Let’s look at a fairly typical scenario for an energy, communications or transportation company – with or without a cloud/web based access control system. You have a large mobile workforce (linemen, technicians, service people etc…) that need access to dozens or even hundreds of small remote facilities (equipment/supply yards, cell towers, substations etc…) and that need to be kept secured.
Utilities Customer Success Story using Cloud/Web based Access Control:
One of our largest customers, a statewide electrical utility in Texas requires foremen to personally grant access to equipment yards during emergencies (for example, downed power lines during a storm). With their old system, that meant getting out of bed – often in the middle of the night – going out in the storm to the equipment yard and unlocking the gate for a lineman.
Now the lineman calls his supervisor and let’s him know that he needs access to the yard and that he is waiting at the gate. The supervisor doesn’t even need to get out of bed. He can log into the Cloudastructure Cloud/Web based Access Control and unlock the gate remotely. For a high security facility with a Cloudastructure Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) installed, the supervisor can get visual confirmation that the lineman is who he says he is and that he is present at the gate, then remotely unlock the gate and monitor entry into the facility.
The energy, telecommunication, transportation, retail, education and other verticals are full of these low door count, geographically distributed facilities and Cloud/Web based Access Control is the only answer that makes sense for them from a cost, convenience and security perspective.
Why Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) for Remote Locations?
Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
Especially for facilities with a low door count.
- No servers to buy and maintain for running the cloud/web based access control system at each location
- Minimal equipment to buy and maintain
- Pay for only for what you use – one door costs the same whether it’s deployed at a single-door location or at a multi-door location
- Costs are moved from Capital Expenses to Operating Expenses
- Enabling system management from anywhere for any location
- Manage thousands of credentials and doors, create logical groups across physical locations and manage access schedules in real time
- Dedicated team of experts working 24/7 to service customer requests
- Highly reliable data centers to maintain entry/exit logs
- Rules based alerts to ensure exception situations get addressed appropriately
- Application and data are hosted in physically secure co-location facilities
- Redundant servers ensure better uptime and no lost data
- All communications are highly encrypted
ACaaS Provides Additional Operational Ease and Efficiency over Traditional Systems
With a traditional system, what happens when an employee is hired or fired and how do you manage access to remote facilities for contract workers? With a traditional system, someone will have to visit dozens of separate facilities to add or remove that person’s access privileges. Miss one and you’ve got a problem. Either someone has access where the shouldn’t or someone doesn’t where they should. In either case, it requires another trip to the facility.
With separate systems at each location, management of access privileges quickly become a nightmare. Well, how about a centralized system where the PCs are all networked? OK, but unless all of the remote facilities are on the same LAN, which is almost never the case, those PCs will have to be accessible via the Internet. That means giving the PC a fixed IP address, opening holes in your firewalls and re-configuring routers. That’s man-weeks of network engineering over numerous separate facilities. Not only that, now you’ve got a web server on the corporate LAN. What does the IT department think of that and are they willing to do the care and feeding that’ll keep it up and going AND secure?
You could also set up a VPN for each facility so that there is secure access to each PC. However VPN configurations are complex to set up, require lots of IT support, and are expensive to maintain. A VPN might be slightly better way to go than the above solution but it will certainly cost a lot more.
With a Cloud/Web based Physical Access Control Systems (ACaaS), all these issues evaporate – delivering a framework that that is easy to INSTALL, more SECURE, more RELIABLE, OPERATIONALLY FLEXIBLE that not only LOWERS YOUR COST, it spreads out your cost from upfront capital outlays to a monthly subscription based cost flow…