The current health crisis has placed a hot spotlight on facilities and their ability to manage the flow of traffic efficiently and effectively. The pandemic has created a need for changing time schedules, as well as physical distancing and occupancy limits. In addition to shifting facility uses, end users need logs to demonstrate compliance with mandates and for potential contact-tracing purposes.
Mitch Mershon, Business Development Manager, End-to-End Solutions, Axis Communications, Inc.
Even as the country fully reopens, the need to manage traffic will still be important from a health and security standpoint. The good news is these challenges, both old and new, can be overcome with AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry, an end-to-end solution that streamlines security operations by unifying video surveillance and access control into one solution that uses a common interface.
The combination of these technologies serves as a force multiplier, providing many layers of peace of mind and security for end users. Let’s discuss how an end-to-end solution compares to systems that work in parallel and how the former can help your customers today and tomorrow.
Unification: the ultimate integration for access control
Connecting disparate, standalone systems is accomplished through integration. However, integration can prove to be difficult to achieve without sacrificing functionality if those systems come from different vendors.
Systems that work in parallel work superficially and can easily break when a facility updates either or both. It can also be difficult to manage them because it can often require users to switch between multiple applications to configure or simply monitor settings.
Most video surveillance and access control systems currently on the market are standalone. So, making them work together requires vendor-specific Application Programing Interface or Software Development Kits.
So, what’s the answer?
“A unified, all-in-one access control and video management solution from a single vendor offers a more effective means of tying systems together,” says Mitch Mershon, Business Development Manager, End-to-End Solutions, Axis Communications, Inc. “It allows operators to view and manage multiple systems from a single pane of glass. The two systems are inherently one, eliminating the complexity and potential for integration incompatibilities—and the costs associated with the many challenges of tying standalone systems together.”
AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry is a seamless end-to-end solution that unifies physical access control and video surveillance into one powerful platform, AXIS Camera Station, with all core system components such as video recorders, door controller, readers, and cameras provided by Axis. The solution is available either pre-loaded on all recorders or with standalone licenses to provide the same user experience from the same interface with no activation, upgrade, or recurring fees. One license is required for one door controller, which will support up to two doors. For existing AXIS Camera Station users, the software is available as a free update to incorporate the additional functionality. Regardless of license type, all features are available, including video redaction, smart search, and other powerful features in AXIS Camera Station.
By providing a visual complement to physical security, AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry improves almost every aspect of daily security operations at a single site. Operators can view and manage video and access control from a single interface, providing them with improved situational awareness and enhanced security.
Easy setup and handoff
Time is money for systems integrators, so when it comes to installation, configuration, and deployment, simplicity and efficiency are critical. AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry has been designed with this in mind, providing detailed diagrams for installing hardware and wiring. Without the need to install two separate systems, integrators benefit from reduced time and costs associated with training and installation.
Once the products are in place, configuring the solution for the end user is also easy. Because the VMS and access control system are unified, they share schedules, making it possible to drag and drop schedules from one to the other rather than having to type in individual codes or undertake other complicated, time-consuming tasks to get the end user up and running. And the intuitive interface simplifies ongoing, day-to-day use and management for even novice or occasional end users.
After initial setup, adding and removing users or configuring users based on time and location is as simple as logging in, clicking the person’s name, and clicking add or delete. With standalone systems, this often requires updating each system separately. This level of complexity often means integrators are called in for support, which simply isn’t an efficient way to use the system.
“We’ve focused on making sure things are easy to find in the software so it’s possible for end users to manage their users and system without having to call their integrator every time they want to make a small change to permissions and who has access to what area, at what time, and in which system,” says Mershon.
However, depending on their technical capabilities or preferences, customers may still want to engage their integrator for making changes. Because this can be done simply, integrators can add these services to their maintenance agreements to earn additional recurring revenue.
Built for today and tomorrow
The goal of every business is to grow, meaning that the access control and video systems you install today have to be able to accommodate customers’ expansion in the future. With standalone systems, that may mean removing and replacing one or more systems with larger or more robust options.
AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry allows users to add up to 10,000 cardholders, each of whom can have up to five credentials. This allows them to monitor more users, cameras, and doors. By dealing with a single software interface, there’s no need to update each individually.
“Axis’ end-to-end solution provides the security your customers need today, and it can easily grow with their business without requiring an unnecessarily large up-front investment or sacrificing functionality,” Mershon explains. “And because all of this is done through a single interface, it’s a quick installation and configuration. There’s no need to learn more than one software solution just to use the system.”
One contact for support and updating
One of the most important, and yet often overlooked, factors in ensuring the success of a networked system is regular software and firmware updates. Vendors regularly release these updates to address potential vulnerabilities and add new features and functionality, which helps end users get the most out of their investments.
With integrated standalone systems, there is a danger that updating one—such as video—will cause incompatibility with access control and other systems. This leads to increased time, costs, and frustration in maintaining the system. If something goes wrong, each company has its own technical services and support team, meaning you’re likely to be bounced back and forth between multiple vendors until the issue is resolved. In the meantime, your customer is left with limited functionality and security from their system. Even if resolution only takes two hours, that’s two hours where the customer’s facility is not as secure as it should be. And guess who they’re going to blame? The integrator.
With the seamless, unified AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry, you can rest assured that every update is verified. Before updates are released, they are rigorously tested to ensure all of the features and functionality of each component works together before, during, and after the update.
Axis is also well-known for its service and support. Our wait times and first-call resolution rates are among the best in the industry. So, in the unlikely event there’s a problem, you have just one number to call. This provides for smooth and reliable updating, which eliminates potential incompatibility while also eliminating the headache of working with multiple vendors to fix those problems.
“We often hear from integrators and end users that they put off updates for fear that updating system A could make it no longer work with system B, but that leaves all systems open to cyber vulnerabilities,” Mershon says. “With AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry, the two systems are from the same manufacturer and are managed with the same software, creating a nice, easy path to updating without the headaches of standalone systems from multiple vendors.”
An end-to-end solution that meets today’s and tomorrow’s security needs
As a true end-to-end solution, AXIS Camera Station Secure Entry provides quick and simple installation, intuitive daily use, and validated updates to keep end users cybersecure and with the latest features and functionality. For integrators, having a single point of contact for the entire solution means no more finger-pointing between vendors if you have an issue. All of this adds up to a reliable, scalable solution that works out of the box and delivers on customers’ needs today and well into the future, while providing you with an easy way to expand your offerings and generate increased recurring revenue.