The logistics around where, when, and how people work have changed drastically — especially due to the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To triumph over constantly evolving health and safety regulations, landlords and property teams have had to navigate uncertain waters and ensure that buildings remain a safe workplace environment, as well as discover new and unique ways to retain and attract talent by focusing directly on the needs of their building occupants. A huge part of new-age building safety needs revolves around commercial access control systems, which not only reduce the number of physical surfaces tenants and employees need to touch on a daily basis, but also contribute to smart building trends by creating frictionless workplace experiences.
Why Are Commercial Access Control Systems Important?
Commercial access control systems (ACS) rely on a credential, credential list, reader, and processor to allow authorized personnel into a physical facility. A door or lock opens each time a user presents a credential that matches one on the approved list, allowing an ACS to enhance physical security without the need of direct human intervention.
In addition to preventing unauthorized personnel from entering restricted areas, an ACS can also monitor the entrance and exit of authorized people into those areas — which can contribute to modern-day capacity management needs for the office. Building access control systems may take a variety of forms, such as a plastic card, smartphone app, or even a fingerprint, although a key card entry system for business offices is currently the most popular method.
According to a 2019 survey by HID Global and Security Management, an estimated 54% of businesses have upgraded or will upgrade to mobile/door access control systems in the next three years — a number which has without a doubt drastically increased due to the sanitation and contact tracing needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, top security company Swiftlane notes the following about access control systems and their evolution alongside personal technology usage:
“Research firm IHS Markit has reported that mobile-based credentials are the fastest-growing access control product, up about 150% in growth rate between 2017 and 2018. It predicts that more than 120 million mobile credentials will be downloaded in 2023.
The use of mobile-based credentials is the organic evolution for the physical security and access control industry. 93% of the entire U.S. population uses a smartphone, most of which have their device on their person all the time. They are undeniably ubiquitous. Alternatively, key cards are inconvenient, clocking in as the second most forgotten item. Since most key cards are unencrypted proximity RFID cards that can be cloned easily, mobile credentials also offer a more secure solution. Convenient and more secure, we are seeing a strong shift towards mobile access control like various companies such as Swiftlane, Kisi, Proxy, Genea, Openpath, and many more.”
Now that we know what commercial access control systems are, let’s break down three things you need to know about how they can enhance your building portfolio strategy.
#1: Access Control System Considerations for Your Portfolio
There are many different types of access control systems, especially as the technology used to grant access to buildings evolves. IP door access control systems that use employee badges and smartphone apps have become increasingly popular during the pandemic. Since most of these door access control systems require a network to relay requests and responses between the controller and access points — which may consist of the facility’s existing WiFi, Bluetooth, or near-field communication (NFC) network, but it may also be a network that’s dedicated to the ACS — a successful access control system for business owners requires a network that is fully maintained at all times to prevent external interference.
Another important thing to note is your building’s existing tech stack and interoperability. Companies that offer commercial access control often bundle them with related services like video monitoring, making it important to consider how these systems work together. What will your end-user journey look like? Will it be seamless and efficient, or will building occupants have to switch between a variety of technologies and experiences to get from the front door to their desks? The security that an ACS provides must also be balanced against its convenience, which often involves using smartphone access control systems and other customer-centric technologies to alleviate pain points.
Finally, access control technology can also be leveraged to gather important building data throughout the day. The ability to activate your building features through motion sensors and credentials-based access can not only tell you who enters your building, but things like frequency, space engagement, and more.
#2: The Top 10 Access Control Systems Companies
Though there are many access control suppliers in the market, we hunkered down to identify the top 10 access control systems companies to look into for your office portfolio. In no particular order, they are as follows:
- Proxy Access Control: Proxy ID for iOS and Android holds your secure digital identity, which enables frictionless access to buildings, offices, and more. It has the power to shape responsive environments to your presence and preferences. (Proxy is a trusted HqOS™ Marketplace partner)
- Openpath Access Control: Automate security procedures and enforce compliance with Openpath’s touchless access control capabilities and best-in-class safety features, enhanced by strategic partnerships and integrations. (Openpath is a trusted HqOS™ Marketplace partner)
- Soloinsight Access Control: Soloinsight uses a mobile-first approach to create responsive environments deeply integrated into Physical and Logical Identity and Access Management systems. (Soloinsight is a trusted HqOS™ Marketplace partner)
- HID Access Control: For decades, HID has enabled millions of people to easily access offices, hospitals, classrooms, and more. From entry-level smart card technologies to modern solutions like HID Mobile Access, their mission is to help your organization find the best solution for its needs. (HID is a trusted HqOS™ Marketplace partner)
- Kisi Access Control: Kisi provides cloud-based access control that brings enterprise-grade security to any size of business.
- ISONAS Access Control: ISONAS is the first access control company to design and manufacture a cutting-edge, IP-to-the-door solution that eliminates needless complexity. The IP structure for access control provides quality, flexibility, and value for schools, hospitals, and organizations seeking to add physical access control.
- Vanderbilt Industries Access Control: Vanderbilt delivers a broad security product portfolio and outstanding customer support based on core values of agility, adaptability, and dependability
- ADT Access Control: ADT Commercial can help manage your organization’s risks with custom integrated solutions to help cover all your locations— inside and out. Their local teams will tailor your systems to meet the specific needs of each facility.
- Honeywell Access Control: Designed to work together seamlessly, Honeywell provides you with the technology you need to deliver sophisticated security solutions—from the simplest to the most challenging.
- Bosch Access Control: Bosch solutions offer you a scalable system for any project. Their portfolio includes all access control components from different software options and controllers to a wide range of readers and credentials.
Want to learn more about some of the companies on this list? You’re in luck! Discover exclusive insights and more about these access control systems manufacturers in HqO’s growing Marketplace of technology partners.
#3: How to Find the Best Access Control System
As you embark on your journey to find the best access control system, how can you trust the quality of the partners you find while ensuring that they can work alongside your existing systems within your building? The solution resides in HqO’s marketplace of pre-vetted systems and amenity providers. By leveraging the HqOS™ Marketplace to procure new partners, commercial office owners can shop for technologies they know will be interoperable with the overall platform, and whose business relationships and deal structures are already in place. Additionally, they can even take advantage of our partner profiles to access product demos, images, and more for their specific needs — such as door access control systems reviews — helping them determine if certain partners are a good fit for their business.
We empower CRE leaders to quickly identify partners of interest, while our team of experts helps consult across tech stack implementation and interoperability; third party assessment, procurement, and management; evolving compliance frameworks; data capture and transparency; and building access and facility management systems. Not only can our product improve upon workplace environments and make them more desirable for building occupants, but it can also resolve the issue of fragmentation while quickly addressing changing needs in an ever-complex technology landscape.