When we talk electronic access control (EAC) trends with our locksmith pros, we usually run the gamut from Power over Ethernet and electrified door hardware to wireless technology.
Cloud-based EAC options aren’t necessarily in the conversation. Granted, a large percentage of locksmiths might never touch a cloud-based solution for their clients. But it certainly doesn’t mean that ignoring the cloud is an option either.
Unfortunately, when many in our industry hear the term “cloud,” they figure this is a security solution that’s viable only for a large, enterprise installation. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, one of the most popular verticals that a locksmith might trade in is educational facilities, which are ideal for cloud-based solutions.
I figured there was no better person to hammer home this point than longtime security industry veteran Kim Loy, who is the chief product officer at ACRE, the parent company for Vanderbilt, Comnet, RS2 Technologies and Open Options. Loy shares that the two primary security systems used in schools are EAC and video surveillance, and although many educational facilities have on-premise security hardware and software systems, cloud-based solutions are taking the market by storm.
“Cloud-based systems, as well as certain hosted systems, can deliver remote access and instant management to protect the premises, making it ideal for schools without a robust on-site security team,” Loy says. “What’s more, it can integrate seamlessly with other systems, such as video surveillance, resulting in higher situational awareness.”
Cloud-based EAC is flexible, scalable, easy for the locksmith to install and even easier for his client to use. It also is a great source of potential recurring monthly revenue for your business and might help you to open new markets, because cloud-based EAC is well-positioned for small- to medium-sized businesses that don’t have an IT infrastructure. Although the enterprise businesses grab the headlines implementing cloud solutions, it truly is still an opportunity for a small facility — a school.
So, what are the latest technology trends in cloud-based EAC?
“Because cloud-based access control systems tend to benefit organizations that typically don’t have the necessary resources to house entire security teams themselves, its use increases throughout multiple markets,” Loy says. “The rising demand for the cloud, hosted and mobile access control, managed access and biometrics are all trends that are increasing in popularity. These trends will continue to take root as convenient and scalable options for many organizations over the next few years.”
She adds that it’s important for a locksmith looking to upgrade to cloud-based EAC to select a system that uses a single license and enables efficient and straightforward programming of system functions and updates. The key to cloud success is to not be afraid of asking questions to see whether it’s something you and your staff are capable of handling.