity. There’s certainly hope. You’re not seeing a frontal attack on the technology. It’s usually some loophole, or some older device that hasn’t been updated, or wasn’t installed correctly, or it was social-engineered. The opportunity is, not that it can’t be solved, but that it absolutely needs to be solved – and it can. Gaulden: Integrators need the ability to understand that cyber layer and what it means. Nowadays, everything runs on the network, and you won’t even get past the IT department to get on the network if you don’t have the right staff, the right credentials. From an integrator standpoint, you need the ability to add to your staff, to understand everything from the product level to the firmware and the software level, all the way to the deployment of the holistic system. You can’t just say, “That’s not part of our responsibility.” All these devices are now riding on the network. They can be protected from a cyber perspective, or you will have vulnerabilities. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate the conversation, that it is one ecosystem" Aikin: Everything is a communication device. With the concern and need comes an opportunity for the integrator. But it’s also in making sure integrators are having that conversation with end users and setting the expectations up front. What I’m providing you on day one is the best in the industry at this time, but tomorrow it may not be. My accountability and service are to maintain that environment and keep it running. I may not physically change the device you see, but the service I’m bringing to you is that security, and that comprehensive dialogue. The IT stakeholders already have that expectation, but there is a chasm in some organisations between the physical security and the IT stakeholders, and the integrator is facilitating that conversation. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate that conversation. It is one ecosystem. Q: Aside from cybersecurity, what are some of the other threats that integrators should be aware of as they work with customers to implement the new trends and technologies we have mentioned? Aikin: It is diversifying, all the options and the capabilities. With that comes confusion and misapplication. If I look at the trends around just wireless; I go back 10 years ago, there were even questions of whether wireless was a secure technology. That has progressed and continues to be part of the cyber conversation, just like any hardwired product. It’s something you have to maintain and be aware of. Wireless has really diversified. There is still a need for education within the channel, and most importantly, to the end user. There are still end users that assume a WiFi widget is the same thing as a Bluetooth widget is the same thing as a low-frequency widget. But they are all different. There are reasons there are different technologies. Nothing stifles the adoption of technology more than misapplication. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow a mix of technology" Gaulden: Integrators understand the differences in how various doors are used and how those applications will work. In the K-12 school environment, you want the ability for an instant lockdown, and a WiFi deployment probably isn’t your best option. You need a real-time deployment. However, my office door at headquarters doesn’t necessarily need real-time communication. I can pull audits off it once or twice a day. You have to mix and match technologies. For a high security door, you would proactively monitor it. But for a door where convenience is the goal, we can put electronic security on it but we don’t need to know what’s going on at any moment in time. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow that mix of technology. Jenner: End users want the latest technology, but it may not be for their applications. Those things drive more costs into it, when end users need to be putting money into cybersecurity and some other things. That’s part of the misapplication. Another risk is interoperability. That’s a big piece of the technology and as things change. How do we do a better job of supporting open architecture? It may not be a standards-based protocol, although we use a lot of standards, but we just need to make sure whatever protocols we use are open and easily accessible so we can continue to work with them in the future. We know that when our devices go in, they will support other parts of the ecosystem from an interoperability perspective. That’s important for integrators to know: How is this going to be applied and integrate with something in three, four or five years from now? It’s an expensive investment, and I want to make sure it will work in the future. Main photo: Business leaders from Allegion discussed new trends in electronic and wireless locks at a recent press event: (L-R) Robert Gaulden, Devin Love, Brad Aikin and Mark Jenner.
S2 Security, the provider of IP-based access control, video management and mobile security management systems, and Allegion, a global security products and solutions provider, announces S2 NetBox series product support for Schlage NDE wireless locks. S2 NetBox access control and event monitoring system users can now easily manage and control the locks using Allegion’s ENGAGE Gateway and Bluetooth technology. “We’re excited to offer support for and sell the popular Schlage NDE wireless locks,” said Mike Riegelman, vice president of business development at S2 Security. “NDE locksets, in particular, offer real-time lockdown capability, which is an advancement in wireless solutions.” Easier Access Control And Event Monitoring The integration allows users to manage access control and event monitoring, such as real-time lockdowns, directly from S2 NetBox without requiring third-party hardware. The Schlage NDE combines the lock, credential reader, door position sensor and request to exit (REX) into a single unit. Ideal for interior doors, NDE wireless locks are simple to retrofit into standard doors without drilling additional holes. And, these locks connect directly to a smartphone for quick set up using the ENGAGE mobile app. “The integration with S2 NetBox brings new opportunities to both companies and, most importantly, to our customers,” said Brad Aikin, electronics portfolio leader at Allegion. “The access control system seamlessly works with Schlage NDE locks to provide advanced security capabilities at every opening. Plus, customers enjoy the many conveniences of using credentials throughout the building.” NetBox software Version 4.9.08 is now generally available for S2 Security Certified Integrators to download on S2 Support Central.
The Schlage LE wireless mortise lock with ENGAGE™ technology is easy to install, connect, manage and use Allegion, a global provider of security products and solutions, announced it will showcase its latest innovations, including the new Schlage® LE wireless lock, during ISC West 2017, between 5-7 April in Las Vegas. Shlage LE Wireless Lock The Schlage LE wireless mortise lock with ENGAGE™ technology is easy to install, connect, manage and use. It was developed for facilities that want to upgrade to electronic credentials for improved security and efficiency – making the LE lock ideal for interior and perimeter office doors, resident entries, common area doors and sensitive storage spaces with a mortise door prep. The LE lock is the latest addition to Schlage’s wireless portfolio, which also includes Schlage Control™ deadbolts and NDE cylindrical locks. Designed to bring electronic access control deeper into the building, these wireless solutions enhance user experience from installation and beyond. Schlage’s wireless locks are among the products being featured this year. Designed to bring electronic access control deeper into the building, these wireless solutions enhance user experience from installation and beyond “The Schlage wireless family opens the door to electronic access control beyond the perimeter of a building by making it easier than ever to upgrade traditionally mechanical doors,” said Brad Aikin, Allegion electronics portfolio leader at Allegion. “As technology continues to evolve in the physical and digital worlds, so does Allegion. Our goal is to enhance end users’ overall experiences with every solution we help deliver.” The Path To ‘Enhanced Design’ Additionally, Allegion Futurist and Vice President of Strategy Rob Martens will present on the latest technology trends and the impact they will have on the security industry during his presentation, “The Path to ‘Enhanced Design,’” at 7:30 a.m. PT on Thursday, April 6th. “The adoption of new technology in the commercial space continues to evolve, and it’s enhancing convenience and efficiency for our customers,” said Martens. “It’s becoming more and more important for the integrator to not only understand but adopt the technological transformation of our industry to better serve customers.” ISC West is the largest physical security event in the United States. Allegion will be at Booth No. 20015 from Wednesday, April 5 to Friday, April 7 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, educating the more than 28,000 industry attendees on cutting-edge solutions. As a proud supporter of ISC West, Allegion will sponsor the exhibit hall grand opening at 9:45 a.m. PT on Wednesday, April 5.
Sielox is among the first to integrate with Schlage’s newest wireless lock Allegion, a global security products and solutions provider, is broadening its offerings with Sielox to integrate Pinnacle, the company’s premier access control and security management software, and 1700 Intelligent Controller with Schlage LE wireless mortise locks — the latest addition to the Schlage wireless lock family. “Sielox now seamlessly integrates with Schlage LE, NDE and AD-Series wireless locks,” said Karen Evans, Sielox president and CEO. “Expanding our offering of real-time, integrated electronic locks provides increasingly cost-effective ways for our customers to deploy lockdown solutions at both the perimeter and interior doors.” Schlage’s LE Wireless Lock The Schlage’s LE wireless lock is designed to extend electronic access control deeper into the building beyond traditional perimeter and high-security openings. Installation is simple with only minor modifications needed to existing mechanical mortise prep and no wires to run or additional hardware to install. Built-in Bluetooth enables wireless configuration from a smart phone or tablet. The security and efficiency of real-time, bi-directional communication can be achieved by connecting the ENGAGE Gateway with the Sielox Pinnacle software and 1700 Intelligent Controller. Users will value the ability to have more control over access to — and within — their facilities when they use Sielox’s security management systems. “Collaborating with an innovative company like Sielox allows Allegion to offer customers fully integrated access control solutions to address a variety of security needs,” said Brad Aikin, electronics portfolio leader at Allegion. “From educational institutions to medical offices to retail applications, facilities will benefit from the enhanced security, efficiency and convenience of upgrading to electronic credentials with the Schlage portfolio of solutions including LE wireless locks. Add the sophisticated capabilities available with Sielox, and you have a powerful real-time security management solution at your fingertips.” Sielox will feature the integration with the entire Schlage wireless lock portfolio at Booth No. 6103 during the International Security Conference and Exposition (ISC West), held April 5-7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A special demonstration of the new Toggle Lock will also be showcased.
Allegion, Brivo integration offers installers a cost-effective security management solution Allegion, a provider of security products and solutions, and Brivo, a global provider of cloud-based physical access control systems and mobile credentials, have worked together to provide customers with a cost-effective security management solution. The integration unites the security of Schlage NDE wireless locks and Brivo OnAir, Brivo’s flagship cloud-based access control solution. Previous integration includes the Schlage AD series locks. Enhanced Security Management “Through this collaboration, our customers will benefit from simplified installation, secured wireless communication and access via mobile device—without sacrificing safety or efficiency,” said Brad Aikin, Electronics Portfolio Leader at Allegion. “Brivo OnAir easily integrates to deliver enhanced security management and monitoring as well as a unique user experience.” Brivo OnAir combines access control, video surveillance and mobile credentialing in a unified cloud-based security platform that can be managed anywhere with a secure connection to the Internet. Enhanced capabilities include enabling secure access to locks via a smartphone. NDE locks are designed to fit a standard cylindrical door prep without any modification. Users can upgrade from mechanical keys to electronic employee identification credentials without having to drill additional holes or run wires. Integration Showcased At ISC West “The ease of the installation combined with the lower cost of owning these wireless locks makes moving to a cloud-based access control system even more attractive for single or multi-tenant building owners,” said Steve Van Till, President and CEO of Brivo. “Brivo is excited to begin distributing Allegion’s Schlage NDE wireless locks through its channel partners, across vertical markets.” Brivo will feature the product integration during the International Security Conference and Exposition (ISC West) at Booth No. 23109, held April 5-7 in Las Vegas.
Allegion and BadgePass have expanded their offering of credentials, readers and wireless electronic locks Allegion, a global security products and solutions provider, has announced that Schlage® NDE wireless locks now seamlessly integrate with BadgePass™ Access Manager – offering a suite of security and identity management solutions. The two companies have expanded their offering of credentials, readers and wireless electronic locks. Allegion NDE Wireless Locks “We are extremely excited about adding Allegion’s NDE wireless locks to the BadgePass portfolio,” said Lindsay Martin-Nez, Executive Vice President of marketing and indirect sales at BadgePass. “We have had tremendous success with the AD-400 wireless locks, but the new NDE wireless locks provide our customers the opportunity to expand their access control implementations to more doors than ever before, at an extremely competitive price point.” Like the AD Series, NDE wireless locks are built on an open architecture platform to conveniently pair with access control systems such as the BadgePass Access Manager. The latest integration offers a greater range of applications for customers from a single BadgePass managed solution. Users will experience broader features and capabilities as this system is designed to be customized and adapt as needed. Scalable Solution For Security Needs "NDE wireless locks are easy to install, connect and manage -without the need to modify existing doors" “Customers who are looking for an integrated security system will value the Schlage NDE wireless locks using BadgePass Access Manager,” said Brad Aikin, Electronics Portfolio Leader at Allegion. “Together, the two provide a scalable solution to meet varying security needs. And for customers looking to upgrade their hardware, NDE wireless locks are easy to install, connect and manage – without the need to modify existing doors.” The BadgePass software offers two controllers for managing the new Schlage NDE Locks: the BadgePass BAC042500 controller can manage up to 64 NDE locks and the BadgePass EP-1501 (IP/PoE) can manage up to 10 NDE locks. As more and more facilities implement wireless access control, Allegion and BadgePass are proud to offer a variety of options available through the AD series and NDE wireless locks.
Schlage AD-Series wireless electronic locking systems provide options – credentials, styles, and modes – that add to the Symmetry system’s flexibility, scalability, and control AMAG Technology, a security solution provider specializing in access control, video management, policy-based identity solutions and visitor management, welcomes Allegion as the newest certified member of the Symmetry Preferred Partner Program. Allegion’s Schlage AD-400 Wireless Locks integrate with AMAG’s latest Symmetry Access Control software. AMAG Technology and Allegion cooperatively tested and approved this integration. Wide Access Control Deployment “Our partnership with Allegion will allow customers to deploy access control more widely and in areas where they may not have been able to justify the cost,” said AMAG Technology, Vice President of Products, Dave Ella. “We welcome Allegion to the Symmetry Preferred Partner Program and look forward to a long-lasting relationship.” Customized Security Solution “With the AD-Series, Symmetry users will be able to customize a solution to secure their facilities today while protecting their access control investment for years to come,” said Brad Aikin, Electronics Portfolio Leader at Allegion. “The modular, open architecture AD-Series lets users customize door openings with options such as credential reader type, networking, finish and levers to create a perfect fit.” Security Management System Symmetry customers can install access control on more doors by integrating the Schlage AD-400 wireless lock into their security management system, eliminating the need to run wires to each access point, reducing time and associated labor costs. Schlage AD-Series wireless electronic locking systems provide options – credentials, styles, and modes – that add to the Symmetry system’s flexibility, scalability, and control. For instance, Symmetry customers can now simply and efficiently extend their present card systems to individual offices, cleaning closets and college dorm rooms. Allegion is a global pioneer in safety and security. Focusing on security around the door and adjacent areas, Allegion produces a range of solutions for homes, businesses, schools, and other institutions.
The integration offers improved total cost of ownership and more compatibility for installers Allegion, a security products and solutions provider, has worked with Feenics to provide a new offering that will integrate the Schlage NDE series wireless locks with ENGAGE technology and the Keep by Feenics cloud-hosted access control and security management platform. It will debut at the Allegion booth (#2551) as well as the Feenics booth (#2168) during the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) International’s 62nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits, being held on Sept. 12-15 in Orlando, Florida.“Working with an innovative company like Feenics enables us to provide installers with the benefit of less time spent deploying an access control system while minimizing the everyday disruptions of customers’ business,” said Brad Aikin, Electronics Portfolio Leader at Allegion. “The NDE series is a cutting-edge product in its own right, and with this latest integration, we’ll be able to help people easily secure more facilities with wireless solutions.”Reduced Specification BarriersThe combination of the NDE Series wireless locks with the Keep by Feenics cloud-hosted access control and security management platform allows companies to reduce specification barriers posed by building infrastructure and server availability in a secure and cost-effective way without additional bandwidth needs. In addition, users will have access to a fully web-hosted platform for the configuration, management, and real-time monitoring of physical access control solutions, with the ability to configure lock settings, add users, and receive entry alerts from anywhere in the world.“Allegion’s strategy of helping customers secure more doors with their wireless solutions that may have been prohibitive in the past is aligned with Feenics’ belief that end user’s scalability should not be limited by the infrastructure of the building and servers on site,” said Paul DiPeso, Executive Vice President at Feenics. “The key to this relationship goes beyond products. Our focus on customer satisfaction is consistent with the amazing support Allegion has provided Feenics and its value added resellers.” Save
Galaxy Control Systems, a leading manufacturer of integrated access control, video and security solutions, announces that it has enhanced the level of integration between its industry-leading System Galaxy Access Control and Management Software and AD-400 Series Networked Wireless Electronic Locks from Allegion, a leading global security products and solutions provider. These enhancements include System Galaxy’s Crisis Mode feature, which has recently been enhanced to provide users with greater functionality and management capabilities during emergency situations. “Building on the already strong relationship between Allegion’s networked wireless locks and System Galaxy, the advanced functionality available as a result of this deeper level of integration provides users with even greater level of control and management of their access control solutions,” said Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. “We look forward to continuing to work with Allegion to further expand the level of integrations between our respective solutions to provide users with the most advanced functionality possible.” Crisis Mode And Command Card Features In a panic or crisis situation, AD-400 Series lock users can take advantage of System Galaxy’s updated Crisis Mode, which allows them to upgrade or downgrade access levels as needed, as well as lock down either specific doors or the entire facility. For example, if a chemical spill were to occur, Crisis Mode could be used to lock everyone out except members of the hazmat team – whose access would only be activated when the lockdown occurred – out of that particular area. In addition to Crisis Mode, users of AD-400 Series locks can also take advantage of a command card feature, which is also new to System Galaxy. With command cards, end users are able to issue access cards that are designated for certain specific functions based on user-established rules. For example, if an individual has reserved a facility for two hours, they can be issued a card that will unlock the doors and disarm the alarm system for that predetermined amount of time. When two hours have passed, the doors will be locked and the alarm system will be armed automatically. Office And Privacy Modes The enhanced integration also includes support for Schlage’s Office Mode and Privacy Mode within System Galaxy. Office Mode provides a push button on the inside of the lock, which can be used to leave the door unlocked to provide free access until the button is pressed again to initiate a lockdown. Privacy Mode allows someone who walks through a particular door to press a button that ensures no one else can walk into that area until the current user exits. With the ability to track and record these actions from within the access control solution, System Galaxy ensures that organizations know when these functions are used, who used them and for how long. “We are pleased to offer a larger array of features and functionality to end users through this expanded integration between our AD-400 Series locks and System Galaxy,” said Brad Aikin, Business Leader of Commercial Electronic Locks with Allegion. “The enhanced integration between these two solutions provides users with a higher level of awareness and control, which in turn translate into higher levels of security.”
Allegion is proud to be a longtime BOMA Cornerstone Partner at the international level Allegion, a leading global provider of security products and solutions, attends Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International’s annual Every Building Conference & Expo, held June 28-30 in Los Angeles. Allegion is proud to be a longtime BOMA Cornerstone Partner at the international level, committee participant at the national level, sponsor at regional conferences and an affiliate providing support at local BOMA groups. BOMA International’s Every Building Conference & Expo delivers a gold-standard combination of information, expertise and industry connections that can’t be duplicated at any other event. Allegion will be located at Booth 608 inside the Los Angeles Convention Center, showcasing its latest innovation in safety and security products and solutions. Learning Lab Session April Dalton-Noblitt, Allegion’s director of vertical marketing, will be hosting the ‘Design, Workforce, and Technology Convergence, Are Your Offices on Trend?’, a learning lab session that will explore emerging trends in office security and the IoT as well as demonstrate secure, open, flexible and interoperable solutions to consider in modernization efforts. The half-hour session begins at 11 a.m. Monday, June 29 and will be located in one of the Learning Lab rooms on the show floor. Attendees are encouraged to stop by the booth for the chance to win one of Allegion’s new office access management solutions, which will be featured at BOMA. The prize includes: the Schlage® NDE Series wireless locks with ENGAGE™ technology, the cloud-based ENGAGE™ mobile and web application, plus 50 free mobile or smart card credentials. NDE Series Wireless Locks "The NDE Series wireless locks address industry concerns and are a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution," says Brad Aikin, Business Leader, for electronic locks, Allegion The NDE Series wireless locks are designed to be easy to install, connect and use. This affordable electronic access solution for interior doors utilizes credentials, wireless locks and a mobile application, offering tenants the ability to manage and secure their space in ways that deliver simplicity and efficiency to their business. “Electronic access control (EAC) is becoming a major trend in the CRE space, but in the past users shielded away from EAC for cost concerns and fear of system failure, among other reasons,” said Brad Aikin, business leader for electronic locks. “The NDE Series wireless locks address industry concerns and are a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution that ensures safety and security inside the building.” These innovative locks are Wi-Fi enabled, allowing them to connect to an IT network for automatic daily updates. With the introduction of the ENGAGE™ gateway during the conference, Allegion will now offer the ability to manage, update and monitor in real-time when connected over RS485 or IP to an alliance member system. ENGAGE Mobile Application The ENGAGE™ mobile application – which is now available on Google Play in addition to the App Store – is compatible with Android and Apple devices. The cloud-based ENGAGE™ mobile and web application make it simple to configure lock settings, add users and view audits and alerts from anywhere. “Tenants and property managers agree that nearly 50 percent of all offices are being converted to EAC prior to moving into their space, and we expect this number to increase as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more engrained in the planning phases of these audiences,” Aikin said. “We are excited to showcase the NDE Series wireless locks, the cloud-based ENGAGE™ mobile and web application’s capabilities, and our comprehensive product portfolio that includes integrated electronic locks, readers and biometrics at BOMA.”
PLAI provides a common platform that allows different PACs systems to communicate and effectively synchronise identities The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) continued to build momentum in its efforts to develop specifications to support interoperability at ISC West 2015. The PSIA hosted a demo that was oversubscribed and featured expanded functionality of the organization’s Physical Logical Access Interoperability (PLAI) profile. Building on previous PSIA demos, the ISC West event featured four PACS (Gallagher, Kastle Systems, Lenel, and STANLEY/Pacom), receiving credentials from a trusted source and synchronizing the information across the disparate systems. Additional new features included the use of mobile credentials and role-based identity management. Implementation Of PLAI Profile In Allegion aptiQmobile Allegion provided the mobile credential capability for the demo, showing how an employee or contractor could be on-boarded in an organization and have his or her credentials enabled on a smart phone. “Implementing the PLAI profile in our aptiQmobile™ platform was accomplished in a matter of weeks. Seeing this functionality, with the other PACS systems, demonstrates the potential scope and capabilities of PLAI,” said Brad Aikin, the Director of Product Management, for Allegion Electronic Locks Division. Effective identity management is one of the more critical issues facing security directors today. This has become more complex with large companies relying on contractors to supplement their salaried workforce. Contractors are often on limited-term contracts. Being able to terminate access is essential to having a robust physical security plan. In addition, when companies make acquisitions, they often inherit different and incompatible PACs. PLAI addresses this by providing a common platform that allows different PACs systems to communicate and effectively synchronize identities. Critical Component – Identity Management “We became involved with the PSIA because we saw an effective standards-based solution for integration of the various parts of the physical security system. PLAI addresses a critical component – identity management. We not only employ a large number of contractors, but need to provide access for employees at facilities around the world. To be able to quickly invoke and revoke access privileges will save considerable time and money for Microsoft,” said Mike Faddis, a Director at Microsoft Global Security. Microsoft has committed to include PLAI in its internal security system that will go live later this year. This will be offer significant benefits to the company. One of the early benefits will be a means to integrate the security system of Nokia’s mobile phone business, which was acquired in 2014. Microsoft not only added 25,000 employees in 50 different locations to its identity management system, but also had to integrate two different PACs systems. PLAI will make this a simple and cost-effective integration, allowing for a robust security operation. PSIA’s Access Control Specification 3.0 The PLAI profile is part of the PSIA’s Access Control Specification 3.0 and can be accessed at (http://www.psialliance.org/documents.html >. Conformance tools are available in beta-test form for PSIA member companies.
900 MHz wireless and WiFi (2.4GHz) are different technologies but sometimes used interchangeably 900 MHz wireless and Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) are sometimes used interchangeably in the access control world to describe solutions that do not require running wires all the way to the opening. It’s true that, as wireless options, both technologies offer some general advantages over traditional hardwired solutions.In this article, Minu Youngkin, Allegion, Integrator Marketing Manager shares her thoughts and knowledge regarding both wireless and Wi-Fi technologies. First of all, wireless overcomes architectural limitations. As any integrator knows, historical buildings, glass doors and atriums typically have openings that are difficult - and costly - to hardwire. Wireless also eases budgets. Some openings, such as those with drywall or wood frames, are easy to wire. However, if there are numerous openings, labor costs can rise quickly. “It generally takes five to six hours to run wire to an opening, compared to less than an hour with a wireless option,” says Brad Aikin, product leader, electronic commercial locks at Allegion. “If a client wants to reduce costs, wireless is a solid way to do it. Likewise, wireless allows integrators to expand the number of openings because the cost per door is less.” Wireless is flexible. “With wireless, you can avoid coring doors or cutting around the door,” Aikin says. “Plus, relocating a lockset from one door to another is easier because it’s all in a self-contained solution.” However, while they share some commonalities as wireless options, 900 MHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi are not identical solutions. So which is better? Actually, selecting one over the other is really a choice driven by the type of application and the goals of the client. “There are advantages to both 900 MHz wireless and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, as well as trade-offs,” Aikin says. “Determining which one is the best fit really depends on where and how it will be used.” When 900 MHz is the best option 900 MHz is the ideal solution when real-time is essential. Wireless overcomes architectural limitations such as historical buildings, glass doors and atriums “900 MHz is definitely the way to go if your client wants the ability to communicate to the device in 10 seconds or less, such as applications providing remote lockdown or real-time management of changes to employee credential access,” Aikin says. “The Schlage AD-400, for example, has a patent-pending Wake-Up On Radio™ feature that allows real-time communication from the host to the device, and monitors all alarms and events in real time—all while preserving battery life.” Integrators also use 90 MHz when signal range may be problematic. A 900 MHz wireless connection typically has a larger range than a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection. While all RF radio waves can be subject to some interference, Aikin says, technology and architecture configurations exist to ensure reliability and performance. In addition, 900 MHz operates on a lower frequency range that allows it to penetrate through buildings easier and be more resistant to interference. “It’s always important to look at existing frequencies in the environment to determine if they are compatible with the frequency you’re proposing, or if additional measures are required to minimize interference,” he says. When 2.4GHz Wi-Fi may be considered an option Current solutions for 2.4GHz Wi-Fi—which is not online at all times—also offer some benefits. 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is a worthwhile consideration for your client when real-time access control is not required: A client who wants access control but doesn’t need real-time access is a candidate for 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. “Current Wi-Fi locks communicate on a time delay, typically 12 to 24 hours,” Aikin says. “In these cases, the client can afford to have the device operate independently offline and wait for updates that are pushed down only once or twice a day.” WiFi is often used in applications where access rights seldom change. If the client has low turnover or very infrequent changes in access privileges, then updating credential information with a time delay only once or twice a day may be adequate. WiFi is also an option when the use of the existing IP infrastructure is preferred. If your client wants to use the same network architecture for locks as they do for managing other communication to printers, work stations and other devices, then 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi may be considered. The final decision The decision to use 900 MHz wireless or 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi is straightforward for some projects. Often, though, several factors need to be assessed so clients can prioritize goals and determine the trade-offs they are willing—or not willing—to accept.