Introduce Yourself to Open Architecture
Looking at strategies well into the future
- By Peter Berg
- Jul 01, 2015
The concept of Open Architecture Access Control is taking on a lot of
traction. Much more than a buzzword, Open Architecture Access
Control is an idea whose time has come. And, with good reason.
Between the ongoing mass-migration from analog to IPbased
systems and the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is
now connecting more devices than ever before, the benefits of open architecture
systems have never been more apparent. Among the headliners: An
open architecture system provides and accepts services from other systems,
connects multiple components from different suppliers without the need to
change any components, is agnostic to changes and guarantees interoperability—
making systems scalable and upgradeable well into the future.
The Forecast Looks Bright
In a recent report by IHS, a premier provider of global market, industry and
technical expertise, highlighting the trends and drivers in Access Control,
Open Standard was forecasted to provide some of the highest growth opportunities.
They state that open standards help to increase innovation and product
quality and several manufacturers are now building products to what are
emerging industry standards that include Open Supervised Device Protocol
(OSDP) and ONVIF Profile C. In the future, end users will have the ability
to choose best of breed solutions that meet current needs and are flexible
enough to expand and adapt to their changing environments.
The IHS report goes on to say that the ability for end users to have one user interface (OUI) to manage security and risk
is now a necessity. In a world where so many
devices now connect to a network, the ability to
connect logical and physical security with HR
and access databases, BMS, elevator control and
other devices or sensors to one user interface is
now possible. These integrated solutions are often
limited by the partner integrations and can
be based on proprietary technology. Be cautious
in choosing just any solution as a proprietary solution
could impact future usability with limitations
and increased costs.
With so much being put on the network, IT
departments are more involved and have begun
to manage and in some instances, dictating, access
control installations. Their preference is to
avoid any proprietary constraints and, as a result,
is seeking open platform solutions. They want
software, controllers, readers and door hardware
that will accept additions, upgrades, and component
replacement. Some end users are asking
their integrator partners to provide for life-cycle
management of the system and, in a proprietary
world, that becomes a difficult task. Ask yourself
- How are you preparing your business for
- Are you able to pull forward your existing
legacy access control system, maintain your
investment in access control hardware and
provision with an open solution?
- Do you have disparate access and video systems
managing your security today?
- Are you looking to have a single user interface
to manage all your security needs?
Embrace New Technologies
One of the benefits of open platform design is the
ability to quickly and efficiently integrate newer
technologies like wireless locking hardware, biometrics,
and mobile devices both for system administration
and for use as a credential. Other
advantages include combining traditionally architected
access control systems with IP connected
edge devices all on the same system software.
Do you want to use your video management
system as your single user interface? That too is
a possibility, where you can bring in the day-today
management functionality of your access
system and combine those features with analytics
and other sub-systems. Imagine access control
plus people counting or access control plus
loitering. It is all possible with open design.
Arm Yourself to Manage
Many end users with disparate security systems
force their security managers to be reactive to isolated events or alarms, such as:
a door forced alarm, a glass break
sensor, motion detection, unauthorized
access, video monitoring,
etc. Monitoring these systems often
requires increased personnel
costs to manage. Connect all these
devices on a single system over the
network and you have the means to
be proactive and reduce costs with
your security management.
Imagine an environment where
a glass break sensor triggers, a motion
sensor triggers, a lighting sensor
triggers, and along with video of the
event, we see an intruder and are able
to lock down that area of the facility
thus isolating the event. Perhaps you
have analytics running, and with the
combination of triggers, the system
sends video and an alert to your mobile
device and you are able to lock
down the facility, activate the mass
notification system, and alert local
authorities all from that same mobile
device. This real-time information
provides for better management
and better security.
- What capabilities do you have to
be proactive today?
- Is your system providing you with
actionable real-time information?
- What are you missing that you
would like to have or need?
Leverage all the Uses,
Benefits of an Op en
Do you want to ensure compliance
or avoid liability? Before an employee
operates a piece of machinery or
operates a vehicle, you want to be
sure the system is able to check the
HR database to ensure the employee
is trained, certified, or licensed
and will only provide authorization
on confirmation that the conditions
for operation were satisfied? Maybe
you need real-time location in a
facility or mustering capability or
have need for non-traditional uses
of your access control system? Solutions
like these are available today.
With open architecture, open
standards and open field hardware,
you are no longer limited by what
you are told the system can and
cannot do. The choices are yours.
For dealers and integrators,
there are many options and choices
available promising them, and
their end users, system flexibility,
increased cost benefits, ease of installation,
ease of integration, and
the re-use of existing door, reader,
and controller hardware. Education
is key to understanding all
these options, and the best ones
for their particular needs. One
way dealers and integrators can do
that is by familiarizing themselves
with, and adhering to, standards
such as ONVIF, the first interoperability
standard for network-based
physical security. This will help
teach how to build systems that
are scalable and cost-effective well
into the future.
This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of Security Today.
Peter Berg is the global vice president of access control solutions at Anixter.