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cloud based access control

Galaxy Control Systems embracing the cloud

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

At ISC West 2017 earlier this month, Galaxy Control Systems solidified its commitment to cloud-based solutions with the announcement of its new Cloud Concierge, a cloud-based access control and monitoring solution. Galaxy also just released a new whitepaper this week entitled, “Understanding Cloud Services for Access Control,” further exemplifying the company’s commitment to its customers by providing education and awareness. 

“Galaxy Control Systems recognized early on that cloud services had the potential to deliver new flexibility and benefits for the security market,” Lukas Le, director of Cloud Services, Galaxy Control Systems, told Security Systems News. Le said that Galaxy has been working with cloud and hosted solutions for years to develop a high level of experience and expertise so the company could provide leadership and strong support for its customers.

“We have also been watching the market to gauge the increasing level of interest, knowledge and acceptance of this new approach,” he explained. “Today, we see that the current mature state of the necessary technologies will let us leverage the recent release of our mobile applications while delivering on a business model that is mutually beneficial for the integrator, end user and Galaxy alike.”

“Security professionals—both channel and end users—are recognizing the operational and cost benefits of a hosted collaborative access control solution,” Rick Caruthers, executive vice president, Galaxy Control Systems, said in the announcement. “With Cloud Concierge, we’ve reduced the complexity to allow resellers to comfortably sell a cost-effective solution to their base without having to assume responsibilities associated with system monitoring and management.”

He continued, “By joining the Cloud Concierge program, integrators who specialize and excel in their specific areas can focus on what they do best rather than trying to provide an end-to-end solution themselves. Best of all, by working with trusted partners to deploy, administer and maintain systems, end users can devote their time and energy to their
core business and operations.”

Unlike a traditional access control system, where door locks and controllers are connected to on-premise access control servers that store the system settings, enrollees and rules, and run the access control software application, with the new Galaxy Control Systems cloud-based access control solution, the access control servers are located remotely.

“Door locks and controllers communicate with the remote cloud servers through an encrypted Internet connection,” said Le. “This arrangement offers security and maintenance advantages, and lets system administrators and service staff access the system from anywhere they can reach the Internet using a standard browser, with no special software required on their devices.”

Le said that there is an up-front cost savings for customers who are installing new systems, and for customers with existing systems “the choice of timing might be dependent on the age of the on-premise hardware, availability of service and maintenance staff, and similar factors,” he noted. “Initially, we will focus our efforts on our current dealers, and we expect that continued education using webinars, workshops and similar hands-on methods will continue to increase adoption.” 

Although there are many customers who understand the cloud, cloud service adoption “is primarily about educating our customers about the benefits.” Le said. “For those already familiar with the benefits of cloud services, it’s an easy discussion—these customers can’t wait to move their access control into the cloud. For those that are less familiar or less comfortable with cloud services, they will need a bit more education to prepare them to make this move.”

A good example of Galaxy’s ongoing commitment to educate and inform is the publishing if its new whitepaper, which provides insights into the growing realm of cloud-based services and how they are changing the way access control systems can be deployed and used. In the paper, readers will find an overview of cloud technology and learn how and where access control cloud services can be applied for maximum economic and security benefits to the organization. The whitepaper also touches on decision factors to assess when considering a move to cloud services, each of which helps inform the decision-making process.

“We recognize that not everyone in the security industry has the time or resources to stay current with new technologies,” Caruthers said in the whitepaper’s release. “We developed our new whitepaper to provide information for our community, to help accelerate their understanding of the benefits of access control cloud services.”

To access the full whitepaper, click here.

Feenics: Led by industry vet, attracting integrators' attention

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Have you heard of Feenics? It’s a new cloud-based access control platform that’s being run by an industry vet and that attracted the attention of some integrators who are demoing, or getting ready to install “Keep” which is Feenics’ first product.

Paul DiPeso, who was most recently with Lenel, is running the show for Feenics as VP and GM, and this week he’s at the Feenics’ office in Ottawa conducting a “voice of the customer” meeting with some integrators, including Alpha Corp, GS Security, Contava, TRL Systems, Open Systems and Koorsen Security.  

I had a chance to speak to Di Peso as well as Skip Sampson and Shannon Martindale from Koorsen, and I’ll have a regular story on the whole Feenics offering next week.

Suffice it to say, Sampson and Martindale are excited about the offering. Sampson believes Keep will be an RMR generator for his company and a product that his customers will like.

Sampson installed Keep at the Koorsen office and tested it for six months. “We gave [developers] feedback and they were quick to acknowledge and implement [some changes],” he said.

He’s sold two systems and “has quite a few in the pipeline,” he said. Asked about hosted and managed services, Sampson said he’s dabbled in hosted video, but he believes that managed access control is "the most viable managed service. You don’t need a huge pipe, huge SAN or attached storage, a DSL works just great,” he said.

And with Keep, which works with standard Mercury panels “there’s comfort that if the customer for some reason doesn't like it, you can put in something else without replacing the infrastructure. I think Sam was wise in doing that. We play on that point.”

Sam is Sam Shalaby, former owner of FSC, who developed the product. Shalaby is still 100 percent owner of Feenics and sits on the board of advisors, but he is not involved in the day-to-day business.

Sampson acknowledged that there are “multiple other products that do similar things, but what’s different with Sam’s is that he didn’t take a product that’s been out there for 10 to 15 years and take the same GUI, and same layout and try to make it work as a hosted product. He started to build it with an integrator’s mindset. It’s not an access control panel-centric product.”

Sampson called it “fresh and new and relevant,” and said it has “kind of a Google look to it.”  

Working with DiPeso are Dave Charles who does business development, Ralph Shillington who is CTO and who developed the original software, and Anthony Shalaby who is running logistics.

Check back next week, for more details on Feenics’ and DiPeso’s go-to-market strategy.