As in past years, the April issue of SDM centers on the theme of access control. The cornerstone of this edition is our exclusive, “State of the Market: Access Control” cover story, researched and written by Senior Editor Karyn Hodgson. She reports that most security integrators had good, if not great, growth in the access control segment of their business, some even in the double-digits.

Hodgson explains the gap between the small- to medium-business market and the enterprise market and how the forces in each of those markets are very different, yet offer some overlapping sales opportunities. She also discusses — with input from many experts who were interviewed for this article — how the access control industry has historically moved along at its own pace, “yet now finds itself with a wide range of options and possibilities of where to go from here. More excitingly, end users are finally showing more signs of being ready to accept — and pay for — them.”

Hodgson writes, “While many integrators report that cloud and hosted services are currently a small percentage of their sales, almost all of those interviewed for this article reported a similar goal: to get to 20 percent to 25 percent RMR within one to five years.”

Categorically topping the list of potential growth opportunities is cloud services. Many professionals who spoke to SDM discussed Access Control as a Service (and other managed offerings) as the predominant model of the future. But as experts also discussed at the recent Barnes Buchanan Security Conference, one of the obstacles to adopting a cloud services model is financing the installations.

In “State of the Market: Access Control” author Hodgson quotes PSA Security’s Bill Bozeman about this: “The managed services model is different. You don’t get the money up front. How do the burglar alarm guys do it? It is the cost of the equipment. Systems integration is not cheap,” Bozeman relates. See what the other experts think in this annual report, which begins on page 60.

If you attended ISC West earlier this month, you may have heard the term “unified system” from any number of vendors there. In this issue, writer Derek Rice covers the topic of unified systems in “Knowledge Is Power,” beginning on page 81. “In a unified environment, each system, regardless of vendor, is no longer viewed as a standalone solution, but rather a seamlessly integrated part of the whole,” Rice writes. Access control is characteristically part of a unified system, as is video, intrusion, intercom and perhaps other security functions as well.

From an operator standpoint, a unified system offers a single client application for monitoring, managing alarms, running reports and audit trails, for example, for all embedded security systems, the author writes.

“With a unified system, operators no longer need to jump between security apps to respond to a situation or monitor doors and cameras,” says Jimmy Palatsoukas of Genetec in the article. “Everything is consolidated, and operators benefit from a consistent and clear approach across security activities.”

If you attended ISC West earlier this month, you may have heard the term “unified system” from any number of vendors there.

John L. Moss of S2 Security expounds on the idea and the role of access control specifically: “Because more intimate relationships exist between the data in different applications, the configuration of the unified system has to specify those relationships,” he says. “For example, the definition of an access control point in the unified system includes the specification of the cameras that can see that access point. Access control can be automatically encoded as video metadata so that you can ask for video of a specific person over time or see all the people who have gone through a given opening within a particular timeframe.”

Finally, check out Karyn Hodgson’s coverage of two access control manufacturers’ conferences held recently. “Coming Together at AMAG’s SES Event” on page 22 includes an interview with AMAG’s new president Kurt Takahashi. “Surf, Sand & Sales at RS2 Annual Conference” on page 38, presents the highlights of this annual conference where Hodgson was one of the keynote speakers.

We hope you enjoy this issue and we invite your feedback on LinkedIn. Please join SDM’s community on LinkedIn at