Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
August 14, 2023


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IFSEC Interviews

IFSEC Interviews: HID Global and the focus on digital and sustainable access control solutions

Hear from HID Global’s Spencer Marshall at IFSEC 2023 in May as he explains the company’s key theme of mobile access control. We go into further detail below the video interview with HID’s Gerald Grattoni, Vice President, Physical Access Control Solutions, who IFSEC Insider’s Managing Editor, James Moore, sat down with for additional insight at the show. 

In the video interview below, Marshall provides insight into why HID sees the future of access control in a mobile credential, for reasons ranging from sustainability through to convenience.

It’s not all about digital solutions though. Additionally, we hear all about HID’s latest innovation – again, touching on the sustainability theme – an access card made from sustainably sourced bamboo.

Gerald Grattoni – Why sustainability and digitalisation are the key themes for the access control agenda ahead

IFSEC Insider also sat down with Gerald Grattoni, Vice President, Physical Access Control Solutions, at IFSEC. The messaging was much the same.

The foreseeable strategy for HID focuses around two key themes – digitalisation and sustainability. While HID certainly isn’t the first organisation (and won’t be the last) to earmark such concepts, there is much going on behind the scenes.

The bamboo card displayed by Marshall in the video interview represents the face of the company’s solutions becoming more sustainable in practice. According to its own research, half a million plastic access cards are made every year, whereas bamboo is renowned as a sustainable alternative to many products, given it can regrow in three years.

Yet, there is also more fundamental work contributing to its environmental ambitions, explains Grattoni. Its facility in Ireland has received sustainability awards, while the company’s manufacturing processes have been reimagined to create a more agile supply line – perhaps in response to the challenges electronic security providers have had due to a shortage in chipsets over the last few years.

HID-BambooCardReader-23Looking at the company’s other focus, Grattoni explained there has been a significant “acceleration of digitisation in access control credentials”, with customers expecting increasingly modern and sophisticated solutions.

In a nod to the growth of Proptech companies entering the access control ‘sphere of influence’, HID has been working in partnership with Apple to ensure its credentials can be accessed via the Apple Wallet system. The partnership has been put into sharp focus, with HID, Apple and SmartSpaces all working together on a project at 22 Bishopsgate, London, to create a building that uses mobile access control throughout its entire ecosystem.

Working with the likes of Apple Wallet is said to ensure that even if a phone runs out of battery, credentials will still work – something that will be of relief to many security professionals who have raised concerns about this challenge in surveys IFSEC Insider has run in the past.

Why digitalise access control, though? Do cards not work fine?

HID would first point to the fact they’re not leaving cards completely behind – the new bamboo option being the obvious example. Yet, the vendor is clearly seeing demand from end-users for digital solutions. There are advantages on offer, too – Grattoni pinpoints convenience for employees and visitors on a day-to-day basis, while digital access solutions also lead to further integration with smart building systems.

“It’s a fascinating space, as you’ve got great partnerships taking place across the security industry and construction market. We’re becoming an ecosystem provider, with new technology partners helping to close the gap between security and more connected, smarter buildings and environments.”

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