ASSA ABLOY and Cisco announce partnership

Thursday, September 28, 2006

SAN DIEGO--Here at ASIS International, giants of the physical security and IT fields have come together to announce a major ongoing partnership. ASSA ABLOY, the Stockholm-based access control company and parent to HID Global, and Cisco, the networking pioneer that recently entered the physical security field with the purchase of surveillance company Sypixx, will now develop compatible technologies to allow the convergence of physical and logical access.
Here at ASIS, ASSA ABLOY has a demonstration of Cisco's converged access control technology operating the new standards-based Highly Intelligent Operation, or Hi-O, locking system, released here to the North American market for the first time. The Hi-O products will be available to channel partners starting in 2007.
Glen Greer, vice president of shared technologies for Assa Abloy, in an interview with Security Systems News, said the deal "enables us to make access control devices, specifically locks and door hardware, part of the IP network. We've announced plans to make all of our equipment compatible going forward ... We'll make sure each company's products will inter-operate."
Further, ASSA ABLOY will be joining the Cisco Technology Development Program, said Greer, with a goal of getting ASSA ABLOY customers and channel partners prepared for what Cisco has in the pipeline.
Cisco is also announcing a new security consultants program, said Mark Farino, general manager of Cisco's Converged Secure Infrastructure Business Unit, "to help security consultants understand this transformation to the network-based application. We also have the Advanced Technology Partner Program, a vehicle that will have a physical security component to it, providing a template for training and certifying installers with the relevant networking knowledge they need."
Cisco, Farino said, will be looking for physical security integrators who have the door-level knowledge and are looking to understand the network side. Physical security companies won't be held to Cisco's highest training level, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, however. "We're talking about understanding some basic technology," he said.

For more on this deal, see the November issue of Security Systems News.