Access Control Systems in Utah and Salt Lake City

Access control typically describes a system of electric locks that restrict access to specific areas. Only users with the proper credentials may enter an area.  The most basic systems are standalone numeric keypads with a power supply and electric locking mechanism.  On the other end of the spectrum an advanced system can have hundred of doors with thousands of users.

A typical access control system has the ability to log the movement of users and create reports to based on system events.  Users and user credentials are stored in a database.  When a credential is presented at the “reader” the information is compared to the database and access is granted or denied.

There are numerous forms of user credentials. Listed below are some of the most common:

  • Card
  • Key Fob
  • Numeric Pin
  • Bio metric (fingerprint, retina, facial recognition)
  • RF transmitter
  • Long Range Gate Transmitter

Procom chooses its access control equipment vendors based on 3 primary requirements:

1. The system must be easy to manage.  Many access control systems are designed for full-time security personnel to operate and manage.  They assume you have 1 person in the company who will be trained to use the system and use it all-day every day.  The reality for most companies is – the person managing the access control will only add/delete users 1-2 times per month (or less) and managing the system will be just one of his/her many duties.  As such the system must be intuitive and easy to pickup again after not having used it in weeks or months.  We work to understand your business and make sure the system meets all your needs including NOT requiring a degree in computer programming to operate it.

2. The system must be robust and be reliable as the primary method of securing your building.  Procom has partnered with several access control manufactures.  One of the primary systems we use, Paxton, has an industry leading 5 year warranty on all Paxton parts.   We are confident in our installations knowing that we can provide a great system with no major upkeep for years after the initial installation.

3.  The system must be well supported and IP based.  In this day and age everyone assumes that everything is network ready but surprisingly many systems out there require an Ethernet adapter to be connected to a network.  Procom will not install a “network ready” system.  Any manufacturer not designing their equipment with TCP/IP connectivity is living in the past.

“Top 10 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing an Access Control System

 

1)        Will you be able to upgrade the system in next few years?

Often end users think they know they only want basic functionality, or that they know the extent of what they want, without realizing that needs evolve just as capabilities do. It is likely that how they see their needs in three years will be very different than how they see them now. Integrators need to position themselves with solutions that are likely to continue to be developed and to provide the options their end users may want in the future, helping build long-term relationships.

2)        How long has the access control manufacturer been developing / providing these systems?

System maturity very much is an indicator of how much it has been tested, and how much feedback has gone into its development.

3)        What other end users, similar in size and scope, have deployed this solution? How long has it been around?

The more experience the market has with your system, the more confidence you might have that it’s been tested, improved, developed, etc. It is absolutely true that newer, less well-known systems can lack some basic capabilities that one might not at first notice. Be meticulous.

4)        With what other systems and manufacturers does the system integrate or work with?

The partners a manufacturer has can indicate how seriously it will be regarded in the industry. Partnerships also can indicate how likely others believe that the manufacturer will be around in the future.

5)        What is a breakdown of costs over a five-year period?

Don’t look for the cheapest solution to offer now. Look long-term. Items like annual software support agreements, fees, etc. should be considered.

6)        What would be involved and what are the possibilities if you need to change systems in a couple of years?

There are a number of reasons this is important to consider. One is that the hardware required for some systems works with no other systems, so changing the system would require hardware changes, and could be quite costly. Leave yourself flexibility.

7)        What operating systems and versions are supported?

This is an indicator of how mature and how serious this manufacturer is in the market, in addition to potentially addressing important questions related to your own system.

8)        What Web-based capabilities do you care about and what are supported?

Whether interested in these capabilities or not, innovation and keeping current are an important indicator about an access control company.

9)        Does the manufacturer have a professional services group or custom solutions group to help with database-to database integrations and large-scale deployments?

Having such a custom group is an indicator of a) the importance the manufacturer places on satisfying customers and b) the sophistication of the system and the likelihood it will be around awhile.

10)      How many other integrators in your area can support the system?

(top 10 questions listed above were copied from an article in SDM Magazine 2013 written by alphacorp)