Axis and Milestone Enter Access Control

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Sep 24, 2013

Two of the biggest names in IP video surveillance, Axis and Milestone, are entering the access control market. While both are open platforms designed to work with many 3rd parties, their simultaneous entry indicates a major effort for surveillance manufacturers to become stronger players in the complimentary access control space.

Axis Access Control

For Axis, their initial products are the A1001, a two door IP controller and Axis Entry Manager, serverless access control management software. Additionally, Axis controller offers an open API and integration with 6 third parties including both Genetec and Milestone.

Milestone Access Control

Separately, Milestone is introducing their Access Control Module, an add-on to their VMS software that enables integration with third party access control management software to deliver live monitoring, investigations and alerts of access and video combined. Milestone's first partner for this module will be Axis.

Future of Access Control

This represents a major shakeup for the glacial moving access control market, though it by no means guarantees success, especially considering how entrenched incumbent access control offerings are. However, this will generate fresh interest and debate into what access control to use.

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Comments (9)

Axis entering the access control market has been in the air for quite some time now, which IPVM also noted a few times. I agree with your conclusion regarding the chances of market penetration for Axis, it's gonna be a slow walk. Besides the strong channel I don't see how Axis' core technology is making any difference in the offering, i.e. it's just another access control product with a little Axis twist. The access control market (in Europe) is very fragmented with many local players in addition to the big international names. However, being an Axis IP video distributor for many, many years I'm obviously very curious to what Axis will offer and their product expansion plan in this industry for the coming years. It's possible that simply the fact that Axis is entering this market will have a disruptive effect on the incumbents.

The Milestone offering makes more sense. We're already using Milestone with Paxton Access integrated and it works just fine. If/when Milestone integrates additional access control vendors they will have a tremendeous up-sell possibility.

Miki, have you been using the smart client 'add on' to show Paxton data in the smart client or are you only using the video from Milestone within the Paxton software?

I’d like to think it won’t be long before we see these two companies, in particular Axis, make a legitimate product tightly fusing surveillance and EAC. The synergies have been contemplated and discussed ad nauseam but there is huge potential for the company that gets this right. I’m a bit more bullish on these new products' market adoption and will lead with my chin by saying I expect it to be brisk and progressive, and will drive other vendors to follow suit.

Skip,

It will be interesting to see if Axis makes 'a legitimate product tightly fusing surveillance and EAC'. Certainly they can do it but this is a business model / channel partner question, just like they have tactically handicapped their VMS lines (ACC, AVHS, ACS) so as not to compete with their ADPs. Because of that, I am betting that they will constrain how far / fully they integrate / scale their video & access products.

On the other hand, I'd expect the Axis controller to gain support from many different access control providers as there are very few open options, which will help. However, I think the mega EAC companies like Lenel, Software House, Honeywell, etc. will probably delay supporting this as open controllers are bad for lock in.

In terms of adoption, I think the sweet spot to start is smaller users who do not have any access control. They can then add 2 doors (or 4, etc.) at minimum cost with tight integration with existing Axis and Milestone products. I am skeptical about Axis ability to enter/displace entrenched enterprise access control systems.

Brian,

Nice work and nice article!

However one very important topic that you didn't address is their plans to get these products UL listed, or at least to go through the UL Recognized Component certification process.

One major drawback for these devices ever making a serious run and taking hold will be their lack of UL listings for UL294A or UL294B, and as such their use will be somewhat self limiting. Serious enterprises and corporations will steer towards/stay with UL Listed products for safety & reliability reasons. UL testing isn't inexpensive...a typical product offering that's fully tested and compliant can cost upwards of $30K for just the UL testng, and that's assuming they pass all the criteria without needing product modifications an retesting to prove compliance. I don't see any margin in their pricing that would allow them to absorb those costs and with limited volume possibilities and still make any money in the process, there certainly wouldn't be the volume to help offset those costs either. At least the Mercury boards have UL listing status so it makes 3rd party integration easier for the UL testing & certification, and no product can acheive full UL294 (A or B) compliance without software, since software and hardware are both required to be tested together for UL294 compliance.

In the absence of any reliability/product safety testing, it's only a matter of time until someone uses one of these devices and improperly installs it with the wrong locking mechamism and somebody gets injured...or worse.

Keep up the great work!

Hello, Michael:

Thanks for the feedback. Regarding UL certification, Axis responded: "UL 204 is pending and in the works", but did not offer a firm schedule of when to expect it. At release, the A1001 will only be UL2043 listed (for plenum installs), and we will update as certification happens.

I expect you agree with me that product UL rating does not prevent the potential for end-user injury if improperly installed. Frankly, even if every component was UL listed but installed without regard for applicable life/safety codes, it could still likely result in injury (or worse).

If there are more specific answers on this topic I can ask Axis, please let me know.

Regards, and thanks for reading!

Looks like pretty comprehensive events handling from Milestone and now access control integration, VMS's are surely closing the gap on PSIM solutions. Maybe a little work on the bookmarking for incident management.

Although PSIM's one strong argument is for viewing video from multiple vendor DVR's with everyone going IP and onvif, I think they would be nervous as their value propositions diminish.

Good point. While there are certainly high end differentiators for 'true' PSIMs, clearly VMS companies are motivated to close the gap on the most common use cases, which diminishes 'true' PSIM competitive value.

Looks like pretty comprehensive events handling from Milestone and now access control integration, VMS's are surely closing the gap on PSIM solutions. Maybe a little work on the bookmarking for incident management.

Although PSIM's one strong argument is for viewing video from multiple vendor DVR's with everyone going IP and onvif, I think they would be nervous as their value propositions diminish.

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