HID has a strong presence in businesses, schools, and government buildings where people seek convenient solutions for safeguarding physical and digital environments. The company’s array of products and services facilitates seamless access control solutions.
HID enables individuals to navigate, interact, and work with assurance by fostering safer, more efficient, and sustainable settings. Their diverse suite of identification and physical access control solutions, from mobile IDs to bamboo and smart cards and readers, empowers users to regulate, gauge, and enhance trust in a location and its occupants.
We talk to Spenser Marshall, director of physical access control Europe, to learn more about the company’s EU operations and what’s on the horizon.
Spenser has been at HID for 17 years. He started as regional manager, then looked after the northern region. Today, he is head of Europe, managing large accounts, sales teams, and regional pre-sales support.
HID supports the SME and larger Enterprise customers across Europe. Although the needs for access control are similar, different countries have specific requirements and regulations that must be adhered to.
BM: What is HID’s focus today?
SM: Over the past couple of years, every industry has probably gone through an element of change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once we came out of the pandemic, we started to see some changes in how people worked.
Helping intelligent buildings to become smarter is an area of growth for HID. Through its latest projects, HID has witnessed an increased need for more efficiency in managing occupancy in commercial buildings. Using HID access control solutions, building managers can analyse the building’s occupants to see what the flow of the place is. By knowing when the users and employees are coming into the building and when the premises are vacant, the building can be better managed in terms of resources such as climate control and electricity, whether or not they need to ensure that they’ve got extra offices for people to work, or even what the cafeteria might require in a certain period.
How their access control fits into the structure of a company is important. I think many companies are now moving more into virtual working. They’re looking at more cloud-based solutions rather than just an on-premise solution.
Implementing mobile access solutions rather than physical access solutions can help enterprises, both large and small, as well as end users.
In 2023, HID Europe partnered with Apple and Google to include its mobile access capabilities in digital Wallet Solutions. The use of Bluetooth predominantly drove traditional mobile access solutions, whereas now, that’s being used in the NFC wallet solutions provided by Apple and Google.
Another growth area that links back to mobile usage is the ESG – environmental, social, and governance. ESG is a framework used to assess an organisation’s business practices and performance on various sustainability and ethical issues. It also provides a way to measure business risks and opportunities in those areas.
Using mobile solutions means companies can avoid using plastic cards, which are very difficult to recycle and end up in landfills.
For those clients who want to use a physical card and still preserve their green credentials, HID offers bamboo cards, which are recyclable and sustainable.
BM: What’s special about HID European operations?
SM: We’ve got distributors and Partners that cover the whole of Europe. When we look at our partners, we have two different types of companies we work with distribution partners and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners.
In each European country, HID products are distributed by hand-selected partners. These companies can provide the first line of support for the clients and keep stock. HID collaborates with them on the distribution side and carries out joint marketing initiatives.
With OEMs, the company provides hardware to be combined with other company’s software.
An example is Origo, which uses HID APIs to integrate it with its software. The HID Origo Technology Partner Program, launched in 2023, is HID’s first program dedicated to partners focusing on mobile technologies.
BM: What obstacles are in HID Europe’s road?
SM: In Europe, because it’s made up of so many countries, and each country is so diverse, one of the challenges that any manufacturer has is to learn what the particular dynamics in that country are.
Some countries are just looking for a specific type of product. I’ll give you a good example. There, we have the Nordic region; within the Nordics, they predominantly install keypads. They consume a considerable amount of keypads. We want to ensure that we listen to the voices of the customers in that region and get excellent feedback to understand what they’re looking for. In this way, we can support them.
The challenge in this case is building the right strategy for each European country.
We have field support in every country, a sales manager and a pre-sales person.
In addition to that, we have a fantastic web-based training Academy covering HID products and solutions. Students gain certification at different levels as well. You also provide marketing material, white papers, data sheets, etc., so our partners can pass them on to their clients.
BM: What trends do you see coming up?
SM: Optimising workplace occupancy in smart buildings, as I mentioned earlier, is a trend that is not about to end.
Biometrics has a place in terms of futuristic ways that we might be controlled or checked.
We’ve seen a rise in organisations asking for premium security solutions. Companies that deal with sensitive private information, such as schools or hospitals, require these solutions.
BM: Can you give us some examples you are proud of?
SM: At the start of 2023, we implemented mobile access into a flagship building in London, the 22 Bishopsgate. With the support of one of our key technology partners, we were able to issue over 15,000 mobile credentials to the building.
In addition to that, we also work directly with Apple to deliver the credentials into its digital wallet to provide seamless access. I visited the building probably about five or six times and used the mobile credential within my device, and it truly is a seamless solution, so it works well.
The project with British Land, a large commercial real estate company, also uses our access control and mobile credential solutions through Apple Wallet across their London offices.
HID is a prominent player in the access control and identity management industry, providing a wide range of solutions and technologies.
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