As building security becomes smarter, the need for electronic access control systems spreads further. Wired access points and security doors have long been the backbone. Yet at the same time, even buildings with extensive electronic systems leave mechanically locked doors unmonitored and unguarded — and certainly not ‘smart’. Mechanical locks cannot be connected. Thankfully, the latest generation of wireless locks can replace them easily and integrate them seamlessly within almost any access system. A recent industry survey — cited in the ‘Wireless Access Control Report 2018’, from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — finds integration is an increasing concern. Over 90% of industry professionals polled for the report suggest integrating security systems with each other (and with other smart building systems) has increased in importance in the last few years. Focus on integration Fewer security interfaces are easier to support and so require less training Integration is a recurring theme in conversations among professionals. For 53% of survey respondents, easy integration with CCTV, alarms, time and attendance, lighting and HVAC would make them interested in upgrading to a particular product — more than any other factor. Forty-three percent said easier integration with existing access control systems would make them more likely to upgrade. But why the focus on integration? What are the advantages? Fewer security interfaces are easier to support and so require less training. Integration can also enhance the experience of building occupants. One credential opens the car park, then the building, and accesses their laptop and buys lunch in the café. Smart access cards Integration across the business also means security systems — and security teams — contribute to business efficiency, not just the protection of people, premises and other assets. Integrate HR systems with your access control system, for instance, and smart access cards can be automatically revoked when people leave the organisation, reducing overheads and even headcount. A majority of those polled for the ‘Wireless Access Control Report 2018’ believe it very important (58%) that access control supports open standards in order to be flexible and future-proofed. A huge majority (91%) consider it at least somewhat important. Future-proofing is high on any list of procurement criteria. Will your system accommodate a changing business and the evolution of functions within it? Can you extend access control with components that contribute to, rather than detract from, the flexibility of all your building systems? Integrated RFID-readers The ease and cost-efficient integration wireless offers is surely driving this growth Expanding the coverage of traditional locks can be expensive and intrusive. But one fast, easy and cost-effective alternative enables you to forget about keys and the hassles of key management: wireless devices like Aperio, battery-powered locks with integrated RFID-readers. The aforementioned report cites growth forecasts for the wireless access control market of around 8% annually through 2025. The ease and cost-efficient integration wireless offers is surely driving this growth. Because Aperio has an open architecture, it is flexible and modular, so those who already have wired access control and want to add more doors to their existing system find wireless is the solution. Aperio wireless locks integrate with security systems from over 100 different OEMs worldwide, for new installations or to upgrade an existing system. Electronic access control Integration is seamless, extending the reach of an existing system with future-proofed devices. Security administrators operate the new Aperio-equipped doors from the same interface as the installed system. Site users carry a single smart access card for all doors, and other functions like canteen payments or library loans are just as easy to integrate. What if your security system uses mechanical keys, without electronic access control? Wireless locks like Aperio can also be the right solution. Battery-powered Aperio RFID-equipped cylinders, escutcheons, handles and locks can be fitted as a new access control system, or extend an existing installation by linking new doors to the same system wirelessly. There’s no need for staff to swap their key-cards, nor for anyone to carry more than one credential. Invasive building work Installing wireless locks is also more cost-effective than hard-wiring more doors, because there’s no cabling or invasive building work around the door Aperio locks work within almost every major access control ecosystem on the planet, from over 100 different manufacturers. They are energy-efficient, with batteries lasting an average of 40,000 cycles (typically 2 years) before they need replacing. “It’s easy to start the upgrade process,” says Matthias Weiß, Aperio Product Manager at ASSA ABLOY EMEA. “Your security or facilities manager only needs to contact their regular access control provider to find out if they offer Aperio. We can upgrade nearly any system.” Installing wireless locks is also more cost-effective than hard-wiring more doors, because there’s no cabling or invasive building work around the door. Changing door hardware is unnecessary. For example, it’s fast and easy to switch a mechanical handle for an Aperio wireless handle with integrated RFID reader, to bring more doors into an access system. Common door profiles Aperio devices with built-in RFID readers fit almost any opening or security level. Aperio locks protect both exterior and interior doors, from fire and escape route doors to meeting rooms, labs and offices; wooden, glass or aluminium doors are no obstacle. The portfolio includes cylinders, escutcheons and complete locks for security doors, plus a revolutionary new wireless handle with integrated RFID reader, which recently won Intersec’s Access Control Product of the Year. Aperio locks are compatible with all common door profiles: Euro, French, Finnish, Scandinavian and Swiss. Integration with your existing system can be Online or Offline, or both.
As solutions proliferate in the access control market, interoperability has never been a more pressing topic. A recent industry report finds: "91% (of professional respondents to a survey) agree integrating security systems with each other and with other building technology has become noticeably more important in the last five years." Agreed standards are one powerful integration tool. Among the most important lock standards is the OSS Standard Offline (OSS–SO) from the Open Security Standards Association. Each lock manufacturer has its own approach to writing and reading cards, but customers installing offline locks from brands that subscribe to the OSS–SO are guaranteed interoperability. With the OSS–SO, offline locks from different manufacturers read the same access rights from a card and interpret them in the same way. We spoke to a round-table of manufacturers and integrators about the standard’s importance and its future. What are the benefits of open standards for manufacturers and end-users of access control technology? Open platform development dramatically cuts a customer’s dependence on a single supplier Frederik Hamburg: Customers see huge benefits of an open standard like the OSS Standard Offline. Open platform development dramatically cuts a customer’s dependence on a single supplier, leaving them free to choose the best device for the job. Open standards offer more frequent opportunities to tender projects, because you are freed from compatibility concerns. Ultimately, that can be a significant cost advantage. There’s plenty of evidence too, that open standards are generally more secure than proprietary solutions. For manufacturers, membership of the OSS gives them a seat at the table when it comes to designing the standard’s specification. All participating manufacturers are able to optimise development costs and by adhering to pre-agreed standards, time-to-market for new devices is reduced. Why did you choose to get involved in driving the OSS Standard Offline forward? Mattias Weiss: We were formerly using the SOAA standard, but decided together with Nedap, Primion, dorma+Kaba Group, Deister, ACS and others to find the OSS Association and use our combined industry leadership position to drive open standards like the OSS Standard Offline. We are already working with colleagues to take industry open standards beyond offline components, and into more areas of this exciting, fast-growing market. Which ASSA ABLOY solutions are compatible with the new standard? Mattias: The OSS Standard Offline was implemented into the Aperio firmware platform. This way, we ensure all battery-powered Aperio access control products, including cylinders, escutcheons and handles support this functionality across the EMEA region now and in the future. What do you consider the major benefits of the new standard for facility and security managers? Ending reliance on a single proprietary solution makes installed access control more flexible Mattias: Interoperability is critically important for any end-user investing in new or upgraded access control. They need to plan for eventualities they may not even see yet and open standards allow them to do that. Ending reliance on a single proprietary solution makes installed access control more flexible. You can add a new building, for example, and bring its access control into the existing system seamlessly. Customers increasingly understand these advantages. In 'The Wireless Access Control Report 2018', a majority of security professionals polled say it is 'very important' (58%) that access control support open standards like the OSS Standard Offline in order to be flexible and future-proofed. A huge majority (91%) said it was at least 'somewhat important'. The future is open. Which Nedap OSS Standard Offline solutions are currently available? Ruben Brinkman: The AEOS platform adheres to all the latest OSS–SO standards, meaning all current (and future) offline locks and updaters that also adhere to these standards seamlessly communicate with the Nedap system. That’s the beauty of it. Organizations secured by AEOS are therefore very flexible in choosing their offline lock solutions. Thinking about your major new installation at Hospital Maria Middelares, in Belgium, what benefits did choosing OSS–SO devices bring to the project? Nedap’s security platform AEOS allows for seamless integration with other OSS–SO solutions such as Aperio wireless access control Ruben: Within the premises of the new AZ Maria Middelares Hospital, 700 doors were equipped with battery-powered offline Aperio locks and connected to the Nedap access control system. As one of the founders of the OSS Association, Nedap’s security platform AEOS allows for seamless integration with other OSS–SO solutions such as Aperio wireless access control. The joint solution between ASSA ABLOY and Nedap has not only secured Maria Middelares, but the scalability and cost-effectiveness of it have also made the hospital future-proof and ready to grow. From an integration point of view, how does your business and your customers benefit from adopting the OSS Standard Offline? Ray Phillips: As the manufacturer of an access control system that incorporates both software and hardware elements, we find an increasing amount of our development resource is consumed by adding to and updating third-party integrations. The business benefit to us is clear: OSS Standard Offline has meant our dev team can concentrate on enhancing our solution, instead of playing catch-up with third-party APIs that only benefit a small number of customers. The business benefit to our customers is that we can offer increased choice and the protection of a non-proprietary, open standards-based solution. When new compatible locking products become available, there should be little or no work for us to do, save for some validation testing and documentation. What integration plans do you have for devices that meet the new standard? Ray: None! This is the main attraction of open standards. When new compatible locking products become available, there should be little or no work for us to do, save for some validation testing and documentation. One example is the recently launched H100 Aperio wireless door handle from ASSA ABLOY. The entire development lifecycle of this product happened post-OSS but, because the firmware complies with the open standard, our systems support it already.
Nedap Security Management has a strong focus on sustainable partnerships with leading players in the field of security. One of these partners is ASSA ABLOY, a provider of door opening solutions. Matthias Weiss, EMEA Product Manager Aperio at ASSA ABLOY and Jeroen Harmsen, Product Manager at Nedap Security Management, discuss recent developments and explain why their companies are a great match. “Our company has a long history of supporting successful integrations by working closely with leading players from the global security industry”, says Weiss. “Nedap is a good example. Just like we do, they support both open system integrations that use common standards and bespoke solutions.” Nedap and ASSA ABLOY share the view that an access control system is a long-term investment and must therefore be future-proof. Jeroen Harmsen comments, “As risks and risk levels change and new security requirements are introduced, it is of the utmost importance that business continuity is never put at risk. Nedap’s AEOS platform is especially designed to make sure that companies are always able to respond to changing circumstances.” Weiss says, “We recently pre-launched the Aperio H100, a handle that has a robust and contemporary design for indoor application such as office doors, doors of meeting and storage rooms, et cetera. The wireless Aperio H100 can be seamlessly integrated into third party access control systems. With Nedap’s AEOS, doors can easily be monitored and access rights adapted. It’s a great match with our new door opening solution.” Harmsen adds, “We’re very proud of the fact that we are one of the first security management systems that have integrated ASSA ABLOY’S new product.” Weiss underlines ASSA ABLOY’s ambition to keep on delivering scalable integration options that provide ease of use and convenience for customers. “Where possible, we will continue to work closely with Nedap’s professionals. They truly have the same focus on innovation and excellence.”
The new standard is designed to give confidence to customers faced with a diverse market for electronic access control products The Open Security Standards Association (OSS) recently announced the launch of its new offline access control standard. The OSS, established by ASSA ABLOY and other industry leaders, is a forum working towards new open standards in electronic access control. Its new interoperability standard for “Data on card” offline access control systems will be known as the OSS Standard Offline. Standard acts as a mark of product safety The new standard is designed to give confidence to customers faced with a rapidly developing and diverse market for electronic access control products. Standards also act as a mark of product safety and can boost industry R&D efforts. Offline locks are not connected by a cable to an access control system, but work autonomously. Access rights are read from a compatible smartcard written by the system, which instructs an opening to lock or unlock accordingly. For offline access control each manufacturer has its own approach to writing and reading smartcards, but customers installing components that meet the OSS Standard Offline are guaranteed interoperability. All locks that conform to the OSS Standard Offline—including ASSA ABLOY’s battery-powered Aperio® Offline cylinders and escutcheons—read the same access rights from a card and interpret them in the same way. Customers are free to choose the best OSS-compliant offline lock on the market for the job. Founded by a combined industry leaders “We were formerly using the SOAA standard, but decided together with Nedap, primion, dorma+Kaba Group, Deister, ACS and other leaders to found the OSS Association and use our combined industry leadership position to drive open standards such as the OSS Standard Offline,” says Matthias Weiß, Aperio® Product Manager at ASSA ABLOY EMEA. “We are also looking forward to working with colleagues in the OSS Association to take industry open standards beyond offline components, and into more areas of this exciting, fast-growing market,” adds Matthias Weiß.