Spica: Door Cloud
Door Cloud is new generation of cloud based physical access control. Before the cloud, access control systems were normally owned by the user. The whole system with hardware and software had to be purchased, installed and run at the premises. This kind of arrangement involved the initial investment in hardware and software, installation, maintenance and management of the system. All that removes precious financial and organisational resources from the user’s core business.
Door Cloud takes the servers and application services into the cloud, where they are utilised by specialised providers (security firms), enabling them to offer access control as a service to their clients. This paradigm is becoming known in the security industry as Security-as-a-Service.
For the user, there are two major benefits:. One is lower cost, due to lesser initial investment and organisational burden. The other benefit is higher quality of service, since the system is run by security specialists.
Door Cloud also brings great benefits to security service providers, with an entirely new business model, market opportunities and competitive edge of being early on the new market.
Door Cloud introduces an entirely new, innovative three-sided business model to the field of physical access control. The new model is based on specific needs of two targeted groups: end users (as clients) and security firms (as providers). They share Door Cloud as a common platform where providers are serving their local clients.
Door Cloud does not prevent users from managing their own systems directly to any desired extent. The ability to mix and match internal and outsourced access control management gives the user unprecedented flexibility with their security management choices.
New business model
In essence, Door Cloud is taking the access control management from the end user and giving it to a local security provider. The access control business and management model becomes more similar to that of intruder alarm systems: these are often owned by security companies, and leased to their local clients. The intruder detection service is then remotely managed and combined with other services, like on-site patrolling and incident response. Modern video surveillance systems are increasingly offered and managed in a very similar fashion.
With Door Cloud, security firms are able to offer access control as a service to their customers, just like intruder detection or centralised video surveillance. With the addition of managed access control, security firms round up all three basic elements of technical security: intruder detection, video surveillance and access control. The service portfolio is now finally complete.
Door Cloud’s primary controller platform is Spica’s own Zone range of modular IP and I/O devices. Having both software and hardware R&D under the same roof has allowed Spica to freely innovate and enter the cloud access market early. Having its own controller production also makes it much easier for Spica to venture into new business models such as controller renting.
In principle, Door Cloud can work with wide range of card and biometric readers that are supported by the Zone Door I/O devices.
Spica Zone access controllers support a wide range of card and biometric readers. Door Cloud as such is reader-agnostic. Nonetheless, Spica highly recommends world-leading card readers from HID. Biometric readers can be integrated as direct replacement for card readers.
Door Cloud smartphone app broadens the feature set with number of interesting features:
- Ability to use smartphones instead of RFID cards (using compatible readers)
- Online reporting of security incidents
- Placing a request for access profile change
- Ad-hoc access using videophone-like interaction with the guard on duty
- Admins can act upon, clear, delegate or escalate alarms and incidents
Perhaps the most innovative Door Cloud smartphone app feature allows deployment of readerless access points. The app uses microlocation features to select the access point (a door) and perform the user identification. That way, readers can be eliminated from certain points. Also, cards can be eliminated for smartphone users even if they need to access doors with conventional readers. The concept can be pushed to an entirely readerless and cardless system using only smartphones and access controllers.
The elimination of readers and cards greatly simplifies the concept of pure mobile access, where users can be granted access rights remotely without involving proprietary reader security technologies. This makes Door Cloud mobile access not only simpler but also lot more economical than currently available mobile access solutions.
Microlocation Based Access
The microlocation using standard geolocation services, used in a clever way, is in many cases sufficient for a viable access control. In cases where the density of doors requires more precision or where standard geolocation is not enough for any reason, the location services can be enhanced using bluetooth beacons or NFC tags.
A proprietary hybrid microlocation technology for tackling the most challenging positioning situations is currently being developed.
Door Cloud supports Aperio wireless locks from Assa Abloy.
Although there is some hype, with some notable exceptions, not much is offered in a form of a publicly available pure cloud based access control. It seems that the phrase ‘cloud based’ is used mostly as marketing buzzword for hosted access control systems providing some web access and some web integration.
Door Cloud is a pure cloud concept, not a private cloud or intraweb or hosted solution.
Spica is confident that internet security is mature and if applied correctly through security by design principles, offers far better protection than traditional proprietary solutions based on the security by obscurity principle.
Spica’s advantage is having its own controllers. Independence from major controller vendors and the freedom to innovate with end-to-end security solutions helps Spica to move faster.