Digitus begins dealer program

IP-based biometrics manufacturer ready to utilize reseller channel
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

SAVANNAH, Ga.--Digitus Biometrics, a biometric access control manufacturer that relocated here in 2005 after opening is doors in the UK in 2000, has launched a reseller program, Digitus Alliance, that offers sales leads, product training and 24/7 technical support in exchange for minimum annual sales levels.

Thus far, the company has sold directly to the end user, landing installations at Hunter Army Airfield, Memorial University Medical Center and the Naval Academy among its 200 customers.

“The intention was always to put this through resellers,” said Christopher Marsden, Digitus founder and chief technical officer, “but as a small and young company, we put focus early on getting customers that we could use as references.”

Marsden said the Digitus product is different from what’s offered by other manufacturers because it splits in two what most manufacturers put in one package. “Usually,” he said, “there’s a unit outside the door, and in the back of the unit you’ve got a connection to the network and to the lock.” He said all someone needs to do is gain access to the wire, short the relay contact, and get in the door.

“We split the product in two parts,” he said. “Outside the door, you have the fingerprint and the LCD screen. Inside you have the controller with all the external connections, and the two halves communicate in encrypted fashion.”

Currently, the software that runs the readers doesn’t integrate with other access control programs, but Marsden said they’re developing an API that will be available soon.

What of indications the biometrics market remains fairly small, regardless of product design? “I think biometrics will become more and more commonplace,” said Marsden. “Ultimately, it will go to a complete corporate offering that would integrate physical and logical security, replacing fobs and PIN numbers.”

Bob Pritchard, Digitus marketing director, is more sanguine: “What we’re seeing so far in terms of market penetration,” he said, “is that we’re a subset of a larger application ... It’s not necessarily biometrics throughout the whole facility, where they still have prox cards and physical locks. They bring us in for those areas where there’s a real worry about an attack. Maybe we can be 10 percent of those locks in the facility.”