Making Your Demands

The two things you should expect from your security provider

In today’s highly competitive environment, it is extremely important that providers have both the experience to deliver the right solution and the ability to deliver strong customer service. In the security industry, one solution in high demand is the use of mobile apps for critical functions such as credentialing, remote operations and alerts.

Mobile credentialing frees the user from having to carry physical credentials such as tokens or ID badges. Further, mobile access control solutions are well-suited to applications that experience numerous spontaneous events such as lockdowns or weather related emergencies, or with a frequent need to activate/ de-activate access card holders. Key points include:

Security. Security has always been a fundamental part of mobile operating systems, and the encrypted security of smart credentials and/or door management apps makes them more secure and difficult to counterfeit. Mobile devices often require multifactor authentication while traditional access control devices do not.

Convenience. Mobile users can control their facilities and access timely information from wherever they are. This is important for emergency situations, and convenient for other scenarios such as activating or deactivating credentials.

Mobile credentialing provides even more convenience, with new readers that can accept both proximity cards and mobile credentials speeding the transition to mobile technology.

Increased integration. With mobile technology, one credential allows access to doors, data and cloud applications, with security and tracking incorporated into every user action. This high-level integration can also be used to trigger automated tasks like time and attendance recording.

Cost. Maintaining a physical and logical access control system with disparate applications can be costly, particularly when updates are implemented and integration must be performed across all systems. A physical access control system with mobile credentialing can be easily upgraded to add logical access control for network log-on. For cardbased credentialing, material costs must be considered as well; digital credentials have no material cost.

Still, users may not get the most out of their system if the provider does not have a customer-focused culture. At a minimum, providers should offer flexibility, post-sales support, availability, expertise and training.

Flexibility. Recognizing that off-the-shelf solutions are hardly sufficient for addressing the specific requirements of every installation, customer-focused providers are willing and able to accommodate customization.

Post-sales support/training. The reality of access control systems is that—like any solution—they require ongoing service, support and training to provide customers with the continuous, reliable operation they need. One true measure of a vendor is what they can—and will—do to address and accurately fix any issues in a timely manner. Post sales training is also key to assuring the customer knows how to best manage their system.

Availability. In today’s connected world, customers have a wide variety of ways to contact a provider, all of which are irrelevant if they can’t actually connect with the vendor. Delays compromise security, so customers deserve a specific person they can rely on when they need help the most, often when something goes wrong and requires immediate attention.

Expertise. The expertise and experience of customer-focused organizations can help end users make better and more confident decisions about an access control installation.

When combined, customer service and mobile technology offer tremendous potential for maintaining the safety and security of people, places and assets. Your chosen provider should be able to deliver to you the latest in mobile technology plus a commitment to the best possible customer service.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Security Today.

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