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Building Products March 2018

COMMERCIAL T THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Cloud based wireless technology offers a viable alternative to traditional access control systems. Here, Andy Carter, head of sales at dormakaba, explains the multitude of benefits and looks at why those responsible for commercial offices should consider updates that utilise this latest technology. Although access control systems have existed for some time, the rapid pace of technological innovation has led to their significant evolution in recent years – improving both the capability and performance of products. Perhaps the biggest change, is that there is no longer any need to have separate mechanical and electrical products. Today, hybrid options offer an integrated approach to access control, ensuring ease of installation, efficient delivery, increased security and value for money. The reality is that today, digital hardware and smart phone access provides an ideal opportunity to improve and enhance access control. This is because mobile access technology has allowed for greater flexibility when it comes to access control options. Traditional methods of individual identification – such as using fobs or key cards, work alongside more modern alternative devices, such as 56 BUILDING PRODUCTS | MARCH 2018 smartphones, with stand-alone digital locking technologies. The issue with fobs and key cards is that they can easily be lost, mislaid or even simply passed along to another user. This is particularly problematic for commercial buildings that require a high level of security. With Bluetooth-enabled technology, the smartphone has become a key player in the evolution of access control – and a practical solution to this problem. People are far less likely to forget their smartphone, and even less likely to loan it to somebody else – contributing towards a more robust security environment. Mobile devices can also incorporate additional security functions such as a PIN number or fingerprint ID. Newer models also allow users to choose biometric verification, such as fingerprint or facial recognition. In addition, by removing the need to replace lost and stolen cards or fobs, these systems can be more cost effective in the long-term. The advantages of cloud-based systems to commercial offices One criticism often aimed at traditional access platforms is the difficulty of installation and its compatibility with a building’s existing IT system. This process can often be time consuming, costly and inconvenient to the end client. A key benefit of access systems that incorporate cloud-based technology is that they require little or no interaction with existing IT systems. Some access systems even allow for third party management, allowing the user to choose which services they wish to manage in-house and those they wish to outsource. This allows users to focus on the essential running of their businesses, rather than the administration of access control. Other business critical solutions – including HR and payroll – are gradually making this transition and are already experiencing these inherent benefits. The flexibility of cloud based access control systems also make them ideal for commercial


Building Products March 2018
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