Managed and hosted services allow users access from a variety of connected devices It’s not about hardware anymore, although quality components are a must. Now, it’s about how technology performs. For the systems integrator, there’s also an opportunity to provide essential services to keep customers connected. As with many other businesses, the security industry is being “disrupted” and influenced by the cloud. Delivering outsourced security and IT services is becoming the norm. Cloud-based systems riding on the network and Internet accessibility also represent a more rapid proliferation of remote system monitoring. Reboots, password changes, software upgrades and overall health can be checked, and many times performed, without a truck roll. Integrators can assess system status and ascertain possible necessary parts before setting foot on the customer’s premises. Services represent a winning formula that ultimately builds strong recurring monthly revenue (RMR) streams and solidly boosts the overall valuation of an integrator company that does it well. Strauss Security Solutions in Des Moines has been serving Iowa for over 85 years. It began as a locksmith company and today continues to move solidly in the direction of managed services. The firm is a long-time Brivo managed services provider. “To stay competitive in the security industry, you must keep up with technology and offerings,” says Karen Goldsworth, Strauss Security Solutions’ sales manager. “If we aren’t constantly adapting to the industry, we and our customers will be left behind.” She adds that Brivo, Bethesda, Md., was one of the first options available for web-hosted solutions. Endless opportunities for RMR Strauss Security Solutions offers the latest in high security products including locks, hardware, and security surveillance systems “With Brivo’s offerings, we are able not only to offer our customers a web-hosted card access solution but a CCTV option as well. Being able to integrate these offerings seamlessly with a hosted solution leaves endless opportunities for recurring revenue.” Goldsworth says having both card access and CCTV options enhances the company’s revenue stream. “Our future goal would be to offer an even more advanced option of managed service. We work with many property companies and feel this would be a great benefit to them to have that type of management taken off of their workload.” Doubling Up on Cloud Services Lee Odess, vice president of Marketing and Enterprise Sales for Brivo, says the industry can expect to see high, double-digit, year-over-year growth in managed services, increased dealer engagement and end users requesting and expecting access control to be in the cloud. He cites three significant trends with regards to the growing cloud market share in physical security: 1. Big Data: Now that more products are Internet-connected and spitting off data to the cloud, you can mine it for trends, mash it together with other data, and do predictive analytics, among other things. “What we are going to be doing with all that data is really exciting and changing the way the customer interacts with physical security,”says Odess. The security industry is being “disrupted” and influenced by the cloud 2. Social Spaces: With products Internet-connected and able to communicate via Bluetooth, the “things” in the Internet of Things have the ability to now respond and react in real time. For instance, you are invited to a meeting. Inside the meeting calendar request you receive a “token.” When you walk into the lobby of the building, your phone expresses your identity to the visitor management system and signs you in. It then sends a text message that you arrived, calls the elevator, orders you a coffee, turns the lights on and pays for your parking. “You will be signing on to the physical world just like you do virtually to Amazon, and the spaces will respond back with a curated experience delivering friction-free interactions,” says Odess. 3. Wearables: Whether company-issued or brought in by employees, wearables will be interacting with physical security and need to be part of the ecosystem. “You already see it happening with the Apple Watch,” he says. Systems integrators need focus, discipline and a continuous effort to make the services revenue stream work – but once they get there, the rewards will be a stronger company with more value for themselves and the end user.
Cloud-based services for video surveillance or hosted access control are garnering more attention in the physical security industry. Most people today are already using or are familiar with cloud-based applications in their day-to-day life, so it will only be a matter to time before the benefits of the cloud permeate security and business solutions. Dealers looking to embrace the cloud model for access control must re-think multiple aspects of how they are set up as an organisation, says Lee Odess, vice president of marketing, Brivo Systems. “If you are in the business of selling monthly services (such as access control in the cloud), you need billing for monthly services. How do you compensate your sales people? If you’re used to selling individual jobs, how is it different to take out the software costs and bill them monthly?” “Instead of just reintroducing the same old thing, the cloud is disrupting the status quo,” says Odess. “So you have to educate people what to do.” Many end users aren’t even aware that they are already using the cloud, for example with services like Gmail. “Awareness and adoption are increasing, but it is not as mainstream as what the rest of the access control market is doing,” says Odess. “We’re having to educate security on IT and IT on security, convergence of all the different worlds. Business owners in the security world have to understand the IT world.” Among other benefits, the cloud enables real-time system health monitoring to provide meaningful data about system status to the integrator to resolve issues cost-effectively and in a timely manner. Centrally controlled, distributed systems will use a single identity to provide access control data to systems across a wide area. Another benefit is the cost savings to an end user of not having a physical server. Maintaining a server on premises requires a temperature-controlled room and resources devoted to managing and monitoring system software updates, power consumption, hardware failure and hacker attacks. Using a SaaS/cloud-based approach to the management of an access control system can mitigate many headaches for an overall solution, says Jason Ouellette, product line director, access control, Tyco Security. Updates and upgrades can be run in the background, and staff support can be outsourced. New wearable devices that "know" the wearer’s identity should be able to make real-time decisions Another factor related to cloud-based access control is the increase of mobile adoption, which will transform the expectations of how access control systems function and what the features are, says Odess. Expectations of end users will challenge the use of cards. Instead, they will expect “social identities,” such as Facebook log-ins, to work with access control systems. In the cybersecurity world, the idea of single sign-in has already gained traction – witness how a Facebook identity can be used to log into a fantasy football league. “Our belief is that access control systems should be using a single sign-on for the physical world,” says Odess. “I will log in with my social log-in, and the access control system can say, based on the information, I will confirm that it’s you and let you into the facility. It’s not just about a given identity (a card or key fob). It’s more natural to express who we are through mobile devices, and places need to be smart enough to respond.” For example, use of Bluetooth Low Energy can communicate who a person is and automatically log them in and unlock a door. Then it could send notification to alert someone to greet the visitor. Odess sees a need to bring convenience to the security market. For example, new wearable devices (such as Google glass or Apple Watch) that “know” the wearer’s identity should be able to communicate with systems to make real-time decisions to let people in or out. Also, there are benefits beyond access control, such as using a social identity to turn on the lights or direct the content of digital signage. “The pace and impact of these changes shouldn’t be overlooked. “It’s something we as an industry can’t put our head in the sand about,” says Odess. “It’s happening.” Embracing the cloud is an important first step.
Recently at Google I/O in San Francisco, Brivo Labs, an Internet of Things company leading the emerging Social Access Management market, in conjunction with HotelTonight, unveiled frictionless hotel check-in and keyless entry. The partnership combines the convenience of searching, booking and payment of hotels on HotelTonight with Brivo Labs secured access control solutions. Google I/O is an annual developer conference featuring highly technical, in-depth sessions, and showcasing the latest from Google’s product teams and partners from June 25-26. The demo at Google I/O will showcase how the HotelTonight Android app utilises Brivo Labs’ SAM API and Google+ Sign-In to authenticate the identity of a guest and unlock a hotel room door. If the guest chooses to bypass the front desk, they can use the Keyless Entry feature and head right to their room. “Working with Brivo Labs was a natural fit for providing a streamlined, seamless and now keyless end-to-end experience for our customers,” said Sam MacDonnell, CTO at HotelTonight. “HotelTonight and Brivo Labs share a commitment to offering simple solutions to customers who are accustomed to instant accessibility through mobile applications that personalise and improve standard processes.” “Brivo Labs is extremely excited for the opportunity to partner with HotelTonight to showcase how our products can enhance the everyday lives of people in such a practical way,” said Lee Odess, Vice President of Marketing at Brivo Systems and General Manager of Brivo Labs. Launched by Brivo Labs in March 2014, the SAM API serves as a platform for developing contextual access control applications. Brivo Labs has also developed additional innovative applications that connect virtual communities with physical spaces and devices including Rändivoo, a visitor experience system, launching in July 2014. Odess went on to conclude, “We look forward to creating more forward-thinking technologies and partnerships in the year ahead to further extend social access management in the Internet of Things space, continuing to enhance how people interact with the physical world using their unique identity.”
Over the last 15 years, Brivo has seen tremendous growth, increasing its staff by 30% within last two years alone Brivo Systems, worldwide leader and innovator of cloud-based physical access control will celebrate its 15-year anniversary on May 29 at its Maryland headquarters, just outside of Washington, DC. Well known within the physical security industry for introducing simple, scalable cloud-based access control solutions, Brivo’s brand continues to innovate and evolve while maintaining its commitment to providing both convenience and forward-thinking technologies. “The main thing that is unique about Brivo is that it’s based as a cloud platform,” said John Szczygiel, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brivo Systems. “Brivo got started as a cloud company, so we were one of the first to build devices that are optimised to work over the Internet, in a cloud framework that can scale to millions of users.” Over the last 15 years, the company has seen tremendous growth, increasing its staff by 30% within these last two years alone. Brivo headquarters was originally located in Arlington, VA and has since operated from Bethesda, immersing the company within the competitive DC metro technology market and federal government. Originally incorporated as Mental Physics, Inc. in 1999, the company first aimed to solve the problem of “unattended delivery” within the logistics industry. The company’s first product was the “Smart Box”, a connected personal locker that enabled secure package delivery for consumers and businesses. Brivo’s web applications managed access relationships to the Smart Box by the owner, online merchants, carriers, and individual package deliveries. Amidst the Internet bubble and stock market decline in 2001, Brivo took the Smart Box core technology to the physical security market and introduced the concept of cloud-based access control. “Brivo managed to survive the dot.com era by pivoting into an established industry that had many of the same dynamics as the logistics problem we set out to solve,”said Steve Van Till, Brivo Systems president and chief executive officer. "This is an exciting time for Brivo. We have always been a thought leader in the security industry since its introduction of cloud-based access control" “We started out by managing access to a small box the size of a washing machine, and generalised that to manage large boxes like buildings and other public spaces. Cloud technology was unheard of in the physical security industry, so we essentially had the playing field to ourselves.” From dot-com era logistics solutions, to cloud-based physical access control, Brivo’s most recent milestone is placing a stake in the Social Access Management market. In July 2013, Brivo founded Brivo Labs, an innovation unit that focuses on connecting social identities to physical places—a concept called “social spaces.” “This is an exciting time for Brivo. We have always been a thought leader in the security industry since its introduction of cloud-based access control,” noted Lee Odess, vice president of marketing for Brivo Systems and general manager of Brivo Labs. “Now we are continuing to lead the industry by introducing contextual access control and the Internet of Things to the market.” Looking back on the past 15 years at Brivo, Van Till reflects on the company’s evolution. “People always ask if we could have foreseen the company ending up where we are today,” he said. “On the one hand, it was always our goal to optimise and simplify access management, and we’re still doing that part of our vision. On the other hand, I could never have predicted the path we took to get here, and that’s the fun of the journey.”
Brivo Labs announced its recognition by Gartner in the 2014 report Brivo Labs, an Internet of Things company leading the way in the emerging Social Access Management market today announced its recognition by Gartner in the 2014 report as one of the “Cool Vendors in Identity and Access Management.” Brivo Labs was one of only three companies to be recognised in Gartner’s report as a “Cool Vendor in Identity and Access Management.” Each year, Gartner identifies “Cool Vendors” in key areas of technology that prove to be the most innovative and publishes a series of research reports. According to Gartner, “Innovations in identity and access management (IAM) are being driven by contextual access control based on social identity, identity development kits that can be connected to the Internet of Things functionality, and identity intelligence derived from big data.” “Brivo Labs is incredibly honoured to be recognised by such a well-respected and notable organisation as Gartner. As we approach our one year anniversary of the launch of Brivo Labs, it means so much to us to be named as a ‘Cool Vendor’ and to look back at all we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time,” said Lee Odess, Vice President of Marketing for Brivo Systems and General Manager of Brivo Labs. When Brivo Labs first launched in the summer of 2013, they unveiled Rändivoo, a visitor management system and that utilises Saleforce.com to authenticate a visitor’s identity and provision them access to a secured space. Brivo Labs has since developed 5 additional innovative applications that connect virtual communities with physical spaces and devices. In December of 2013 Brivo Labs unveiled OKDoor, glassware that integrates with the SAM API platform to provide remote door access control with Google Glass. Brivo Labs intent with OKDoor was to highlight one of the many capabilities of their SAM API. OKDoor now serves as one of the first integrations that connect Google Glass to physical access management. Odess went on to conclude, “We look forward to creating more ‘cool’ technologies in the years ahead to further extend social access management in the IoT space.”