Deal opens door to managing visitors

Honeywell’s acquisition of Edgelinx provides a visitor management solution in-house
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

SYOSSET, N.Y. - Honeywell has been on a buying spree of sorts in the surveillance market for several years, but now the company is turning its attention to the access control market.

In late April, Honeywell bought a little-known company called Edgelinx Systems, a three-year-old developer of a visitor management system based in Toronto. It marks the first time that Honeywell Access Systems will offer a visitor management system in-house instead of relying on outside partners to provide such a system.

Michael Thomas, vice president of product marketing for Honeywell Access Systems, said Honeywell first learned about Edgelinx from an end-user. After the two companies talked about working together and a potential OEM relationship for Edgelinx’s LobbyWorks visitor management system, the conversation took a new direction.

“We saw a lot of features that the market didn’t have,” said Thomas. “It pushed it to an acquisition versus a strategic partnership.”

What makes the Lobby-Works’ product unique, said Rafael Moshe, former president and owner of Edgelinx, is that aside from working with an access control system, it integrates with everyday business functions. For example, Lobby-Works integrates with email and phone systems to notify a user when a visitor arrives.

Another feature allows an employee setting up a list of attendees for a meeting to use Microsoft Outlook, an email application, to seamlessly share that information with the visitor management system to authorize access to the facility.

“It’s as much a security application as it is an office management tool,” said Thomas.

The plan is for Honeywell Access Systems to offer the LobbyWorks product as both a standalone solution and an integrated feature within Honeywell’s current access control products. That includes Honeywell’s large-enterprise access control systems and its medium-size system sold under the Prowatch and Northern Computer brands, according to Moshe, who was recently named director of product marketing of visitor management systems for Honeywell Access Systems.

“Honeywell has the market presence and the distribution channels,” said Moshe. “It allows us to bring LobbyWorks to a significant customer base more quickly.”

Besides Moshe, Honeywell is also retaining Edgelinx’s other employees. Thomas said Honeywell has yet to decide whether it will keep the LobbyWorks name on its products, but plans are in the works to relocate Edgelinx’s operations to an existing Honeywell facility nearby.