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Integration in Access Control Systems Download
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Our Integration Products Access Control Security Systems Intellilink Graphical User Interface was developed by AIC and provides a software package which integrates seamlessly with customers’ existing security infrastructure and technology and with numerous security systems, including CCTV, access control, alarms, intercoms and pagers. Certified Security is one of the most trusted providers of life safety systems and electronic security systems and surveillance in Florida and Southern Georgia the past 10 years . Certified Security is recognized for their dependable and customized products such as Fire Alarm Systems, Gate Security Systems, and Camera Security Systems. How an HID Access Control System Works How HID Cards are Read An HID card-based access control system consists of four main elements: Every access control card carries a series of binary numbers (ones and zeros) which are used to identify the cardholder. HID offers a variety of card-types capable of carrying binary data.

In the first two papers of the RS2 White Paper series1, we examined the subjects of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Open Architecture as they relate to access control systems. We concluded that an important element of TCO was the use of Open Architecture and that, in turn, Open Architecture was the “cornerstone of integration.” We stated that this integration allowed end users to build completely integrated security systems incorporating access control, badging, CCTV, digital or network video recording and analytics, intercom, intrusion detection, wireless/IP locksets and other functions such as visitor management. This White Paper endeavors to provide a useful definition of integration (as it pertains to access control systems), provides several examples (including diagrams) of discrete integrated systems, and discusses what the next step(s) might be along the road to even higher levels of integration. It also lists some of the questions that end users should ask the vendors of access control systems and the systems integrators who install these systems. Readers are then encouraged to apply these conclusions to their own evaluations of access control systems. What is Integration? Not too many years ago, when defining a word, writers would quote the American Heritage or Merriam-Webster dictionaries. In keeping with the times, we find Wikipedia’s definition of “system integration” to be very useful for the purposes of this White Paper: “System integration is the bringing together of the component sub-systems into one system and ensuring that the sub-systems function together as a system. A system is an aggregation of sub-systems cooperating so that the system is able to deliver the over-arching functionality. System integration involves integrating existing (often disparate) sub-systems. System integration is also about value-adding (to the system) capabilities that are possible because of interactions between sub-systems.” A little long, but right on the mark for our purposes. Please note that we are using the term “system integration” almost interchangeably with “integration.” In the world of access control, the distinction between the two terms tends to blur, as what is being integrated is just that – systems/sub-systems. Perhaps equally as important as defining what integration is , is defining what it is not . Integration is occasionally used interchangeably with “convergence.” In his article “Convergence 2.0″, Bill Zalud, editor of Security magazine, says “For some, convergence is a fancy-pants term for security systems integration in which various security subsystems are connected beyond simple interfacing. In a general way, however, most security leaders see convergence as the bringing together of physical and logical – or computer – security in ways that primarily emphasize access controls and identity management.”2 We will deal with convergence in greater detail later. See “The Future of Integration: Convergence” on page 14. Perspectives on Access Control Integration Integration between access control and other security systems is so prevalent today that it’s almost hard to remember that, as recently as a few years ago, that was not the case. However, one need only look at security trade publications from that period to find stories like this: “A security manager for a large corporation comes in from a long Memorial Day weekend and reviews the security logs for the time he was away. He sees a line of type in his access control log saying that someone was attempting an unauthorized entrance to a highly secure area of the facility on Memorial Day itself, when no regular employees were present. He reviews his access control logs to see whose card was being used to try to enter. Unfortunately, he has no way of confirming whether that person actually was attempting entry or someone else was using the person’s card because the corporation’s video system is not integrated with its access control system.” 3 Seems pretty primitive by today’s standards, doesn’t it? In fact, video was one of the very first integrations (with access control) to occur. Today, it’s difficult to find a security sub-system that doesn’t integrate with access control. While video is still the obvious hot spot, access control also now routinely integrates with intercom, intrusion detection, wireless locks, visitor management, and other systems. Who and what drove the change? And why did it occur so quickly? The “who” are, literally, all the stakeholders: suppliers, integrators, and end users. The “why” essentially boils down to economics – on the part of all three groups. In a series of articles in 2006, SDM magazine examined integration from all three perspectives. There were certainly differences between the three groups. Suppliers were looking for a competitive advantage; integrators were looking for products that would improve their profitability; end users were looking for single-platform systems that were easy and cost-effective to operate: Suppliers: “Integration is not a buzz word anymore – it is already here. People are trying to understand it better. As manufacturers are getting to understand the importance from a market development standpoint, the end users are beginning to realize the importance of getting as much as possible out of the investment.” 4 Integrators: “What integrators also look for is manufacturers that typically enable the integrating company to make money, and how you do that is limit distribution so not everybody sells it, and you don’t sell directly to end users. . .Manufacturers who sell directly to end users are avoided by most integrators.” 4 (Note: From its founding in 1998, RS2 Technologies has never sold to end users.) End Users: “For us here, the bottom line is dollars.” 4 “Better integration would economize on the biggest expense of installing security equipment – not the equipment itself, but running the wire for it.” 4 And, in a more recent (June 2008) article entitled “Feature Sets that $ell”, the “Big 3″ features are identified as integration, open platform, and ease of use: “Integration with video, or any other system, is a boon to customers in today’s economy. ‘The way things have matured, CCTV, access, and alarm management were traditionally separate systems,’ says Matt Barnette . . . AMAG Technology. ‘Today, we are finding more customers trying to do more with less. They need systems that play into that
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