Access Control Integration Statistics 2016

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Dec 13, 2016

When it comes to connecting access control with other security systems, integrator survey results clearly show it is not common for most. However, when they are integrated, the brands being integrated make a big difference.

We look deeper at survey results and integrator color comments inside.

Response Breakdowns

We asked integrators:

"What percentage of your access systems are integrated with another security system? Which other systems are most commonly integrated?"

Here is the breakdown of those percentages:

**** ** ***** ** ********** ****** ******* **** ***** ******** systems, ********** ****** ******* ******* **** ** ** *** ****** for ****. *******, **** **** *** **********, *** ****** ***** integrated **** * *** **********.

** **** ****** ** ****** ******* *** ********** ***** ******** inside.

Response **********

** ***** ***********:

"**** ********** ** **** ****** ******* *** ********** **** ******* security ******? ***** ***** ******* *** **** ******** **********?"

**** ** *** ********* ** ***** ***********:

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*** ******* ********* **** ****** ** ********** **** ******* ****** is ***** ***.

Median **. **** **********

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Integration ************, ** ** ***

**** ****** ******* *** **** ** ********** *******, **** ** they **** *** ******* ** ********* ** ********** **** ***** platforms.

** **** *****, *** ***** ** ********** ****** ** ********* else ** ******** ******* ** *** **** *** ***-***** **** interest ***** ******** *** ****:

  • "**** **** *%, **** ** * *** ******."
  • "****, **** ***'* * ******* *** **."
  • "**** **** **%, ** ****** ******* ** ******** **********, ** they ** *** **** ***********."
  • "**** **** **% ** *** ****** ******* ******* *** ***** integrated **** ***** *******."
  • "*%...*****'* ****** **** *****."
  • "*% - **** ****** *********** **** ********* ** ************ *******."

Video ***********, ******* ****** **** ******

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  • "* ***** *** just ***'* * ******* **** ** *********. **** ******** ** is *** ****** ******."
  • "**% ** **** *** ********** **** ********* *** **% **** video ******"
  • "**** ***%, **** *** ****** *** ******** - ********** **** CCTV."
  • "**** ****** *********** ** ***. ******* ** ****** **** ******. 20% ** *** ******* *** ***** **********. ********* "****" ***********, but ** ******** **** ****** ** *** *** ******* **********."
  • "**** **********, *** ******** *** ******* ********** **** **** ** camera *******."
  • "**** ******* *** ********** **** **** *** ***** ************."

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New **. ******** ****** ***********

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  • "*** ******* ***** **% *** ******* ** ******** ****** *"
  • "*****, **-**% ** *** ******* ** ******** *** **********, *** closer ** **% ** *** ******* *** ********* ********** **** other *******."
  • "** *****'* ******** ******** *******, **'** ****** ***** ********* **** them."

Mini-PSIM ******** *********** **** ********

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  • "**% ***** ** * ********** ********** ******** *** ****** ******."
  • "**% ********** **** *********"
  • "** ** ****** ** ********** ******* * **** *** **** are *** *******."

Comments (6)

This is echoed in my design and consulting experience. Many of the older systems we work on are not integrated. Our clients typically express that this is because at the time of design and installation the purchasing, programming, and maintenance of PLCs and network communications was complicated and expensive. Increasingly, however, as the security industry is influenced more and more by dedicated professionals and the average client's understanding and expectations of technology grows these integrations become more attainable, affordable, and necessary. Additionally, the data and evidence these integrations provide can be analysed by many different business management systems (to use an extremely general term for a broad number of systems that benefit from PSI), further increasing the ROI.

My firm's practice is to specify as many integrations as possible. Intrusion detection system, PSIM, building management, fire and life safety systems, VSS and access system integration provides 'defense in depth' by improving the response time, decision making and effectiveness of responders. Additionally, from an investigations standpoint the coordinated nature of physical protection system reports can be important in the resolution and give veracity to those reports in litigation.

Many of our projects rely heavily on highly engineered security communications systems, and many projects with high levels of integration require PLCs. While this level of design may be too costly for small to medium enterprises, it should be a budgetary priority to create basic integrations, particularly when much of the configuration work is done by a VMS or ACMS. After all, if at the end of the day the systems the client ends up with don't provide a high return on investment, it'll be hard to get them to increase future security system expenditures (that includes maintenance and service agreements). Security integrations provide security metrics and those metrics have a tremendous impact on future investments in security.

Not only do integrations provide greater return on investment to our client's, it presents an opportunity to continue helping your clients and customers meet their needs.

For all, PLC = Programmable Logic Controllers

Many of our projects rely heavily on highly engineered security communications systems, and many projects with high levels of integration require PLCs

Michael, thanks for the comment!

I am curious why PLCs are used. Granted, really all an electronic access system does is use specialized PLC-like components and software to do a specific job (unlock doors), but developing the basic access management software seems like it would be a bear.

In other words, buying an access product is buying a car, while using PLCs seems more like buying car parts and then assembling it manually.

What sort of PLCs are used? Allen-Bradley? Siemens?

You're absolutely right, Brian and full disclosure, I am a security veteran, but an engineering novice. I get A LOT of help with my designs from the engineers here that help me determine the parts and smarts of what I program. So that's my caveat to my engineering being spotty at times in future comments, although my knowledge of security principles is usually pretty solid! My comments came more from my practitioner side than my engineering side.

That being said, my experience has been, if the system we are designing is small to medium and includes only a VSS and ACS typically we can find a way for one of those system's to make the integration. Typically we'll use a PLC when we have higher level integrations that we're trying to make where we have components from various systems sending outputs, but none of those component's management systems are able to analyze all those signals in a unified way. Most commonly these are corrections applications, but sometimes there just isn't "an app for that" when you are trying to customize a security solution (to state the obvious). PLCs come in handy there, to help us manage outputs and system responses.

Brian,

Do you find any regional variations in these data? For example, it seems that in Europe you see a lot more Access / Intrusion integration than you see in N. America.

I confirm. Here in Europe, access control is more and more tied to intrusion systems and VMS. So that when the last person leaves premises, intrusion can be automatically turned on, and even lighting and energy can be turned off.
This is good for security and energy savings.

Frazao, you imply "occupancy count" is in standard use in the region. If even one person tailgates out of the building, the occupancy count will never go to zero. What measures do you normally see in place to address this?

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