Embracing Cloud Access Control and Mobile Credentials

Keri Systems Marketing Manager, Chris Hudson looks at the future of access control solutions.

The security industry is experiencing a significant shift towards cloud-based access control systems and mobile credentials, fundamentally changing the industry’s future. In turn, the initiatives drive a trend toward interoperability previously absent from the traditional access control space.

Progressive access control developers are leading this transformation by embracing cloud development, adopting mobile credential solutions, and developing more powerful APIs (Application Programmers Interfaces) that enhance a system’s interoperability. These initiatives are driven by the need for scalability, flexibility, and improved security.

Traditional on-premises systems are being replaced by cloud-based alternatives that provide unprecedented accessibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

AdobeStock 212158689 2

Cloud Access Control – The Next Big Thing

Cloud-based solutions offer more than just convenience and security benefits. They provide a lucrative opportunity for recurring revenue for the dealers and integrators of the security world. By transitioning to a cloud-hosted model, dealers can offer subscription-based services, leading to long-term recurring revenue.

This shift from a product-centric to a service-centric business model ensures a steady stream of revenue while strengthening customer loyalty and satisfaction over a prolonged period.  Additionally, hosted solutions enable far more flexibility for integrators’ ability to deploy their technical resources strategically. By their nature, cloud solutions allow for better remote diagnostics, troubleshooting, and error correction than most on-premises solutions. 

Given the nationwide dearth of technical resources available for integrators, the ability to have technicians multi-task and troubleshoot one installation while on-site at another installation can make a huge difference in customer satisfaction and profitability.

Mobile Credentials – Definitely NOT One Credential To Rule Them All…Yet

Integrating mobile credentials into access control installations revolutionizes how organizations manage their facilities.  The problem is that Bluetooth mobile credentials are a bit like the Wild West, with at least 20 mobile credential providers having viable solutions but none acting interchangeably.  The consequences are often duplicated mobile credential applications causing end users to have two or even three different credentials depending upon the various hardware platforms installed at their facility.

For those hoping that NFC will be the holy grail, Apple and Google’s current pricing strategies for placing NFC credentials in their respective wallets will likely limit market acceptance for some time. Interconnectivity – The key to maximising ROI from an existing system. One of the critical trends supporting cloud architecture for access control is the shift towards more open standards and interconnectivity. Gone are the days of locking customers into systems with proprietary hardware. It is essential for customers not to be locked into a solution that won’t scale or can’t quickly implement new features.  The typical alternative is an expensive wholesale replacement of the system, throwing away the previous investment. At Keri Systems, we are leading the way towards an open future by offering NXT-MSC Firmware controllers that come with OSDP as a standard feature and full support for all Authentic Mercury controllers on all our software solutions as well as a host of wireless locking and legacy Access Control systems.

Our Doors.NET software supports 15 different Hardware platforms, all of which can be used on a single software instance if needed.  We have also developed a robust API on Borealis (our cloud platform) for third-party integrations to facilitate any required solution or integration. With cloud technology, all users receive the latest integration features and updates immediately.

Once an integration has been made for one user, it is available for everyone to use.  Cloud solutions supporting multiple hardware platforms have a competitive advantage over those supporting only a single proprietary platform. Developers who limit themselves to proprietary platforms will eventually cater to a shrinking market.

AdobeStock 589665700 3 1
Untitled design 77

Although proprietary solutions still have their place, particularly when they offer unique features or cater to specific product niches, cloud developers who support multiple hardware platforms allow end-users to have a unified user interface while continuing to use their existing hardware platforms.

These developers can easily integrate non-internally developed hardware and software platforms and publish a powerful functioned API, which provides their software solutions access to a broader range of opportunities.  The importance of interoperability for developers is surpassed only by its importance for integrators. Some integrators carry as many as ten different access control lines, each with its unique features and quirks.

Embracing a single software solution that supports multiple platforms increases the integrator’s flexibility. One integrator estimated that the company spends $50,000/year to support each access control solution. Embracing a single software solution eliminates the need for multiple software packages and allows the integrator to maintain the existing hardware base while expanding with one that falls within their newly paired-down hardware offering. 

Technology Partners Behind The Curve?

Cloud-based solutions come with many benefits, but some challenges must be overcome. These challenges are espoused mainly by those least familiar with cloud-based systems’ strengths. They primarily revolve around concepts of security, reliability, costs, additional hardware, and the complexity of the new solution.

Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft collectively spend billions of dollars per year on enhancing the security of their cloud hosting platforms. However, cloud solutions provide the best levels of security and redundancy, and they come with features such as data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular backups to address concerns about data protection and integrity. With advancements in cloud technology and robust support from industry leaders, implementing and managing cloud-based access control systems has never been easier or more accessible.  Unfortunately, those who would benefit most from implementing cloud architecture for their clients are the least likely to have reliable backup schedules or are running out of date software. Organisations still using outdated, on-premises systems are already lagging behind their competitors, who have embraced cloud-based solutions.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, staying ahead of the curve is critical to survival. Like all other IT solutions, access control’s future is in the cloud. By leveraging cloud technology, implementing open and standardised protocols, collaborating via APIs, and utilising innovative solutions like Keri’s Borealis cloud access platform, organisations can benefit from enhanced security and scalability and increased revenue opportunities. For dealers and integrators, it is crucial to embrace cloud solutions now, which is at the core of the rapidly evolving access control industry.  Those who hesitate are already behind. 

Borealis UI