Do you face this quandary? “We would like to invest in more electronic access control but cannot seem to justify investment in an enterprise solution.” It’s a legitimate excuse for holding back in a world of tight budgets. So, what can you do to solve this dilemma?
First of all, advise your customers of their options. With a range of solutions that span from electronic pushbutton locks to computer programmed and networked access points, there are multiple solutions for a breadth of applications and budgets.
If a site already has an access control system that is Wiegand-based, the options are even greater as most current wall mount readers, biometric readers and integrated electronic locks are compatible with Wiegand. Wireless access control solutions are also available that support Wiegand. With it, you can extend a site’s card-based access control system to several additional applications.
Leverage Wireless Access Control
Almost 70 percent of electronic locking systems now incorporate wireless features. With wireless and the labor savings you will incur, you can help your facility professionals extend the reaches of their access control and one-card systems at a cost that used to include extra materials and increased labor. With wireless, money formerly spent on drilling, pulling wire, trenching and equipment can now be invested in protecting more access points. We say “access points” and not just “doors” as sites can now more easily and efficiently add electronic access control to remote areas, gates, elevators and other unique applications that previously have been too impracticable or expensive to install.
Here is one example. Many high schools and colleges have athletic equipment sheds out at the practice field. The equipment inside is quite valuable. In most cases, the equipment is protected with a lock and key, sometimes a padlock. This is often because it is too expensive to hardwire the shed. With wireless, the school can now utilize the same access control system and credential to get into that shed as used at other access points on campus. Whether or not the original system is wired or hardwired is irrelevant. If the rest of the campus is hardwired and the shed is wireless, the access control system can monitor all doors alike.
Moving forward, assure that customers are educated on the value of open architecture solutions versus proprietary systems. Open architecture access control solutions are typically easily upgradable and provide flexibility and scalability. This allows the site’s system to accommodate emerging technologies that can expand and adapt as needed. Best of all, show how you can create such solutions using current technologies, as well as those under development, without compromising or risking investments in their present systems.
To determine if your organization is a prospect for migration to new technologies while leveraging your present system, start by verifying the site’s software and panel boards. Check if the present software will work with the electrified locks, readers and door hardware that you want to recommend. Determine which software versions are present as well as what versions of controller boards are in use. If not the latest, find out if an upgrade is required and the corresponding cost. Double check what credentials are being deployed now and which want to be used in the future. Since there can often be a difference between head end systems, figure out what additional equipment may be needed for your proposed system upgrades.
With this information, you can now ascertain the limits of the site’s present system and help paint a version for the customers of what they could accomplish by leveraging new technologies. Show them the lengths that they can expand their current system without having to replace their existing equipment. Let them appreciate what the cost of this expansion would be versus that of an entirely new system.
With previous technology, every time an improvement was made, your customer had to buy a new lock. But Schlage AD locks can be upgraded when future needs change.