Mainstreaming of managed access finally here?

Honeywell reportedly doubles dealers selling managed access control
Thursday, March 11, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Honeywell on March 3 announced it had doubled the number of its dealers offering managed access control services, increasing the number to nearly 1,000 end-user sites—ranging from retail and restaurant locations to small-to-mid-size commercial and manufacturing facilities.

Why the sudden uptick? Are managed services becoming more mainstream?

“Is managed access control new? No. It’s a concept that’s been around for many years, but what we’re seeing now is a huge change in technology through the Internet and IP-enabled panels,” said Honeywell senior marketing manager John Smith. “IP can be managed remotely versus having to have a dial-up modem or having a local connection or some other indirect access to the system.”

Additionally, improved technology through IP has allowed dealers to offer end users a wider variety of remote management services, including access control alarm and event notification and reporting, live door control, and badge management. According to Smith, these services help increase recurring monthly revenue for dealers while freeing end users from the responsibility of managing an access control system, though some localized control through web portals can still be granted if the end user desires.

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based USA Security provides Honeywell’s managed access control at a couple sites for a local realty company. According to USA sales manager Kohler Brandon, the service offers better security, and tighter operations with less hassle. “They had a system on a server that the secretary was using as her computer. When she got a virus the whole thing crashed and they had to re-enter all the data for the apartment complex,” Brandon said, noting with managed services, the server is offsite and such a problem would not occur. “With another one of our properties they have an access system that only one person knew how to use and when that person left they were lost. We put in managed access, gave them one web address to go to, and a no-brainer way to add or subtract people and get reports.”

“It’s always been around, but it hasn’t been as mainstream because of the limitations in technology,” Smith said. “Today, we’re seeing a huge uptick in the number of dealers getting in on this primarily because a lot of them are already doing some sort of RMR either through intrusion or video or they just realize that RMR is really the true value of your business in the long run.”

Brandon agrees. “I still think there are a lot of security companies that don’t want to touch managed services. However, the ones that do will be the ones around in the future and I guess then you can call it mainstream,” Brandon said. “The benefits are endless and the RMR is plentiful.”