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Smart Access Control: An Integrated Approach

by Benchmark

With increased end user demand for smarter solutions across all aspects of their businesses, many integrators and installers are seeking flexible solutions that enable greater levels of integration and deliver added value for the customer. Return on investment has become a significant factor when selecting a solution, and as a result everyday benefits and business efficiencies have never been more vital. Access control has a pivotal role to play in terms of security and smart functionality. Vanderbilt offers a package that delivers on both fronts: the latest release of its proven ACT Enterprise access control software.

Although well-established in the access control marketplace, the latest release of Vanderbilt’s ACT Enterprise access control solution takes a significant step forwards for integrators and installers looking to deliver a smart solution to their customers.

ACT Enterprise is a role-based access control software package designed for use with ACTpro hardware. Designed with the needs of integrators and installers in mind, the software boasts a straightforward installation process, and offers intuitive management of the access control system.

Vanderbilt has a belief that access control should not be challenging for the installer or the end user, and the ACT range has been developed with that thinking in mind. Despite this, ACT Enterprise offers all the features required from an advanced access control system.

ACT Enterprise supports up to 99 doors as standard. Should a higher number of portals require protection, then a simple licence upgrade is all that is needed to increase the number of supported doors to 4,000.

ACT Enterprise and the associated hardware can be deployed on an IP network. A traditional RS485 deployment can also be supported, offering a high degree of flexibility for engineers.

With an increased focus on credential cloning, ACT Enterprise offers a secure approach to card management by using the latest DESfire EV1/EV2 technology and Open Source Data Protection (OSDP) protocols to prevent card cloning and/or reader manipulation.

ACT’s door controllers have designed to simple to install in the field, and as a result they can be specified with or without integral PSUs.

Another step to support integrators and installers is that whilst ACT door controllers are fully customisable, where standard operation is required, the controllers are supplied pre-configured and ready to use, allowing the quick implementation of an operational system.

Adding value

The latest release of ACT Enterprise includes a number of updates that enhance the solution, making it better suited to the needs of modern customers. To help with integration and to allow the creation of a total security solution, ACT Enterprise integrates seamlessly with the company’s SPC intrusion system.

SPC is an intrusion detection system offering versatile alarm management functions. It makes use of cloud services, apps and a dedicated software suite to deliver added value. The system’s infrastructure supports hard-wired or wireless options.

Integration is a key priority for Vanderbilt, and this update ensures that integrators and installers can have confidence in delivering a seamless solution. Via the interface, users can access graphical maps displaying all access control and alarm points, presenting a single interface for system management.

Alongside the advanced integration capabilities, ACT Enterprise is also supported by intuitive smartphone apps. These deliver real-time monitoring, system management and user administration. These enable authorised persons to lock and unlock doors, manage users and view real-time access control reports.

To facilitate the introduction of smart functionality, one of the headline additions to the latest version of ACT Enterprise is rules mapping. Rules are a flexible method of allowing triggers to implement actions. These can be security-related, or can deliver business efficiencies, automation of site management tasks, or interaction with on-site personnel.

Rules are one of driving elements of smart solutions, allowing the creation of logical relationships between single or multiple triggers and various actions. Commonly used in video surveillance and more recently intruder detection, the introduction of rules to access control makes a lot of sense.

Actions can be instigated by events such as access control transactions. For example, a manager swiping their card would grant them access, but the use of the credential could also turn on lights in their office, or allow free access to the main office area. Other triggers could include inputs and outputs being switched, doors being opened or jammed, or triggers from other integrated systems such as intrusion system alarms or status changes.

The benefit of rules mapping is that creating rules is very simple. The system uses a drag-and-drop interface, and multiple elements can be combined by simply drawing a link. The use of ‘operators’ allow relationships between different elements in the rule, such as AND, OR, etc..

Because of the simplicity of the drag-and-drop interface, integrators and installers can quickly create rules which add value for the end customer. There is no need for programming skills or writing code, and subsequently there is no requirement for training.

ACT Enterprise adds value that equates to a genuine return on investment. For those seeking to deliver smart solutions, it is a valuable solution package.

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