Integrated access control the smart choice

January 25, 2024


Mary Clark, Chief Marketing Officer at Brivo makes the case for integrated access control solutions that start with mobile and go to the cloud.

Two years from now half of our workforce is going to be Gen Z or more and all they have ever had is this mobile device. Being able to use their mobile credentials is the very minimum of what they expect as a consumer.

If you are not in the cloud or you are not using mobile, what is the message you are giving to people who are trying to come into your building? We know you need to have safety and security, but are you looking at it from the point of view of the person making the journey?

Access needs to be welcoming, it needs to be virtuous, and it needs to be clearly superior in its security. Fundamentally, it’s just got to be easy – it needs to start with mobile and it’s got to be in the cloud to maintain. The industry is still shifting, the building is the last bastion of digital transformation. The building has got to go to the cloud and with it, physical access control.

Integrated is key

We integrate with Okta, so we have a credential that’s managed on the cyber side that then has a role on the physical side, which means data is utilised in that entire Okta integrated workplace management system. With Brivo’s Identity Connector, customers can provision their Okta users and groups to Brivo Access, allowing them to manage onboarding and offboarding users in a single application.

We also have an integration with our sister company, Eagle Eye Networks for video management and the ability to have our entry and exit events inside of our access platform feed the Eagle Eye system as well as they come back into our system, to allow for video related data on events occurring at different places inside of the building.

We integrate with Milestone and a whole host of other companies that provide very specific point solutions that leverage our event data from access in such a way that they’re able to give a whole surround view of the building and the way that it is being used.

We’re hearing a great deal now about how this integrated view of access control or “single pane of glass” is vital to the workplace management or workplace experience solution. That single pane of glass and that ease of use comes back to my earlier point – all of this is in the cloud.

An integrated access control solution must be efficient; it must help to reduce operational costs. It needs to rely on less people to administer it, to keep track of it and it needs to be something that can act in real time. Some of the stats that we’re seeing just on the turnover that’s happening inside enterprises – people coming and going, resignations and layoffs – those credentials and all the access that those credentials provide need to be managed.

I’m not talking about anything new here; we know that access is something that needs to be tracked and managed but it’s also something that is a lot of work, for a lot of people. So, it’s about asking, what can we put in place to allow all those integrations to be more efficiently managed in a central place?

From the delivery of an electrical grid operation to a power solution to the safety and security of a bank there is a high level of compliance and risk management involved. In the past, the conservative reaction was to say, “I don’t have control over my access or, on premise, I would like to have the system physically present. I would like to be able to touch the credentials. I need to have the date of residency from my employees – my access credentials need to be stored here on premise.”

However, there’s not a vertical out there that’s not being challenged to reduce operational costs. We will go through everything with a calculator, making a comparison between the total cost of operation on the cloud versus an on-premises solution. But first, we will consider everything from a safety and security perspective and look at the data privacy requirements. We will continue to do more and add more to that as it relates to the markets we are operating in. After that, it’s about cost. So, in terms of more widespread uptake, it’s just a matter of time – operational costs are too high and the maths is straightforward.

Integrations are a fundamental activity so in the coming year we will have integrators taking space on some of our booths at exhibitions, elevating the conversation about the ways in which we can work together.

What I am hearing from the UK team is that there is probably a faster move to the cloud than other countries within Europe. The traditional buyer, for us, has been somebody who is responsible for facilities, sometimes they have security as a part of their role, but more often all that decision making probably goes up to a CIO or someone whose obligation is strict risk management. There are more people involved in the decision-making process now. HR for example want to have a piece of it, as they need to create a work environment and work experience that’s going to have people want to come back to the office, which means the CFO gets involved and the CEO.  Pre-pandemic the CIO or CSO would have made that decision, but it’s much more collaborative now.

Hybrid working practices have made the CIOs job much harder, and that’s both on the cyber side as well as the physical side because you have more enterprise owned devices at the edge, literally, outside of the building. What are the credentials associated with that?  What security needs to be provided? What space needs to be provided? These are all questions that need asking and it all comes back to core topic of integrations and how they can be used to improve the efficiency, the effectiveness and the revenue associated with a company.

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