Johnathon Dale, Digital Access Solutions (DAS) Academy Manager at Abloy UK, explains why specifiers and installers need to embrace the future of digital access control technologies to achieve innovative, integrated and future-proof locking solutions.
The dynamics of the access control market are changing, with digital wireless technologies more popular than ever before. Research shows they are becoming the new norm, with 85% of organisations already operating an electronic access control system, and 39% featuring wireless access.
The shift towards remote and flexible working has created the need for more agile access control, and an easy way to manage access permissions with instant delivery, increased security, and sustainability.
The demand for technologies such as contactless building entry systems and solutions that offer mobile credentials has never been higher too, with many security managers upgrading to systems that can quickly and easily be adapted as the building or end user’s needs change, offering greater flexibility.
There is still great demand for mechanical products, but these should not be solely relied upon – to develop and future-proof business, new technologies need to be embraced.
As digital devices have evolved and become more commonplace, trust in them has grown, and specifiers and installers can now be confident that wireless hardware and cloud-based software is not only simple to install, but also totally reliable for the end-user.
Cost-effective, aesthetic deployment of these solutions can also return a speedy ROI. However, it’s important that installers have confidence in delivering these scalable and flexible locking solutions, and are aware of the benefits, so they can communicate them effectively to their customers.
So why would a business opt for a digital system over traditional mechanical lock?
Electronic key solutions that feature web-based management can be integrated with existing telemetry systems to help control and manage operations. This can offer a high level of both physical and data protection – but only if accredited software and infrastructure providers are used, as is the case with Abloy devices.
For example, some systems include an electronic key system where all the power is retained by the key or locks themselves. This means no wiring is required, whether the system uses door cylinders, cabinet locks or padlocks.
Users have secure access to an online management application from anywhere in the world and can change key access permissions, profiles, schedules and validity, even revoking their use remotely at the click of a button. Keys can be validated daily, weekly or monthly keeping them continuously secure, and users are required to change their password regularly.
This enables an organisation to comprehensively track and audit who has access to which locations, when they had access and how often. Access can be granted only at the exact moment it is required, mitigating the risk associated with lost or stolen keys.
Offline solutions are a recent addition to the market, offering a high security solution that can be run in a smaller application, that is easier to install and easier to manage.
These systems allow almost any opening to be secured using a choice of autonomous electronic locks with offline devices, or in real time with online devices.
Building users are issued with credentials of their choice, to access authorised areas via smartphone, smart-key or smart-card, with management of the system via a singular platform.
Installation of these solutions is easy, with no complex integrations required, offering a simple and cost-efficient way to add access control to a building.
Areas within a building may have different security requirements. Where entrance doors or critical areas need real-time monitoring including alerts, some other areas in the building might have lower demands for physical security.
Here, autonomous devices can be installed faster and more cost-efficiently, with no need for network cables or wireless hubs. Autonomous devices may be offline yet still offer high functionality.
Solutions such as Incedo from Abloy give the option to combine online and autonomous management. For example, controlling access in real time, with online management of secure areas including entrances, labs, server rooms and more.
Adding autonomous devices enables the business to control access to areas that previously have been uneconomical due to location, environment, or cost.
To educate the industry on these types of systems, Abloy has developed the Digital Access Solutions Academy, a purpose-built facility to showcase, work with, install and test the company’s extensive range of products, with particular focus on new digital solutions and ecosystems.
The courses provided at the Academy provide delegates with the knowledge and practical skills to ensure they specify and install the right digital access products in suitable applications, with hands-on experience.
Training is available on our Incedo and Aperio solutions to offer a secure, flexible and convenient way to control the movement of people in a building, and our hands-on courses offer a comprehensive overview of how to effectively specify and install the systems.
Aperio wireless devices are the easiest way to extend the reach of an access control system or to replace mechanical locks with intelligent access control. Because they operate wire-free, battery-powered Aperio devices are fast and cost-effective to install and save money in operating and maintenance costs.
During the course, delegates will understand all the technical aspects of designing a system, site survey and how to commission and fault find. The course has been designed with a mixture of theory and practical exercises, equipping attendees with the tools to specify Aperio access control products with confidence.
Incedo is a flexible security ecosystem that combines ASSA ABLOY’s world-leading range of wireless locks and other access hardware with flexible software, multiple management options and the ability to scale on demand, in any direction.
Incedo connects security software and hardware within a single, seamless platform with the ability to have complete remote control of a premises and manage the ever-changing movement of people across multiple sites.
During the course, participants will learn suitable applications for Incedo products, what the system architecture looks like and how to integrate ASSA ABLOY’s wireless access control range. Additionally, delegates will learn how to configure and commission using Incedo Lite software and how Abloy can support with winning more business.
At Abloy UK, we believe education on basic escape and fire door safety is critical and the most important aspect of access control. Specifiers and installers must know how to ensure solutions are safe and compliant, before we consider adding any kind of upgraded digital access solution.
There are several building regulation standards that must be adhered to ensure safety and security.
These include BS EN 179 Emergency Escape (for when the building occupants are aware of the building environment), BS EN 1125 Panic Escape (for environments used by the general public) and the BS EN 13637 Electronically Controlled Escape Systems (for use on escape routes).
These standards state that even if a door is electronically controlled for access there must be a compliant mechanical means of escape in an emergency.
In the case of fire doors this is essential to provide fire protection, compartmentalise a building and protect the escape routes. This is also a critical function in a terror situation – offering the ability to shut off certain areas to terrorists and allow controlled egress or access to ensure the safety of the public.
There was also a recent amendment to BS 7273: Pt4 Code of practice for the operation of fire protection measures – Part 4: Actuation of release mechanisms for doors, to enhance security and provide safer means of controlling the unauthorised use of escape doors.
Abloy UK offers a selection of compliant security solutions that are specifically designed for panic and escape doors. Our range of electric locks includes motor and solenoid locks, which are the most effective forms of electric locking and adhere to the mandatory fire and escape standards.
Solenoid locks, like the Abloy EL560 work by controlling the handle, and are suitable for internal doors of public buildings, offices, schools or hospitals, and external doors of apartments and detached houses.
Motorised locks, like the Abloy EL520 work by drawing the bolt back once a proximity card or device is presented. Both locks automatically secure a deadbolt upon closing and can be used with escape mechanisms as appropriate to the environment and application.
The Abloy Academy offers a range of courses including the Foundations and Foundations Plus courses, and RIBA approved CPDs to help educate on specifying compliant access control solution.
The free courses are designed to train installers, security managers, end users and specifiers, giving them the skills and knowledge to ensure maximum safety and security while helping to save lives in an emergency.
Training needs to be an ongoing process, and with standards being updated all the time and technology evolving so rapidly, it’s important to refresh knowledge regularly – whether that’s on basic compliance or how to fit the latest digital systems.
With access to a range of free courses covering a myriad of topics at the Abloy Academy, there has never been a better time to train to gain and boost your business.
The DAS Academy is a fantastic facility, says Paul McKendry, RightAccess: “Over several years, I’ve participated in a range of ABLOY UK training courses, encompassing the Foundations standards-based course, and platform-based training – Incedo, Aperio, eCLIQ, PROTEC2 CLIQ, SMARTair, Escape Door System (EDS).
“Some of this training was delivered in-house, some online and some hybrid. However, the most recent courses I’ve attended – and benefitted most from – have been full-day sessions at ABLOY UK’s Digital Access Solutions (DAS) Academy, managed by Johnathon Dale.
“The DAS Academy is a fantastic facility, with multiple access control systems installed and fully functional, provided a great hands-on learning experience. Johnathon is a very engaging trainer, who really brings the subject matter to life. I thoroughly enjoyed the training courses and always came away much more knowledgeable and competent.”