How Would You Design A Better Access Control Platform? Or, Whats On Your Feature Wish List?

If you were given the opportunity by an access control manufacturer to re-design their platform, or better yet, if you could design your own access control platform from start to finish what would you design?

Given IPVM's recent reports on Worst Access Products, and Favourite Access Control Software that show that no single manufacturer has gotten it "right" what would the ideal / perfect access control platform contain or look like?

- What would the core features be that you could not live without?

- What are the "nice to have's" that make a platofrm shine above the rest?

- How would you like to see those features integrate with each other?

- What would the "ideal" UI look like?

- Do you perfect thick clients, or do you prefer web based platforms, or do you need both?

Most importantly, if a manufacturer actually implemented everything that you wanted would it cause you to make the switch from your current platform?

Wow, tall order! :)

Here is what I gather from various surveys and classes we've recently done:

1. 'Must haves': Live Door Controls, Alarm Events, good Video Surveillance Integration (ability to search events/tag events), and basic Reporting.

2. 'Nice-to-haves': Mobile device control and customized reporting. Badge printing too. Integrated intercoms/video intercoms are a nice feature people rave about, but relatively few platforms have adopted. (See: The Coolest New Access Control Product In Years is from Tyco, Genetec Adds IP Telephony for recent examples)

3. In general, the tighter the integration the better (video, intrusion, fire, so on) ... if price is still competitive. This is hard to do, given the vast array of system options.

4. Web portals are good, thick/thin clients are okay (but a headache for some users to get approved for use), and clamor for 'access control' mobile apps is low.


"Most importantly, if a manufacturer actually implemented everything that you wanted would it cause you to make the switch from your current platform?"

I'm going to say 'not likely'. :( Access is a grudge purchase for many, and many keep systems going for decades, until they absolutely cannot maintain them further before buying new ones.


Yes it is indeed a tall order. The reason I posted the question was because I recently had a conversation with an access control manufacturer about a feature that we would like to see on their roadmap.

In the course of the conversation he made the comment that integrators always complain that platforms aren't properly design, aren't intuitive, or are missing important features. His comment was that creating a great platform is "tall order" (as you put it) and that it isn't something that is easily planned or built. Moreover, he made the point that even if an integrator could design their own patform it wouldn't be any better.

I thought that I would post this question on IPVM and let this very knowledgeable community prove him wrong by coming together and outlining an "ideal" platform.

The last sentence of my question was specifically designed (I had hoped) to show him that the integrator community would flock to this "ideal" platform built by and for integrators.

I guess I was wrong and will now need to admit it the next time we meet...