Axis Communications has dived into the physical access control market, introducing a network door controller with built-in web-based software.
ACCORDING to Axis, the new A1001 Network Door Controller is a complement to the company’s existing portfolio of innovative network video products and creates unique integration possibilities for partners and end users.
“Bringing product innovation to the physical access control market is a natural step in Axis’ development as there is a strong connection between access control and video surveillance,” said Ray Mauritsson, president and CEO, Axis Communications.
“As the market leader in network cameras, Axis plays an important role in driving convergence to IP-based products in video surveillance. We now apply that expertise in IP technology to the physical access control market in the same way. The physical access control market is primed to make the shift to open IP technology.”
According to Axis, the A1001 Network Door Controller is the first non-proprietary and open IP-based access controller on the market. It is a platform for 2 different solutions. Axis Entry Manager (Axis A1001 with built in software) is a ready-made solution for small to mid-sized businesses, such as offices, industries and retail stores, typically with 10 doors and basic access control requirements.
For larger enterprise systems, Axis A1001’s open application programming interface enables Axis’ Application Development Partners (ADP) to meet specific customer requirements. Initially, Axis ADP partners Aimetis, Genetec, IMRON, Milestone Systems, Next Level Security Systems and OnSSI are engaged in the development of solutions, which include video integration and advanced access control functionality.
Axis is launching Axis A1001 Network Door Controller in the US market in Q4 in 2013. The company says the United States was an early adopter of network video technology and is also a huge market for physical access control.
“Axis started its innovative quest back in 1984 by developing protocol converters and then continued to printers and storage devices before inventing and launching the first network camera in 1996,” said Mauritsson.
“Although we now enter the physical access control market, our focus will continue to be on network video products. We expect physical access control sales to represent a small, but important, part of our total business.”
According to Mauritsson, physical access control complements Axis’ existing portfolio of innovative products and is a natural business development step for Axis to take as there is a strong connection between physical access control and video surveillance.
“Most of our partners offering both video surveillance and physical access control systems and 80 percent of customers want it to be integrated (according to BSRIA’s 2011 World Security Report),” he says.
“We are continuously expanding our portfolio with innovative products. Physical access control fits naturally into the overall strategy and is in line with our vision ‘Innovating for a safer, smarter world.’ Axis' main focus area is and will continue to be network video products. Physical access control is a complementary part of our innovative product portfolio featuring IP-based products.”
Mauritsson says Axis believes its approach of using an open and standardized API will enable system integrators to deliver non-proprietary solutions for physical access control that are easier to integrate with other security systems.
“We see physical access control as a natural complement to our current products and it will be offered through Axis’ existing partner program and sold through the same distribution channels as our network video portfolio,” he explains.
“We will remain committed to our number one position in network video while also changing the mindset of the well-established access control market to also move towards using open IP systems.
“Physical access control will represent a relatively small but important part of our total business. We know from experience that ramping up a new product category can take time. Also worth remembering is that the access control market is roughly a quarter the size of the video surveillance market.”
Features of the Axis A1001 Network Door Controller include open architecture that allows easy integration of video, intrusion detection and other systems. The controllers support Power over Ethernet to reduce the need for separate power cables and proprietary cables.
Cardholder data and system configurations are automatically stored and synchronized between controllers and the units can be managed from any computer in the system. The controllers act as an enabler for an edge solution with one controller for each door and a fixed price per door. The system is fully scalable, eliminating the traditional central controller multiple of 4, 8, 16 or 32 doors.
Axis access control solution will support most existing reader protocols and reader types, and standard IT and security equipment such as door locks and door position sensors. The installation wizard and the color coded connectors help users to complete the installation and verify that door locks, readers and other equipment are connected properly.
Meanwhile, the API is designed for compliance with ONVIF Profile C, which will enable interoperability between clients and devices of physical access control systems (PACS) and network-based video systems.