Hirsch Electronics Enters Distribution Business

Hirsch Electronics, a supplier of physical access control systems, has signed an exclusive global distribution agreement with SCM Microsystems, a supplier of smart card readers for secure authentication, to provide SCM’s Physical Access Control Terminals (PACT) series physical access readers to the open market.

The SCM PACT readers are designed specifically for Department of Defense (DoD) sites.

The DoD has been a leader in deployment of contact smart cards for logical and physical access control and has millions of such cards deployed and in use today. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12’s (HSPD-12) FIPS 201 standard mandated Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards that would be interoperable across all agencies, propelling DoD agencies around the world, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, to seek a systems solution that would support both the existing deployed Common Access Cards (CAC I) as well as the new contact/contactless CAC II cards.

“SCM Microsystems has provided significant volumes of logical access readers for the DoD, and we developed a series of physical access readers as well, based on our experience with the government market,” said Manfred Mueller, SCM executive vice president, strategic business development and sales. “To bring the units to market effectively, SCM needed a global distribution partner with a proven track record securing DoD facilities. In Hirsch we found the ideal partner to accomplish this.”

“Many DoD and government agencies using CAC and/or GSC contact-only credentials are actively procuring and installing FIPS 201-compliant readers for retrofits, new installations and pilots,” said Kevin Reyes, Hirsch manager of strategic technology partnerships. “The Hirsch partnership with SCM ensures that the industry has a ready source of supply for multi-technology readers that enable a graceful migration path for the move from CAC I cards to FIPS 201-based credentials such as CAC II, PIV, and TWIC.”

“Hirsch is installing PIV-compliant physical access control systems (PACS) at many government agencies and military facilities today,” said Lars Suneborn, Hirsch director of government programs. “SCM’s PACT series readers have proven to be excellent government credential readers capable of providing the GSA 75-bit format for PIV, while concurrently reading the CAC family. They are ideal migration readers for the DoD. And the support for additional card types, such as TWIC, MIFARE, DESfire and GSC, makes the readers an excellent solution for the simultaneous handling of employees plus visitors and other non-government credentialed personnel.”

Hirsch offers the SCM PACT series smart card readers for sale to all industry manufacturers and integrators worldwide effective immediately.

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