Training and education are essential elements of success in the access control market for integrators and end users alike.
Whether one is a seasoned veteran or still new to the industry, continued training and education are critical given that access control technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace. System integrators who do not take advantage of manufacturers’ training seminars are short-changing themselves and their customers, contends Robert Laughlin, president of Galaxy Control Systems. Those who participate in access control training programs and are certified installing dealers can set themselves apart by being more knowledgeable. From a return-on-investment perspective, successful completion of a training program can heighten an employee’s confidence in their ability to solve a customer problem and enable him or her to be more proficient in installing an access control system with fewer costly mistakes, Laughlin adds.
It’s a challenge for integrators to keep up with changing technologies, agrees Greg Love, vice president of sales, AMAG. Among the obstacles is a need for training on IT standards and an understanding of network administration. “Our industry doesn’t seem to roll out new technologies as quickly as the video market,” comments Love.
Rapidly changing technologies include biometrics, video analytics, wireless communications, locking systems, encryption options, NFC and Bluetooth LE. All of them need to be supported by access control.
Integrators and end users should partner with a vendor who will readily provide support and education on access control trends and technologies
“Understanding the benefits of the various offerings in each of these categories alone requires significant time and effort,” says Richard Goldsobel, vice president, Continental Access. Not to mention the need to convey the information to integrators and, especially, to end users. Goldsobel sees greater use over the last several years of video clips (available from both corporate websites and social media) as a mechanism to present information to help end users see and understand existing and new technologies.
Understanding the intricacies of networks and newer IP-enabled access control devices can be overwhelming to end users moving to IP access control, says Jimmy Palatsoukas, senior product marketing manager, Genetec. However, newer technologies can help, as devices are becoming more intelligent, automatically connecting to the network with little or no manual intervention. Devices can now automatically obtain an IP address, and advanced IP access control software can automatically detect the devices on the network. For the integrator, these advancements in IP access control systems simplify the installation and maintenance.
To help in keeping up to date with these advancements, integrators and end users should partner with a vendor who will readily provide support and education on access control trends and technologies. Maintaining current access control knowledge will also help ensure end users are able to maximize their IP access control investments, now and in the future, says Palatsoukas.