Most Needed Improvement: Access Control Software

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Feb 16, 2015

100 integrators answered IPVM's question:

"Which aspect/element of access control system technology (ie: credentials, locks, controllers, management software, system openness, etc) most needs to improve? Why?"

Software and openness were the clear top 2 responses.

Here's an overview of their answers:

 

In this note, we break down each of these themes, sharing detailed commentary from integrators about these problems.

*** *********** ******** ****'* question:

"***** ******/******* ** ****** control ****** ********** (**: credentials, *****, ***********, ********** software, ****** ********, ***) most ***** ** *******? Why?"

******** *** ******** **** the ***** *** * responses.

****'* ** ******** ** their *******:

 

** **** ****, ** break **** **** ** these ******, ******* ******** commentary **** *********** ***** these ********.

[***************]

Key ******

*** ******* ******* **** four ******* **********

  • ********:********* ** **** ******** centered ****** *** **********, features *** ********* ** the ******* **** *********.
  • ******** & ***********:***** ******* ********* *** difficulty ** ************* ** tying ******** ****** ******* with ******.
  • *****:**** *********** ********* *** needless ********** ** **********, installing, *** ********* ******** locksets.
  • ******:**** ******** *********** *******, that ***** *** ******** cited ***** ********* *********** and *********** **** ********** like ***********, ******* ********, or ********* *******.

** ******* **** ** these ******** ******* **** survey ******** ** *** sections **** ******.

********

**** **** **** **% of *** *****, *** strongest ********* *** **** access ******* ******** ***** to *******.  ********* ********** mentioned *** ***** **********, awkward ********, *** ******* features ** ******** ****** systems:

  • "********** ******** *** *** user. ** * ******** all **** ******* ** to ** **** ** view ***** *****, *** and ****** *****. **** our ********** **** *** overwhelmed ** *******."
  • "******** ***** ** ** behind ***** *** ******** up ** ****** ****** (mobile ****, **** ** use ***)."
  • "********. *** *** **** software ******** ** *** are ***** ****** ** what *** *********** ******** the **** ***** ***/** needs. *** ************* **** to ****** ****** *** take ** ***** **** an **** **** ** the ******** ** ***-***** and **********."
  • "********** ****** ******* ********, (i.e., ***-*****, **-*****, ***.) still ***** **** ******* 95."
  • "* ******* ** ******* the ********** ********, *** reason ** ** ******* credential ********** & ****** generation ***** ** ***** challenging ** *** **** of *** ********* ****** control ****** ************'*. ****, system ********, *** ****** is ** ******* *********** to *** ********* ******** system."
  • "***** ** ****** ********** on ****** ******* ********. Commoditization ** ********* ******* of **** ** **********."
  • "****** ********* *** *** kept ** ** **** and **** *** *** cumbersome. ** ***** ***** to *** *** ********. Graphical ******* *** ****** designed *** ********* ******** with *** *********."
  • "***** ****, *** ********** software. *** ******* ******* in ****** ******* ** user *****. **** ******** is ***********, ********** *** overly ***********, *** ****** for ******** ********* ************."

********** ** *** ********* or ***** ** ****** brand *** **, ********* about *** **** *** software *** ************ ******.  

Openness & ***********

******* ****** *********: ***** other ******* ******** **** access ** ********* ** impossible. ******* ********* ******** the **** **************** ******* different ******* *** ******* is ** ****** *** than ** **** *** been:

  • "****** ********. ***** *** clients **** ******** ****** control ********. ***** ** try ** ****** *** compatibility ******* *** *** and *** ****** **** a *** ********* ** implementation. ***** **** ** some **** ******** ** that ** *** ******* and *** ******** *******."
  • "*********** **** ***** *** VMS. *** *** ********* (such ** *****) *** the ****** ********* (**** as *********)**** *** ***** party ** ***** *** issues. ******* ***** **** take **************."
  • "*** ********** ****** ****** include ******** */* (**** and **********) / ******* system ** *********** ** SAP/other *** ***** ******* systems. ********* **** ** use *** ****** ******* system ** ******** ***** work **** ******* ***** / ******* ***** ** working ***** ************."
  • "*******. ***** *********** **** third ***** *******. **** to ** **** **** rather **** ***** **'* own ********."
  • "****** ******** ** ***** a *******, **** ******* use ********** ******** *** comms *********."
  • "** **** ******** ******** similar ** ********* **** are ****** ** ** with ***** ***** **** these ******* ***** *********** but **** ***** ******* those ***** ******* ** follow **** ** ****. So **** ***** ** nice *** * ***'* see **** ********* ******* soon."
  • "****** ******** *** ********** software ****** ****** ************ with ******* *****, ******* management ***** *** **** other ********* *****."

******, ** ***** *** pitiful ***** ** ****** openness ******* ** *** ****** ****************: ***** ******* ****. 

*****

************, **** ******** *************** was * '*** *' complaint. ****** ******** ********* the ********** ** ******* the ***** **** ********* in *** ******* ***, and **** ********* ******* variations ** ***** *** openings ** ****** **** locks * ***** *********

  • "******* ******** **'* *** door ********, ********** ** construction ********. **** ** the ******** ** ********* have ** ** **** the **** ******** *** its ************."
  • "* ***** **** ** see **** *************** ** locking ********. ***** ************* door ********* ****** ** able ** **** **** on * ******** ********, **** security standard **** ** ********* intrusive, ** ******* ********* objections. ******* **** ***** be **** **** ** vertically ******** ********* ******* of * ***, ** **** ********* on ******** ****** *******, we **** ** *** away **** ***** **** require ******* *******."
  • "** *** ***** ******* for * **** **** allows **** **********. ** our **********, *** *********** of *** ****** ******* system *** **** ******** and ******** ********* **% of *** **** ****** the ********* ** *** door ** ****. *** to ** **** ** need **** ******** **** the ****."
  • "**** ******** ********* ** be *** **** ******* and ********* ***** ** encounter **** *** ***********. You *** ****** * rock ***** ****** *** everything **** ** **** if *** **** *****'* operate ******** ** ***** properly. *'* *** **** how **** *** ** improved **** ** ******** perspective."
  • "*****: **** **** * lot ** ***** ** everyday ***. *'* ********* specifically ** *** ** locks *.*. *******, ***-***** and *******. ** * door *****'* *** **** then *** **** *****'* do *** *** ****. My ********** **** ******* electrified ***** *** **** much ******."
  • "******* ******** *** ****** door ****** ******** ** be *** ******* **** item **** *** **** variability. ******** ***** ** continue ** **** *** more *************** ** ******** and *********."

***** *** ***** ** lock ******* *** ******** is ****, **** *** a ****** ** ********* that ***** **** **** the **** *** **** specification. ***** ***** ******* for ****:

******

**** '*****-***' ******** ****'* not ***** ****** *********, but ** **** ***** voiced ****** *************** ***********.  **** credentials *** **** ********, to *** ******** ** mobile-based ***********, ******* **** the **** *** ******* to ******* ** ****** but ********* *****:

  • "**** ********. ** **** installed ******** ****** *** find **** **** ******** are *************, ******* ******** service *** ******** *** expensive."
  • "*********** *** **** ******** actually. **** ** *** hardware ** ****** ****, but *** ***** *** the ***** **** ** the ****."
  • "**** ********* ** *** door ****** **** ** DPS **** *******, *** sensors ** ****** ***** door ****** ******."
  • "*********** ******, **** *********."
  • "*'* ***** ** *** remote ****** **** * smartphone. * **** *** systems *** **** **** messages *** ***** ************* but ******** ***** ** app. *** ** **** to ***** ***** *** security ***** *********** ** someone's ***** ** ******."
  • "* ***** **** ** see * ****** ** faster **** *** ****** phone ***********. ***** *** HID **** ** *** only ********** *'* ***** of *** *** ********* fees *** ***** ** set ** ** ** mind *******. *'* **** it **** ******* *** with **** *****'* ******* of *** *** **** should **** **** ***** years *** **** ******* released ***."

Comments (8)

So true re the software.

This is a really good topic. Even though I agree with the comments on the first two issues (software&openess), in my world it's the lock hardware. There are dozens of manufactures that have different software and integration capabilites, but the lock hardware is basicly the same across all manufacturers. If you install the door hardware yourself, it's a much more managable experience. If you are in a construction project, it's a complete nightmare, especailly if it's a union job. The door hardware is spec'd by one company, the security controls by another, and the installation could be by the carpenter, electrician, door installer or others. Every construction project I have been involved in has been a nightmare from a door hardware standpoint. There are too many people involved, and everybody loses. The last project we installed was a high rise in Philly. The door company spec'd a separate power supply for every door. That's over 100 power supplies, with 120VAC power, for every door. We tried to value engineer it, but it was a loud "NO". Hardware specifying needs be fixed at the design and bid process; it is costing the owner s thousands of dollars in wasted expense. Extra power supplies, too many fire alarm releases, along with unqualified installers and specifiers equals disaster. The construction industry does amazing work, but this is an area that needs major improvements.

Agreed Eric - In our little part of the world a retro-fit is even more troublesome. Making it -work good + look good + stay good are the key differences between us and our competitors. Throw in the odd historic building and the cost to acheive the above might be higher than the cost of the hardware itself.

The company that I worked for has access control software, it already have an mobile app function. I wonder if this is something that most of the access control software brand don't have? Also I would like to know if what does user want to see on the mobile app, other than push alert for access/door/alarm event?

To answer your question, no they don't have mobile software (most). The chief complaint from my CUSTOMERS? It is to hard and cumbersome. We don't think we should have to go to school everytime we want to use the Access System. Too many levels, too many this, too much that....stop the madness!

I agree with integration.

Manufacturers do not listen, or they don't hear. I am not sure which, but there is a difference.

You hear comparisons made about the lack of open standards in Access compared to video, like this article. In these comparisons, people generally equate cameras with door controllers (and VMS's to access hosts).

This analogy is flawed: Cameras are much more like card readers. Door controllers are more akin to VMS's, where more functional value is added. Yes, ONVIF has seen widespread adoption in the VMS-to-Camera link....but use of ONVIF to connect from the VMS to layers above is practically non-existent.

In this light, OSDP is indeed finding traction in the controller-to-reader link, just as ONVIF has found success in the VMS-to-Camera link.

What ONVIF C is attempting to do is something that has not yet seen analogous success in video: An open standard from the VMS and above. Any differentiating feature Axis adds to the controller level has to be added to ONVIF C, and ONVIF C indirectly constrains a controller's operating logic to be set up a certain way, which may complicate adoption.

I support standards and I am certainly not advocating against them. In fact, I think peer-to-peer standards to share information between devices will make inroads Access. However, until there is a standard that allows an entire VMS to just drop right in to another system, I wouldn't expect to see it elsewhere.

Lock hardware will likely continue to be a significant issue, IMO. Besides having to deal with contractors, there's also the issue of dealing with building codes and fire marshalls (usually the Authority Having Jurisdiction - AHJ). We just completed a project where the FM had pre-authorized the use of regular locks (i.e. non-exit devices) for 2 pairs of doors, but, at final inspection he changed his mind. Besides the additional cost, there was lots of scrambling to get these doors re-fitted with new hardware. What a pain -- and nothing you can do about it, except comply.

Eric mentioned, on one of his projects, that the door supplier spec'd a separate power supply each for over 100 doors. I'm not surprised. Many major lock manufacturers (Von Duprin, Yale, etc) state clearly in their product specs that the locks must be used with their own power supplies otherwise they won't honor their warranty. And most of those require such high current power supplies that you can only connect up to 2 locks per PS -- and those have to be very short cable runs.

Sometimes architects can be difficult since they may be more concerned about the appearance of the door hardware (and code compliance) than ease of installation and connection.

There are some products from Schlage & Yale that integrate the lock, reader, wireless data-comm & power completely into the lock. (Locks are low power running entirely off everyday alkaline batteries -- and for respectible periods of time.) Pretty slick actually, but there is some maintenance required -- i.e. replacing batteries every 6 months or so. But sadly, distribution of that category of locks is limited to the college and university segment -- kinda like the hotel market. It's pretty hard for a "regular" integrator to be able to buy that stuff.

But sadly, distribution of that category of locks is limited to the college and university segment -- kinda like the hotel market. It's pretty hard for a "regular" integrator to be able to buy that stuff.

Hello Howard:

I think most of the Schlage AD-400 wireless series (and even certain Assa stuff) is available through ADI, Anixter, and other distributors.

I'm not sure that discounts will be lowest for integrators buying through national distribution vs. being a dealer themselves, but I think those products are generally available for 'regular' integrators to buy.

Does that sound right, or am I misunderstanding what you wrote?

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Access Control Course Spring 2020 - Register Now - Last Chance on Apr 21, 2020
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Thursday, April 23rd is the last day to register, as the course will...
2020 Access Control Book Released on Dec 19, 2019
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
Access Control Mustering Guide on Sep 30, 2019
In emergencies, determining where employees are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. Access systems can be used for...
Access Control Time & Attendance Guide on Sep 24, 2019
Access control systems can do more than lock doors. With little or no extra equipment, they can be used to track labor hours for employees...
Open Access Controller Guide (Axis, HID, Isonas, Mercury) on Sep 19, 2019
In the access control market, there are many software platforms, but only a few companies that make non-proprietary door controllers. Recently,...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
Poor OSDP Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 09, 2019
OSDP certainly offers advantages over decades-old Wiegand (see our OSDP Access Control Guide) but new IPVM statistics show that usage of OSDP, even...
Lenel Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 26, 2019
The positive news for Lenel is that integrators do not dislike them as much as they used to.  The negative news for Lenel is that integrators...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Proxy Presents Mobile Credentials For BLE Devices and Access on May 29, 2020
Proxy presented Mobile Credentials For BLE Devices and Access at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...
ISC West 2020 Moves To The Basement on May 29, 2020
The twice cancelled/postponed show will now not only be held in a different month (October) but on a different floor, moving down to the...
Integrators Avoiding Coronavirus Air Travel on May 29, 2020
IPVM asked integrators if air travel is part of their 2020 plans to see how significantly Coronavirus will impact future...
Viakoo Presents Cyber Hygiene for Cameras on May 28, 2020
Viakoo presented its 'Cyber Hygiene' and 'Service Assurance' products at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A...
Seek Scan Thermal Temperature Screening System ReTested on May 28, 2020
Now that IPVM has tested Dahua, Hikvision, and Sunell, we are returning to Seek, the first blackbody system we tested and retested it with our...
Directory of 110 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on May 28, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers to help you see and research what options are available. There are...
Fever Cameras Are Medical Devices, Per The FDA, Dahua, Feevr, Hikvision, InVid Contrary Claims Are False on May 28, 2020
Fever cameras are medical devices, despite what euphemisms various sellers use. The US FDA clearly categorizes them as medical devices and...
Wyze Raises $10 Million And Seeks Services Expansion on May 27, 2020
Wyze has raised $10 million, the company's first disclosed raise since the $20 million announced at the beginning of 2019. Inside this note,...
"Fever Camera" Show June 2020 Next Tuesday on May 27, 2020
IPVM is excited for the world's first "Fever Camera" show, to be held next Tuesday June 2nd and Wednesday the 3rd from 11am to 3pm EDT, giving you...
Startup Videoloft Presents Cloud Storage on May 27, 2020
Videoloft presented offsite cloud storage at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from Videoloft including IPVM...