Nexkey says its mission is to disrupt the access control market and ‘change the way people experience access to physical places’. The startup is embracing the latest buzzword for access control – frictionless – while also enabling electronic access control for doors currently protected by mechanical locks. The system is simple with only three components – a controller, an electronic replacement lock core, and a smart phone app.

The ‘controller’, a combined reader and access control panel, is used to connect to existing electric strikes, mag locks, electronic push bars and other hardware components at the door. It also communicates via Bluetooth with a smart phone credential. Users approach a door, choose the door they want to open in the app, and wait for the app to say ‘unlocked’.

Replacing key cards and fobs with app

Access rights are customised for each user, and doors can be unlocked remotely to allow a delivery guy or guest to enterThe electronic ‘core’ device can be switched out with existing mechanical lock cores to provide electronic access control in locks such as deadbolts, mortise locks, Euro-cylinders, levers and camlocks. It is compatible with 95 percent of mechanical locks, using a changeable tail piece to adapt to various configurations. The core communicates via Bluetooth with a smart phone credential that links to a cloud system. Users approaching a door open the app, tap the core, and wait for the app to say ‘unlocked’. A Nexkey goal is to ‘replace all keys, key cards and fobs with one app’.

The Nexkey app recognises which ‘key’ goes to which door and reveals the right key as you approach. ‘Keys’ are created and access rights are assigned from a smart phone, using email addresses and phone numbers to verify identity. Temporary codes can be texted for one-time entrance for cleaning crews or contractors. Access rights are customised for each user, and doors can be unlocked remotely to allow a delivery guy or guest to enter the building. The Nexkey Portal provides a snapshot of system operation, who enters which door at what time, and logs that can be reviewed and downloaded for audit reports.

Affordable access control systems for SMBs

Nexkey is targeting the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market, basically companies with 20 to 500 employees, which are looking for access control systems that are affordable and easier to manage. 

Larger enterprises tend to want integration with alarm systems and video, which Nexkey does not offer, so SMB is their “sweet spot”
Nexkey is targeting the SMB market, which are looking for access control systems that are affordable and easier to manage

Larger enterprises tend to want out-of-the-box integration with alarm systems and video, which Nexkey does not offer, so SMB is their “sweet spot,” says Eric Trabold, CEO. There is an API (application programming interface) that integrates with third-party applications.

According to Nexkey’s customer surveys, 30 percent of customers say they bought Nexkey to have a simpler access control credential (a smart phone instead of a key, card or fob). Another 30 percent favour simplified management and quick access through the app. Some 17 percent like the ‘unified’ experience to manage shared, single and multiple workspaces using smartphone credentialing and a cloud-based system.

Involving security dealers and integrators

Nexkey announced a ‘dealer program’ at the recent ISC West trade show in Las Vegas, and interest was highIn the early days, Nexkey looked to work directly with businesses to foster communication and to gain understanding of how the product can best be deployed. Having gained that insight, the ‘next level’ is to engage security dealers and systems integrators to install the system, says Trabold.

Nexkey announced a ‘dealer program’ at the recent ISC West trade show in Las Vegas, and interest was high. Trabold says 134 integrators/dealers sought to engage. In coming weeks, the company will be finalising that program, enhancing the dashboard to enable dealers to manage the system on behalf of their customers, for example.

We will be looking at how we can go from that amazing level of interest to being actively engaged with partners in the channel,” says Trabold.

Using NPS to measure product quality

Nexkey uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a benchmark for how well the product is accepted in the marketplace. NPS measures the quality of a product by analysing how likely customers are to recommend it to a friend or colleague. As an example, Apple currently has an NPS of 65%. In comparison, Nexkey has achieved a score of 60 percent, and is looking to improve it even more.

A year from now, we want to get the same positive feedback from our dealer/integrator community,” says Trabold. “That’s the challenge, engaging with partners and scaling the business forward. We still have work to do.

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Larry Anderson Editor, SecurityInformed.com & SourceSecurity.com

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is SourceSecurity.com's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads SourceSecurity.com's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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