Articles by Russell Wagstaff
The 2020s will be a wireless decade in access control, says Russell Wagstaff from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. He examines the trends data, and looks beyond mobile keys to brand new security roles for the smartphone. The benefits of wire-free electronic access control are well rehearsed. They are also more relevant than ever. A wireless solution gives facility managers deeper, more flexible control over who should have access, where and when, because installing, operating and integrating them is easier and less expensive than wiring more doors. Battery powered locks Many procurement teams are now aware of these cost advantages, but perhaps not their scale. Research for an ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions (AAOS) benchmarking exercise found installation stage to be the largest contributor to cost reduction. Comparing a typical installation of battery-powered Aperio locks versus wired locks at the same scale, the research projected an 80% saving in installers’ labour costs for customers who go cable-free. Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks Operating costs are also lower for wireless: Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks, which normally work via magnets connected permanently to electricity. Wireless locks only ‘wake up’ when presented with a credential for which they must make an access decision. AAOS estimated a 70% saving in energy use over a comparable lock’s lifetime. Find out more about wireless access control at ASSA ABLOY's upcoming 29th June webinar Deploying wireless locks In short, every time a business chooses a wireless lock rather than a wired door, they benefit from both installation and operating cost savings. A recent report from IFSEC Global, AAOS and Omdia reveals the extent to which the advantages of wireless are cutting through. Responses to a large survey of security professionals — end-users, installers, integrators and consultants serving large corporations and small- to medium-sized organisations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors — suggest almost four locations in ten (38%) have now deployed wireless locks as a part or the whole of their access solution. The corresponding data point from AAOS’s 2014 Report was 23%. Electronic access control Electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling Without doubt, electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling: Even after a year when many investments have been deferred or curtailed, the data reveals fast-growing adoption of wireless locks, technologies and systems. Is mobile access control — based on digital credentials or ‘virtual keys’ stored on a smartphone — an ideal security technology for this wire-free future? In fact, the same report finds mobile access is growing fast right now. Among those surveyed, 26% of end-users already offer mobile compatibility; 39% plan to roll out mobile access within two years. Before the mid-2020s, around two-thirds of access systems will employ the smartphone in some way. The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights Driving rapid adoption What is driving such rapid adoption? The convenience benefits for everyday users are obvious — witness the mobile boom in banking and payments, travel or event ticketing, transport, food delivery and countless more areas of modern life. Access control is a natural fit. If you have your phone, you are already carrying your keys: What could be easier? IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022 Less often discussed are the ways mobile management makes life easier for facility and security managers, too. Among those polled for the new Wireless Access Control Report, almost half (47%) agreed that ‘Mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time.’ IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022. Workers in every impacted sector require solutions which can get the job done from anywhere: Access management via smartphone offers this. Site management device The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights. For example, one new reporting and analytics tool for CLIQ key-based access control systems uses an app to collect, visualise and evaluate access data. Security system data could contribute to business success. The app’s clear, visual layout helps managers to instantly spot relevant trends, anomalies or patterns. It’s simple to export, to share insights across the business. Reinvented for learning — not just as a ‘key’ or site management device — the phone will help businesses make smarter, data-informed decisions. The smartphone will also play a major role in security — and everything else — for an exciting new generation of smart buildings. These buildings will derive their intelligence from interoperability. Over 90% of the report’s survey respondents highlighted the importance of integration across building functions including access control, CCTV, alarm and visitor management systems. Genuinely seamless integration They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term Yet in practice, stumbling blocks remain on the road to deeper, genuinely seamless integration. More than a quarter of those polled felt held back by a lack of solutions developed to open standards. ‘Open standards are key for the momentum behind the shift towards system integration,’ notes the Report. As well as being more flexible, open solutions are better futureproofed. Shared standards ensure investments can be made today with confidence that hardware and firmware may be built on seamlessly in the future. They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term. Open solutions and mobile management are critical to achieving the goals which end-users in every vertical are chasing: scalability, flexibility, sustainability, cost-efficiency and convenience.
The 2020s will be a wireless decade. From headphones to hoovers, consumers reap the benefits when they cut the cables and adopt a wire-free technology. In electronic access control, those benefits include improved cost-efficiency and flexibility, giving facility managers greater control over who should have access, where and when. A new report - from IFSEC Global, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions and analysts Omdia - reveals fresh market data generated by a survey conducted at the end of 2020. Respondents were 400 security professionals, across Europe and farther afield, including end-users, installers, integrators and consultants serving large corporations and small- to medium-sized organisations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors. Wireless access control “Anyone involved in procuring or selling access control, from OEMs and integrators to installers and end-users, will draw great value from the new data and analysis within this market report,” says Russell Wagstaff, Platform Director at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. “Alongside insights on where the market for wireless access control stands today, the Wireless Access Control Report 2021 plots a roadmap for where we’re heading next.” This new report is completely free to download on the company’s official website. Electronic access control is increasingly a wireless technology. Even after a year when long-term investments have been deferred or curtailed, the Report finds increased adoption of wireless locks and access systems. Data from the report’s specially commissioned survey suggests over a third (37%) of end-users deploy wireless locks as a part or all of their access control solution. Electronic access system The report also examines drivers for the market’s rapid adoption of mobile access technologies The corresponding data point from ASSA ABLOY’s 2014 Report was 23%. The report also examines drivers for the market’s rapid adoption of mobile access technologies. Survey data suggests convenience is king - for both system users and facility managers. “Nearly half (47%) agreed that mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time,” notes the Report. Over 90% of survey respondents reaffirmed the critical role of access control for integration across building management functions. Half or more would prioritise electronic access system integration with CCTV, alarm and visitor management systems, according to Report data. In practice, however, further integration of systems is still on the “to-do” list for many organisations. Access control ecosystem The Report explores why - and highlights the key factors holding businesses back from deeper and smarter integration of building functions. “Right across the access control ecosystem in 2021, scalability, flexibility, cost-efficiency and convenience are major factors,” adds Russell Wagstaff.
Figures from the 2018 edition of ‘The Wireless Access Control Report’ show continued strong growth for wireless vs. wired solutions. Why do you think security and facility managers are “cutting the wires” more and more? Advantages of wireless access control The energy-efficiency of wireless doors delivers significant cost savings" Russell Wagstaff, Director for Commercial Access Solutions, ASSA ABLOY EMEA says, “Among the many advantages of wireless discussed in the report, I would highlight two. Firstly, removing the need to cable every door makes it much easier and more economical to bring many more doors into your access system. So, wireless technology can upgrade your building’s security in an instant. Secondly, the energy-efficiency of wireless doors delivers significant cost savings. The standard batteries’ locks usually have long lives, and only fully ‘power up’ when there’s a credential to read. Wired doors are generally connected to the mains 24/7.” The new report forecasts growth in wireless locks for “non-door” applications (lockers, servers, and so on) to outgrow those for doors. Why is wireless technology especially suited to these “non-doors”? Russell said, “Partly it’s about convenience. The more applications that can be secured and unlocked with a single credential, the better for site users. Facility managers benefit from the wider scope of their access system, which gives them more control. In addition, because these ‘non-door’ devices are wireless, access control can easily extend outdoors. Padlocks for gates, machinery locks, storage lockers. With the right lock, these can all be secured within the same access control system as your front door.” Wireless and real-time access control for SMBs What specific problem did SMARTair solve at ULab? Enrique Burgos, Director at uLab: “In addition to regular daily traffic [of around 100 staff], weekly traffic can almost multiply by ten if an event is held. We needed an access control system as flexible and convenient as SMARTair.” One of Spain’s newest co-working spaces, uLab’s vision incorporated the latest in security, accessibility and design to create a 21st-century business centre. Wire-free SMARTair delivered real-time access control to accommodate both regular daily traffic and busy one-off events. Wireless access control in large and complex businesses With CLIQ key-based access control, audit trails for every lock, key and padlock are available on demand, so monitoring contractor visits is easy How does the flexible access management, offered by CLIQ, impact day-to-day security? Christophe Nublat, Head of Study & Works Division, Eau de Valence, France: “All the energy is in the key. There is no power supply to the lock, and therefore very little maintenance. Also, electronic and mechanical cylinders are managed by the same key.” The municipal water authority of Valence supplies safe drinking water to 65,000 local residents. It also manages 4 boreholes, a storage unit and 300km of water pipes. With CLIQ key-based access control, audit trails for every lock, key and padlock are available on demand, so monitoring contractor visits is easy. Weekly mandatory key revalidation provides another layer of security. Five of their keys are equipped with CLIQ Remote technology, so supervisors can also update access rights on the move, via Bluetooth. Aperio wireless locks-Axis door controller integration The new report picks out ‘integration’ as a growing trend — with an overwhelming majority of survey respondents saying integrated systems are ‘important’ or ‘very important’ at a site. How does integration with ASSA ABLOY Aperio wireless locks benefit AXIS Entry Manager customers? Stephanie Hensler, Business Development Director at Axis Communications: “Axis completed integration of the Aperio RS485 hub with our AXIS A1001 Door Controller. AXIS Entry Manager is our web-based access control system, built into the A1001 Door Controller. Because most users value real-time access, we chose to integrate with an Aperio online hub. Users appreciate how intuitive it is to manage this integrated solution.” Wireless access control is cost effective Aperio battery-powered escutcheons and cylinders with card readers are now fully integrated with Pacom’s Unison system Can switching to Aperio wireless access control deliver concrete budget benefits? Magnus Svensson, Infrastructure Manager at Lund University: “Aperio has proven to be very cost effective. We have been able to reduce the time we spend on user management and system administration radically.” After 20 years, Lund University’s Faculty of Law was looking to upgrade its access control system. Aperio battery-powered escutcheons and cylinders with card readers are now fully integrated with Pacom’s Unison system. Aperio locks work with the existing MIFARE smartcards, so there was no need for 42,000 students and 7,500 staff to return their smart-cards for reprogramming, or even to visit update readers to reactivate their permissions. Every door or card is still managed centrally from a single admin interface.
Aperio® wireless access control has been supercharged with the new Aperio® V3 platform. Now, ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio® wireless locks react in a heartbeat to user credentials or administrator commands – and the upgrade is about more than just speed. With V3, Aperio® Online integration also supports multiple features that boost OEM system flexibility, and enhances user-friendliness for both integrators and end-users. Privacy Mode/Escape & Return In Privacy Mode, an authorised room occupant can lock a room from inside – in effect, changing the room’s access rights in real time. Applications include situations where privacy is paramount, such as confidential meetings in an office or school environment. Privacy mode also enables users to lock themselves in securely, in the event of an on-site emergency. Escape & Return functionality ensures a site meets regulatory compliance for access to rooms with fire and emergency exits. When Escape & Return is activated – indefinitely or for a time-limited period – users who exit a room without their credential will be permitted to re-enter. Escape & Return provides workers with a safer environment and ensures access control is compliant with emergency safety legislation. Always on/Remote Unlock “Aperio® – Always on” functionality allows Aperio® online doors to continue operating securely, using cached credentials and permissions, if communication with the EAC system is lost. In effect, it offers a hybrid online/offline solution, minimizing user disruption. Aperio® V3 also enables a range of functions to put facility managers in even closer control of their premises. With Remote Unlock, wireless doors can be unlocked by a system administrator without any need for user actions at the door. Remote Door Status Monitoring allows security managers to instantly verify the status of an Aperio®-protected door, open or closed, and to tell whether it has been tampered with. Ensuring we meet customer demand for new features and functionality is a core part of our Aperio® strategy" “Ensuring we meet customer demand for new features and functionality is a core part of our Aperio® strategy,” says Russell Wagstaff, Business Development Director at ASSA ABLOY EMEA. “This latest upgrade means site users waste a lot less time hanging around at the door. The new V3 generation also ensures integration with third-party systems is faster and more flexible than ever before.” RFID smart card support The Aperio® V3 platform supports all major high-frequency RFID smart-card ecosystems, including iCLASS® and MIFARE technologies, as well as the Seos™ mobile-access ecosystem. All these key features are enabled by communications hubs which link Aperio® wireless locks to the central access control system via 1-to-1 (Wiegand), 1-to-8 RS485 or 1-to-16 IP connections – making it easier and more affordable to bring wireless access control to even more doors in a building. For more information, please visit: www.assaabloy.co.uk/aperiowirelesslocks
Russell Wagstaff, Stephanie Hensler discuss enhancements of AXIS Entry Manager installation Russell Wagstaff from ASSA ABLOY and Stephanie Hensler from Axis discuss the major facility management enhancements that Aperio wireless locks bring to an AXIS Entry Manager installation. Q (Axis): Why did you choose to partner with ASSA ABLOY to bring their wireless components into an Axis system?We felt it was important to partner with a well-known brand that offers a global wireless solution. ASSA ABLOY is a leader in access control, especially with their Aperio wireless locks. ASSA ABLOY was the best partner to integrate with our own access control products. Q (ASSA ABLOY): What are the key advantages of Aperio wireless locks for facility managers?Aperio allows you to bring access control to many more doors at a facility without breaking the bank. Because Aperio is built on open architecture, our seamless online integration with AXIS Entry Manager manages the complete installation from a single, easy-to-use interface which controls both the hard-wired doors and the Aperio battery-powered locks. Q (Axis): What components have been integrated, and how do they interoperate?Axis completed integration of the Aperio RS485 hub with our AXIS A1001 Door Controller. AXIS Entry Manager is our web-based access control system, built into the A1001 Door Controller. AXIS Entry Manager is an easy to use application, enabling real-time activities and events. One AXIS A1001 Network Door Controller can manage one wired door plus one Aperio hub, which manages up to 8 Aperio locks within a typical range of up to 25 metres — making a total of 9 doors per controller. Q: (Axis): Why did Axis opt for online rather than offline integration of the new wireless components?Axis evaluated both options before deciding. Because most users value real-time access, we chose to integrate with the Aperio RS485 online hub. Q (Axis): Will customers need to install many more controllers to connect these new locks to the system? With one AXIS A1001 Door Controller supporting up to 9 doors, this is one of the easiest installations on the market That’s the beauty of this solution: the installation is very easy and quick. The controllers can be installed near the Aperio RS485 hub and wireless locks and a hard-wired door. The AXIS A1001 Door Controller uses Power over Ethernet (PoE), and does not require additional wiring for power cables, or complicated installation. With one AXIS A1001 Door Controller supporting up to 9 doors, this is one of the easiest installations on the market. Q (ASSA ABLOY): Why should existing Axis customers add Aperio locks, rather than just expand the number of wired doors in their installation?Principally, because Aperio saves your company money, without compromising the security of staff and assets. Aperio locks bring monitored access and detailed audit trails to far more doors in a facility than would ever be affordable with standard wired access control. Aperio locks are wireless, so there’s no need for expensive or time-consuming cabling at the door. If needs change at a facility - perhaps a new building comes onstream - it’s quick, efficient and easy for an installer to fit Aperio locks and connect them to an AXIS A1001 Door Controller. That flexibility is critical for managing a modern facility. Q (ASSA ABLOY): OK, but why battery-powered Aperio locks, rather than the convenience of wired access control?Installation is much cheaper, of course, because Aperio locks are wireless, so there’s no cabling or invasive building work needed. They are also very energy-efficient. They run on standard lithium-ion batteries, and only “wake up” when prompted by a smart card or other user credential. They are not connected to the mains, and use no power when inactive. Maintenance could hardly be simpler - an Aperio lock needs a battery replacement every two years, nothing more. Taking the full life-cycle into account, installing Aperio could save thousands in operating costs over wired access control. In short, Aperio saves energy, and saves you money. Q (ASSA ABLOY): What kinds of openings can Aperio components secure?Aperio locks are compatible with Euro, French, Finnish, Scandinavian and Swiss door profiles, for exterior and interior doors, and for security doors. There are even Aperio locks for server racks, which companies can use onsite or in a co-located data centre, if needed. Q (Axis): Is extensive training required for system administrators to be able to manage all types of door connected to Axis Entry Manager?AXIS Entry Manager is a web-based access control system and very easy to use. Aperio wireless doors connected to an AXIS A1001 Door Controller are just as easy to manage as hard-wired doors. Both the Axis and ASSA ABLOY products are easy to set up and manage. Users are going to appreciate how intuitive it is to manage this integrated solution. Users experience no disruption to their routines, while facility managers have more visibility and more control over their premises. It’s a win–win situation Q (ASSA ABLOY): What about site users - staff, contractors, visitors? Will they notice much difference?The newly integrated locks run the latest Aperio V3 technology, ensuring remote unlocking commands pass from system to an Aperio equipped door almost instantly. So, nobody will be hanging around at a door waiting! Users open both wired doors and Aperio wireless controlled doors with the same card, employing standard RFID technologies like iCLASS, MIFARE, DESFire, HID Prox/EM410 and Seos. Users experience no disruption to their routines, while facility managers have more visibility and more control over their premises. It’s a win–win situation.